My Journal - Week 113 (23Oct11)

I am Joining with "Grammarly" 
to Touch Lives Around the Globe...

October (And November here In Canada) is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. In honour of these wonderful kids, Grammarly, the premier grammar checker on the web, has partnered with to support the Yamini Foundation that assists children with Down syndrome in India.  I am joining their efforts by sharing my story of hope.

Many of you know I have authored several books and stories.  One personally written short story is about my own view on how our lives are touched and changed by Down syndrome.  Originally I was inspired by Emily Pearl Kingsly's "Welcome To Holland" to write my own piece, but in all honestly my own experience in having a son with Down syndrome coupled with my very own feelings about Down syndrome truly allowed me to produce "Welcome to Our House - An Analogy".  I published "Welcome to Our House - An Analogy" as a new copyrighted short story, placed it directly into two of my more recently published books and was also lucky enough to have it published as a two page spread in a popular family periodical called "Exceptional Families" magazine.

Please feel free to print this (use PDF below) or pass this on to others.


Having a baby is special.  For some, it’s a life long 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 – 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 an awful place; it’s just a different place.  It’s slower paced than the city, less noisy and flamboyant, but it’s beautiful nonetheless.  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

This work is protected by copyright - © 2010

Downloadable version:  

My Analogy serves as a home page for this very blog and is also available for PDF download in my heart-felt resource website called

Grammarly grammar checker the best resource for English Grammar Rules will provide $25 to support the Yamini Foundation via ;

I hope this story serves to remind us how change can enrich our lives.


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