After we had our second child, Genevieve, we were faced with the difficult decision of whether or not we wanted a third child. Braden had already been diagnosed with A-T, and Eve was so small. Our world was sleep deprived and topsy-turvy. We had frozen embryos that needed their fate decided. We took our time making the life changing decision. Along the way we were faced with plenty of opinions, but the pervasive one was, “Are you sure that it’s fair to bring another child into this world, when they are going to be forced to love and lose one of their siblings?”
Every time a variant of this question was posed I cringed. I suppose one could choose to view the world in this way. After all, if my children are lucky enough to form a deep bond, losing their brother would leave a deep wound. That much is inherently true. That point simply cannot be argued. However, I would rather choose to view the world in a much different way. By having a sibling with special needs, who is differently abled, has a terminal condition, my children will all learn far more than their peers about life. They will hopefully have more compassion, more zest for life, more patience, more understanding, more, more, more. I hope they will learn that life is a precious gift and not to be squandered. I hope they will learn valuable lessons about helping and respecting those around them. I hope they learn that life isn’t always fair, that bad things can happen to good people, and that it’s not always about the cards you are dealt but how you play them. I hope they see the good, the beauty, and the valuable lessons learned. Yes, there will be hurt and loss. However, the bigger loss would be not having the chance to know such an amazing, funny, and incredibly loving brother.
My little family has its own normal. It has its own comfortable rhythm. There is beauty in that we all love each other just as we are. We will have plenty of tough life lessons ahead, but that shall only make us stronger.