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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Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Journal - Week 22 (21Jan10)

Well, I had some time on my hands last week and I did some further editing to the blog, I changed the background again, this time to something nice and subtle looking.  I think that I may just leave it this way for a while, it looks nice now.  (Yeah right!)

On the Hunter front, night-time has become something of a challenge.  Bed time doesn't come very easily now, and it's very rare that Hunter will fall asleep on his own.  Hunter has decided that he doesn't want a set bedtime, and really fights us to go to sleep.  But, because often he is so tired when it's time to rock him to sleep, he falls asleep within five minutes.  Which is not too bad.  And some times, if we are lucky, even if we can't rock him to sleep, we can put him into his crib and within 5 minutes he is fast asleep.  Lately though, he has been waking up at exactly the same time every morning, 5:00 am.  This used to be unusual for Hunter, but when he does wake, he fusses for about 2 minutes, I tend to him, and then he immediately falls back asleep.  There must be something waking him up from outside, because it's the same thing every morning!  It seems though over all, Hunter is getting very little "night" sleep.  He goes down at midnight, wakes at five, goes back to sleep for a few cat naps between 5 and 11:00 am.  He now gets very cranky during the day when he is tired, and around 3:00 pm everyday he is very cranky and fussy until he falls asleep for a nap.  On his last Osteopath visit with Kay, he started out shy, then warmed up only to get fussy, which moved onto cranky then finally to full blown overtired bawling.  This time I had to "rescue" him.  There was no further adjusting after that.  Kay got about 1/2 hour of work on him done, which is fine - we can't always expect perfect co-operation with babies.  I think on the flip side, this kind of helped Kay, as her day was 1/2 hour backed up anyway, so I think we inadvertently put her back on schedule!! 

I decided to brush Hunter's hair a tiny bit different to see what he would look like - and oh boy did I ever find out what Hunter's Asian side looks like!  Talk about "Chiney" baby!  Oh, and for those of you who don't believe that Hunter waves when you say "bye-bye" to him, I have taken a picture of him waving at me when I said "bye-bye!" (With his regular hair style).  Oh, and he is now waving with an open hand.


[Oh, I look like Mommy now, no?]



[I am "just hanging" still looking like a Chiney boy]



[I know, I am cute - right?]



[Thanks Mommy for fixing my hair, bye-bye!]
 
I also thought I should add a few pictures of Hunter playing on the computer with Daddy, which I took a few days back.  This is how it starts....

[Look at me!  I can do it too!]



[I am not finished yet Daddy!]

On the 18th of January, Hunter had his five month doctor visit.  He was checked over, poked and prodded, and given his Menjugate vaccination.  About that, usually when Hunter has any needle, he has a delayed pain reaction and usually cries his heart out for about two minutes.  This time he gave us the most unexpected reaction.  He scrunched up his eyes, made a face like he was about to cry, and held it in.  Talk about brave and tough boy!  He didn't make a peep, and when it was done he turned to look at the ECG leads hanging on the wall behind him.  We were all shocked to say the least.  The final details of his check up were, that he now weighs 14 lbs 8 ozs, is 24 1/2 inches long (although we had measured him at home and he actually measures 25 inches...) and has a head circumference of 16 3/4 cm.  On the baby growth chart, Hunter now falls into the regular percentile.  Phew, he caught up!  I guess Hunter had a pretty fast growth spurt, as he seems to have litterally jumped from his three month clothes into his six months in a couple of weeks.

In the literary department, I finally received my official Copyright certificate for my "Welcome to Our House - An Analogy".  It is actually a beautiful certificate.  I have to frame it.  It is very encouraging to see the fruits of my labour so to speak, in that in all areas, my writing seems to be taking off.  I have also contacted two publishers and it would seem that I have acquired two publication reps.  I have decided to publish my children's picture book that I wrote four years ago, (which I finally completed as a manuscript on the computer) and my only concern at this point is whether I should 'self publish' or have an established publishing company do it.  There are merits and pitfalls to both so, I really have to make a decision on which one I should utilize.  A few of those decision makers or breakers have to do with the illustration part of the book.  If I 'self publish' I may have to find my own illustrator since letting a self publishing company find an illustrator is extremely expensive.  Using an established publisher saves me from having to co-ordinate the illustrator, as they tend to want to provide their own illustrations.  I think that I will send out my Manuscript to some publishing companies, and see what happens with that route. 

Ellen, my E.I. manager came for a visit on the 19th of January, and we discussed the publication of my analogy within Durham region, (which is now officially underway) and we also discussed the direction I wanted to take with regards to the YMCA Early Years Centres.  The OAICD team has been invaluable to me, and will be able to provide all kinds of support to me (and subsequently other families) in directing this program for Special Needs children.  I can't wait to finally bring my proposal to the table with the Centre.  I will certainly post an update when I finalize that program.

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