This Journey Our Life

Accepting Your Path: Coming to Terms with Your Child’s Diagnosis

Camelia, NICU, Parenting, premature birth, prematurity, Special Needs, Special Needs Parenting, Visual ImpairmentRachel

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Yesterday I shared about the day I found out my daughter was blind
 
Yet there have been times I’ve struggled to accept it. 
 
Because Cami had outgrown many of the prematurity-related health issues (breathing/lung issues, reflux, etc.) she had battled in the early years of her life, naively I thought her vision might improve with time.

 I was disappointed when it didn’t.

But then I realized: parenting a child with special needs is the path God has chosen for me.

The process of acccepting your child's diagnosis will be based on your unique individuality, but consider the following:

Processing the Diagnosis

Identify your feelings and take time to grieve. Yes, grieve. There is a grieving process involved in receiving a diagnosis because the dreams you had for your child have died. So, go ahead—allow yourself to cry if you need to.

Talk it out with your spouse. Be honest and open in sharing how you feel about the diagnosis with your spouse. It’s vital for each of you to know you have the freedom to share your hearts with each other.

Write it down. Use a journal to write your thoughts as a prayer, or as a list to sort through various feelings, or to document your child’s struggles and victories. Even if you might not consider yourself to be a writer, taking the time to write it down will help you sort through various emotions.

Let go. Sometimes I don’t know the words to speak or pray, but I’m thankful for the One Who does. As soon as I give my burden over to Him, He gives me strength to carry on.

Sharing the Diagnosis

Choosing to share the diagnosis is a helpful step in coming to terms with your child’s diagnosis. Although it is up to your own discretion as to how much information you choose to share with your family and friends, sharing helps the reality of a diagnosis to sink in.

The more I heard myself tell others about Cami’s needs, the easier it was for me to accept her diagnosis.

Getting busy after the Diagnosis

It is crucial not to allow the devastation of a diagnosis prevent you from taking necessary steps to receive the care, help, interventions, and support your child needs. Rather than allowing fears, doubts, sadness, or discouragement to cripple, focus on what you can do to help your child (a task guaranteed to keep you busy!).

Remembering at the end of the day...

You’re going to be okay. This may not have been the path you would have chosen, but your child is still your child and your love for them is still the same.

Coming to terms with your child’s diagnosis may be a lifelong process with several ups and downs. There are still many moments that waves of emotions engulf me, usually associated with typical milestones; times I wonder why I’ve been invited to the picnic for parents of blind/visually impaired children; times when the conversation I’m having with a physician seems like a foggy dream from which I imagine waking up.

But I’ve chosen to accept the God’s path for my life by placing one foot in front of the other, one day at a time.

Today, I’d love for you to share with me how you’ve grown to accept your path. And the days you’ve had trouble accepting? Feel free to share that too. 


  


Have an extra minute?  Click on a box below to check out a three of my blogging friends also participating in the 31 Days series, hosted by the Nester :

31 days 2012b31 days of Pinterest - Pinned to Done button31 Days 2012