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Tucson mom’s ‘A Princess Wish’ is different kind of fairy tale
Once up a time, a princess wanted a sister.
So she begged and begged, until finally her wish came true.
That is the fairy tale Maria Jordan MacKeigan lived, and that is the story she tells in her self-published children’s book “A Princess Wish,” based on the relationship between her two daughters.
But the MacKeigans’ story didn’t start out happy. At 20-weeks pregnant, MacKeigan learned that the little girl her 6-year-old Ana Maria had begged for would need open-heart surgery. Soon after, they learned the heart defect had to do with Down syndrome.
“After Jordan Grace had been born, I was trying to explain that she was different, and trying to tell (Ana Maria) she is going to take longer to talk and walk,” MacKeigan, 39, says. “So I’m just going on and on and bawling because it’s so emotional, and my daughter turns around and says, ‘Mommy, so what?’”
To Ana Maria, now 8, Jordan Grace was the sister she always wanted.
MacKeigan wrote the book for Jordan Grace’s second birthday in February.
“I was hoping it would open conversations between parents and children to learn about others with disabilities, people who are different, but want to play and have friends and want everything anyone else does,” MacKeigan says. “They want to be loved and considered and included.”
And while the book features a little princess with Down syndrome, it doesn’t explain it.
That was MacKeigan’s own approach when she found out about her daughter’s diagnosis. Prior to Jordan Grace, she had never really encountered Down syndrome.
“I wanted to know Jordan Grace for who she was before I started labeling or classifying her with the things she would do,” she says. “I wanted her to show me what she was all about.”
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