Dear parents of a child with a disability,
Maybe you are a brand-new parent, maybe you’ve been going at this whole parenting thing for many, many years now, and maybe the child is still housed in your sweet body. Regardless, this is for you.
I see you. I hold space for all that you are and all that you are feeling.
I see your grief—the grief some people don’t allow space for you to feel. It is okay to feel that grief, my love.
I see you try to muster up a smile as someone tells you that your child is a “blessing” no matter what. I see shame fill your eyes as you acknowledge how, just last night, you silently said to yourself that you wished they had never been born. It is okay to have wished that, my love.
I see the agony of trying to decide if it is cruel to bring a child into this world who is disabled, knowing that they will be labeled as “other” for the rest of their lives. It is okay to think about this, my love.
I see your disappointment that you are afraid to feel and acknowledge. It is okay to be disappointed, my love.
I see the hatred and anger and frustration you feel for your body for having created a child with a disability. It is okay to feel betrayed and be angry at your body, my love.
I see the fear that comes up when you ponder whether you can handle raising a child with a disability, and the guilt for even wondering that. It is okay to be afraid, my love.
I see your grief for the loss of the life you imagined for your child and the grief for the loss of the life you imagined you would have as a parent. It is okay to grieve, my love.
I see your heartbreak over the fact that there will be more things that your child “can’t” do than they “can” do. It is okay to break a little, my love.
I see your eyes well with tears at the thought of the pain they feel. I see your heart ache with sorrow for the “otherness” the child has experienced in their life. It is okay to be sad, my love.
I see your joy and the look of doubt when you feel “okay” and “excited” for a split moment. It is okay to be content and excited with what life has handed you, my love.
I see you wondering if it is okay to be happy with them, just as they are. It is okay, my love.
I see your incredible strength.
I see your resiliency.
I see you growing stronger each and every day.
There is space for all of your feelings.
It is okay to feel them, my love.