A year ago was the first time I had ever heard of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). Thanks to my dear friend Julia Gray and her son James, I learned after she became a #1 bestselling author literally overnight that one person really can make a difference in how the world perceives a person with Down syndrome. Please, give me a couple of minutes to explain…
When I approached Julia about writing The Book about James, it was simply a God-inspired idea floating around in my head that was dependent upon me being able to mentor her. I had no idea when I asked Julia to consider my book proposal that she had already dreamed of being able to write a book one day. I became her project manager, and (not so) suddenly 1,000 days later, The Book about James debuted on Amazon as the hottest new release and #1 bestseller. WOW!
We first introduced the world to The Book about James on WDSD 2015 with this 2-minute video.
By then, it had already received 5-star rave reviews and remarkable endorsements. We waited with great anticipation after putting the finishing touches on the eBook for its grand book launch on Amazon and Facebook. Would it really make a difference in how people perceived special needs and children with Down syndrome? Or would our labor of love over the past thousand days go completely unnoticed?
In our quest to bring honor and glory to God by telling James’s story and revealing the sometimes raw and shocking emotional roller coaster, we held firm to the belief that we would reach those who needed to hear about the book. As Jo Gilbert, Executive Director of Madonna Learning Center described it, “This book makes you laugh, cry, and give thanks, but it also inspires you to experience the love and joy that children with Down syndrome have to offer. God places children with special needs in our paths for a reason, and he is in full control.“
Fast forward to WDSD 2016. It has been almost a year since the book was released. I was blessed to host the Inaugural Book Signing & Reception for Julia.
Julia even appeared on a CBS talk show, Live at 9, to discuss the book after meeting one of the talk show hosts at her book signing. You can watch the interview here.
As for the overnight success of Julia becoming a #1 bestselling author, you can read all about that here.
So as I reflect back on the untold stress and uncertainty of this book venture, one thing is abundantly clear. We really did accomplish our #1 goal and that was to bring honor and glory to God. Julia’s purpose for sharing her innermost thoughts in the book was simply to challenge people to have the courage to see things without preconceived notions and prejudices is revealing itself right before our eyes. The reviews on Amazon tell the resounding consensus of all those who read the book.
- A heartwarming ride full of love, laughter, tears and fears!
- I was moved to cry for joy and in sympathy and to praise God’s name all through the amazing words on these pages.
- Inspiring, informative, touching, entertaining account of bringing sweet Baby James home from the hospital and adapting to life with a Down syndrome child. I loved every sentence!
- This book will give you an honest, funny, and endearing look into the heart of a mother who has a child with special needs. It will give you hope as you see her feelings transform from uncertainty to total love, embracing all things Down Syndrome.
- You will laugh and cry as Julia exposes herself-the good, the bad and the ugly.
So did Julia Gray really make a difference by writing The Book about James? Absolutely! And what a difference making a difference can make. This is only the beginning. We don’t know where this journey will take us, but one thing is for certain. When we get there, the difference will be extraordinary. A christian movie executive has already inquired about the book. They are looking for a book about Down syndrome to turn into a movie, and The Book about James is one of the books they are reviewing. What an honor and privilege! Even if it goes no further than the initial inquiry and influx of potential books, that is a great accomplishment just to be one of the books the movie executive is considering. Can you even begin to imagine the possibilities if it does go further? We can, and what a difference that would make!