Images Captured By Meanie Keenan Photography
Isabelle is better known by Belle, and she is like any other child. Her future is wide open and filled with possibility. She is interested in singing, spending time with her grandparents, swimming, watching movies, time to herself and is becoming quite skilled with a digital camera.
Belle was born in 2001 and diagnosed officially with Down Syndrome on the morning of her birth. Initially, her family was scared as all they knew of it was that there was potential for a short life span. Since then, they have learned a lot about the disorder and feel fortunate that Belle does not have any of the typical health issues often associated with Down Syndrome. Her family works hard to ensure that Belle is given the opportunities she seeks and they focus on inclusion. Although it has not always been easy, her parents have educated many of her teachers and peers as to what she is capable of. They are fighting for change, as they often feel that society can be misguided and unwilling to make adjustments to their views on disabilities.
Her parents advise other families to take things one day at a time, to set goals for your children, and to works towards them together. Their motto, since the beginning, has been to raise Belle no differently than they would any other child. While they are afraid that someone may take advantage of her, they are equally confident that they will teach her the difference between right and wrong, hopefully avoiding such a situation.
Belle has and continues to educate everyone around her – she brings out the best in people! Her family truly believes that she was given specifically to them and they will make certain that she lives a happy, full life filled with joy and love.