I went to Children’s Hospital last evening for a program, “Nurturing the Spiritual Journeys of Children with Special Needs and Their Families.” The heart of the evening was a panel discussion by five parents of special needs children, moderated by Rev. Dr. Cathie Stivers, Chaplain at the hospital.
Oh, the stories these parents can tell! Their wisdom and courage and grace in the face of incredible adversity is stunning.
- Love the child no matter what
- The children and their families need a whole village of helpers
- The road can be rough, but spending whatever time is available with the child is God’s precious gift to us.
Christi and David, parents of Ella who died at three months, said, “We realized we couldn’t fix her, so we trusted God to take care of things so we could just enjoy her.”
Susie, mother of Tyler Marie who died at age 12, said, “You can’t be a parent and love a special needs child, and not feel connection with God.”
Two others spoke of their joy in being able to watch their children grow into adolescence and adulthood, and being able to continue to share life with them.
From the lives of children, and the mouths of parents . . . . .