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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Monday, December 12, 2011

My Journal - Week 121 (12Dec11)

Flashback to the DDSA 2011 Christmas Party

This post is slightly bitter sweet for me.  Firstly, I'd like to say - My family had a fantastic time at the 26th November 2011 Durham Down syndrome Association Christmas Party.  Being the Executive Director and Acting Vice President of the DDSA, I was only minimally involved with the actual Christmas Party Committee (who did a fantastic job of course) but I knew of the details and "going's on" regarding the planning of this wonderful event.  My girlfriend and her husband (however) are the Directors of Events and I must say, did a mighty fantastic job on the finer details that I was not a part of.  At the event itself though, I did decide to bring my Nikon camera and ended up taking several (140) photos of each and every child with Santa as well of course, several of my own children.  What else is the "Mamarazzi" (that's me) to do?  I love photography. 

The second half of this post is the unfortunate bitter part to the sweet.  It is with a heavy heart that I must say "Goodbye" to the DDSA as its Executive director and acting Vice President.  While I have inundated myself with several projects and life in general, there are only so many things I can "pull off" while still keeping two key components (my sanity and family) intact.  The actual work load was never the difficulty for me, (I enjoy things busy and hectic) but there were a few unpleasant circumstances that I had to deal on more than a few occasions, during my short tenure.  In any other "paid" environment - some might just "grin and bear it" but in the world of freely volunteering, I couldn't just stick my head in the sand in ignorance.  Without getting into the nitty gritty details, sufficed to say, I was displeased with a few of the occurrences and being that I am a boisterous and extroverted person at the worst of times, I couldn't hold my tongue.  Sometimes it takes a bigger/braver person to speak up and know when things "just aren't right" and need to be straightened out.  I do not live by the philosophy "ignorance is bliss" (fortunately?) and as such, when there's something "not exactly right", it behooves me to do something about it.  On the flip side to this type of thinking, it can cause unwanted waves if there are those who believe that boats are not meant to be rocked.

Having said all that, I did want to post a few of my favourite 'fun-tastic' photos that I took during the three hours we were there having Fun fun fun!!

(Note:  Hunter has an older girlfriend who affectionately refers to Hunter as "her boyfriend" - her baby brother attends my YMCA Play to Learn Play/support Group).

Who me?

Thank goodness he's holding Hayleigh....

It's just the beginning they said!

Phew!  Santa's making his rounds!

A dance with "my girl"!

No-one else but Franny and Me!

We'll boogie the afternoon away!

Check us out!

Shall we go for a walk?

Yep, just the two of us....

Hayleigh & Santa

Not liking this Santa lap thing

Humm, well I'll tolerate it just to tell him how good I've been.

Mommy has a gift for Santa??

Ahh!  She just wanted to tell Santa what she wanted fro Christmas!


  1. The picture of Hunter dancing with his girl is ADORABLE! :)

    And I think sometimes it is the honesty that people are afraid of, not necessarily the waves that come with... but good for you for knowing your limits.

  2. Best of luck with whatever you do next! Hope you guys had a very merry Christmas.


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