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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Sandi's Publications for Sale

I am Police Officer who in my spare time became an Author.  Before my son was born, I wrote creatively in my spare time for my own pleasure and satisfaction.  After I had Hunter I decided to publish my work.  You could say that Hunter's birth (and words a few family members) encouraged me to get my stories out there, and to write about our experience with Down syndrome.  My first few books are Children's story books, and my work in progress is an adult non-fiction resource about our journey with Down syndrome.  Hunter also encouraged me to write a child's book specifically about Down syndrome. 

The books I have written & published are:

  • "Charlie's Adventure" 
(Children's book) - Now available!

Charlie’s Adventure is a story intended for preschool to early grade school ages. This story captivates the mind of the young reader who is interested in defying obstacles, independence and adventure. Here in this book, Charlie a young self sufficient cat decides he wants to find himself a real home, and decides to leave the safety of his barn and barn animal friends. Charlie faces several obstacles in leaving the farm and has quite the adventure trying to find a family he could call his own. This book focuses on having a goal and working at it to succeed despite potential minor setbacks. The reader also learns once the goal is met, the rewards are usually well worth the effort as is the case for Charlie.  

The pricing for this book is: 
Paperback $21.99 USD/CAD &
Hardback NEW PRICING $25.00 USD/CAD (Reduced from $31.99)
The book is full colour and is 26 pages long

To order this book:
Directly from me using either my email sandi@welcometoourhouse-ds.ca to request copies or
Use the PayPal online secure purchasing by selecting the "Buy Now" button below:   
Go to the Publishers website: www.Xlibris.com then go to bookstore and search "Charlie's Adventure"
(Note:  For some the site asks for your permission to continue - you need to do this in order to proceed)

This particular book is also available to order through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com

  • "I Have Down syndrome, What Does That Mean?
(Children's reference) - Now Available!

"I Have Down syndrome, What Does That Mean?" is a book written for children who are learning about what it means to have Down syndrome.  It is a simple, yet wonderfully positive and emotional book.  It encourages children to understand that while they may have Down syndrome, they are still capable.  This book contains one-liner sentences, has pictures for each answer, and is meant to be an educational and descriptive book.  This book is meant for children who are curious about what it means to have Down syndrome, and is also a memorable keepsake for many years.  The book also describes characteristics of Down syndrome to others who might not know anything about Down syndrome and well as educating other siblings, family members, friends and or classmates.

The pricing for this book is: 
Hardback $25.00 USD/CAD (At DSAO Conference discount price $22.00 CAD)
The book is full colour and is 34 pages long.

To order this book:
You can order and pay all in one step directly through PayPal (see button below) or from my dedicated sales & resource website www.welcometoourhouse-ds.com/shopping.html to order copies.  (Both are safe and secure ways to purchase my book.)  As of the 1st of September 2010 the regular price will be $25.00 CAD each.

Select the PayPal button below to automatically have your order placed directly through PayPal.


Down syndrome - 
Awareness & Advocate Ribbon Magnet - Now Available!
Down syndrome Awareness Magnet

The first Canadian designed Down syndrome Ribbon Magnet.  Personally designed by Sandi Graham-McWade.  Available now to order via PayPal "Buy Now" button below or through my dedicated Sales & Resource Website www.welcometoourhouse-ds.com/shopping.html.  Shipping is immediate upon processing of order. 

  • Pricing: $8.00 CAD Each magnet
  • Pie shaped centre can pop out for 2nd magnet
  • Magnet dimension is: 8" x 4" (inches)
(At DSAO Conference: discount price $6.00 CAD each)

SPECIAL NOTE:  This magnet will be available to purchase from the DDSA booth during Down syndrome Association of Ontario Conferences.


  •  "Buddy the Little Bucket" (Children's book) - Completed & currently being submitted to publisher.  Target published date is End of September 2012.
  • "Welcome to Our House" (Adult book) - Currently being written.  Estimated completion Year-end 2012.  This book is all about our Journey with Hunter and Down syndrome.  It is a heart felt, realistic account of our day to day dealings, chronicling our first year and our what it has been like for us.
  • "Welcome to Our House - An Analogy" (Short story/Article) 
  1. Published locally (Jan 2010 )
  2. Published in the Down Syndrome Association of Ontario and Down Syndrome Association of Toronto websites (also coming out in their next Newsletter).
  3. Published in the Canadian Down Syndrome Society website under Exclusive Content 20May2010.   
  4. Exceptional Parent Magazine has published my Analogy story on their web site and they launched it on World Down syndrome Awareness day (21 March 2010) Appropriately dated for Trisomy 21 ( Three of the twenty first chromosome).   
  5. Exceptional Family Magazine has published my Analogy and website in their Spring 2011 edition, Vol. 6 No. 3 Full spread on pages 30 & 31.
I'd like to personally thank the following organizations: DSAO, DSAT, CDSS, EP & EF for publishing my work and my blog.  Because of them, I am able to educate people about Down syndrome.  (You can visit each of these by clicking directly on their names.)

Please note that the titles (and stories) above are protected by Canadian and International Copyrights.

In researching Down syndrome, I noticed that there were very few books out there that target a young reader who has Down syndrome.  There are many books out there for children dealing with other health issues such as Cancer or the like, but I couldn't find anything that I could read to my son that would explain his syndrome to him. 

I hope that you will support us in purchasing and reading my books.  (Specifically the books on Down syndrome.)  And if book reading is not your thing, I have listed several wonderful websites linked to my homepage for those interested in learning more about Down syndrome.
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The content on this blog is protected by Copyright and Intellectual Property laws. No content or images herein may be redistributed without direct written permission or consent from the author.