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, July 29, 2010

My Journal - Week 49 (29Jul10)

"No Intervention Needed"....?

Yesterday, was a day where I heard something I didn't think I might hear so soon.  Hunter had his appointment with superhero #2, aka Kay (his Osteopath Therapist).  Last time he saw Jenn (Hunter's regular Early Intervention Therapist - aka Superhero #1) she had told us that Hunter's progress was "Typical" and that she didn't even use Down syndrome charts to chart Hunter's progress.  We were so very happy to hear that, and while it would not have made a difference to us, it would have only encouraged us to work harder to help Hunter with whatever he might have needed.  The last time Jenn came (over a month ago), her only concern was that Hunter was seemingly trying to move his legs as one unit, instead of realizing that his hips moved independently.  Well, from that visit, she recommended that Kay revisit Hunter and just take a look to see if there was something physical that was making Hunter not use his hips independently.  Well, as time went on from Jenn's visit, to yesterday - so much has happened with Hunter, independent sitting, unassisted standing, taking assisted steps, that I emailed Jenn and asked her if we should have Kay come.  And we concluded that maybe we would have her come and watch Hunter and make her own assessment.

After Hunter put on yet another wonderful performance for Kay, creeping, in and out of sitting - even demonstrating for the first time ever, getting into sitting from his left side, squat to stand with hands held; Kay was very happy.  She said Hunter was doing awesome for his age of 11 months.  She looked at Hunter, told him that she loved these kinds of visits (where she didn't have to do a thing - the kind of visits I love too!) and wrote in the "Ongoing Goals" column of his paper work, "No intervention needed".

I can not stress the value of daily encouragement, the value of love and care, the value of believing in your child.  If you don't provide limits, your children will surprise you and surpass ones that you didn't even know existed.  I am truly amazed, even if I already knew that Hunter was doing these things for a while now, I am amazed that it's amazing to others.  It makes me feel terrific that Hunter is a perfect boy that some people might not have assumed he might or could have been, and it's important for me to say - he isn't perfect because he does things that are "typical", he''s perfect because he's Hunter.  I often say to people - it's not about what he can or can't do, it wont be about the future and what he might be or might not be capable of doing, it's about taking our steps together, and all about our learning along the way.

I now know to always say, "I wonder what tomorrow might bring?"

It's been a couple of days now since I have received my template from the company who I bought my website background from, and I have been diligently working like a slave creating and preparing my new Website.  I hope that when I publish the site, that it will surpass expectations, but I know that doing that will always be a work in progress.  I might even publish it and continue to work on it, to enhance it.  So, if for now, it looks a bit unfinished when I do publish it, I apologize - but I do want to get it up and running for everyone to use/visit.
Again, for those who aren't familiar with the web address it is:
http://welcometoourhouse-ds.com  or http://welcometoourhouse-ds.ca
See you there soon!

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