Stephanie Mullowney, a photographer from Nashville, has a passion for raising awareness about Down syndrome. Her breathtaking photos of children with special needs were inspired by her own motherhood journey.
"I never knew what true unconditional love was until my daughter Hannah Grace was born," she said. "I didn't know she had Down syndrome until they laid her on my chest and she looked up at me with those beautiful almond-shaped eyes. In that very moment, I knew my life would forever be changed."
Stephanie explained that although she dealt with her fair share of naysayers when Hannah Grace was born, she knew that her daughter was special.
"Despite all of the negativity that surrounded her diagnosis at birth, I knew I had been given an extraordinary gift and purpose, and I knew she would teach me so much more than I would ever be able to teach her. I knew I was holding a miracle and that I need her just as much as she needed me."
As far as what Stephanie's learned about life since having Hannah Grace? More than she ever imagined.
"I knew she would teach me so much more than I would ever be able to teach her."
"Hannah Grace has taught me how to fight for her and others like her, how to truly love unconditionally, and how to embrace the differences in all abilities and see their beauty and purpose."
She also believes that having a daughter with special needs has made her a better person through and through.
"Because of Hannah, my faith in the Lord has grown and my judgments have shrunk. I now have a true purpose and mission in life by using the platform of photography to advocate for all types of different abilities."
Like Stephanie, the mothers of the girls she photographed have similar stories of gratitude, love, and transformation. These moms shared the biggest lessons they've learned from their daughters.