Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Would You Say?

This is a great, short video from parents of children and adults with disabilities. The question is simply, what would you tell yourself on the day you received your child's diagnosis? A great question. My mind was a mess with the tornado of thoughts, feelings, hopes, and fears that swirled through it. When the dust settled, I held onto three things that have buoyed me through the storms:

-The day after Dean was born, sitting in the NICU at Children's Hospital Boston and crying, feeling the sadness of knowing that my boy was not ok, and pouring out my heart to God telling him of that sadness. I heard a distinct, though inaudible, voice, saying, My heart hurts, too. I knew we could do this together as long as we had a God who knew us to the depths of our hearts.

-At two days old, when Dean was clinically diagnosed by the geneticist at CHB, and although other doctors were silent or overly negative about a prognosis, he said, "You can give him a good life." And we vowed we would.

-In the NICU, the day of diagnosis and intermittently crying and sitting in silence looking at my sweet Dean, our favorite nurse said to me, "You can do this." It's the first thing I tell new parents of children with special needs. Because they can.

If I could go back now? I would tell myself all these things and more. But most importantly, I would feebly try to describe a love that is not of this world, that is no greater than is the love for your other children, but that is of a spiritual nature that can't be matched. It is a very unique kind of love. And I would tell myself that Dean would end up being one of my greatest teachers in life.

Watch the video and see what these parents would go back and tell themselves.


Lauren Lukason said...

Hey Ali -

So very proud of you. Not at all surprised, and very proud indeed.

Peace and continued blessings...

Ali Foley Shenk said...

Thanks, Lauren. :)

Vanderbilt PWS Initiatives said...

We got chills reading your post. Hearing the phrase, "You can do it," seems like something that would make every parent of a newly diagnosed child feel better :) We can't wait to share your post on our Facebook page.