Brady Murray
June 17, 2024

From China to the Major Leagues: Cooper is Conquering Limitations

In this week's episode of the Conquering Your Clownfish podcast, host Brady Murray shares the heartwarming and inspiring story of his adopted son Cooper. Brady, along with his wife Andrea, is the founder of ROD's Heroes, a non-profit organization that encourages families to adopt children with Down syndrome and other special abilities. With a family of 11 children, seven of whom are adopted, Brady has firsthand experience in navigating the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs.

In this blog post, we'll explore some of the worries that parents of children with special abilities often face and how Cooper's story can inspire us to push past our own fears and allow our children to spread their wings and shine. We'll also discuss how the very things that may be seen as limitations can actually become a child's greatest strengths, enriching not only their lives but also the lives of those around them.


Facing the Unknown


One of the biggest challenges for parents of children with special abilities is the fear of the unknown. Many parents worry about their child's future, their ability to navigate social situations, and their potential to succeed in life. The unknown is just that—until we let them try, until we let them spread their wings.

However, as Cooper's story illustrates, facing these fears head-on can lead to incredible growth and opportunities. By embracing the unknown and focusing on their child's unique abilities, Cooper has become a strength and an inspiration to those around him. Whether on the baseball field or at home, he is able to be a positive influence on those around him. 

As he grew, we discovered Cooper’s natural talent for baseball and a magnetic personality that helped build connection. It is hard not to try to help your child any way you can, but in the end, their life experiences that give them joy will help increase the joys of others exponentially.


Pushing Past Overprotection


Every parent wants to protect their child from harm or disappointment. In Cooper's case, we initially hesitated to let him play baseball, fearing that he might get hurt or be a burden on the team. It's natural for parents to want to shield their children from potential danger and heartbreak, but sometimes, this overprotection is what is limiting your child.

Here and on the show, we refer to times like these as our “clownfish” moments—when worry and concern outweigh our willingness to let our children experience hard things. For me, overcoming my worries about what could happen was my “clownfish” moment, and I had to let go and allow Cooper to pursue his passion for baseball. 

As Cooper excelled in the sport, he began to break down barriers and challenge preconceived notions about what individuals with Down syndrome were capable of. His enthusiasm and determination inspired his teammates, coaches, and even rival teams, bringing communities together powerfully.


Turning Challenges into Strengths


One of the most remarkable aspects of Cooper's story is how what could be seen as limitations or disabilities have become his strengths. He has been embraced by his peers as he has strived to do his best in all his endeavors. Players from opposing teams would cheer him on, and the sport became about so much more than just winning. Cooper's involvement brought a sense of unity and purpose to the league.

In an effort to encourage potential adopters to consider adopting children with Down Syndrome and other unique circumstances, he has a mission to unite 30 kids with forever homes through 30 pitches at Major League Baseball Stadiums. His appearances at iconic stadiums like Wrigley Field and Fenway Park not only brought joy to fans but also helped to raise awareness and promote inclusivity for individuals with special needs. He gets to shine his light and everyone can see it making a difference in the lives of others.


Embracing the Journey


One of the most important lessons we can learn from Cooper's story is the value of embracing the journey, no matter where it leads. By remaining open to possibilities and focusing on Cooper's unique gifts, they have been able to create a life filled with love, laughter, and endless opportunities for growth. Cooper's journey will not always be easy, but it has been immeasurably rewarding.

As parents, it's essential to remember that our children's paths may not always look the way we imagined, but that doesn't make them any less beautiful or worthwhile. By embracing the twists and turns, celebrating the victories, and learning from the challenges, we can help our children write their own unique stories and make a positive impact on the world around them.


Conquer Your Clownfish!


Cooper reminds us of the incredible potential that lies within every child, regardless of their limitations. As we navigate the joys and challenges of raising our own children, let us remember the lessons that. Let’s have confidence in our children's resilience and ability to overcome obstacles. Let's provide them with experiences that will help them grow and shine in their own unique ways. And most importantly, let’s embrace the journey, knowing that the most rewarding paths are often the ones we least expect.

So, to all the parents out there, especially those raising children with special abilities, you are not alone. Together, we can create a world where every child has the opportunity to sing the song they were meant to sing and make a difference in the lives of those around them.

 


 

Learn more about Cooper here. 
If you are interested in learning how you can contribute or are looking to adopt, find more info on RODS Heroes here.

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