“I got a job with BECEP, which is Bismarck Early Childhood Education program. I got a call yesterday afternoon I’m super excited to be finally in the field of early childhood field and that just made my whole day,” exclaimed Liz Romanick, ‘director of dreams.’

Liz Romanick’s news was just as exciting for her mom, Roxane.

“I mean if you’d asked me 23 years ago if we’d be sitting here and Liz would be talking about going to work at BECEP, I would be like, this is so incredibly thrilling,” said ‘mom-ager,’ Roxane Romanick.

It was momentous in numerous ways, because Roxane worked at BECEP, which is the Bismarck Early Childhood Education Program, for 15 years herself.
She worked in special education for a number of years, and spent a lot of time advocating for those with special needs.

So 23 years ago, when she got the news in a prenatal diagnosis that her daughter would be born with Down Syndrome, she was prepared.

“She did end up having quite a few health complications that first year. So it was good to emotionally be ready,” Roxane said.

And having worked in the field of special education, she was also ready to help her girl take on the world!

“One of the things we did with her birth announcement is tell everybody that she had Down syndrome … it was much a part of her as the cute little whisper on the top of her head,” Roxane shared. “And so we always grew up with a lot of transparency around Down syndrome.”

When Liz was four, Roxane decided to get involved with Designer Genes, a support group for children with down syndrome and their families.

Roxane, Liz and their family have surrounded themselves with positivity, and exude the same, and they inspire one another as well, mixed with a little bit of humor.

(Alysia: How does Elizabeth inspire you?) “Oh boy,” piped Liz. “Yeah, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if it wasn’t, I think, for being her mom. So I consider it a huge blessing and consider myself very lucky,” Roxane said.

But life has changed drastically since Liz graduated for college, got her own apartment and now a job.

“Now we don’t have a team. And I’m like, What are we gonna do,” Roxane asked.

But she tries her best to loosen the mom-reigns.

“I try really hard to like, not like, you know, poke her about something like ‘Hey, do you remember you have this appointment today?’ I’ve worked really hard at it, but I’m not always very successful, am I”, Roxane asked.

Liz responded “I call her the bulldozer. I call her that because every time she always cleans my room and picking up clothes for a year and does things on her own without telling me.”

While the laughs continue, and Liz and Roxane work to pave the way and advocate for others, there is one very important message.

“Just be you,” Liz advised. “It’s not Your perfections or imperfections, it’s just showing who we are and our disabilities won’t affect it because that cannot define who we are. Because God’s the main topic here. He does want the best of us.”

Liz and Roxane Romanick are two people you should know.

The 19th Annual Designer Genes Walk for Down Syndrome 2022 is Saturday, Sept. 24.