Friday, December 23, 2011

Why we wrote this book

Author Tamara Mussella bought ten copies of "A Special Mother is Born" to share. She put one in her parish library. This was a note she received two weeks later. We wrote this book for exactly that reason to move people by our stories and inspire them to help women facing a prenatal diagnosis. 

Dear Tamara,  
I picked up your  book when I went to check on the parish
library.  I hadn't planned on reading the entire book, but before I
realized, that is exactly what  did.  Your account of Mary Faith's birth was
beautiful.  I cried when I finished your chapter.  Would you write a short
review of the book and it can go in the Bulletin under the parish library
  I am sure there are couples who are facing this choice.  

A Blessed Christmas to you all. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I am speaking at Family Research Council tomorrow

Follow this link to the live webcast at 12 noon EST. Please pray for me as I discuss Down syndrome; Disaster or Divine Smile?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Signing and Talk at Our Lady of the Island in Eastport, NY

You are invited to a special event at Our Lady of the Island Shrine in EastportLong Islandon Sunday, December 11th.

Immediately following the 11:30 Mass (around 12:45), we will be hosting a one hour presentation and prayer service for anyone
who shares their life with a child with special needs.

Author Leticia Velasquez (KIDS; Keep Infants With Down Syndrome; and contributing author, Eileen Benthal(;,
will share some insights and encouragement from life and their newly published book, "A Special Mother Is Born". We will also have some time to pray with families following the sharing.

If you are able, please join us for the celebration of the Mass at 11:30.
Steve and Eileen and their special daughter, Johanna will be leading the music for this liturgy.

We hope to see you there!

Warmest Regards,  
Leticia Velasquez
Eileen Benthal

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Tour Diary; My appearance on "The Arena" with Michael Coren

It was quite an experience taping part of "The Arena" in CNN studios in New York City.

The show went fairly well, Michael was running behind and only had me on five minutes. He promised to have me back on again, and I look forward to it. There was so much I want to discuss.
I can't find an archived show, but I'll post it if I get it.

He asked me about how I got involved in Ds advocacy so I told him about trying to discuss Ds with local doctors in NY with little success, so I took to the internet, and ended up in TV and with my book.
Michael then asked did I take discrimination against those with Down syndrome, in the form of the 92% abortion rate personally, and I said that I do take it personally despite the fact that we did not often see prejudice in person, mostly I think because Christina my nine year old is so charming, but that it wounds me viscerally when I think of how 92% of babies with Ds are aborted, and know that with MaterniT21 this is likely increase 50 fold.
The most challenging question was next, Michael told me he was getting personal, and then asked me if I would take away Christina's Down syndrome if I could.
That was difficult and put me on the spot, because there's lots of discussion in the Ds community about whether people with Ds will be changed if new medical advances offer drastic changes in their learning and memory. So I said I wasn't against using such therapies if they became available and were safe, but that if she took such medicine, Christina would be more herself, since she would only be more able to express her thoughts. I said I didn't wish for Christina's Down syndrome to be taken away, because it is part of her. I hope that was a good answer, honestly I have difficulty deciding how much my daughter is due to her enhanced chromosomes. We don't really know, do we?
I am very grateful for the opportunity to advocate for the unborn with Down syndrome on "The Arena" and look forward to returning to the show.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tuesday book signing at the Catholic Information Center in Washington DC

I will be in DC this coming week.
On Tuesday

I will be interviewed on WME 1160's local radio program, Catholic Matters with Irene Lagan at 8 am.  
At noon; 

I will be at the Catholic Information Center at 1501 K Street, NW. 
and in the evening, 
 I will attend a reception for the Jerome Lejeune Foundation to learn of the latest Down syndrome research. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Review by contributor Dr Gerard Nadal

Not only am I honored to know this amazing father, husband, scientist, writer and pro-life advocate, but I am privileged to work with him in this year we have dedicated to raising awareness of the precious lives which are lost to abortion due to the fear women feel after a poor prenatal diagnosis. Here is his moving, intensely spiritual review:

