From Publishers Weekly
Montana wife and mother Groneberg traces in her tenderly moving account the life-changing realization after the premature birth of her twin boys that one of them, Avery, has Down syndrome. Utterly unprepared for the emergency C-section of the seven-week-early preemies, Groneberg and her writer husband, Tom, the parents of a four-year-old, are devastated by the news about Avery, and they must gradually alter their easygoing future plans about raising their kids. They reject the notion of adoption, suggested by a well-intentioned nurse at the hospital where the babies are ensconced in the neonatal intensive-care unit, and embark on an exhaustively trying, ultimately enlightening journey to care for the needy babies, especially Avery, and educate themselves about his condition. Rising from the shame of feeling that their family is broken, and letting slide hurtful comments by a grocery-store clerk or neighbor, Groneberg devoured books and information from the Internet, and began to foster their son's development by seeking out physical therapists and specialists. Small gains in Avery's motor skills were causes for celebration, and the beginning of speech the greatest gift the parents could ask for. Groneberg affectingly delineates these gradual, hard-won stages during Avery's first year toward love and acceptance. (Apr.)
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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 Averys 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 Keepers 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. Its good to be able to see the potholes coming and be ready for them, and its 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 Averya child with Down syndrome who transformed his mothers broken heart into one filled with cheer, awe, and pride. He offers all new and expectant parents a powerful perspective on lifes greatest lessons.
Brian Skotko, M.D., M.P.P., Childrens Hospital Boston & Boston Medical Center.
Bursting with hope, Gronebergs 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