Just Cate is a newly-published dual memoir from lifelong friends about growing up, faith, parenting, friendship, and a spirited child who has Down syndrome.
As I read through the first chapter I felt like I was sitting down with a new friend and sharing the birth stories of our daughters' and the initial aftermath in the hospital of receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome. We had many of the same thoughts and emotions.
Noelle (Cate's mom) and Angela (Noelle's best friend) have written a unique memoir sharing about their early years of growing up together, Cate's birth, and their second phase of growing up. The story is written in Noelle's voice first, followed by Angela's voice. I like that this memoir includes the perspective of the best friend and her thoughts and journey regarding Cate's birth.
While we all have different stories, I figured I would at least identify with Noelle's story to some extent, both of us raising a child with Down syndrome; but it was interesting to read what a friend might go through upon hearing that her best friend just gave birth to a child with an unexpected diagnosis of Down syndrome.
This book made me think often of my own best friend; friends since the 7th grade. Thanks to the military lifestyle, we only went to the same school and lived near each other for 2 years - our 7th and 8th grade years. Despite distances (and being separated by oceans and countries) ours is a friendship that has lasted through the years. We've been there for each other through the teenage-growing up years, and the adult years - marriages, abuse, divorces, childbirth, disabilities.
When Kayla was born I called my best friend from the hospital to tell her she most likely has Down syndrome. She told me it would be ok and that "at least you get to take your baby home." Her sister had given birth earlier that year, to a daughter who had many complications. She only lived a few months, and in her short life, she never left the hospital.
Noelle and Angela share how their faith and friendship is quietly renewed during the 12 year journey after Cate's birth. There are lessons learned about the strength inside yourself, seeing the good in people, living your life just as you are and the freedom to be yourself ... just like Cate is living her life. There are challenges, to be sure, as there are with raising any child, but there are joyful discoveries as well.
I enjoyed the stories about Cate and her younger years; she sounds like such a character!
Here is a trailer, so you can hear in their own words, on what this book is about.
You can buy the book on Amazon (and for the Kindle) OR you can enter to win it here. The authors have generously donated TWO (signed!) books for this giveaway!
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This is a book I wouldn't have mind receiving in the hospital after Kayla was born!
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