Over a year ago, friend, Catholic blogger and co-founder of KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome)Leticia Velasquez asked if I would be interested in contributing a chapter to an anthology of stories by parents of special needs children, A Special Mother Is Born. It was a book a couple of years in the making, and I agreed. I thought the title bemusing for a dad as contributor, but Leticia assured me that Senator Rick Santorum had contributed, as hadPatrick Coffin. We three would be in the great company of some truly great women.
This book addresses one of the burning issues of our day. With prenatal diagnostics leading to the abortions of the less-than-perfect among us, with parents who are frightened into paralysis by these diagnoses and a medical establishment increasingly surrendering to the cowardice of eugenics, over thirty mothers and three fathers of special needs children have stepped forward to share their journeys.
If one is looking for a feel-good easy read, this book isn’t it. This book tells the story of fear, bewilderment, broken hopes and dreams, and the triumph of love in all of its raw and untamed beauty. It is a window into the human soul, into souls that have been forever transformed by children whose needs call forth what love demands most:
For those of us who have known the unspeakable beauty of being loved by another, we know that the love we have experienced has come at a cost to the one who has loved us. They have given us their time, attention; material, spiritual and emotional substance. They have accepted us with our strengths and pursued us in spite of our weaknesses–even because of our weaknesses. They have wrapped us in their love and esteem, and lifted us to heights we never could have attained by our own efforts.
That is the sort of love that flows through this book like a rampaging river, overflowing the banks that would contain it, and flooding the surrounding countryside. It is the sort of love that is desperately sought after in a world desperate for authentic love, and purpose, and meaning.
The stories in this book are the stories a frightened and weary world need to hear, a world that has bought into the counterfeit culture for so long it mistakes love’s essence–sacrifice–with servility, and fails to see its reciprocity Here’s a teaser from Chapter 13.
Mary von Schlegell is in her eighties and is the mother of Tony, who has Down Syndrome and is in his forties. Born in the age before the therapies that now advance these children as far as college graduation, the only word Tony has ever spoken is “Mama”. Here is Mary’s poem to her beloved son:
As you, my child, are the limitation
So are you the sweetest consolation of my life
And imitation of our Lord.
Clearer than all in my heart,
Your hands marked with the strange line
Raise, raise my compassion
Cling around my heart.
Oh beautiful, calm face
So small, so quiet beside me,
You have kept me from destruction
Oh how can we ever fathom
The strange economy of a loving God?
Why does our trust so often fail,
With salvation springing even here along our path?
Mary’s sentiment is shared throughout this book. Our special children have been our salvation. We perfect ourselves as humans to the degree that we empty ourselves for another. The movements of the parents in this book go from joyful anticipation, to shock and despair, to fear, and finally to the triumph of love and our personal salvation.
The children mentioned here span the spectrum of poor prenatal diagnoses and other challenges, from the trisomic conditions, to autism, to tracheoesophageal fistulas, to brain tumors, Type 1 diabetes, epilepsy, and ADHD.
There are the stories of the doctors who along with family and friends brought relentless pressure to abort, and of the resistance by men and women who felt the depths of betrayal, isolation, and abandonment in that relentless pressure.
Through it all, these are the stories of grace and triumph in the face of cynical abandonment and despair. These are the stories that needed to be told, that need to be heard, that need to be shared. These are the stories that medical students need to read and carry with them into their practice of medicine. So vital are these experiences to our physicians in training, that I will see to it that every medical student who wants a copy of this book will have one.
Next year, for the entire year of 2012, Medical Students for Life, in conjunction with the Family Research Council and KIDS will be hosting a series of medical, psychological, and services conferences addressing the many facets of treating patients with poor prenatal diagnoses and their families. We will be educating the medical students, resident physicians, nurses and the public in a series of live webinars and conferences in the treatment, care and therapeutic management of these special children, and how to advance them as far as technology and therapy will permit.
This book is already getting our year off to a jump-start with pre-publication orders and sales skyrocketing. Books may be purchased by clicking here
In this book, Leticia Velasquez has succeeded in tearing away the veil of silence surrounding the mounting eugenic pursuit of perfection in medicine, and in shining the light of truth on the reality that parents not only survive, but thrive as they pour themselves out for their special children. If we are to stop medicine’s slide into soulless oblivion, we must plant our flag on this hill and defend it at all cost.
Leticia Velasquez has done so, commandingly. The stories are so compelling that I could not put this book down and read it in one long sitting.
If there is one book that points the way forward in reclaiming a culture of life, this book is it. It is triumphal, but not at all in the way the world would expect. It needs to be read, and contemplated, and then acted upon. It needs to be shared and its stories celebrated. Most of all, it needs to be a source of strength and hope to other parents who are facing or will face similar diagnoses.
Read the review on Dr Nadal's blog Coming Home

