26 Feb Appreciating Gifts.
Book review – Gifts Total read time 3.5 minutes approx
I contacted Down Syndrome NSW just after I got home from the maternity hospital. They were such a great support network for us. They sent me this book to read along with DVD to watch. We watched the DVD and I put the book aside. I am not sure why I did no read it straight away, but upon reading the introduction there was a sentence that actually made me start to cry
“it’s a sad irony that the times that we need help the most are the times we may be least capable of receiving it”
And that was not the only sentence that made me cry. Here is another example
“From where I sit now, I can split my life in two. There’s the time before we heard those words (may have Down syndrome) and the time after”
Gifts Edited by Kathryn Lynard Soper is a collection of perspectives and experiences written by mothers who have children with Down Syndrome. Many different mothers from many different backgrounds with one thing in common. This one thing in common brings us together so we don’t feel so alone and misunderstood. I recommend this book to any new mum who’s child has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. I wish I had read it sooner.
Here are some quotes from the book that resonated with me
“I was not religious and feared I would receive a bulk of the blame”
“Down syndrome. Couldn’t it be called something else? I hated the negativity of the word.“
“The value of a life, of a human, of a child, is measured not by how much he or she can accomplish, but how much he or she can teach others about what really matters.”
“Retarded no longer means stupid, normal has been replaced with typical and our baby is just as special as all new babies, no more and no less.”
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:1b2) Looking back, I know that it must have been me God saw as disabled. But where I was blind, I now can see.
There are many chapters in this book that made me smile and warmed my heart. There is some lovely writing and very candid personal stories. In one chapter called Notes From The Deep End the mother wrote metaphorically about the diagnosis. She likened it to be being thrown into the deep end of the pool and learning to tread water there. Eventually she began to float and saw that she may even learn to swim and enjoy some of the benefits that being in the deep has. It was very well written.
Even though the reactions can vary from our initial shock after the diagnosis of our child, we can all make a choice. We can choose LOVE.