The truth is, I have a collection of dolls as well but not the kind you play with. My mother started buying them for me when I was young, as she too has a collection of porcelain dolls. Many of them…in fact, most of them are from the Ashton-Drake Galleries, so when Ashton-Drake approached me about reviewing their newest baby doll in honour of Down Syndrome Awareness month, I was beyond willing. This doll however, is unlike the dolls that live out most of their lives in cardboard boxes and glass cabinets. This was a doll for Ella.
Instead of being made out of fragile porcelain, this doll is vinyl and meant to be played with, loved, cuddled, kissed and carted around like many of Ella’s dolls are on a regular basis. The doll however, still carries the carefully crafted details of many of my porcelain dolls including many features of Down Syndrome… Okay, disclaimer – when I opened the box, I thought to myself, this baby doesn’t really look like it has Down Syndrome but then again, I often think the same thing about Ella. Because the reality is, each individual with Down Syndrome is still just that…an individual with their own beautiful traits, personalities and distinctive features that reflect their Mamas and Papas.
(Side-note: it’s Saturday morning. My favourite time to write. Ella is beside me reading her books, as she usually does when I am working from my special home office [aka: my bed] and beside her is her baby. She carefully tucks her in and pulls the covers up to her chin. Priceless.)
So as I was saying, while the doll does not have the stereotypical face of Down Syndrome (which I appreciate) it does exhibit a slightly flattened bridge, palmer crease, small ears and a gap between the first and second toes. I also love the weight of this baby. It isn’t like the £5 baby we bought from ASDA 3 years ago (the UK equivalent to Walmart). It feels like a real baby.
To Ella however, it is just a baby. Her baby. She doesn’t care that it has those features. To her, it is just beautiful and a baby to be loved. I would like to thank Ashton-Drake for making such a beautiful doll and honouring the special joys in our lives. Please check out their online gallery at http://www.ashtondrake.com/aspecialjoy.
Unfortunately, at this time, “A Special Joy” as the doll is named, is not available in Canada. That being said, they have offered one to give away for free. But no matter, whether you live in Canada, the US or anywhere else in the world feel free to enter.
Just comment below, and you will be entered to win “A Special Joy” of your own.
Share this post and let me know by leaving another comment making that two entries.
I will leave the giveaway open until the end of National Down Syndrome Awareness Week in Canada, which is November 7th.
Please like, share and spread the word!!!
Oh, and Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!!