Spreading our joy, one basket at a time

carissa carroll



There is a right way and a not so right way. Parents getting the news that their newborn has Down syndrome doesn’t have to be a negative experience. The first words these parents hear should not be a form of “I’m sorry” or “I have some bad news”.

That is how I feel about it and how Carissa Carroll feels too. Fortunately, Carissa not only feels that way, but is doing something about it. When her son, Jack, was born, Carissa had one of those not so right ways of being told of her son’s diagnosis of Down syndrome. She felt she wasn’t given the chance to celebrate her baby’s arrival in a positive way.

Instead, like many of us, she was immediately hit with a list of negative possible outcomes. “He might never speak. He might never live independently, or work at a meaningful job.”

Where was the “Congratulations on your beautiful baby! What a wonderful life you are beginning! He looks just like Grandma Sue?”

Carissa wanted all new parents who have given birth to their beautiful baby who happens to have Down syndrome, to be reassured that every birth is a blessing. Every new child in the world is born with unique possibilities.

In honor of her son’s wonderful life, Carissa has started in the Twin Cities of Minnesota something called Jack’s Baskets. It is a free welcoming basket for parent’s of newborns diagnosed with Down syndrome. It is packed full of gifts for the baby and the mother to celebrate new life. It also contains useful and positive information on DS to help the new parents at various stages of their adventure.

She has decided to include Paul’s book, An Uncomplicated Life, in all baskets because of the positive message it provides. We are so happy she wants parents to read our story of raising a child with DS.

Paul has written an honest, heartfelt, and positive account of our life with JIllian. I hope that the new parents receiving this basket with our book will find encouragement, familiarity and renewed assurances that their child is special only in the fact that he/she is their child. Carissa would like other towns to celebrated new life with their own Jack’s Baskets group. If anyone wants to order a basket for new parents or if you want to start organizing a group in your area, just go to her website, jacksbasket.org and see what you can do. Take time to celebrate your newborn’s arrival. I wish for you a positive experience that will lead to positive outcomes.

Thanks for reading.

Expect. Don’t Accept.


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