Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sun Shine Down Review and Giveaway!

**Giveaway Closed**
Winner: Katie G!

Hi friends!

I want to share something with you today.

This is my friend, Gillian.
Isn't she pretty? She's also pretty amazing. Gillian and I met through work we do with Joni & Friends teaching local churches all about Special Needs Ministry. She is smart, funny, she speaks at MOPS groups all over the Chicagoland Area about life, parenting, imperfection and depression. She is the wife of a pastor at a small neighborhood church in Chicago, and had 4 daughters, 3 biologically, and 1 by way of adoption. Her 2 youngest daughters, Polly and Evie, have Down syndrome. 

As if all that wasn't enough to keep her busy. Gillian has written a book. It chronicles Polly's birth in Ukraine where Gillian and her husband were missionaries, her diagnosis, and the emotional roller coaster that followed. The care and treatment of people with disabilities is drastically different in Ukraine than here in the states, so the book also follows their move back, and the transitions that came with it.

 You guys, this book is the real deal. It is raw, and truthful, and lays it all out there. Although He certainly plays a role, this is not your typical "and then Jesus made it all better" Christian memoir. I was blessed to be able to read this book before it was published, and while I was expecting to enjoy it, I was not expecting to relate to it so much. I have no idea what it is like to deal with an unexpected disability (or an expected one for that matter). However, I do know what it is like to struggle to bond with my child.

 I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but I struggled to bond with Abbey when she was born. Between a very long induction with a lot of intervention, a 2 day stay in the NICU, and some undiagnosed Post Partum Depression, I didn't really experience that "ooey-gooey" love that so many new mother's talk about about until Abbey was about 3 months old. People would say things like "don't you just want to sit and hold her all day and just stare at that little face?!" and I would smile back at them, all the while thinking "No, I just want to put her down and crawl into bed!" I remember the moment that I "fell in love" with my daughter, and it took my breath away. I remember thinking "Oh, THERE it is!"  Reading about how Sergei, Gillian's husband, latched on to this little baby girl of theirs so intensely and immediately brought back memories of my own husband's attachment to our daughter. Those memories hurt and heal all at the same time.

If you are, or know a mama of a child with special needs, this book is for you. If you aren't a mama of a child with special needs, this book is for you, too.

It is available in print, on Kindle, and on Nook.

There is also one  copy available for you here! That's right, I'm so in love with this book that I'm giving away a copy. Just leave a comment down below about why you want to read this book and I will randomly choose a winner. The winner will be announced on Thursday!

Oh, and go follow Gillian. You definitely want to!
Blog: http://www.gillianmarchenko.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GillianMarchenkoPage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GillianMarchenk
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/gmarchenko/

Be blessed!


  1. I'm not the momma of a special needs child, but I love books that chronicle a mother's love for her child. This book sounds like a precious one, and I'd love to read it.

  2. My hubby and I have custody of twins with adhd, odd, anxiety, sensory disorder and possible fas. I can relate to a lot of what Gillian has gone thoroughness I didn't give birth to these children but I have loved them since before they were born. They have lived with us since they were two. I have gone through so many emotions on our journey. Grief, anger (at their parents), depression, acceptance of our lives being completely changed. I have learned that our lives are not our own. I would love to read Gillian's book. Thanks.

  3. I love all books in this category!

  4. I love all books that fall into this category!

    1. You're our winner! Hooray! Shoot me an email at heather.itsalongstory@gmail.com with your address and I will get it in the mail to you!


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