“The Year My Son And I Were Born is a deeply honest, extremely moving, and lovingly-written memoir that tells a story few books are willing to tell. Taking us through her first year as the mother of a child with Down Syndrome, Kathryn Soper shares the contradictory emotions, self-doubts, and even spiritual questions that many young parents experience during that time but rarely admit even to friends. Along the way, her graceful, unsentimental, and gently humorous writing takes us through many struggles: navigating unfamiliar medical terrain, nurturing her six older children, keeping her marriage intact, and, above all else, accepting her son for who he is. In the end, she comes to see how to live life in a new way — and so did I. I’m so glad Kathryn Soper had the courage to open her heart, mind, and spirit to readers. She has written a book that really matters.”

—Rachel Simon, author of Riding the Bus with My Sister and Building a Home with My Husband


“Kathryn Soper’s The Year My Son and I Were Born is a story of how sometimes life’s lessons come at great personal cost—but that if we allow our hearts to open, even a mother’s deepest despair can be transformed.”

—Jennifer Graf Groneberg, author of Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son’s First Two Years with Down Syndrome


“Kathryn Lynard Soper’s The Year My Son and I Were Born takes on, with grace, honesty and candor, a difficult subject: what it means, in our culture of perfection, to become the mother of a disabled child. From her son’s early, traumatic birth, to learning what it means to be the mother of a child with special needs, Soper’s journey with Thomas will appeal to not only readers who share similar experiences, but also to any reader who has found life can often turn out not to be as expected, or predicted—in other words, all readers.”

—Vicki Forman, author of This Lovely Life: A Memoir of Premature Motherhood


“Kathryn Lynard Soper is a wonderful writer.  Her prose is spare and achingly honest.  With her talent for to-the-bone expression, she has produced this remarkable memoir about the birth of her Down Syndrome son and the inevitable life changes he brought to her family—and to her own life.  It is at once heart-wrenching and redemptive, a memoir not just for someone dealing with a child’s disabilities (whatever they might be), but for anyone coping with a hard surprise. Soper is candid about the difficulty of embracing the unexpected, and leads her readers through the transcendent process of recognizing and loving the gift at the core of the challenge.”

—Margaret Blair Young, author of Standing on the Promises

“Deeply honest, extremely moving, and lovingly written.”

--Rachel Simon, author of Riding the Bus With My Sister

With six other children at home, Kathryn Lynard Soper was prepared for the challenges another newborn would bring. But after Thomas's complicated birth, his diagnosis—Down syndrome—forced her to face her deepest fears and weaknesses, her ignorance and prejudice, and her limitations as a mother and as a human being. Her struggle, coupled with the demands of caring for a fragile baby and juggling her family's needs, sparked the worst episode of depression she'd experienced in decades.

The Year My Son and I Were Born is Soper's brutally honest yet beautiful account of how she escaped a downward spiral of despair and emerged with newfound peace. Antidepressant therapy restored her equilibrium, and interactions with friends and family brought needed perspective. But the most profound change came through her growing relationship with Thomas. His radiant presence shone through her outer layers of self, where fear and guilt festered, and reached the center of her very being—where love, acceptance, and gratitude blossomed in abundance.

What readers are saying:

"I started your book on the day that it arrived and finished it the same night before midnight. I shed so many tears along the way that my eyes were puffy the next day, but I was smiling and hopeful." --Mara

"The first part of your book truly ripped my heart open and left me utterly raw with grief. The second part of your book filled my heart with hope as I saw how you and your family adjusted to the changes in your family. It was a powerful, sobering, at many times heart wrenching and at the same time joyous account of your son's first year on earth." --Chris

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