Friday, January 6, 2012

A Different Dream for My Child by Jolene Philo Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

                    Today's Wild Card author is: 
                                   Jolene Philo
and the book:
Discovery House Publishers (August 1, 2009)
***Special thanks to Susan Otis, Creative Resources, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***

Jolene Philo has been a teacher for 25 years and has published numerous articles on parenting a special needs child and preparing children for a hospital stay. She is the author of Different Dream Parenting and Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs and a regular contributor to a regional monthly women’s magazine, has spoken to MOPS groups, and is a commentator for Iowa Public Radio’s “Iowa Voices.” She and her husband have two children and live in Boone, Iowa.

Visit the author's website.


A Different Dream for My Child: Hope and encouragement for the parents and caregivers of critically ill children comes in an inspirational devotional package. Jolene Philo shares personal accounts from her own experiences with a seriously ill newborn son. Interwoven are the stories of how other parents have found peace and hope, how they have dealt with hospitalization, private pain, grief, guilt and loneliness, and even the death of a child. Targeted scripture, simple prayers and questions for reflection provide a valuable spirit

Product Details for A Different Dream for My Child:
List Price: $10.99
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Discovery House Publishers (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572933070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572933071

AND NOW...Excerpts from the book:

A Different Dream for My Child Excerpt:

Children Are a Gift from the Lord, Period

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
The fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Psalm 127:3

From the moment Hiram and I learned of Allen’s condition, we knew he
had a good chance of living a relatively normal life. And though his first five
years were hospital
heavy, that prognosis
proved true. He did well in school and participated in extra-curricular
activities. Now an adult, he’s out on his own.

Not every child’s
future is so rosy. Many parents of kids who survive an initial health crisis
know their lives, and their children’s lives, will be quite different from what.

they once expected. If your child is one of those kids, you will grapple with
the same issue Bruce and Peggy faced when their second child was a baby.

Their daughter Lacey,
born in 1984, has the mental ability of a four or five–month–old infant. Her
mental and physical disabilities weren’t immediately obvious to her doctor or
her parents, though by the time her daughter was three months old, Peggy knew
something was wrong.

Throughout the first
year of Lacey’s life, her limitations became more noticeable. Her parents’
lives changed when they decided to keep Lacey in their home as long as they
could. They understand that other parents who place severely disabled children
in a care facility have made the right choice in their personal situation.
“It’s not like one’s right and one’s wrong,” Peggy says.

“You have to do what
God gives you peace about,” Bruce adds. The decision to care for Lacey in their
home gave them peace. To accommodate their new lifestyle, Bruce changed
employers. “I used to have a job where I traveled and was gone all the time. We
knew when Lacey was a year old that I was going to have to be home a lot more.”

Early on, many
well-meaning people acted like Lacey was a burden her family had to bear,
especially for Peggy, whose life revolved around caring for their daughter.
Once in a while, Peggy viewed her daughter in the same way. She began to
question God. “Children are meant to be a gift from the Lord, not a burden,
aren’t they? So why is Lacey a burden?”

Deep down, Peggy knew
something was wrong with her thinking. One day she sensed God telling her to
think about what the Bible says about kids: Children are a gift from the Lord.
The light bulb went on, and she understood that the verse wasn’t just about the
“perfect children,” the darling, whole and healthy, look-at-me children. “He
doesn’t put any clause or condition on this statement. It’s just plain,
‘Children are a gift from the Lord.’”

In that moment, Peggy
realized she’d been asking the wrong question. The question wasn’t whether
Lacey was a gift or a burden. God said children are always a gift. Instead, He
showed her the right questions to ask: How are you going to take care of this
gift? How are you going to show the world that Lacey is a gift from the Lord?
Those questions changed Peggy’s outlook about caring for her daughter. Every
day, she tells herself, “I better act like this is a gift.” Over the years, she’s
discovered that when she acts like her daughter is a gift, she thinks of her as
a gift.

After more than two
decades of caring for her daughter, Peggy wants to pass on this piece of advice
to parents of special needs kids: No matter what your child’s level of need is
— able to lead a normal life, in need of total care, or somewhere in between —
you treat your child as a gift, you’ll think of your child as a gift. “This
child is a gift from the Lord, period,” Peggy says. “Start with that foundation
and move on from there.”

Father, forgive me for viewing my child
as a burden. Teach me to act like my child is a gift, even during difficult
times, so I will think of this child as a gift. Help those around me see my
child is a gift, too.

Do I consider my child
a gift from God? Do I treat my child like a gift? How do I show other people
that my child is a gift?
from A Different Dream for My Child, © 2009 by Jolene Philo. Used by
permission of Discovery House Publishers, Box 3566, Grand Rapids MI 4950l. All
rights reserved.

My Review and thoughts:
This is a very inspirational book. It's for anyone dealing with any type of health issues with their children. Not just for those families who have terminal ill children. Having a child with medical issues this was a very touching and inspiring book. Granted I don't face many of the challenges like the families in the book. I can relate to the the stories in many ways. Each child has their own challenges that are hard to deal with. We sometimes feel alone.

I have spent countless hours in Dr. offices and hospitals and I don't foresee an end to this for quite sometime. I needed the encouragement that this book had to offer. Having a child with disabilities can take you places you never knew existed both physically and emotionally. What we planned for the future of our child is different than God's plan.

Each chapter begins with a Bible verse. Then each section is around 2-3 pages. They have personal stories from families that the author has interviewed or the authors personal experiences. The families talk about how they faced each challenge that came their way. You will cry and laugh. Only someone with a child with medical issues can truly understand what it is like to deal with a sick child. This book is for those parents, extended family, or even for someone who wants to help out the family. The chapters each touch on different challenges faced along this unique road of having a unique child. Each chapter ends with a prayer/meditation and questions to help the reader reflect on the issues at hand.

A child is still a blessing, no matter what the diagnosis is and this books reminds you of this. No matter how much we love our children, we recognize that they are ultimately God's child, and we trust Him to the One who loves them more than we do. Our job is to take the best possible care of them while they are here on earth, then trust the Lord when it is time for them to go home with Jesus. Whether they go home to be with Jesus in childhood, teens, or as an adult they are gifts from God. We are here for a little time. He trusted the gift in our hands to care for.

If you know someone who has a child who is seriously ill, or with any type of disability- get this book into their hands. This book is like a lifeline.

For more about the book and other helpful information about caring for chronically/critically ill children, see There is also a fan page on Facebook.

Thank you, Jolene for sharing your amazing and inspiring story. I needed this book.

This book has been provided to me my by FirstWildCard book tours free of charge and in no way was I asked to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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