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Comment from contributing author Diane Grover

When MaryEllen was born, the doctors inundated us with the science and statistics of why she had Down syndrome, what her chances were of this going wrong, and that going wrong, and every thing you can imagine to get depressed over as a parent of a new born baby. While this was going on, I craved reading something about my journey from my faith perspective. Well, 6 years later, there is a book that is exactly that! It is ABSOLUTELY beautiful! I am one of the contributors, and I am VERY proud to be one! Leticia Velasquez it is absolutely beautiful! This book needs to get in as many hands as many people as is possible, whether you have a child with special needs or not, whether you are Catholic or not. It is wonderful! Thank you Leticia, for all of your hard work!

My first customer review is up at Amazon

You can read it here. 

My book is available at the WestBow Press bookstore

You can go here to order it directly from WestBow Press.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The book is in my hands!

There is no way to tell you the excitement I feel, holding our beautiful book in my hands for the first time!
I spent ten minutes telling our UPS guy about the book, he was very enthusiastic!
Now I have to stop dancing long enough to settle down and check the book for errors, then I OK it, and the first printing will commence.
Those of you who have ordered them will get yours shipped next week. If you haven't ordered, them, be the first of your friends!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Theresa Thomas reviews "A Special Mother is Born"

Thank you to my friend Theresa Thomas, co-author with Patti McGuire Armstrong of "Stories for the Homeschool Heart" to which I was a contributor, for your beautifully written review of my book over at The Integrated Catholic Life. 
Here's her opening paragraph,
"A Special Mother is Born, by Leticia Velasquez, is an amazing and moving book for and about “special mothers” – ordinary women called to live to their fullest potential by parenting children with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Asperger’s syndrome. The book contains touching personal accounts (and pictures!) of families chosen by God to raise children with developmental disabilities and other special needs. Each story, by a different contributor, is an honest look at challenges faced by these families. Each story shares one mother’s fears, hopes, challenges, joys and eventual strong faith.  The stories are riveting, inspirational and … beautiful."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Special Mother is Born discussed on Special Chronicles Podcast

Special Chronicles Podcast Episode 27:"A Special Mother is Born," featuring an interview with author +Leticia Velasquez is now available to listen at http://www.specialch
Special Chronicles | Podcasting a message of respect.
This is the website for the Special Chronicles Podcast.

Monday, October 10, 2011

You can now pre-order your copy of my book "A Special Mother is Born"

Great news for those of you who have been wondering when the books will be available!
WestBow Press has informed me that my books are coming within three weeks!

I am taking  pre-orders here on my blog, as well as on my other blogs Cause of Our Joy, Causa Nostrae Laetitiae, Keep Infants with Down Syndrome, and Catholic Media Review.

Just click the paypal button in the margin on the right, leave your shipping information and your payment of $22.50 ($19.95 plus $2.55 shipping for a total of $22.50) by credit or debit card and I will ship your book to your home in one month.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The book cover is in!

My daughters Gabbi and Bella agreed that this was the best photo for the cover. The rest of the design is courtesy of the talented designers at WestBow Press. They really know the subdued, meditative mood I had in mind, and their design is exceptional. It's got a touch of baby pink but not enough to turn off men who might want to buy the book (or the men who contributed to it!). The baby's feet are cradled by the mother's hand, yet, like a proud mama, she is proudly offering her baby to be admired. This could be any baby, any mother, but I want those who purchase the book to see their hand, their baby.
Isnt' it precious?! You can tell I'm certainly taken with my baby!
What do you think?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Moving endorsement by special father and author Patrick Coffin

On the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, I came across Catholic author and radio host Patrick Coffin's exquisitely written article on the brief life and death of his little daughter Naomi Rose who was born with a rare chromosomal anomaly. I asked for the privilege of publishing his story in the sequel to my book, since we are nearing publication, and he consented, if the publishers of Lay Witness Magazine in which it was published, agree. Patrick was kind enough to review my manuscript and offer his review;

