Photography by Luxe Art Images, LLC
Meet Claudessa. She is Beauty Revived.
Claudessa is an eight and a half year old Renaissance Girl! She enjoys singing, acting, painting, dancing and making the world a more compassionate and loving place.
Beautifully named Claudessa after both parents Claudio and Venessa, she is best known as the “Little Boss”of her family. The title was given to by her Grandfather when she was born. No truer words have ever been spoken! Even as a baby she possessed fierce independence, a vibrant personality and a sort of quiet strength that made us all believe that she was going to take over the world one day.
Being parents to such a free spirit has it’s challenges. We grew up in a time where children were seen and not heard. But our little Claudessa demanded to be heard, all the time. We adored this brilliant being and her innate zest for life. She struck up conversations with strangers, she sang out loud in the middle of crowded stores and danced around in restaurants. Without a doubt she was an old soul who could appreciate both Monet and The Muppets. Claudessa was our little idol, worshipped and adored. But at the age of five, the time came for her to share the spotlight…
Claudessa was over the moon when we told her that she was going to be a big sister to twin boys! She couldn’t wait to hold and cuddle them, play with them, teach them how to walk and talk, and of course, boss them around! The day they were born, she sprung right into action and took her role of Big Sister very seriously!
We had heard how hard it could be for the only child to take a back seat to a new sibling, but what really worried us was how she would react to the fact that her twin brothers had Down syndrome. Although we had known for many months before their birth, we decided not to tell Claudessa. We wanted her to meet her brothers first, not their diagnosis.
After several months had passed, we finally decided to tell her. At this point she was aware of the mixed attention her brothers received from curious strangers whose comments ranged from, “They are so adorable!” to “Aww, I’m sorry.” And she wondered why there were teachers and therapists visiting our home on a weekly basis. We gently explained what Down syndrome was. Just like the rare four-leaf clover, her brothers had an extra chromosome. This meant that they would have some delays but with lots of love and support, they would be able to do the same things that she could. But what she really understood about their diagnosis was that we were incredibly lucky to have them!
Eager to help them learn, she wants to be involved in every aspect of their therapies! She records sessions on the iPad, documents their progress in crayon and writes children’s books about Ds made out of construction paper. She loves painting portraits of them, and always makes sure to accentuate her favorite feature, their beautiful almond shaped eyes. She tells all her friends about her little brothers and Down syndrome. Claudessa has become Julian and Noel’s biggest advocate! She doesn’t see their disability, but rather, their ability to work hard to meet their milestones. They inspire her. She celebrates every achievement with great fervor. She is, without a doubt, a beautiful human being and the best big sister ever! We are all so lucky to have her!
We look back at the fears we had about Down syndrome and wonder why we were so worried about how it would affect Claudessa and the impact it would have in her life. Just as it has changed our lives for the better, it has helped shape Claudessa in a very profound way. At only 8 ½ she talks endlessly about one day becoming a mother to children she will adopt with Ds and other disabilities. She has big plans to open an Art School for individuals with Down syndrome and of course she plans on having her brother’s work there, so she can boss them around.
About the Photographer
Eboni Rivera is the mastermind behind Luxe Art Images, LLC. She provides emotive, heart-warming, heart-tugging, feel good photography & films for people who give a damn about the preservation of their memories. Her sole purpose as a memory giver is to assist others in authentically documenting their legacy and printing them for the generations that follow. She believes that the most important thing about family photos are that they exist! She is unapologetically sentimental, has a kind heart, fierce mind, creative soul and brave spirit. Eboni is a photography philanthropist that donates her artistic services to various causes. She is happiest knowing that she’s made a difference in a persons life – even in the smallest way…