In MY HEART CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE IT, journalist, blogger, and NPR contributor Amy
Silverman tells the story of the birth and growth of her daughter Sophie. The arrival
of this tiny child with an unexpected extra chromosome and a faulty heart changed
everything for Silverman, her husband, and their first-born daughter, Annabelle.
From the book:
I stood alone in the Phoenix airport on a hot June night, giggling, having just
discovered the going away gift my barely 10-year-old daughter Sophie left on my
phone, in the form of 39 self-portraits and a two-minute video.
The photos are all close-ups of her face – slightly crooked bangs, more-than-slightlycrooked
teeth, smiling, frowning, goofy-with-her-tongue-out. In the video, Sophie
alternately sings one of her favorite songs, “Gangnam Style” and begs me to take her
along on this work trip to New York City, but mostly she talks about how much she
loves me. This is a familiar refrain, and one that for me never gets old. Not yet, at least.
"You are the best mom I ever had,” she tells me. On homemade cards, in handwriting
only I can read, she writes, “I love you because I love you because I love you.”
And this time, on the tiny iPhone screen: “I love you so much my heart can’t even
A writer of enormous courage and even greater heart, Silverman confesses that
before her daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome, she was the shopper
who’d switch lines at the grocery store if she noticed that the bagger had special
needs. Sophie’s diagnosis forced her to confront limitations head on – both her
daughter’s and her own.
To make sense of it all, the award-winning journalist started asking questions,
gathering material, and writing her way to a greater understanding of Sophie,
parenthood and ultimately herself.
MY HEART CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE IT is the parenting book Silverman desperately
wanted to read but couldn't find. It's part memoir, part investigative reporting,
part parenting manual — a crash course in genetics, history, politics, pop culture,
education, medicine, health care policy, marriage, motherhood and family.
By turns heartrending and hilarious, this is a story meant not just for parents of
children with Down syndrome, but for anyone who has been touched by the
unexpected surprises associated with parenthood. It’s a beautifully crafted story
about love, about science, and about coming to terms with being different – which is
something most of us, no matter how “typical,” can identify with.
Advance praise for MY HEART CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE IT
“Amy Silverman tells a story of struggle and triumph, but more than anything else,
it’s a story of love. Every parent will be grateful for the chance to join her on her
journey and to learn from Amy and her family’s courage and commitment to the
possibilities of every life, and to being a game-changer for a more welcoming and
inclusive future for all.”
— Timothy P. Shriver Ph.D., Chairman, Special Olympics
"I absolutely loved Amy's book. It is a book that David Sedaris would write if he had
a child with Down syndrome."
--- Eliza Woloson, author of My Friend Isabelle
MY HEART CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE It was released by Woodbine House in April
2016. The book is available at select bookstores and online at amazon.com.
Amy Silverman is managing editor at Phoenix
New Times and a commentator for KJZZ the
National Public Radio affiliate in Phoenix. Her
work also has appeared on NPR’s This
American Life and in The New York Times.
Amy holds a master's degree in journalism from
Columbia University. She lives in Arizona with
her husband Ray and daughters Annabelle and