"Who knew that a book about grief, loss, and a parents' worst nightmare be so shot through with life, encouragement--and humor?
Having had to say good-bye to a Partial trisomy 9 daughter at age 15 days, I will never forget the experience of helplessness before the suffering of your smallest, most precious, most exquisite little one. Leticia Velasquez has gathered together a moving selection of stories about how good people handled bad medical news; about the sudden surge of courage (usually segueing into a marathon) in the hearts of new parents faced with unexpected circumstances; and about the sanity-inducing reality of prayer.

If someone you love (perhaps you?) is hurting over the severe physical impairments of a child, hand them these testimonies to the power of Christ's terrible, tender love. At a time when so many of these little persons are in the cross hairs of a culture of death, Velasquez has fought back with grace and elan. Read on and find out how.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We have lost a beautiful soul; Peter Kellett

Mary Kellett is the mother of 6 and one half -year-old Peter who passed into eternal life last Saturday, August 19. She wrote the story of his beautiful life for "A Special Mother is Born".
 Peter had trisomy 18 and lived a relatively long life for that condition, thanks to his mother's loving care. She also was inspired to start the apostolate, "Prenatal Partners for Life" to help other mothers whose unborn child is diagnosed with a disability.
I contributed to Mary's site and distributed her pamphlets for years. In 2009, I was finally honored to attend Mass with her and participate in "Healthcare for Gunner" to protest Obamacare September 15th. She is a holy woman and our hearts break with her as she and her family suffer the loss of their beloved Peter.
Eternal rest, grant on to him, and may perpetual light shine upon him!
Here is Mary's message to those who know her.

Dear Prayer Partners,

I have a special request for prayers for my family, especially my children and grandchildren. Our precious son Peter went home to heaven on Saturday August 20th at the age of 6 1/2. The gift and blessing of this little boy can not even be put into words. Peter brought so much joy and love to our family and our hearts are broken and sad. We know he is with our Lord Jesus and our Blessed Mother and this brings us great joy amidst our tears. We trust in God and praise Him for the gift of this sweet child and will continue to praise Him in all things. Please pray God's healing love will give us the grace needed in the difficult days ahead. Thank you for always praying for these precious ones and please keep all families who are blessed with a child who has special needs in your prayers. These little ones are truly "Teachers of our Souls." 
May our Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven wrap all of you in Her Heart and lead to Her Son, Our Beloved Lord Jesus. 
 Thank you,
 Mary and Family

Monday, August 8, 2011

Review by Patrice Fagnant McArthur: Why the World Needs Special Kids

How many times have you heard an expectant mom say, “I don’t care if it is a boy or a girl, as long as the baby is healthy?” But what happens when the baby isn’t healthy? How does one’s world change when a child is diagnosed with major health issues, either before or soon after birth? Is it worth having a child diagnosed with severe special needs in utero if he won’t live long or will have a poor quality of life?

For the contributors to A Special Mother is Born, edited by Leticia Velasquez, the answer to that last question is a resounding “yes.” As a result of her daughter Christina being born with Down Syndrome, Velasquez has become a pro-life crusader, determined to change the statistic that 90 % of children with Down Syndrome are killed via abortion. The parents who share their stories in this book want to educate others about the value and joy of special needs children.

In his inaugural address, Pope Benedict XVI stated that “Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” The children profiled in A Special Mother is Born have Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, autism, brain abnormalities, epilepsy, deafness, blindness, and other challenges. Yet, they have touched the lives of their families and the world around them immeasurably. Some of the children died at very young ages – their parents speak of them as saints in heaven. These are children who never sinned. They are with God interceding for their family members. As Colleen McGuire writes of her daughter Rita who died of Trisomy 18 soon after birth, “I don’t regret one moment of her life. My daughter lived a novena: nine days of love.”

These parents acknowledge the suffering and difficulties involved in raising a special needs child. No parent ever wants to see their child suffer or struggle through life. Yet, the experience has brought them to greater trust in God. Diane Grover writes, “We realized we must surrender it all to God; we must humbly hand it all over to Him. He created this child for His purpose. He created this child for His plans. Whatever comes will happen in His time and in His way.”

