Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review: Gifts - Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

GiftsGifts is undeniably one of the books I treasure. It is a compilation of heartfelt essays well-written by mothers who have children with Down syndrome. Each mother tells a unique story yet all of the essays have that element of sameness, reflecting on the initial overwhelming emotional pain, sadness, loss, guilt, confusion and realizing the blessings, unconditional love, and joys of their experience in caring for and raising a child with Down syndrome.

Soon after Matthew was born, we were looking for good books about Down syndrome but all we could find were ones that talked about the medical conditions associated with Down syndrome. We were tired and stressed from reading such books at the time. They only overwhelmed me with worries about Matthew's unknown future. Receiving Gifts from my mother-in-law was one of the best gifts ever. Reading Gifts helped me sort out the feelings I had about this new world I suddenly found myself in. Every story struck a chord with me. I couldn't hold back the tears with each story I read, kleenex in hand. It was good to feel and know that I wasn't alone.

I loved this book so much that I sent one to a friend who had given birth to a daughter who had Down syndrome 2 weeks after I had Matthew. I also left 2 copies at my OB's office for them to share with expectant or new moms who have a child with Down syndrome. When the editor, Kathryn Lynard Soper, was calling for essays for the follow-up book "Gifts 2", I encouraged my sister-in-law to submit an essay. We were ecstatic when her essay was accepted.

I highly recommend Gifts to all mothers who are expecting or have a child with Down syndrome and need to know that they are not alone in their new journey. A definite must-read!

Have you read it? What do you think?

Related posts:
Gifts 2
Mi Casa Es Su Casa (My Home is Your Home


JC said...

I couldnt find any good books about Down syndrome after Russell was born. All I found were the ones that looked at Ds from a medical view...and yeah they tend to be loaded with information that scares you to death about the future, and I found most of them VERY outdated.
I am intrested in reading this book you are talking about. I wish at the Hospital when Russell was born they had given me something like that to read...cause thats what us Moms facing this need...we need to hear everything is going to be ok, we need to know that what we are feeling is normal and we are not alone. What a great idea to leave a copy of this at the Hospital!
I am excited to find this book!

Melissa said...

I loved this one, but haven't read the second one yet (no time!), but I'll be looking for your SIL's piece.