When I Ordered You by Deborah Bradshaw – Child with Down Syndrome

When I Ordered You by Deborah Bradshaw – Child with Down Syndrome

Are you raising a child with challenging needs? Are you working with or teaching a child with Down syndrome? We have an uplifting, 37 page book to recommend. Please get a copy of When I Ordered You by Deborah Bradshaw. This heartwarming book is to be enjoyed by readers of all ages and all abilities. Ms. Bradshaw wrote,“They (my sons) have taught me courage and tenacity, and to see the value and purpose in everyone.”

When we received the following email from Deborah Bradshaw, we immediately knew her book would benefit all the folks who care for others with special needs:  “I have an amazing 26 year old son who happens to have Down syndrome. I wrote “When I Ordered You” to encourage others that what I expected, ‘what I ordered’ if you will, is not what I received, however, in the process of learning to help my son, I learned life lessons that I have made me a better person.”

The team behind this book did a fantastic job! It was lovingly written by Deborah Bradshaw. The talented Paul Riddle brings to live the characters with his adorable illustrations and the creative flair of Alexa Wheeler, the graphic designer, produced this adorable book.

In the foreword by Jim Stovall he says, “As a blind person myself, I am probably best known for writing 35 books, seven of which have been turned into major motion pictures, and for writing my weekly syndicated columns that appear around the world… Gandhi was fond of saying, “Everyone is my superior in that I can learn something from them.”…I wish you the success that comes from seeing the world bigger than it is and the fulfillment that comes when we see value and treasure in every person.”

What adjectives have been used to describe this book? 

  • Moving
  • Inspirational
  • Sweet
  • Must-read
  • Must-read over and over again
  • Brilliant
  • Beautiful
  • Emotional
  • Heartfelt
  • Genius
  • Masterpiece

Guest Post by Deborah Bradshaw

Why I Wrote When I Ordered You

If you haven’t heard, I have a new children’s book entitled When I Ordered You.  People have asked me why I decided to write this particular story so I wanted to share a little about my reasoning and my heart.

When I hear researchers and scientists tell us that there may be no more people born with Down syndrome in less than 20 years, I feel a little bit sad and unnerved to think of that possibility.

27 years ago I discovered, while pregnant, that my son would be born with Down syndrome.  The incidence of prenatal testing was not yet so prevalent.  My son was suspected of having Down syndrome, due to an issue with the pregnancy, so genetic testing was immediately ordered. I wanted to understand what I was facing so I went through with the Amniocenteses and we learned that my son did indeed have Down syndrome.

This is a parent’s worst nightmare. Hearing that there is a “problem” with your child is the last thing a happy mother expects to hear during her first pregnancy.  The feelings of denial, grief and utter desperation are significant. Every diaper commercial, every baby toy, every smiling happy expectant mom you see, is a constant reminder that your reality has dramatically changed, your world has shifted.

I initially wanted to hide, I wanted to curl up in a ball and die, I wanted to believe they had made a mistake.  I cried for several weeks but finally I summoned my courage. First I had a decision to make, was I willing to keep this pregnancy.  After careful thought and consideration and after weighing all of my options, I decided to keep my baby.

After receiving the diagnosis, I was given the worst-case scenario.   The medical professionals I encountered told me about all the things he would not do, about how difficult my life would be. For the record, almost none of those suggestions of his limitations became a reality.  He did take longer to accomplish his goals, but he has accomplished them.

When I Ordered You is about the journey from my previous expectations to my new reality. The story talks about the frustrations as well as the joys.  While I would never have chosen this as my reality, I would not change it for the world.  We never have guarantees in life. It was very heavily suggested that I not take the chance on my son. It was suggested that I terminate my pregnancy and try again.  I was initially shown the struggles but not shown the possibilities.  And that is what we miss out on too easily in life, the possibilities. We all have possibilities, we just have to make the choice to accept them.

As an Ambassador for the Buddy Cruise and a frequent attendee of the National Down Syndrome Congress Annual Convention, I have had the privilege of meeting many children, young people, and adults with Down Syndrome as well as with other differing abilities.  While they are all unique, and all have their own ‘level’ of functioning, they all have talents. Some are gifted speakers, some are actors, some great friends, while others are artists and musicians. Each person is valuable, each person has gifts, each person is important to their family, and each person has a purpose on this earth.

