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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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Journal - Week 26 (17Feb10)

A pleasant surprise.

Today we had a visit from E.I. Jenn. Hunter was supposed to have put on the performance of his life, but unfortunately he was hungry at the time and we didn't get very much accomplished. He did show off for Jenn by displaying how high he could raise himself on his tummy, and that he could grab and play with his toys. It's funny though, it is like owning a car that needs to go to the dealer for some noise, and when you get it there, the noise doesn't happen.... Kind of like Hunter. Normally he rolls around, grabs his toys, shakes his rattle and practically does all the wonderful things that I rave about on the site like clockwork. But when he was to demonstrate for Jenn, he got shy?? Cute. I wish I had shown Jenn how he loves to bounce in his Jumperoo, and how he grabs, moves and plays with the toys on the front of it. A video might have to suffice next time.
Jenn gave me a ton of printouts of all the exercises that Hunter can do to help his muscles. We definitely needed some of those sheets, since it looks like Hunter's neck is still kind of lagging a bit. Something really great though is that cognitively, he appears to be ahead. Despite not rolling around showing off physically during the appointment, Hunter talked up a storm saying "Mumma, Dadda, Babba, Ra-ra and La-la" Jenn tells me that this is wonderful. I am really proud of Hunter. Again, I have to say, there is no reason why Hunter shouldn't be talkative, just look at his parents!
Jenn also followed up on Hunter's eating issues. I was proud to report that we had some success. Eating has been going well for the last few days (organic baby food) and pooping finally happened.
As a result of some new recommendations from Jenn, Daddy and I promptly went out and bought Hunter a few things to help his muscles out. We bought him a ball to sit with, so that he can hold it and strengthen his core. We got a basket to sit him in to encourage his sitting, and again his core. I also bought him a sippy cup handle so that I could get Hunter to hold his own sippy cup, and guess what? Once I snapped it on, he held his own sippy cup, feeding himself. Wow, I think that is incredible.
I guess that in all we had a great day, but Hunter must have been tired out from all the showing off, and then because of some work I did with him after. He fell asleep tonight at 9:30 pm. I wonder what time he will be waking up?

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