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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Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Journal - Week 52 (15Aug10)


I have so much to say about Hunter being one year old but I think I will save that specific journal entry for tomorrow.  Today, I want to post how wonderful Hunter's first birthday part was, how much fun we had and how great my little boy was for his birthday party.  Hunter officially turned one year old on Sunday the 15th of August 2010 at 3:00pm.  We held his birthday party on the Saturday (a day early) to make it the most enjoyable celebration ever, and specifically so that people could stay as long as they wanted without having to worry about getting up the next day.  Even Hunter stayed awake until our last guests left.  Hunter was so happy and well behaved that not even a single tear was shed, and he had lots of clapping, pointing, smiling, laughing and baby tricks to show everyone.  Collectively I took 103 pictures of his birthday, (no surprise there) but I am only going to post the more special ones - even though I feel all of them deserve an equal glance.  I think I will put the photos into a montage slide show with music, and I will post that in my next post where I will also sum up the year.

For now, I hope that you will enjoy the photos I have chosen to post.  While there are actually more photos, I have posted 43 here.  Hunter's Aunty Melissa and Uncle Jimmy took some in addition which I will also post when I receive them.

I just had my bath before my big birthday party... It's 2pm and it's T minus 3 hrs and counting!
Don't I look fresh?  Daddy and I have to look really good before my guests arrive!
Do you love my hair do?  I am now all ready for my party!  It's 5:00pm!  Let the party start!
Wait, what do you mean I am turning one?!  NOBODY told me I had to get older for this party!
Well, I feel better about it, Mommy said there will be cake and presents!
Really?  I get money for my birthday?!  I love money....!
Ohhhh, Mommy says that money can buy me lots of things!  Ohhhhh!
I think that I will put it into my bank account.  My mommy taught me well.
Well, I have good manners, Mommy & Daddy taught me to applaud to say thank you!
Mommy is making the "thank you" speech, & I am still trying to tell everyone how much money I just got!
This is a picture of my birthday cake before it got eaten all up!  It says "Fun to be One!"
I am clapping along with everyone while they sing "Happy Birthday to Hunter"!
Whoa, did you notice my cool birthday hat, bib and shirt?  Fun to be one!
But Mommy, I don't know how to blow out the candle!  What exactly is a candle anyway?!
Okay Daddy, you cut the cake for me!  I am much too little to use a knife!
So, this is cake?  It feels funny... How am I supposed to eat this thing?  Where is my spoon?!
Yummmy!  Oh that tastes so good!  This is nothing like my baby food!  What have I been missing?
But Mommy, you always say don't touch my food with my hands?!  Now you want me to use my hands?
Okay, I will grab it just like you say to do.  It's really squishy though!
Ahhh that's better, it's easier when someone feeds me.  Less messy!
Check these things out!  I have no idea what they are, but they sure are fun!
Time to open the presents!  This is a great party!
This cool outfit is from my Uncles Oliver & Greg!
And here is the card that goes with the outfits!
YAY!  Uncles Ollie & Greg also gave me a new Nuby cup!  And it's blue too!
"H" may be for Hockey, but really it's for HUNTER!  Thank you Unlces Ollie & Greg!
Uncle Andrew & Aunty Raji gave me a gift card for Children's Place!  I love it!
Aunty Jane & Uncle Lester used this cool Nerf ball as a bow!  Perfect for my little hands!
And such cool wrapping paper for me to rip!
They also got me a nice 2pc outfit with a Babies R Us gift card!  I love them both!
This cool card is from Aunty Lesley, Jamie-Lynn & Leah.  It's Elmo!
WOW!  Look what's inside!  Is that really a $50 dollar bill?  I've never seen one of those!
And here is the $25 from Great Uncle Olroyd.  Mommy says I have to put it in my bank account!
Here is my card from Aunty Melissa & Uncle Jimmy.  It has a Chinese Red Envelope!  More Money!
And Aunty Melissa & Uncle Jimmy got me this cool Chuck Truck!!  It has a motor!
I love this truck, it looks like Mommy's Chevy Avalanche!
But nothing beats getting a ball that I can hold with my very own hands!
Now, I bet you are wondering what Mommy, Daddy & Grandma & Grandpa got me....
I will give you a hint...
It's not a car, or even a house, but it's kind of close...
It's a giant swing, fort and play yard!!!
Which took my Mommy all week to build for me!  (With some help of course!)
Okay Daddy, stop taking pictures and let Mommy push me so I can enjoy my present!!
Thank goodness the swing was finished in time for Hunter's actual birthday.  I have to say though, planning the party, building the play yard and trying to get my websites done as well as my book has made for an exhausting couple of weeks.  Time has just flown by and I really can't believe that our son is now one year old.  This journey has been so wonderful, and really even though the 15th of August technically ends my journal for my fourth book, "Welcome to Our House", it really is the beginning of another chapter in our journey.  And with that in mind, I will obviously continue to update my blog for our never ending journey.

I will address my blog entry for the end of this year in my next post.  I want to sum up my thoughts, feelings and emotions surrounding an end to this first year.  I hope you have enjoyed this year as much as we have, and that you will continue to follow us on the next stages of our lives.

Sandi, John & Hunter  - 15th August 2010


  1. Aww, happy birthday Hunter! Looks like you all had a great time!

  2. What a fantastic first year Hunter and family!!

  3. Afternoon...

    Lots of great pictures... I shall be sure and share them with Marg
    before the day is out. Wow, 1 year old... how time flys ...
    Drop up this way when you can...

    Cheers... Bill & Margi


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