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gillian marchenko

Author and Speaker

Archive for July, 2014

How I can best advocate for my kids with special needs

evichka

(A version of this post first appeared on my talented friend Addie Zierman’s blog. I’ve changed it up a bit to post here because it still rings true for me… it often does.)   How I can best advocate for my kids with special needs (This was writing back when the most recent Chicago winter wouldn’t end.) It’s nine o’clock in the morning. I spoon leftover chili into my mouth and look out a smudged window full of fingerprints. My four daughters are at school…

A Down syndrome diagnosis shouldn’t be about luck

heather2

(Friends, please help me welcome Heather Bradley today on the blog… Thank you, Heather, for your tireless efforts to help every family have ‘good luck’ when they get a Down syndrome diagnosis.) A Down syndrome diagnosis shouldn’t be about luck Sometimes life can stop you in your tracks. “Your daughter is showing signs that she could have Down syndrome.” When our daughter, Isabel, was born in August 2012, those were the words my husband and I heard. At first, I felt blindsided. Down syndrome seemed…

Listen to me on ‘So Here’s the Thing’ podcast with Kathi Lipp

the sun will shine again kathi Lipp

Listen to me on ‘So Here’s the Thing’ podcast with Kathi Lipp Friends, today I am on a podcast called ‘So Here’s the Thing’ with Kathi Lipp about my book, what we do when life throws us curve balls, and what friends and family can say when someone they love has a child with a disability. I’d love for you to check it out and share it with others. Here’s what Kathi had to say about our exchange: “Just when you think you have this life…

She lives hard and well, and falls asleep fast

Sun Shine Down Polly hug

She lives hard and well, and falls asleep fast We’re lying in bed together just before she goes to sleep. She has her arm slung over my body. We look at each other. Face to face. Just the two of us. I start singing a song and Polly joins in even though she doesn’t know the words. I sing, and she sings, and her relaxed attempt at joining in without knowing what she is doing and without realizing she should care sends a tickle down…

Why I tell my kids about my depression

A sculpture of the mourning woman. Old graveyard.

Why I tell my kids about my depression I guess the short answer is: they already know about it anyway. I have four girls. I have depression. One of my most serious episodes occurred at the end of 2011 into 2012. At some point during that time, I basically gave up on life. It’s hard to admit as a mom, and also as a Christian, but I stopped functioning. I found myself in and out of bed, sometimes up to a week at a time,…