When I look into Solana's eyes I see hope, faith and unconditional love all rolled into one beautiful little girl. If only the world could see what I see. In August of 2010 I entered Solana in the Parents Magazine Cover Contest. I posted the voting link on Facebook thinking a few of my friends would vote and that would be the end of it. What happened was something that I never dreamed possible! Solana had come in first place out of over 95,000 entries! As the Readers' Choice Winner, we were flown to New York City and spent five wonderful (at times challenging) days exploring the city, walking mile after mile (with two kids and one stroller not good planning on my part), knowing this was the chance of a lifetime. A chance to let the world see Solana as a beautiful little girl, that will have her own dreams and aspirations, her own challenges and triumphs, but was born with one big roadblock: peoples' preconceptions of what she will or will not do. Entering her into the contest proved to be so much more than just an opportunity to be a cover girl. I took it as an opportunity to help educate thousands on Down syndrome and ran with it! There were daily posts on what Down syndrome is and isn't, stories about inspiring individuals with Down syndrome, recommended reading and resources, as well as words of wisdom for other parents that were just starting down the same journey. We even started a campaign to Oprah pleading for her to have a one hour show just on Down syndrome (still haven't heard from her, but I am always available to take her call)! In the end Solana didn't win the cover, but that didn't matter. In the months leading up to the November issue that featured the editors' final choice, Parents magazine featured stories on Down syndrome in two separate issues! For two months the magazine made its way into doctors' offices, hospitals and mailboxes around the country! Yes, seeing her on the cover would have been the icing on the cake, but education was what it was all about! I firmly believe that through education and leading by example that we can teach our children acceptance, tolerance, sense of community and the beauty of diversity. Solana has taught me about compassion, patience, living in the moment and not taking even one day for granted. She has taught me that you only need to have a heart full of grace and a tender, loving soul to make a change in the world. When I look at the world now, I try to see what Solana sees. I try to feel what she is feeling and more than anything I try to love like she loves. With Solana we walk the road less traveled. With our heads held high, not looking back with regret or sorrow, but with the knowledge that we are in the presence of true grace and more importantly our own COVER GIRL!