Review Thursday: Bill and Ria Review Embracing God’s Purpose for My Special Child

Posted: January 5, 2012 in Review Thursday
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We’d like to share with you today a book review shared by Bill and Ria Haag about one of our very special books, Embracing God’s Purpose for My Special Child by Malu Tiongson-Ortiz. The book talks about the author’s personal experience in raising a daughter with Down’s Syndrome.

US-based Bill and Ria received a copy of the book from a friend in the Philippines and they wrote about it in their blog which focuses on their stories of parenting a child with Down’s syndrome. If you’d like to read more of their blog, visit them at

Thank you for allowing us to share this review


Your child is God’s tool, His special agent, to make you the person He wants you to be.

Embracing God’s Purpose for My Special Child is a very personal and prayerful memoir and “parenting guide” written by Malu Tiongson-Ortiz, a Filipino mom and advocate for Down syndrome in the Philippines. Her 3rd and youngest child, Clarissa, has Down syndrome and is 24 years old this year.

Malu Tiongson-Ortiz’s religious (Catholic/ Christian) outlook about her experiences with raising Clarissa makes the perspectives in the book different from any other Down syndrome-related memoir I have read so far. She writes about her experience with receiving the diagnosis, various people she has connected with, financial challenges, health, homeschooling, adolescence, sexuality, and how we are stewards, not owners, of our children. It seems the target readers are Filipinos in the Philippines with references to local resources and the section about wills and legal matters only applies within the Philippines.

Reading a non-US based publication was very interesting for me because it offered glimpses and insights into life with Down syndrome in the Philippines. The awareness levels are somewhat different between the US and the Philippines. For example, it seems that first-people language is advocated here where it may not be (yet) in the Philippines. But that may also be due to language translation or pragmatics. Be forewarned that if you are sensitive and easily offended by terms like “Down syndrome daughter”, no matter what the circumstance or context, then this book may not be a good reading choice.

Another example is in the local beliefs and misconceptions (many ridiculous ones) about Down syndrome. One mom thought that kids with Down syndrome were only “born to the rich”. The author mentions that many believe Down syndrome is a result of an incestuous marriage or karma or punishment from God.

What is most inspiring is seeing how faith can mold beliefs and parenting styles. And while cultural, religious, and socioeconomic differences may provide varying landscapes for Down syndrome in each country, the common denominator that stands out is how we all want what is best for our child with Down syndrome and that we will go the extra mile, and then some.

To read more, click here


WE’RE GIVING AWAY 3 COPIES OF EMBRACING GOD’S PURPOSE FOR MY SPECIAL CHILD!!! To qualify for the raffle, post a comment on this blogpost and leave your email address so we can contact you if you win


Embracing God’s Purpose for My Special Child is available at all OMF Lit Bookshops for only P195.

Author Malu Ortiz shares her journey as mother to her Down syndrome child Clarissa. Malu talks openly about her fears and difficulties, and helps others learn from her experience.

The book is enriched with testimonies from other parents of special children, plus useful resources and practical advice.

Malu’s hope is infectious. Be inspired by her firm belief that God has a special plan not just for Clarissa, but also for those whose life she touches.


  1. Joice says:

    Very inspiring. I’m sure that this book can minister to a lot of parents w/ or w/o the same experience.

    I hope to win this book so I can give it to my cousin who can relate totally relate to the story.

    God bless u guys more! 🙂

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