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To the Parent Whose Child Received a Life-Altering Diagnosis Today

02/23/2016 12:33 pm ET | Updated Feb 23, 2016
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Photo: ThinkStock Images

Today is going to be hard as you arrive at the doctor's office or you pick up that phone call. You will receive a diagnosis for your child that may feel impossible to hear and accept. Maybe it's something you have suspected, but at times doubted, too. Maybe it's something that caught you by complete surprise. Maybe your child isn't born yet, and they are sharing this information as your little one is still growing inside you. Either way, hearing the words from a professional will be difficult.

You may have waited for this day a long time. Maybe it's been months of testing and unknowns. You may have researched specialists and conditions and tests. You may have had to urge your doctor to keep going in the quest for answers. You knew there was something. Or you may not have suspected a thing. Either way, this is going to feel so life-altering. You may grieve for what you envisioned to be.

I know this feeling, because I was that parent yesterday. I sat in the doctor's office with my husband and learned that my sweet little girl has a rare genetic mutation. After a long road of testing and wondering, the answer came. It was hard, it was devastating, and the world stood still for a moment. I reached for my husband's hand for strength, and we kept listening as terms and processes were explained to us. We walked around the hospital holding hands because we needed to process all we learned before heading home. We checked on each other throughout the day, and between tears we assured each other that we will walk this journey together.

If you are that parent today waiting for results, I want you to know that it's ok to grieve. I am just a day ahead of you and things are better already. This morning as I woke up in a flood of emotions, I went to my daughter's room and there she was, unaware of anything different. She reached up her arms and wanted to be picked up as any day before the diagnosis. She is the same as she was, now we just know more. My initial shock turned into more research and a determination to make each day count.

Who knows what the coming days, months and years hold for us. And who knows what it will hold for you. I don't have any cute sayings or words of wisdom. I can only say today is better than the day before. And tomorrow may be better than today. Nothing has changed, and everything has changed. It is our faith, linking arms with friends and one brave little girl that give us courage. And I believe that will be true for you also.

A version of this post first appeared on Joyful Journey Mom.

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