Lisa Barker has learned to endure great suffering watching her daughter die. “I’d like to write that everything is going to be okay. It will be, but there is suffering to embrace that I cannot run from. Without Jesus’ life, example and presence, it is impossible to do. But with Him, it can be done, and there can be a sense of peace and joy even in the midst of sorrow.”

Most often, it is fear of the unknown that causes women to abort their special-needs children. Eileen Haupt states, “If only a mother expecting a special needs child could know who her child really is. If only she could feel the joy and the love that she will feel for her baby if she welcomes her into the world. If only she knew how many hearts would be changed by her special baby’s presence. If only she knew, she would never abort.”

There is currently a war going on against special needs children. While those with Down Syndrome have been the primary targets to date due to pre-natal testing, it is only a matter of time before other abnormalities are also targeted. While there are certainly exceptions, the majority of doctors are far too quick to suggest abortion when something is wrong with the baby. They fail to see the blessings and lessons that these children can bring to the world. They fail to acknowledge the inherent worth of every person created by God. We must fight for life for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Grab a box of tissues and read A Special Mother is Born. Whether you are the parent of a special needs child or not, these stories will open your eyes and your heart and help you to appreciate the value of every child God sends to this world.

A Special Mother is Born will be available soon from WestBow Press.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Review by author Theresa Thomas

A Special Mother is Born by Leticia Velasquez is an amazing and moving book for and about “special mothers”, ordinary women called to live to their fullest potential by parenting children with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome, Trisonomy 18 and aspergers. The book contains touching personal accounts (and pictures!) of families chosen by God to raise children with developmental disabilities and other special needs. Each story, by a different contributor, is an honest look at challenges faced by these families. Each story shares one mother’s fears, hopes, challenges, joys and eventual strong faith.  The stories are riveting, inspirational and … beautiful.
Each story has its own mesmerizing beginning. One contributor, Lisa Barker, begins “Boo was born with silvery hair and appeared as if she’d just been whisked away from the fairies.” I was drawn into this description of Lisa’s daughter Rebecca and quickly read and turned page after page,  devouring the account of little Boo’s  life and of  her mother’s wisdom and unique perspective interspersed throughout the pages.
Another personal account in the book begins, “Miracles do happen. They just don’t always look the way we think they’re supposed to look.” And I can assure you, after reading this particular story,  this was a truly a story of miracles!
Time and time again, the blessings of raising special needs children are revealed. The reader gets a rare peek into the personal thoughts of mothers who are engaged in the challenging but rewarding l task of loving and raising a child who is labeled “different” . “I can do all things in Christ Who Strengthens me”  (Philippians 4:13) is a recurring theme of the book and anyone who needs a dose of hope will find it in the pages of A Special Mother is Born.
After these moving testimonies of life, author Leticia offers a well -documented short history of the eugenics movement, and how America has come to reject those persons deemed less than perfect.  The history is concise, clear and just the right length for the reader to understand and commit to memory for use, perhaps, in later discussions with others.
Next comes an account of Leticia’s debut into the public world and work of speaking up for disabled children and  encouraging others to embrace a pro-life view as she became an activist promoting life on Capitol Hill.  Her moving speech given in Washington, reproduced in the book.

One of the most practical and valuable parts of the book is the appendix of pro-life resources for special needs parenting, making A Special Mother is Born  a real help for families facing challenges of a special needs diagnosis.
Many hearts will be touched by this beautiful book. I recommend it wholeheartedly!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Endorsement by disabilities advocate Ched Salasek

A Special Mother is Born is a remarkable and joy-filled collection of inspirational families and their special needs children. The world has declared war on these children because they considered them a burden.  However, Leticia Velasquez shows the world (through the many touching real-life stories from modern-day warriors within the Church Militant) that love always conquers.  This book is an incredible motivational tool that brings about the essence and sanctity of life.”
Ched Salasek, father of six, one of whom has Spina Bifida, and Family Advisor at the ADHS Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Endorsement by Sister Marie-Andre Wilson SCMC

