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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Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Journal - Week 147 (23Jun12) Blog Photo Changes


A few people have told me that WTOH (Welcome to Our House) needed an updated photo of Hunter - since he's no longer a baby.  I procrastinated, hemmed and hawed about changing the image, known affectionately to so many as "Hunter's first smile caught on camera"... but after nearly 3 years, I decided it was time for that change.

One other reason for change (besides the obvious) I am now a "PHOTOGRAPHER" and the image I had on the site was not doing my now specific talent any justice, so it was time to say goodbye to the old photo.  It's hard for me, I don't do well with letting go (of photos).  My mother and I were just discussing earlier today, how I have probably kept every single image ever taken of my children, moreover - I had processed EVERY single image at Blacks and Costco, having in the past come home with several boxes (and I mean SEVERAL boxes) of photos because I couldn't bare to just leave out that one image.  What did it do for me?  Nothing, except to ease my mind that they would never be lost or deleted, however there they sit... in those same boxes.  Poor me!  I did originally have good intentions - to put every single one of those images into a photo album or two; ya I know, more like 100....  To date, I have over 16,000 (yep, sixteen thousand) photos of my family.  It's sad.  I OFFICIALLY DESERVE the title of Mommarazzi.

Anyhow, these days - I have learned to just let go of those NOT so pretty photos.  I have started to actually DELETE while on the camera, without having ever downloaded.  It was a tough lesson to learn and follow, but the reality is, there's just not enough hard drives on this planet available to accommodate my obsessive photo storage habits!

So, go appreciate and applaud my efforts for change.  Please stare obsessively at my new title photo, and at least if that is done, I will have felt it worth while to make the change.  Just note, the photo I placed up top was chosen carefully but accidentally!  It's definitely weird, because there was no way I would change out the photo and not have a very specific and amazing progressive photo to replace it.  So - it's very ironic, because this photo happened very accidentally.  I did a mini photo shoot of Hunter today (generally I do this nearly everyday) - I took about 20 photos (not bad) just for fun in the kitchen.  It was very casual and candidly unplanned (camera happened to just be sitting there....)  I do this sort of thing each day, not knowing what will come about.  I don't always want something arranged or planned - the more candid the better.  So the fact that I ended up obtaining something that was highly appropriate for the blog was really a miracle!  I hope you all can see why I chose this one.  If you recall the original photo, Hunter as a 3 month old was wearing a pair of baby (blue) sunglasses and smiling!  How cool is it that here he is, 2 and a half years later, taking them off - to revel himself so to speak!  I highly doubt I could have planned it any better.  In fact, I know I couldn't.  I can always pretend though!

Anyhow, that sure is a whole lot to say about changing out (what seemed to be) a timeless photo.  I hope you all like it.  Next time, I'll opt for an actual family/sibling photo.  And for those of you who might ask why I didn't use a Hunter & Hayleigh photo, it was definitely part of my original plan (for when I got the nerve to do the change) to have Hayleigh in it, but there was my original thought that this blog was generally about Down syndrome.  However; in the blog's evolution, it's become more about the whole family and Down syndrome, so the next change (which will be very soon) will have both of them.  Definitely cuter that way too.

Cheers everyone!

A preview of the next possible photo:
Hayleigh & Hunter 14Jun12 Home Photo Shoot
and just for the cuteness of it all (since generally, Hunter gets a lot of attention in this blog)...

Hayleigh Garden Shoot-084.jpg

Oh and PS - For those of you fans who get this blog emailed or in RSS... YOU actually will have to VISIT THE BLOG ONLINE to SEE the NEW UPDATED PHOTO... (SMILE)!!

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