|Win a copy of A Major Adjustment by Andy Merriman|
A Book that Changed My LifeI'd stumbled on A Minor Adjustment, also a BBC Radio 4 comedy series, during a late night online research session, eyes filled with tears as I loaded my virtual basket with everything and anything with 'Down's syndrome' in the title.
Natty was only a few months old when it arrived, a time when my head was still saying I wasn't good enough to be her mum and my heart ached for the baby I thought we were expecting. "I can't do this," I remember thinking, "This wasn't what I signed up for."
|Sarah Merriman receiving flowers at the launch of A Major Adjustment|
The Power of Parents to Support OthersThe book was like a warm hug. Dad Andy Merriman and his wife Allie managed to capture their experiences so perfectly on paper and they described exactly how I was feeling in an unsentimental way, at a time when I felt utterly alone and even guilty about my thoughts.
I realised for the first time that I wasn't the only one that had over-thought every outfit choice for my baby with Down's, that facing heart surgery raises some surprising mixed emotions for parents and that Allie's initial numb shock felt familiar. Reading a letter to the Merriman's from an adoring father in America was the moment I realised that my baby too was unique, precious, and yes, beautiful.
As each chapter passed I felt more and more confident about being Natty's Mum, that I would be able to face the challenges that lie ahead, as well as relishing in the wonderment that was this slightly different path we were on.
|Hayley Goleniowska with her precious copies of |
A Minor Adjustment and A Major Adjustment
Fast forward 11 years and I was standing in a crowded room in a Hotel in London, asking Sarah herself to sign that well-thumbed original copy, whilst holding the latest book inspired by her, (which also happens to contain a quote from me.) It was an emotional moment indeed, a real reminder of just how far we've come.
We were gathered together with the Merriman family, who I had never met before but who felt like long-standing, much-loved and trusted friends, along with supporters such as Michel Roux Jnr, comedy actor Sally Phillips, Shifting Perspectives and I Don't Care photographer Fiona Bailey, Dr Who actor Peter Davison, and the Foxes Academy team, to celebrate the launch of the second book in the series.
|Sarah Merriman bowled Michel Roux Jnr over when filming Kitchen Impossible|
A Major Adjustment is Andy's story of how their remarkable daughter became a remarkable adult. But don't worry if you haven't read the now out-of-print A Minor Adjustment, Andy has included (in his own words) "all the best bits" in this update.
Michel Roux Jnr, who Sarah worked with on the hit Channel 4 TV series Kitchen Impossible, said in his foreword, "For me, Sarah's success was never in doubt. She is a star!"
Win a Copy of A Major Adjustment by Andy MerrimanI haven't finished reading my copy of A Major Adjustment yet, but I purchased a second copy, signed by Sarah herself, to give away here on Downs Side Up.
One lucky reader will get a brand new signed copy worth £9.99. Enter via the widget below. The winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter on 3rd April 2018 at midday:
The book is also available via Amazon UK and the Down's Syndrome Association priced £9.99 with all profits going to the charity.