Last year I came across a picture of the sweetest little girl I could imagine and had to find out more about her. Her mom, Tara McCallan, started the Happy Soul Project right after the birth of her daughter, Pip, who was born with Down Syndrome and some health issues. She wanted to show to the world, through Pip, that being different is cool and beautiful. I think her message and the work she is doing to bring awareness to Down Syndrome is truly inspirational. I can’t even begin to think about the numbers of families who have been inspired by her message and seeing the love of life that Pip embodies. She is truly an amazing little girl and I am so happy to share their story with you!
Tell us a bit of your story and how The Happy Soul Project came about.
I am just a ordinary, everyday momma…It’s just in my case I am in extraordinary circumstances in which I have this awesome opportunity to share with the world our story. Happy Soul Project started literally a few days after I had my daughter Pip with a real, raw and honest look into a momma’s heart when given the diagnosis that her baby has Down syndrome and other complications. It is my platform to the world to express and show others that although our life is a bit different it is beautiful & brilliant all the same. It’s my way to challenge others way of thinking and break down stigmas unnecessarily associated with Down syndrome. It’s my opportunity to teach and inspire others that what makes you different is what makes you beautiful.
For a broader answer see: http://www.happysoulproject.com/p/about-happy-soul-project.html#.Uwz5XvldV8E
And more about me see: http://www.happysoulproject.com/p/about.html#.Uwzkr_ldV8E
How has little Pip changed your and your families lives?
Pip has changed us all to the core…She threw our life and what we expected it to be upside down but we’ve come to realized that’s a good thing – A very, good thing. Pip doesn’t have my green eyes or her brother’s hair like I thought she would. She has these unique, almond-shaped blue stunners that draw you in and seem to stare straight into your heart, coupled with ridiculous brown hair that only seems to grow on the very top of her head as if made for pig-tails. Pip has the most contagious smile I’ve ever seen, and her laugh starts in her toes before taking over her entire body. She has a relationship with her brother that warms my heart; I know she is here to make him a sweeter boy than I ever could. Her dad is fiercely protective, and he tears up with pride and love as he watches her achieve milestones and survive surgeries. As for me—Pip has made me a stronger person, a better momma and a tireless advocate for something I didn’t even know needed defending.
Pip is everything I need in a daughter, and my aspirations for her haven’t changed because she has Down syndrome. I wanted a daughter with a kind heart and grateful spirit, and she has that beyond what I could have imagined.
What do you hope others gain and learn from The Happy Soul Project.
I want others to walk away from Happy Soul Project thinking a wee bit differently – Feeling inspired to be kinder, wanting to reach out to others more, seeing ways to help those in need and laughing at how I’m coping in this journey we call parenting. But most importantly I want them to walk away with knowing different is beautiful. Different is awesome. Different is whatever you make it to be. We all have differences and Pip has taught me that they should be celebrated…
I have seen you campaigning to get on The Ellen DeGeneres show – how are things coming along with that?!
No matter what I do that woman just does not seem interested…Thousands have helped share #OperationEllenMeetPip and we are still hoping to dance with her to celebrate World Down syndrome day.
Any news you want to share with our lovely dandelion moms
Just encourage them as mommas – Give them all a big, standing O. Before I was a mom, I thought it would be so easy. Now I realize how very hard, inspiring, life-changing it all really is. And also that it’s okay to lose yourself for a bit when you are in the midst of it.
Anyways thanks again sooo much for this….So honoured..
Thank you Tara and Little Pip for just being so awesome! We love the Happy Soul Project and wish you happiness and joy in all that you do!
Lovely dandelion moms – let’s try to help get Pip on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for World Down Syndrome Day which is coming up on March 21st.
Please share this story on your social media channels and use the hashtag #OperationEllenMeetPip and see if we can help! Wouldn’t it be great to see her doing a little dance with Ellen in celebration of different is beautiful! You can check out her #OperationEllenMeetPip video here.