Life is risky and there are no guarantees. We are all one accident or illness away from ourselves having differing abilities.  I cannot say it was always easy but I am stronger and better for the challenges we have faced together.  I would not trade this journey for anything nor would I change my son. The next time you are tempted to write someone off or dismiss them due to their differences, any differences, I would encourage you to take a moment and reframe the situation.

I wrote this book to encourage parents, kids and anyone who would read it.  Each of us has great value and a unique purpose on this planet. I hope this book encourages those who feel different, parents who are facing new challenges, and the children who read the message. The final line of the book says, “I may have had you all planned, but God knew better.  He knew exactly what I needed.  His factory never makes mistakes.”  Whether it is someone you know or yourself, remember, you are enough. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.


When I Ordered You is the brand new book by author and speaker Deborah Bradshaw. It is both a poem and a children’s book. When I Ordered You was written from the perspective of a mother’s challenges and the encouragement she found in raising her son with Down syndrome. Her unique perspective will encourage others along the journey and help children understand that they have a wonderful value and purpose.


When you are faced with a new diagnosis, the worst-case scenario is often presented.  My son has far surpassed everything that they told me he would not do.  He is amazing and valuable and I wouldn’t trade him or our journey for the world. Through the message of the book, I wanted to encourage others that there is hope. Life may not be what you planned but if you look for the gifts, you will find them.

The Target Audience:

The book is for everyone – kids, parents and adults. It is especially meaningful to people with differing needs and parents of kids with special needs. The book transcends any particular age and has something to offer to all. It especially speaks to those who feel disenfranchised.


Two of my favorite lines from the book are “ What I didn’t order were the things I would have to do and learn to help you to be your best but in teaching you to be your best, you have taught me to be my best”.  Another line states, “To believe you have a unique purpose and that you are here to fulfill your purpose, just as I am here to fulfill mine.”

Excerpt from When I Ordered You by Deborah Bradshaw
Page 10
When I imagined our life, I imagined a life filled with
Saturdays at the baseball game and walks in the park.
We’ve had those, but it did take you a little longer to walk
so we used a stroller instead of our feet.

Page 14
I ordered a child who would hurry up so we could get
places on time and do the maximum possible in a day;
instead you taught me to slow down and see the sunsets,
birds and grass, to appreciate the moment instead of the

Page 22
Instead you have taught me to keep
going when I thought I couldn’t,
to persevere in spite of what seemed
insurmountable obstacles at the time,
to have faith in the abilities, plans
and hope not yet seen.

About the Author, Deborah Bradshaw:

 Deborah Bradshaw Author of When I Ordered You Deborah Bradshaw - Raising a Son with Down SyndromeWhen faced with a decision that would change her life forever, Deborah found the strength to move forward and to take the chance to embark on this new journey. What followed were soul lessons regarding the value and purpose in each of us. Deborah Bradshaw is the mother of two sons, an inspirational speaker and trainer, founder of a social media company and the author of 5 books, including her latest title, “When I Ordered You”. She is passionate about encouraging others to find the value in themselves.

Follow Deborah Bradshaw:

About the Illustrator: 

Paul Riddle, illustrator (photo), Deborah Bradshaw Author of When I Ordered You Deborah Bradshaw - Raising a Son with Down SyndromePaul Riddle is an 18 year old high school graduate, with plans on majoring in graphic design with a focus on illustration, and a minor in literature/ journalism. When given the opportunity to do the illustrations for “When I Ordered You”, he was thrilled.  Inspired by the theme that “every person has value”, he was motivated to convey as much of the heart and warmth of that message.  This book is his first published illustrative accomplishment.

READ Also: Interview Deborah Bradshaw Advocate for People with Special Needs, Author of When I Ordered You

Buy Books By Deborah Bradshaw:

  • 7 Days to a Gluten-Free Diet by Deborah Brandshaw – December 30, 2015Buddy and Friends: Buddy’s friends may have challenges but they also have amazing abilities!-June 16, 2015 Amazon.com  Amazon.ca

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.