Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Holland Tour Guide - by Littlest Warrior Apparel

So, I'm a little bit addicted to Instagram. In one of my marathon searches, where one thing leads to another, and another, and another, and the next thing I know I'm drooling over someone's plant collection, I came across this awesome account called littlest_warrior. I was so taken with the t-shirts I saw on these beautiful little children, and I knew there was something 'different' about them, but I didn't know what. Only when I clicked on the link in the profile did I read the words that pulled on my heart-strings: "Spread awareness in this rad tee inspired by the Welcome to Holland story by Emily Perl Kingsley."

As many of you know, my life has been touched and deeply affected by the poem Welcome to Holland. I wrote about it HERE. It is the meaning behind my blog's title - 'Tiptoeing Through', as well as the message behind my child care program, 'Little Tulips'. For parents of children with special needs, it is a powerful message - 'Holland' may not be where we had planned on going, but it really is a beautiful place, once you allow yourself to see it.

Holland is certainly not where I had ever dreamed of going, but we are settling in quite nicely. It really is beautiful here.. and I have THE BEST tour guide!!

I contacted Michelle about her clothing company, and she told me her story:

"Littlest Warrior was inspired by my son, Eli who is my biggest hero. We found out when I was 20 weeks pregnant that Eli had a heart defect and his intestines were blocked. Both those things pointed to Down Syndrome as well, so we had a blood test to confirm. 

He was born full term via c-section, weighing 4 pounds 3 ounces. When I heard him cry for the first time, relief washed over me. A nurse brought him over and I got to kiss him before they rushed him to the NICU. He had his first surgery at 2 days old to unblock his intestines, then it was an agonizing long 2 days before I could hold him again. He was able to come home after only 12 days in the NICU. The next six months was a waiting game for his open heart surgery to repair his av canal defect. After countless visits to the cardiologist for echocardiograms, it was time. Handing him over to the surgeons that day, knowing that I may never see my baby boy again was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. But the surgery was successful and he amazed us again by coming home after only 6 days in the hospital! Eli is exactly who God wanted him to be and exactly what He knew our family needed. I will never be the same and my daughters will grow up to be kind and compassionate advocates, and for that I am grateful. Eli is a gift that keeps on giving! 
After his heart surgery, I was looking forward to connecting with other Moms who have kids with special needs, and the thought of a t-shirt business to spread awareness and inclusion really sounded great to me! My very first design was the 'Holland Tour Guide' tee because I read the poem when I was pregnant with Eli and it brought me great comfort. I love that when we wear Littlest Warrior t-shirts, they end up being conversation starters and that's a great way to spread awareness!"

Littlest Warrior Apparel - Spreading joy, awareness and inclusion one rad t-shirt at a time!

Check out some of their other awesome designs.
10% of all sales are donated to a foundation or family in need.
Use discount code: holland for 10% off your purchase!

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