Child Life Counselors

Today two child life counselors came to speak to me. Their role is to offer support to worried children when loved ones are needing medical attention. The counselors wanted to check in to see how I’ve been managing things with my daughters, and if there would be any way they could support me through this time.

I told the counselors that Ray and I have been very transparent with what’s going on with the girls’ baby brother. They know about his suspected Down Syndrome and together we’ve been learning about what that entails. Educating ourselves and watching YouTube videos about people with DS made us all realize that it’s not scary – it’s just new. Regardless of any defects or disabilities or difficulties he has, Ronin is the child that God has blessed our family with and he is already so deeply loved.

I told the counselors that we’ve also explained to the girls that Ronin might die shortly after he’s born. The girls each understand – at the varying capacities of 11, 10, 8, and 3-year-olds – that Ronin’s heart is broken and right now it’s not known if the doctors can fix it. That they won’t know if surgery is possible until after he’s born.

But most importantly, I told the counselors that we’re a family of faith, and we’re trusting the Lord through all of this. Our girls have seen Ray and me (…mostly me) crying. But they’ve also seen how much we’ve been praying and praising God in the midst of this storm. Every day the girls have been praying, also. And they’re watching our community rise up around us to support us through prayer and other help.

I want to be proactive to provide the girls with whatever counseling they may need depending on what happens to Ronin after he’s born. But at this point, I think setting them up with counseling meetings would not be beneficial; frankly, I feel like it might be more of a stressor at this time. So we’re just going to remain on the counselor’s radar unless I feel like there’s a need for them. They told me I should applaud myself for how I’m handling this for the girls, but how else would I?

Being a mother has taught me so many things, and it’s held a mirror up to who I am and how I act. Motherhood has made me a lot more reflective and aware of my emotions. As I’ve been growing closer to God, my perspective of the world has been changing. I know there are a lot of things that my kids will have to experience for themselves in their own walks, but I will also do my best to shepherd their hearts and minds to Christ. Right now we’re just thrown into a trial-by-fire situation. It’s hard and it hurts. But I know – and I want my girls to know – it’s not without purpose (James 1:2-4).

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