What if? What if you dreamed of having a beautiful child and in your mind you saw the life you’d share with that child. First steps, little league (or ballet). Maybe the child would play piano or make you proud on the Honor Roll. There’d be eventual graduations, college, even marriage and grandchildren. You might dream it out that far. Or not. Every parent has hopes. No parents wish for pain—their own, or a child’s.
Then you had a premature delivery in a foreign country. And the words swirling around you said a different kind of “what if.” What if something was wrong? The dream was at risk—or so it seemed. Would you be ready for that? Could you make peace? Or would it take you down?
These are the questions author Gillian Marchenko faced as she woke up after an emergency C-section in Ukraine. Only her newborn child could answer them, in time. But first she had to find a way to hear more than the words “Down syndrome.”
Words About Sun Shine Down
“Stunning memoir. A must-read for parents of children with special needs, but anyone would do well to immerse themselves in Marchenko’s story.”
—Suzanne Kamata, editor of the anthology Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs
“Shimmering beauty, powerful. Marchenko brought me to new levels of awareness regarding the struggles of a special needs family.”
—Bill Giovannetti, author of Secrets to a Happy Life
“From the very first page, Marchenko tugs the heartstrings of anyone who has ever experienced—or wanted to experience—parenthood, leaving us with a broadened view of the universe and a deeper understanding of what it really means to love one another.”
—Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Into the Free
“Gillian Marchenko’s Sun Shine Down is a moving account of the birth of her third daughter, Polina. She describes her depression after Polly’s birth and her own difficulty in loving her child. Beautifully written, this memoir is hopeful without being glib.”
—Susan Olasky, World magazine