Most newborns go home with some goodies. Diapers, wipes, maybe some formula samples. Willow got them all. She also got a book. While the Pampers were for her, the book was intended for me and my husband. I guess you could call it a Down syndrome primer. I was told I really should read it.
I wish I hadn’t.
I first opened the book about two weeks after Willow’s birth. I knew within a few pages that I should put it down.
The book basically detailed all the bad things associated with Down syndrome including the health risks and challenges. While it’s good to know those things, seeing every single negative listed in print made my eyes too blurry to read any of the positives. It made me fear the future. I know I’m not the only one to regret opening that book. It’s not that I didn’t need to know that information. It was just so cold. So impersonal.
At that point in my journey I was too chicken to seek out a support group. My only idea of what was ahead came from that book. If only I had been given a different book! Maybe even a companion book. A book to accompany the one they gave me. A book that welcomed me into this journey. A book like this….
The Many Faces of Down Syndrome tells the stories of 15 individuals with Down syndrome. Some tell their own story, some have their stories told by loved ones. Willow’s story is told by me!
I am so honored to be a part of this book because it’s everything I wish I could have read after Willow’s birth. While it touches on many of the hard parts of Down syndrome, the overwhelming message is positive. That’s because it’s personal. It’s not a book of facts. It’s a book of people.
This is the book I wish they would have sent me home with.
If you’re a new parent, worried about that baby in your arms, please read this book. If you’re a mom or dad who just received a diagnosis, please read this book. If you have a friend, co-worker or relative that has a child with Down syndrome and you’d like to understand what they’re going through, please read this book.
I’m not just writing this because I’m a part of this book. I’m writing this because I believe in this book. The fact that my essay about Willow is included is just icing on the Christmas cookie.
So if you’re looking for a way to spend that Christmas money, check it out. I promise it’ll tug at your heart and make you see Down syndrome for the blessing it is.
The Many Faces of Down Syndrome is for sale on Amazon.com. For some reason I’m unable to include a direct link to it in my post. I’m thinking it has something to do with the fact I use the free version of WordPress. I’ll do a little old fashioned cut and past action down below which might get you to the Amazon link, otherwise you can just go to Amazon and search “The Many Faces of Down Syndrome” and you should be able to find it.
Much love, Merry Christmas and Jolly 2017!