Leticia Velasquez is a devoted and courageous mother, one of the rare breed who nurture their less-than-perfectly-predicted children and receive far more than could ever be expected in joyous reward. By publicizing her own family’s treasure, she inspires others to embrace the fragile lives that will enrich their own.
Sister Marie-AndrĂ© Wilson, SCMC, Teens of Pro-Life Club, Academy of the Holy Family, Baltic, CT     

Endorsement by contributing authorTamara Mussella

Thank you for letting me be a part of such an incredibly special family that was brought together by the tremendous love of our children.
May all of these families be continually blessed by God in all ways! 
Tamara Musella, contributor to “A Special Mother is Born”

Monday, July 18, 2011

Endorsement by author Christine Capolino

Leticia Velasquez is a devoted and courageous mother, one of the rare breed who nurture their less-than-perfectly-predicted children and receive far more than could ever be expected in joyous reward. By publicizing her own family’s treasure, she inspires others to embrace the fragile lives that will enrich their own.
Sister Marie-AndrĂ© Wilson, SCMC, Teens of Pro-Life Club, Academy of the Holy Family, Baltic, CT     

A Special Mother is Born is a remarkable and joy-filled collection of inspirational families and their special needs children. The world has declared war on these children because they considered them a burden.  However, Leticia Velasquez shows the world (through the many touching real-life stories from modern-day warriors within the Church Militant) that love always conquers.  This book is an incredible motivational tool that brings about the essence and sanctity of life.”
Ched Salasek, father of six, one of whom has Spina Bifida, and Family Advisor at the ADHS Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

In addition to beautiful and heartfelt accounts by Mothers of children with a variety of special needs and sincere accounts of their increased faith through their families' journeys, readers will be blessed by a wealth of information for all ages on related topics. Leticia Velasquez's collaborative gem, A Special Mother is Born, should have a place of honor on the shelves of ALL parents. 
Christine Capolino, homeschooling Mom, writer, columnist for Mater et Magistra Magazine and Catholic

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Endorsement by author Barbara Kralis

'A Special Mother is Born.' provides timely information and experiences regarding the Down syndrome child.  Reading Leticia's useful resource will open new doors while empowering parents, educators, legislators, who may have a whole new world of questions, to meet the varied needs of these exceptional children so they are not less valued according to society's beliefs and conventions.
 This book contains up-to-date information for new parents, enabling them to become familiar with the latest resources which help children with Down syndrome to have meaningful, natural relationships and productive opportunities they deserve to develop confidence and talents - to be all they can.  Many such kiddos attend college; have fulfilling careers and relationships, because research has increase a thousand fold over past years.
 'A Special Mother is Born' will help each of us to embrace these remarkable people whom God has entrusted to not only their natural parents but to all of us.
Barb Kralis, Freelance Journalist

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Endorsement by children's book author Josephine Nobisso

The sincerity, frankness, and, ultimately, grace-filled joy of these essays by parents with special needs children will speak to every heart in that they touch on every aspect of the experience.  Readers facing the news that they are expecting a special needs child will find honest echoes to their own range of emotions and thoughts. Families living with or having lived with a special needs child will nod, weep and even chuckle in grateful recognition.  Those who have never had the experience will come away informed, uplifted and enlightened. And those who have harbored fear, resistance--or even worse--toward the reality of this aspect of human life will likely have their hearts and minds changed forever. 

--Josephine Nobisso, author of The Weight of a Mass, Take It to the Queen, and Francis Woke Up Early

Friday, July 15, 2011

Endorsement by Dr Florence Malone

"A Special Mother is Born" is a major opportunity to learn about mothers of children with special needs -- don't miss it!
Florence Malone, Ed.D. Professor Emerita, City University of New York

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Endorsement by syndicated columnist Lisa "Jelly Mom" Barker

"I pray that this book reaches all parents who help their children carry such huge crosses.  I was deeply touched and honored to have my daughter's story included."
- Lisa "Jelly Mom" Barker, author, columnist and administrator of the Catholic Mom Community (

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Endorsement by podcaster Pat Gohn

