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Showing 1-10 of 93 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 141 reviews
on February 20, 2017
A Good and Perfect Gift is indeed a gift. As a parent of two grown children and a practicing Special Educator for 33+ years reading this personal journey of Amy Julia and her beautiful family, made me think about all the children/students I've been blessed to work with over the years, and how it truly is not about labels that our society uses, but about people; individuals with incredible lives to live, accomplishments and challenges, and so much to learn and give back to others.
Taking the perspective of family, friends, and acquaintances and talking about their comments and looks made the author feel makes this book unique. Amy Julia lets you know that it's ok to not know, to not understand and helps to guide her readers on their own journey of understanding.
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on April 26, 2015
I was sad when this book ended.

Amy Julia & her husband Peter rush into the hospital for the birth of their first child, Penelope Truesdale, or Penny as everyone calls her. When they hold their daughter for the first time, they didn't know how deeply their world was about to change. Penny is born with Down's Syndrome & as the first child born to a newly married couple, this is as hard as it gets.

The book is an exploration of the emotional, mental, societal and especially spiritual struggle that Peter & Amy Julia wrestle with when their child is born. Written mostly from Amy Julia's perspective, we see how she struggles in initially accepting her daughter, seeing her and her and not just as "my Down's baby". She wrestles with questions of God's will & suffering. We see her wrestle with society as people, well meaning or not, treat Penny differently.

This is a real look at how life can change unexpectedly and also a real look at what it means to be a parent to a mentally disabled child. Amy Julia takes us through her struggle before eventually being free and accepting of her daughter's condition. This is in many ways a book about us & all the tough, unexpected things in life we go through. Excellent memoir that I will return to again.
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on August 12, 2017
This book made one look at a Down Syndrome child in as a miraculous gift. Albeit a gift that comes with it untold worries and concerns.
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on May 24, 2014
As a sibling to two special needs individuals, I really loved reading this heart felt and touching story of Penny. I could relate to the gut wrenching feeling her parents had when they found out that there daughter had down syndrome. I was inspired by the way that her parents loved her in spite of her diagnosis and how Penny continued to thrive in spite of every obstacle she was faced with.
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on June 28, 2013
Amy Julia Becker opens up her heart to share both the joys and the struggles of welcoming a child into the world who is, and always will be in some ways, vulnerable. She candidly shares those deep places of fear, of dashed expectations, of grieving the loss of "normal", of the uncertain future/expectations for her child, and of the challenge the unexpected puts on one's faith. The reader truly feels like you walk her journey with her. The end result is an understanding of the deep abiding love a mother has for her child, and likewise, how much more our Savior's love is for us (and our children too!)

You will also fall in love with Penny and see the incredible little person she is ...just AS she is. This book is a must read for all of us. Whether we know someone with Down Syndrome, or perhaps some other vulnerability, "A Good and Perfect Gift" will encourage you to look beyond the exterior and what defines "normal", to see true person ......created good and perfect..... AS IS!
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on February 9, 2013
This book is great for those who have kids with special challenges, or those who want to gain an insider's perspective into the special needs club. I have a daughter who has syndromatic craniosynostosis and we have yet to see any mental deficiencies, but I found an amazing connection in reading about similar experiences. From initial shock and fear, to outside opinions, therapy, hospital visits, support groups, and all the life-changing details that exceed what would be expected in any healthy newborn. While more and more babies are being aborted for medical deficiencies each year, this book describes an experience so much like mine that stands in the face of it and says that these children are worth fighting for.
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on March 28, 2012
Amy Julia takes us on a journey--a journey of experiencing the unexpected at the birth of a first child, Penny. Shortly after Penny's birth, Amy and her husband, Peter, learn for the first time that their daughter has Down Syndrome.

As Amy Julia gets to know her daughter for who she is, so do we, the readers. As she moves through the technical lingo of the words "Down Syndrome" and all that comes with this diagnosis, so do we. Through her journey, Amy Julia struggles with the meaning and experience of not only the word "disability," but the joy and beauty of the life of her daughter.

As a reader who grew up loving and being loved by an aunt with Down Syndrome, the language and lingo of Down Syndrome was never foreign or new. What a gift to journey with Amy Julia and her family. As Penny and my aunt are gifts to us, it was a gift to journey with a new mother through her family's story. Her voice made me ever more curious about my own grandmother's and any new parent's experience, learning that a child has some sort of difference from "typical" at birth. It was refreshing to have her perspective and to celebrate and embrace Penny with her, as with all families who get to know this particular chromosomal difference.

In honor of this journey, and of yours, I hope you will read this book.
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on November 1, 2011
I just read an inspiring book called A Good and Perfect Gift. It's written by Amy Julia Becker, mom to Penny, a darling little girl who was born with Down Syndrome.

A Good and Perfect Gift is Amy's honest and heartfelt story of delivering her new baby and learning that everything was not as she and her husband expected. Their newborn daughter had an extra chromosome - Downs Syndrome.

A Good and Perfect Gift openly tells of Amy's tears and joys, heartbreak and disappointments. It tells of how she and her husband came to terms with the fact that yes, their daughter has Downs Syndrome but that extra chromosome does not define her.

This was the most honest book I have read about Downs Syndrome, told from a mother's heart. Not only does it wrestle with the physical ramifications but the spiritual ones as well. If God is the giver of all good gifts, how can their daughter be viewed as any less?

When I read A Good and Perfect Gift, I immediately thought of my dear friend, Grace, who is in the process of adopting a little girl with Downs Syndrome. God has a purpose for everyone. Maybe college isn't in Penny's future or in Samantha's, but rather, perhaps they will be teaching others to truly experience joy.

A Good and Perfect Gift is certainly worth reading, as I believe it will open your eyes and your heart.

Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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on September 16, 2011
As I read Becker's story, I was impressed by her honesty about her own struggles, doubts, anger, and frustration -- as well as her joy and conviction. Rarely have I read such transparency that was not overdramatized or overspiritualized; Becker presents her transparency as fact but didn't ask me as the reader for pity or help or responsibility. Rather, she gives the truth of her situation as an invitation into her own journey. She asks the questions and feels the feelings that many of us would probably have, but probably not many of us would voice to others, especially in the Christian community. This freed me to engage in the story and trust Becker's search. At the end of the story, I knew deeply that Becker had walked a hard road of faith and love and had come to a new place of trust and joy because of her willingness to ask the hardest questions. Her writing style and the structure of the story (journal entries interspersed) allow her emotions and deep soul-searching to walk alongside her theological and cultural considerations as she weaves them into a story full of very real characters from her family and friends to the doctors and therapists she encounters. I felt as though I was with her every step of the way. The result is a book that challenged me to consider my own views about human value, the nature of love, and our society as a whole, but it was also an opportunity to cheer for a mother, a daughter, and a family, and to hope that ultimately our culture as a whole will come to value all people.
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on November 21, 2015
This is about a couple that raises a child with down syndrome ,they were so worried people were judging their daughter because of it and they wouldn't want it any other way now. It is a Christian story too.
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