When Lana Beaton and Amy Sanders decided to introduce their babies to one another, they hoped that the two children with Down’s Syndrome would form a friendship of some sort.
However, they could never have imagined the inseparable bond that their babies would share with one another.
Lana and Amy had known each other growing up in North Dakota as their parents had been friends.
However, they’d never been particularly close pals themselves.
Lana and Amy both had babies born with Down’s Syndrome within months of one another.
It was only when a mutual friend told Lana that Amy’s son Cutler had the same condition as her daughter Clara that she chose to reach out and arrange a meeting.
Stay-at-home mum Lana and school teacher Amy eventually met in a local Starbucks in April 2016 with their toddlers in tow, and the rest is history.
Lana believed that meeting Amy in person could be beneficial for both the mothers and their babies, as they could provide support for each other.
“I thought we might be a good support for one another,” she said.
“I sent her a sensitive message asking her if Cutler had an extra chromosome like Clara and Amy wrote back within an hour.
“We met up about a week later in a local Starbucks and we really connected.
“We laid the babies out on a blanket and they started touching each other - you could see that there was a connection between them.”
Clara and Cutler, both two years old, now meet up regularly, spending at least two days a week in each other’s company and accompanying each other to physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions.
Their characters are very well balanced, as Clara is more outgoing whilst Cutler is more shy and reserved.
“Everybody is blown away by their friendship. Everybody is smitten with them,” said Amy.
While Clara is a very bubbly little girl, she’s spent much of her life in and out of hospital due to complications with her health.
When she was just three months old she had to undergo open heart surgery.
As a result, the youngster has to be fed through a gastrostomy tube in her stomach.
She was also diagnosed with Hirschsprung disease, a condition that affects the colon in newborns, babies and toddlers and makes it difficult for them to pass stool.
When in hospital, Clara’s spirits are lifted by watching videos of her friend Cutler from her bed.
Lana and Amy have created a blog together called “Clara & Cutler” in the hopes that other parents raising children with Down’s Syndrome can find and support one another.
“I think Cutler has an amazing ally in Clara and we know they’ll be a great support for one another growing up," said Amy.
“They make my heart happy."