The Emmy award winning show, Born This Way, has a new cast member - 3 year old Rocco! Eli and Rocco have known each other since they were one and Rocco is the sweetest little guy. He always has a smile on his face and Amy and Chris, his parents, are some of the most generous and kind people you could ever meet. Amy and I have been big fans of the show from the beginning. I love how Born This Way is breaking stereotypes and bringing so much awareness. I asked Amy if I could ask her a couple questions about Rocco and his new role so you can get to know him :)
Q.: What do you want everyone to know about Rocco?
Rocco has been the biggest blessing our family has ever received! He doesn't know it, but he has rewarded us in so many ways and has opened our eyes to see and live life differently! Rocco has given our family so much love and has filled voids in our hearts, that we didn't know existed!
Rocco is really just like any other toddler, he's loving, caring, social, he loves to have fun, he causes a little mischief, and Rocco really loves to laugh, dance and enjoy his life.
Rocco has a big beautiful heart, he expresses empathy, caring, and he's always trying to put a smile on others faces.
Rocco does take a little longer to learn things, but he does learn, he's gets upset when he cannot do something, he throws, he cries, but he keeps trying, with encouragement of course! Then he succeeds. These are some of the most special moments to experience, the joy and happiness, the self congratulations and the sense of accomplishment are emotionally overwhelming for Rocco and all of us.
Rocco is an emotional little dude, he has the same feelings and goes through the same emotions as you and I.
The extra chromosome sure does make Rocco who he is and we would never change him, he really is so special to us!
The world we live in has daily reminders of what beauty, what's normal, what's wrong what's right....Rocco doesn't fit into what the world defines as normal, but he's perfect in every way to us. I feel like the luckiest mommy to have been blessed with Rocco.
Q.: What are you hoping you can contribute to the Down syndrome community with Rocco being on Born This Way?
The show has brought so much awareness to the Down syndrome community, we hope that Rocco being on the show will continue to help create awareness and let parents, doctors, teachers, medical professionals know that Down Syndrome is a positive trait at all ages.
We want parents that have just gave birth to a child with Down syndrome or have just been diagnosed during pregnancy that we were also in shock when we got the news of Rocco's diagnosis at the time of his birth. We were crushed, sad, hopeless, we thought this is the worst thing that could have happened to us...little did we know those were just temporary feelings and part of our mourning process. We had just hit the lottery and got the prize of a lifetime, but we didn't know that Rocco was the winning ticket..... looking back on our journey, we wouldn't change a thing. We have grown as a family, as people and we have experienced a special love that we didn't know existed! Everyday we are grateful for Rocco! Rocco has been the best gift we have ever received in life. We are so thankful for him and you will feel the same about your child!
Life is not more difficult having a child with Down syndrome, it's more rewarding!
Down syndrome is not a burden, it is a gift.
People with down Syndrom are more alike than different. They can do anything it just might take a little longer...and that's ok.
Q.: Knowing what you now know, what would you want to tell a mom who just got a diagnosis of Down syndrome for her child?
I would first say congratulations!...You just hit the lottery of life. How beyond excited I am for their family.
Be prepared for blessings and little angels to come into your life.
Your family just became even bigger with an entire community that is waiting to love you and your kiddo! You will find support and encouragement for life. Lifelong friendships!
It's difficult now and shocking, mourning the baby you thought you were going to have isn't easy, but trust me your life is about to become real and so amazing.
You will be able to see life through a new set of lenses.
The things you thought were important may not be anymore, some friendships may fade but new friendships will be made, you are now part of the lucky few family...
You thought you knew love but just wait...the love you will experience will be so deep at so many different levels!
Laughter will be part of your life daily! And sadness at times and that's ok.
It's not always easy but the joy and love that come with having a child with Down syndrome may be the best thing that ever happened to you to, just like it was the best thing that happened to me!
Down syndrome is a blessing...
Once again, Congratulations! 😘🤗
Some added advice...
Your kiddo is on his/her own schedule. Don't worry, as long as progress is being made.
Don't compare your child with peers.
Embrace every milestone...It's so much more exciting when they accomplish something they have worked so hard at and you get to celebrate with them!
It's ok to mourn the life you thought your child was going to have, we have all experienced it. Be good to yourself and the healing will come.
Do not feel guilty for having feelings of sadness. It's a process so don't be to hard on yourself.
Learn to be flexible with all the doctors appointments, specialists, therapies and agencies, it can be overwhelming but you can do it!
Don't take things that people say to serious- At first a lot of people are going to try and offer help or say things they think are comforting...the most common "I'm sorry"... just remember there's nothing to be sorry about.
Life is going to be great, you are now part of the the lucky few family, joy and love everyday!
Guard yourself by having a sense of humor, There are a lot of people that are not educated on Down syndrome and that's ok. Having a sense of humor will get you through those conversations, comments or stares. I have plenty of stories...
Who you will become - You will become an educator, therapist, specialist and be your child's best advocate- A Warrior Mama ...so Rad!
No limits - Don't ever let anyone tell you your child can't do it or limit your child. They can be or do anything...super exciting just thinking about it...right?
Now enjoy the blessing that God gave you for the rest of your life...👊🏻😊
You can watch Born This Way Tuesday nights on A&E! And you can follow along with Rocco's journey on Instagram @roccosradlife