Welcome to Our House - The Analogy ©

Having a baby is special. For some, it’s a lifelong dream, for others, a wonderful surprise. Either way, many of us have thought about taking this journey and whether it’s planned or a pleasant surprise, we all have preconceived ideas about what our child will look and be like. But what if it isn’t what we planned or expected? This is a short story I have written for parents who have or are expecting an exceptionally special child.

Welcome to our House – An analogy

After many months of dreaming, you finally decide it’s time. You are going to build that perfect house of your dreams. You have saved and saved, and now it’s time to put your plan into action. You find a wonderful, perfect piece of land in the city. It’s exactly what you are looking for – because it’s the plan that everyone talks about. You envision the all brick house sitting on luscious green grass, surrounded by a white picket fence. Inside is a marble foyer leading into a family room with beautiful oak hardwood floors. Granite lines the kitchen counter tops and there is an island sink in the middle. Upstairs has four perfect bedrooms and the master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and an enormous walk-in closet, of course. It’s truly a dream come true, and it’s only a matter of time. You purchase the land and think to yourself, in nine short months, you will have it all.

But suddenly your agent calls to tell you, the land is not properly zoned, and the city has not approved it for building your perfect home. They have instead, given you land in the country, where an old country home sits. You are absolutely devastated, your dreams vanishing right before your eyes. You know you can’t back out now, you need a place to live, and despite it not being what you wanted, you know that somehow you will manage and that you can continue on.

You tell everyone what has happened, and everyone is disappointed, some even offering their condolences. You know that everyone else has a nice city home, and that was what you had planned, but you have to come to terms with the fact that you must learn to live in the country.

You go to see the property every month until closing and something funny happens. You start to fall in love with the place. The air is fresh, it’s peaceful and serene. There’s a pond on the land, and the house, though not a new all brick home, is quaint, and has lots of hidden potential. You soon realize it’s not a awful place, it’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than the city, less noisy and flamboyant, but it’s beautiful none the less. And in the process, you soon realize you may even get to meet some new and wonderful neighbours.

Its closing day and you suddenly find yourself full of anticipation, but you are still a little worried. After all, it isn’t what you had originally hoped for, and the house may need some repairs. But you are determined to accept it, and tackle everything one step at a time. You open the front door, and suddenly you are thrilled with what you see. The house is lovely, and has lots of character. The rooms are smaller but it’s decorated with beautiful attention and detail. The kitchen has marble instead of granite, and the bathroom has a soaker tub instead of a Jacuzzi. There isn’t a walk-in closet in sight, but the rooms all come with an indescribable view. Somehow, you just know that it was always meant to be and that this is now home.

This is my analogy of what it will be like for people who discover that they will be caring for a baby with Down syndrome. For us, it is not a terrible place to be, it is a journey full of surprises, milestones and discovery like any other child. And as the story suggests, sometimes it’s only a matter of ‘point of view’, and surprisingly, once you have been there, you don’t want to be anywhere else. The journey, like all others doesn’t come without some bumps in the road, but once you find your way, it’s all about the place you discovered, in most cases - quite by random chance
Author: Sandi Graham-McWade, Copyright

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Journal - Week 19 (26Dec09)

Today marks Hunter's 19th week.  And it's the day after his very first Christmas.  I know he doesn't really understand what all the fuss is about, but he knew it was a big day.  Christmas morning we opened all our stockings, and Santa brought Hunter a few goodies.

[Hunter opening his stocking]

Next we tackled opening our presents, and Hunter actually helped open his own gifts!

[Hunter helping to open his own gift]

Hunter was so lucky to receive all the wonderful things he did, and here you can see him enjoying one of his new stuffed animals. 
[Wow, this is neat!]
And also his first musical instrument, guaranteed to drive mommy & daddy crazy!  (Go figure, we bought it....)
[Hunter playing a few notes]

Later in the afternoon we cleaned up a bit more as we were expecting family over for Christmas dinner, but Hunter took the opportunity to catch a little "reindeer" nap!
And after a scrumptious turkey diner that the whole family enjoyed, we opened our party crackers and wore our Christmas Crowns.  Hunter stole mine because green matched his outfit better than mine....
[Party cracker king!]

All in all the night was fantastic and Hunter was not shy with anyone.  He even went into the arms of someone he had never met before without fussing.  He did suffer with some gas near the end of the night, but nothing a bit of gripe water didn't eventually fix.  (10 minutes later....)
I was honestly afraid that Hunter would not sleep last night, but I am guessing all the stimulation tuckered him out.  He went down at 1:30 am and slept until 7:45 am.  Now me on the other hand, I went to bed at 4:00 am and didn't really exit my bed until 7:00 pm.  (Of course I was up at 7:45 am to feed and change Hunter, but we all promptly went back to sleep.)  I was able to catch a bit of a needed sleep during the rest of the day, and Grandma took up the slack, letting me get some much needed rest.  I feel great now that I was able to get some "real" uninterrupted sleep.
And so it goes, yesterday we closed another chapter to this story - Hunter's first Christmas.  It was wonderful and memorable.  And he made it so sweet for all of us.  Thank you to everyone for all the wonderful things given to Hunter on his first Christmas.

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