I received this email from Katie, mom to four, including an adult daughter with Down syndrome. She writes,
I have just finished reading your book Road Map to Holland. I am the parent of a 25-year-old daughter who has Down syndrome. My 18 and 19-year-old daughters purchased the book for me. (I also have a 27-year-old son). I not only thoroughly enjoyed the book, but I was taken back more that 20 years and it jogged my memory to remember things I had long forgotten (or blocked out?)….
After reading your book, I feel compelled to share some of my stories about having a child with Down syndrome; particularly to share the absolutely positive aspects of this on my daughter’s 3 siblings. My son is a fire fighter/EMT and both of my younger daughters are in college studying to be nurses (one currently wants to be an OB/GYN nurse and the other wants to work in a NICU).
When Stephanie was born, my first thought after being told she might have Down syndrome was to worry about my then 2-year-old son and how this would impact his life. My husband and I agreed that we would strive to have a “normal” family life, for our son’s sake as well as ours. While at this point in time, “normal” probably doesn’t describe us; I think my kids are better than normal and I would love to find a way to convey to families of young children with Down syndrome what a wonderful (although difficult) experience this has been for our family.
It took me over 20 years to answer the question, “Why us?” I now know that her birth into our family has more to do with our other 3 children than it does with either her or my husband and me.
Thank you for sharing your experiences, Katie! As I mentioned to you, I can already feel these things to be true in my own, young family.