The world is full of people who seem to have it together. Gillian Marchenko speaks for the rest of us.
She is a Christian, a wife, a mother, a writer, a speaker, and an advocate for individuals with special needs. Her writing and speaking focus on topics about parenting kids with Down syndrome, faith, depression, imperfection, and adoption. She presents to MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), churches, support groups, and retreats.
Gillian lives in Chicago with her husband Sergei and their four daughters. Two of her daughters, Polly and Evangeline, have special needs.
Her memoir, Sun Shine Down, was published with T.S. Poetry Press in the
fall of 2013.
Gillian’s writing has also appeared in Today’s Christian Woman, Thriving Family, Connections Magazine, Gifted for Leadership, Fulfill Blog, MomSense Magazine, Literary Mama, Chicago Parent, Charlottesville Family, Chicago Special Parent, EFCA Today, Four Cornered Universe, and the Tri-City Record.
"Lifting my hand, I placed it on my breastbone and slid it towards my navel. My mid-section felt numb. Pushing down, it was as if I tapped another person's toneless stomach.
White gauze held my empty abdomen tight. I had been eight months pregnant."
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.
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."
"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
Sun Shine Down is Now available on Amazon, Kindle & Nook.