Road Map to Holland

How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years With Down Symdrome

Jennifer Graf Groneberg - Author

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ISBN 9781440634710 | 304 pages | 01 Apr 2008 | NAL | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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An exceptional memoir that provides emotional insight and practical advice.

It's like planning a trip to Italy, only to get off the plane and discover you're actually in Holland. You need a new road map, and fast...

When Jennifer Groneberg and her husband learned they'd be having twin boys, their main concern was whether they'd need an addition on their house. Then, five days after Avery and Bennett were born, Avery was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Here, Jennifer shares the story of what followed. She dealt with doctors-some who helped, and some who were disrespectful or even dangerous. She saw some relationships in her life grow stronger, while severing ties with people who proved unsupportive. And she continues to struggle to find balance in the hardships and joys of raising a child with special needs. This book is a resource, a companion for parents, and above all, a story of the love between a mother and her son-as she learns that Avery is exactly the child she never knew she wanted.

“Rich with honesty, wisdom, and a deep appreciation for every day miracles, Road Map to Holland is a thoughtful, moving meditation on the struggles and joys Jennifer Graf Groneberg and her family experienced during her son Avery’s first two years. Groneberg offers a wealth of insight, information, and even practical resources for families whose children have Down syndrome. Yet this book is first and foremost a story about the constant discovery of love, and it will resonate with every reader who has traveled the always unpredictable, often overwhelming, wonder-filled journey into parenthood.”
—Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

“I have been ‘to Holland’ for eighteen years now, and this book brought back so many thoughts and feelings I had saved up that I felt an immediate sisterhood with Jennifer. I watched her deal with that same fear of the unknown that singed my heart, and I wept when she reached that crucial moment when she found that same place of self-forgiveness. No matter who or where you are in relation to a child with Down syndrome, these pages will be like signposts along your road, to give hope and a new way of seeing things. It’s good to be able to see the potholes coming and be ready for them, and it’s good to know when to pull over and take the time to enjoy the breathtaking views that only happen on this road. Thank goodness for road maps!”
—Martha Sears, coauthor, The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby From Birth to Age Two and author, 25 Things Every New Mother Should Know

“What a remarkable book! With excruciating candor and exquisite generosity, Jennifer Graf Groneberg invites us into the deepest privacy of her innermost thoughts, feelings, fears, challenges and triumphs. Nothing is left out in this amazingly intimate and profound journal. She allows us into every nook and cranny of her life and we find ourselves firmly ensconced in her heart.”
—Emily Perl Kingsley, national spokesperson and advocate for people with disabilities and author of "Welcome to Holland"

“This is the story of Avery—a child with Down syndrome who transformed his mother’s broken heart into one filled with cheer, awe, and pride. He offers all new and expectant parents a powerful perspective on life’s greatest lessons.”
—Brian Skotko, M.D., M.P.P., Children’s Hospital Boston & Boston Medical Center.

“Bursting with hope, Groneberg’s account of mothering Avery highlights the triumph of love over fear. Its candid, vivid prose and poignant emotion make the story is difficult to put down and impossible to forget. Herein lies truth to be pondered and savored by every mother, every woman, every human being.”
—Kathryn Lynard Soper, editor of Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

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