Encouraging a Friend who Has Received a Pre-Natal Diagnosis
01 Jun, 2020
Often times we think of pregnancy as a happy, exciting time. This is true. However, this can also be a season full of uncertainty that brings with it many unexpected hardships. For some, a simple appointment meant to bring the much anticipated news of “boy or girl” turns into an appointment discussing treatment options and possible termination of a pregnancy. For couples who have received an adverse prenatal diagnosis, this news often comes as a shock. The shock is only deepened when a medical professional offers an abortion due to the “poor quality of life” the child may experience.
A couple may leave this appointment no longer thinking of nursery colors and outfits to purchase, but instead thinking “Will my child ever be able to walk?” “Will he ever be able to talk and get a job someday?” “Will I get to walk her down the aisle at her wedding?” This news can be scary and overwhelming. The best thing you can do for a couple who is experiencing this is to offer support. There are many resources available to parents of a child with special needs. Here are a few things you can do for a friend who may have received an adverse prenatal diagnosis:
- Be Present. Your friend may need someone to listen as she shares her fears or as he processes his emotions. You don’t need to try and fix the situation, it’s out of your hands. However, just being present with a friend is vital.
- Be Supportive. If your friend allows, offer to help them find resources available to help. You can do research and share knowledge to help them realize this doesn’t have to be as scary as they once thought.
- Pray for your friend and their family. Ask God to give them peace and grant them favor in finding helpful resources. Pray that God will use this child to help each member of the family grow more into His image and likeness.
- Provide Meals. Sometimes something as simple as dropping off a meal can relieve such a burden for a family. This will remind them how much you care for their family and that you are there to love and support them.
- Offer Child Care. If the couple has other children, offer to watch the kids for a night or afternoon so the parents can go on a date and spend some quality time together without having to worry about keeping an eye on little ones.
A prenatal diagnosis of a disability does not have to be scary. Instead, it can be seen as a gift to the family. God entrusted this family with a child who may need a little more love, some extra assistance in life, and a bit more patience. It will not always be easy and yes, there will be challenges. However, that does not mean the journey will not be worthwhile. This child will be a blessing no matter how long her life, or how great his “disabilities,” each child has immeasurable value and worth and is deserving of love and life.