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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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Journal - Week (Have no idea...) 11Feb14

Hello Folks, Yes - believe it or not, it's me.

I deeply appolgize for being completely absent. What happened?

In the process of opening and then running several busineses, as well as becoming the current president of the Durham Down syndrome Association (yes, it's true; President 2013-15), I had finally joined Facebook (circa 2011), shortly after Hayleigh was born.
Now, additionally through into the mix, John and I have had a third child, baby Hudson!  Shortly after Hayleigh's first birthday, we decided to try to get pregnant one more time, and as luck would have it, we quickly got pregnant with Hudson.

Now as you can see, my last posts on Blogger were when Hayleigh turned one, and at that time I wasn't really using Facebook much, other than to promote and social media-ize my businesses.  But slowly, as time went on, I found that Facebook was an interesting medium that allowed me to relay more information and updates about Hunter and of course, the rest of the family.   Therefore as obviousness would have it, my posts with Blogger ended up falling to the wayside.  It was too tough to keep up all the Internet tools.

Even now, I'm now stuggling with the conundrum of whether to make my Facebook posts of Hunter and Down syndrome "Public", as my life on Facebook is profiled "private" due to the rest of the content.  On Blogger, I can choose to post what I like, and be very specific. With Facebook, it's much more in-depth, and personal I find.  But, I invite my Blogger followers to "subscribe" to me on Facebook, so that if they would like to keep up with us on Facebook, they can read any of the public posts that we make. You can find me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/s.grahammcwade

Here's a few photos of the newest addtion to our family, baby Hudson!

Hudson, a week old
Posing for my Random Moments Photography photoshoot
Check out those Baby Blues!!  (You can see my reflection in his eyes).
Just a cute cuddly boy, posing for more photos!

A brief update that will need a lot more elaboration when I can find some time..., Hunter is now 4 years old, and is in Junior Kindergarten!  A huge amazing transition that is going wondefully well.  

We started planning his entry to Terry Fox Public School in February of 2013, which meant meeting with the School, meeting with the SERT (Special Education Resources Teacher), the Principal, VP, and his very own Teacher, Mrs. Linquist.
We brought Hunter to the meetings, so that they could get to know him, and understand what our concerns with safety and what being a "Runner" was all about.  And to ensure that we could properly make a case for him to have his own EA (Educational Assistant).

We discussed the IPRC, (Identification and Placement Review Committee) which allows Hunter to have an EA and an IEP (Individual Education Plan).  Hunter does in fact have his own EA, Ms. Billings (who is an absolute wonderful support for Hunter, day in and day out) and with respect to his IEP, it's turning out that he's following the JK curriculum really well with only minor modifications, to date.  

For example, (and I'm exceptionally pleased about this) Hunter is only one of less than half of his JK class (2/6 students) who went into JK being able to receit his entire alphabet, name each letter by picking anyone of them on demand, and count to 10 - all on his own.  (All thanks to fun working at home, iPad apps like Elmo ABC's, magnetic Alphabets on the Fridge, letter games, Sesame Street, and other fun educational games).

The extra amazing part of JK is that Hunter's volcubulary, which was already great at home, has expanded to 4-5 word sentences combining on his own!  School has really brought out the "talker" in him.  He has a best friend, named Maria, who is very protective of her best friend Hunter, as he is of her.

We are just in the process of having Hunter take his iPad to school with him, since getting a school iPad and being able to use it as an assistive device, doesn't happen until grade one, for some absoutely bizarre and strange reason.  

Sadly we are still waiting for one of our services, Resources for Exceptional Youth and Children... there was an 8 month wait, and a year later, we are still waiting.  In the interim, we have Jenn - Hunter's EI - still helping us out, whom we are very blessed to have.  Truly, while RFEYC is a great "resource", they are absolutely NO match to having very specific Early Intervention.  And so, there are great benefits to this minor hiccup.

With all that in mind, that's our brief update!  I'll try my best to keep posting here and there, when I can!  And, if anyone would like to see what has become of my photography (officially a professional photographer), please visit my website:  www.randommomentsphotography.ca and my Flickr portfolio www.flickr.com/photos/randommomentsphotography.  I also am a Stock Photography Contributor for iStockphoto and CanStockPhoto.  So, if you need images for anything at all, please consider using my stock images or getting stock by using these links!

Stock Photos

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