Sharing our Blessings

When I began sharing our family’s story I had a clear purpose.  To share all the blessings of our family – but to especially share the blessing of Charlie. To show the value of life – every life. My hope has always been that the joy and love that fills our lives today will shine through my words. That our story brings hope to those that are searching for light in the midst of darkness. And most of all, that our story of blessings may bring Him glory.

Today I’m excited to begin sharing our blessings in a new way – one book at a time.

When Charlie was one month old, a family friend gave me the book Gifts, Mothers Reflect on How Children With Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives, edited by Kathryn Lynard Soper. One afternoon when the boys were taking their naps, I curled up on my bed and opened the book. I couldn’t read the stories fast enough. I finished the book and started again. A few months later I ordered my copy of the newly released Road Map To Holland, How I Found My Way Through My Son’s First Two Years With Down Syndrome, by Jennifer Graf Groneberg. The pages flew by. Again, upon reaching the end, I turned back to the beginning. Both books were written by mothers. Mothers who have walked the path before me. Mothers who understood what I was experiencing.

Today I have the gift of perspective.  And I want to share that gift.

These books are meant to be shared.  Given to a mother who receives a prenatal diagnosis and worries about what the future holds for her unborn baby.  Shared with a family that just welcomed their new baby and received an unexpected diagnosis.

A bit of hope in a sea of often outdated, biased, and negative information.

This blog will serve as the vehicle.  It’s my hope that those who have received a diagnosis and turn to “google” for information may stumble across our blog.  Or perhaps you already read this blog and know of someone who is pregnant with a prenatal diagnosis or just gave birth.  The details of how you get here aren’t important, the end result of sharing a book is.

How does “Sharing Our Blessings” work?

Who can get a free book? Any mom who has either received a prenatal diagnosis confirming that your baby has Down syndrome or you just gave birth to a baby with Down syndrome.  I would consider it an honor to share either Gifts or Road Map with you.  My hope is that we can reach out to individual families that have not received support locally, or don’t have access to an existing parent support group.  If you have the means to purchase a book yourself, it would be much appreciated (just consider this a very biased book review, strongly suggesting that these are the first two books you go out and purchase…) that way we can be sure to reach those that may not have the current resources for a new book.  And while I would love to supply all hospitals and doctor’s offices across the country with copies of each book, my checkbook can’t, so again, individual families only – no organizations please.

How can you get a book? Shoot me an e-mail at: libby. blessingsandglory @ gmail. com (no spaces.)  It can be a brief or long note.  Let me know if you received a prenatal diagnosis, or diagnosis at birth.  Then all I need is your name and address (U.S. addresses only please) so I can send you a copy of one of the books.  You don’t need to do anything else – just set aside some time to enjoy the stories.  The book is yours so read and re-read, though you may want to share it with family and friends.  Really though – there are no strings attached.  (Though I would love you to leave a comment on our blog – What did you think of the books?  Share some of the important pregnancy and new mom facts – When is your baby due?  Boy or girl?  What name did you choose?  How much did your baby weigh?  Does he look like mom or dad?  You know, all of the good details.)

How long will we be “Sharing” through the Blessings and Glory blog? Right now I’m not certain about a time line, or how many books we may give away.  For now, my goal is to give away all the books I’ve ordered.  And when they are gone I will order more.  It’s pretty clear to me that this process isn’t about me, but instead it is about me being faithful.  Handing it all over to Him.  Giving thanks and sharing our blessings one book at a time.  And that is enough for today.

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I have also added a new “Sharing our Blessings” link above (near the header), allowing readers to quickly reference information about our new project.

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***Up-date***  MckMama, at  My Charming Kids (you know – Not Me! Monday…) is hosting a Fryday contest in which the winner will receive a new custom blog header (remember – that was one of my silly roadblocks for not getting this project off the ground…) and some photography goodies, which would really compliment our new camera…but then again, you just may want to enter yourself…

And yes, absolutely the contest part is great, but it is also worth taking the time to read their story.  This summer when MckMama was pregnant with their fourth baby (yes, they have four children – ages three and under), baby Stellan was diagnosed in-utero with a fatal heart condition and was told that he wouldn’t survive.  Millions of prayers later, Stellan was born alive and perfectly healthy one month ago – a true miracle.  They definitely have a story worth checking out.

Who knows, this contest may be an answer to prayer, or just a coincidence.  Either way, I’m hoping that we may be able to reach a few new families about our new “Sharing” project.

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23 thoughts on “Sharing our Blessings

  1. What a blessing you are!! It’s so nice to know someone else went thru this all too! When JEB was born, the neonatologist kept saying over and over how amazing a Down Syndrome child was and what normal lives they can lead……he was so afraid of our response! Dr. C is an amazing dr. and has kept up with us over these last 8 yrs! Calls us every summer on JEB’s birthday and at Christmas. We were even able to share with other families who received the same news about their little one upon birth while JEB was still in NICU.

    It’s been an incredible journey so far…..I can’t wait to see what God has in store for him!

    Thanks for sharing with everyone!!!

  2. Your goal to bring glory to God through this project has already been achieved. Thanks for all the great posts Libby!
    Thanking God for you!
    Chris

  3. I just hopped over here from MckMama’s site. Can I just say your boys are BEAUTIFUL!? I’ve never seen such intensely blue eyes.
    elisa

  4. Libs, Very compassionate and amazing idea! You are a blessing to those who have not already walked your road. If you ever need any help with the packaging or shipping let me know. Lots of love, Becki

  5. I’m so glad you posted on MckMama’s blog! We’re beginning or second adoption process and God’s been bringing wonderful stories of Down Syndrome children across my path.

    We don’t know who God has chosen for our family, but it’s wonderful to consider the possibilities.

    You’re doing a wonderful thing here.

    Katie

  6. Libby, Congrats on the win at MckMama! Looking forward to the redesign, and maybe some fun new photos. What a wonderful ministry to share the books that gave you so much comfort and insight. Go Libby!

  7. Congrats on the contest from MckMama! It sounds like you have a wonderful idea of sharing and giving back! I’m glad that you got something back too! Both of your boys are adorable!

  8. Love your website – introduced via MCK. So happy to have found it. I am inspired by your posts – WOW! Blessings to your wonderful family – your guys are toooooooooo cute!

  9. Hi Libby! I just want to put a plug in for extended family members to go out and get of these books, too. Thank you for lending me your copies. I gobbled up “Gifts” and I’m currently savoring “Roadmap”. They’re great books and help give some additional insight into the world of my favorite brother and sister-in-law. Love and Hugs!

  10. Pingback: Lots to share… « Pinwheels

  11. What a gift you are! I am so inspired!

    Here via Pinwheels. My daughter has CHARGE Syndrome, which has some similarities to DS. I will enjoy checking in on your lovely family…as we walk this path with all of its beautiful curves!

  12. I think that what you are doing is amazing. I have a daughter who is 2 1/2 with DS and I loved both those books but expecially loved reading Roadmaps, I think that book would have been really helpful to me in the beginning! Thanks, Carol(theartgarden@wordpress.com)

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