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Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Guest Blog Post by Jolene Philo, Author: Different Dream Parenting (AND A GIVE-AWAY!!)

Today is Day 4 of my series with Jolene Philo, Author of

* To read my Introduction of Jolene click here
* To read part 1 of my interview with Jolene click here
* To read part 2 of my interview with Jolene click here

In this post you will learn more about Jolene's story but also about why she chose to write her two books.

Here is Jolene, in her own words, sharing how her family members' lives were turned upside down and how she has used that experience to help meet the needs of other families.


When our beautiful newborn boy was transferred to a regional hospital, my husband and I felt lost at sea. A few hours later, we learned that our baby required immediate surgery at a university hospital 750 miles away. Without it, he would die. That news threw us overboard. We longed for someone who could come alongside and pull us out of the water. A book to chart a map through unfamiliar waters and assure us of God’s presence.

But our son was born in 1982 when pediatric medicine was a relatively new field. Families like ours were hard to find. Parenting books hadn’t been written. The internet didn’t exist. Over the next twenty years, even after the surgeries and medical procedures that corrected our son’s condition were over, my search for parenting resources yielded scant results. Eventually, I sensed God nudging me to come alongside young parents lost at sea like we had been, to create a map they could follow.

Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs is that map. It’s a map for parents of kids living with medical special needs as well as conditions like Down Syndrome, juvenile diabetes, developmental delays, autism, and those facing a terminal diagnosis. It guides parents by providing tools and resources they need to become effective advocates for their kids.

The book features interviews, advice, and resources from more than fifty families and two dozen professionals. With their help, the book addresses the situations parents face every day. Things I wish someone had told me, like:

         Asking questions after diagnosis.
         Dealing with insurance companies.
         Preparing a child for a hospital stay.
         Accessing financial resources and government monies.
         Accessing special education services.
         Determining optimum level of care.
         Mobilizing volunteers at home.
         Supporting the siblings.
         Preparing a child for death.
         Planning a funeral.
         Participating in community and church events.
         Creating a special needs trust for adult children with special needs.

In addition to practical advice, Different Dream Parenting tackles spiritual questions families are often afraid to ask. Questions about:

         God’s sovereignty
         Parental guilt
         Setting and maintaining spiritual priorities
         Grieving for children living with special needs
         Grieving the death of a child
         Passing faith on to children with special needs

Thirty day prayer guides in the appendices are for parents too exhausted to form their own prayers.

I remember what it’s like to be lost at sea, thrown overboard by an unexpected diagnosis, and drowning under a flood of caregiving demands. My goal is to put Different Dream Parenting into the hands of floundering parents so they have a map and know they’re not alone. To order the book, visit and click on the “buy the book” tab.

Thanks, Amy, for this opportunity to guest blog at and tell people about Different Dream Parenting.


As an added bonus, Jolene has generously donated a copy of her new book - just released last month: Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs for me to give away to one lucky reader!

To enter the drawing to receive a FREE copy of Jolene's new book just do one or more of the following before December 20th:

* Comment on this blog post
* Sign up to "Follow" my blog (and leave a comment letting me know you did)

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