Community//

Like a Secret Handshake

With one shared connection, you are in!

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
AC's art as a gift
AC's art as a gift

In my growing-up years of circling other people’s circles, I found myself with no tribe. What my peers longed for, I don’t know, but the fantasies that swirled in my head were of a bunch of friends living together in a large home. 

With the arrival of my first daughter, and new parenting circles, I again floundered. What was this new language?  How did these new moms already know the rules? 

Then came my miraculous second pregnancy (we had tried for years for the first) but this time with a twist. My new daughter, born with Down syndrome, brought yet another new circle – one I didn’t know existed – and this time I found my tribe.

As parents of a children with disabilities, doors swing open to people we otherwise might never meet or know. Friendships fast track – zero to 60 in 1.4 seconds, as if we all know the secret handshake is not a handshake . . . it’s a hug.  

To navigate the world of kids with disabilities with peer parents is to make the the hard parts easier and every gift more magical.  From a lifetime yearning to connect and wanting a tribe, thanks to my daughter, I find myself now in a circle of love.

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