Story by true story, the parents of A Special Mother is Born echo the poignant and dramatic truth of the Prophet Isaiah's words, "... and a little child shall lead them (Isa 11: 6)."  Come read 33 real-life accounts of parents of children with special needs. This book offers straight talk about the gritty and redeeming "soul" work of parenting as it radiates unvarnished encouragement for anyone facing similar challenges. Filled with moments of faith and frustration, turmoil and transcendence, these Moms and Dads -- and their kids! -- will awaken your heart to the kaleidoscope of life's real joys, and the healing power of love. Leticia Velasquez has compiled a compelling collection of stories and social commentary that shines light on the beauty and dignity of every human person. 
Pat Gohn, writer, catechist, and host of the Among Women podcast.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Endorsement from Catholic Mom founder Lisa Hendey

Leticia Velasquez has compiled a tremendous resource for families with A Special Mother is Born. This book is a must-read not only for parents of special needs children, but for anyone who knows and loves a child who faces unique challenges in life. A Special Mother is Born shares the insights, experiences and personal stories of families who have recognized the true gift of life and been blessed by their lives with special needs children.
Lisa M. Hendey Author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Endorsement from Catholic author Sherry Boas

"If we are to triumph in the war against the culture of death, we must build up our arsenals of beauty and hope. That's exactly what A Special Mother is Born does. The stories here are powerful in their potential to dispel fear and enable even the heaviest heart to soar."
 -- Sherry Boas, special needs mother and author of Until Lily, Wherever Lily Goes and Life Entwined with Lily's.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Endorsement from Catholic author Patti Maguire Armstrong

This book is not just for families of special needs children. Not by a long shot. There is truth, love and joy in these pages for everyone to draw on. We are all disabled; all needing help and all falling short in one way or another.  

During my years as a writer, I’ve interviewed many parents of special needs children and come to understand that special children bring special blessings to their families. Again and again I’ve seen the transforming power of these children. While mental and physical abilities below par are seen as a handicap, the world often forgets to weight the power of a loving heart and innocent soul. In such an equation, which of us is really handicapped?  

Today, when so many end the life of an unborn with abnormal chromosomes, my heart breaks for them. They choose to turn down a blessing that would have expanded their hearts and souls and better prepared them for heaven.   The stories will touch your heart so that you will come away thinking: they (or we) are so blessed!
  Patti Maguire Armstrong is a Catholic Speaker and author. Her articles and books can be found on

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Endorsement from Catholic Online editor Randy Sly

In this wonderful book, Leticia Velasquez has given her readers a gift of parental faith, wrapped in encouragement and adorned with a bow of hope. Through my vocation as well as membership in the Knights of Columbus, I have had the privilege of spending time with many of these bright and beautiful children of God. It is not about special needs but special blessings – those we give and those we receive. I highly commend this book. If you are a mom, dad, uncle, aunt, grandma or grandpa – you may want to keep some tissues handy. These stories will tug on your heart and touch your soul.
Randy Sly
Associate Editor
Catholic Online - International Edition

Friday, July 8, 2011

Endorsement from EWTN Series Host Joseph Pearce

 “As the father of a child with Trisomy 21, I am delighted that A Special Mother is Born is highlighting the gift that children with Down syndrome are to those mothers (and fathers) who are blessed with them. In a barbaric age that routinely kills these children in the womb, such a book is needed as a beacon of light and hope in a darkened world.”
Joseph Pearce
Author of The Quest for Shakespeare and EWTN Show Host

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Endorsement from Renew America Columnist Matt Abbott

"Leticia Velasquez is indeed a special mother -- as are the other mothers (and fathers) featured in this book. In a time when our culture has such little regard for the sanctity of human life from fertilization until natural death, it is heartening to read about parents who love and care for their special needs children. God bless them all!"

Matt C. Abbott
Catholic columnist

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The book is at the publishers!

The last bit of work I did before the Fourth of July weekend was send the manuscript, complete with endorsements and photos to WestBow Press. Their design team is working on the book cover, and I hope to use the cover photo as a header on this blog when I have rights to it.
This is the blog where I will post news about the book, interview the authors, and post any reviews. I hope to embellish this with video interviews, and reviews as well as book tour information.
The anticipated date of release is the beginning of August, just in time for the Catholic Marketing Network in Valley Forge, PA. Look for me at the book signing there if you plan to attend.
Look for our Facebook Page and help us support the book which supports the babies.