May 2013

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Part Two: The Unfinished Child, a Story of Down Syndrome, Love, and Choice (and a Book Giveaway)Part two of Theresa Shea's interview about her new novel, The Unfinished Child. She talks about the parallels between parents of children with Down syndrome and typically-developing kids, the relationship between choice and selfishness, and why fictional accounts of prenatal testing experiences matter.

**Update: Jeannie is the winner of a free copy of Theresa's book. Congratulations!

Yesterday I posted the first part of an interview with Theresa Shea, author of The Unfinished Child. Here's part two:

As the parent of typically-developing children, what prompted you to write the ...

The Unfinished Child, a Story of Down Syndrome, Love, and Choice (and a Book Giveaway)Novelist Theresa Shea discusses her book The Unfinished Child, a story about two families struggling to imagine life with a child with Down syndrome (plus a chance to read a free copy...)

Over the past month, I have had the privilege of corresponding with Theresa Shea, author of The Unfinished Child, a novel about two families whose lives are affected by Down syndrome. In one narrative, set in the mid 1940s, Margaret gives birth to Carolyn, and her doctor convinces ...

Why I Don't Pray for the World AnymoreMy world of concern has grown smaller as my children have grown. And I think that might just be okay.

I used to pray for the world. I remember, especially with William, sitting late at night as he nursed, and scrolling through a mental map of conflicts around the globe. I spent the most time praying for a host of people I knew, mostly scattered up and down the east coast of ...

Is She a Special Need? Down syndrome, Language, and IndividualityWhat image does the media offer when describing individuals with Down syndrome?

I took two of my children to the mall a few weeks back. After stocking up on sneakers and sandals, we stood in line to ride the carousel. I paid $2 each for their tickets, then the lady at the cash register peered over the counter at my daughter Penny. "Is she a special need?" ...

Will You Help Bring Timofei Home? Down Syndrome, the Russian Adoption Ban, and a Little Boy Who Needs a FamilyWhat would it take for a little boy with Down syndrome in a Russian orphanage to come home to his American adoptive family?

Penny and I were sitting outside in the shade. She had cuddled as close as she could, with her body pressed against my side and her head resting on my chest. Marilee and William were on the jungle gym, arguing over who gets to go up the slide next. I was scrolling through email ...

How I Make Sense of My LifeHow do you make sense of both pain and beauty?

As I mentioned in a post last week, I've been reading My Bright Abyss by Christian Wiman, and I could (and might) write a post that jumps off from every chapter it includes. (If you get nothing else from this post, get this–if you like thoughtful, beautifully-crafted writing ...

What Our Children Teach Me About Prayer"I still sometimes wish I had an orderly prayer life, but I'm also grateful for the disruptions my children have offered. Because it is in those disruptions that they continue to teach me how to pray."

Earlier this week, I shared the link to a new article I wrote for InTouch Magazine about Praying with Penny. But it's a story that never ends, because all of our kids are constantly teaching me more about how to pray.

Recently, there was the night when we were reading The Berenstein ...

When Heaven and Earth Meet--Experiencing a Thin PlaceWhen was the last time you experienced a thin place, a place where heaven and earth seemed to touch, if only for an instant?

Every so often it seems right to remind myself and those of you who read this blog that it is a place that is loosely ordered, a set of posts that should hold together, even if only by a single thread. Yes, I write about faith and family and disability, with some cultural commentary ...

Bridging the Gap, or Why I Feel Uneasy About Being Penny's MomI sometimes feel uneasy about being the mother of a child with special needs, and it's not what you might think...

I sometimes feel a strange sense of guilt, or at least dis-ease, about Penny. It's not what you might think. I'm about as comfortable as I can imagine being with a child who has Down syndrome, and I think my kids are too. (The other day, I  was explaining that some athletes ...

Praying With PennyHow my daughter with Down syndrome taught me to pray

I have a new article in InTouch Magazine (not the one that's like People Magazine, the Christian one). Some of the content will be familiar to those of you who read this blog regularly, but I still thought you'd appreciate this reflection on what Penny has taught me about prayer ...

On Mother's Day, What I Admire About My ChildrenI often bemoan the countless hours I've given to my children. This Mother's Day, I'm trying instead to recognize what they have given me.

I kind of mean it as a joke when I point out the fact that I am responsible for 80 toenails and fingernails (mine, plus three kids'). Peter kind of means it as a joke when he says, "You just make breakfast and lunch for the kids and yourself. Don't worry about me." But I am ...

Perfectly Human: Gifts from a Declining Mind by David HilfikerHow an Alzheimer's diagnosis has brought great and unexpected joy.

I have Alzheimer's disease. I'm sixty-eight, have had symptoms for a little over two years, and was diagnosed last September. These last eight months have been almost the happiest in my life.

Before my diagnosis, when I considered how I might die, Alzheimer's was the only one ...

Catching Up on Giveaways: Eat with Joy, Permission Granted, and What it is is Beautiful

Somewhere out there in the blogosphere, there's a list of rules about how to be a good blogger. I break many of them. My posts are often too long and don't have enough images in them (and never videos) and they aren't controversial enough or they're controversial about the wrong ...

What Are People In the Church Unwilling to Talk About?A new book gets women talking about "taboo" topics...

Last spring, I was asked to contribute an essay to a new anthology of Christian women writers called Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith. I am honored to join the ranks of a host of women from a wide array of church backgrounds to discuss topics that ...

Are Pro-Lifers Hypocrites When it Comes to Down Syndrome?Are pro-lifers hypocrites when it comes to babies with Down syndrome? The Atlantic implies that they are, but I'm not convinced...

It hits me like a sucker punch every time. This week the blow came on page 30 of the Atlantic, where a sidebar with numbers in large bold font told a story:

Percentage of American adults who describe themselves as pro-life: 50Percentage of American adults who think second-trimester ...
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