On July 10, 1997 I became a mom for the first time. I had no idea what that truly meant at the time, but it wouldn’t be all that long before I learned.

My daughter Allison was diagnosed with Williams syndrome when she was three months old.  When you are told that your newborn has a chromosomal deletion, it’s shocking. It’s painful. It’s scary. It’s all of those things and more, but you get through it. Yes, you mourn. You mourn for the child that you didn’t even know, the child who hasn’t become yet. You mourn for what could have been, what you think should be. I did that, and then one day I looked over at my daughter playing happily and realized that she was perfect. Alli was absolutely perfect in her imperfect way.

In the years that followed I learned how strong Alli truly was, and I see the world differently because of her. My daughter is my ideal image of hope. She has battled heart defects, a chromosomal deletion, learning disabilities, a thyroid condition and labels of all kinds, and she has done it all with amazing grace and determination because she simply doesn’t believe that she will fail. She taught me how to be a mom, through trail by fire, but I am the mother I am today because of her.

Receiving the bracelets from Global Genes Project through Williams Syndrome Family of Hope was such an honor for our family. It’s a visible token of strength and hope, everything that encompasses who Alli is. We’ll be wearing them proudly as we continue our journey through Williams syndrome.