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Chapter Two

"Grieving for the Child You Didn't Have"

I think you need to grieve for the child you didn't have. You were expecting a healthy baby and now feel cheated over what happened instead. I needed to grieve for the "normal" child I never gave birth to. It's good to get your feelings out and cry. I released a lot of emotion by mourning for the perfect infant I had expected, but didn't have. Then I could start bonding with Amanda and loving her for the sweet baby she was.

Don't make hasty decisions during this grieving time. This isn't the time to give the baby up for foster care or adoption. Give the situation more time and thought, and make every effort to nurture this child. Because of my lingering depression, I did wonder if Amanda would be better off without me for a mother. I knew, however, that I could never give her away and wanted to keep her.

In February when we received a letter form the genetic counselor confirming that Amanda was born with Down syndrome, I saw Tom's sad eyes. And he told me that he was depressed after reading the chromosome information. Even though we expected it was true before receiving the letter, it was still shattering to realize our small iota of hope was taken away from us. Everything was out of our control. Amanda would live her life with an extra chromosome and there was nothing we could do about that.

After receiving the letter, I told Tom, "We shouldn't have had Amanda."

Instantly he replied, "I'm glad we have Amanda."

His love for her was already strong and wasn't diminished just because she was born with a handicap. Probably being busy with teaching helped him get through this difficult time so quickly while I was the one with Amanda the most, and so was always focused on her immediate needs and concerned about her future.

Looking back, I know the grieving process was important, so that I was able to get it out of the way and to eventually move on with my life. However, feeling sorry for yourself and your baby too long isn't good. I didn't get professional counseling, but maybe some people might need to go this route to get help.

Just make sure you do not grieve so long for what you have lost, that you miss out on what you have been given.

It's healthy to get your feelings out but if you're in this stage too long, you'll miss out on precious moments of enjoying your baby. And you will have wonderful times with your child with special needs. Later, I'll tell you how much Amanda has added to our whole family structure that I wouldn't have believed possible.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher:, Inc. (February 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591134692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591134695
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,830,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As the youngest in the family, growing up on a farm in Findlay, Ohio, Diane often acted out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school she was the student sitting in class with a novel hidden in front of her propped up textbook. Before starting on her writing career, Diane was a schoolteacher and play director.

She met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they married three years later. While raising their six children in southwestern Ohio, Diane started writing non-fiction. Later, she decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction plus keep sane with a full and noisy household.

Several non-fiction articles of Diane's have been published in Woman's World Weekly, The Catholic Telegraph, Virtue, Down Syndrome Today,, and several other publications. Her book, The Christmas of 1957, was reissued under the title A Christmas Gift. It placed second in the 2010 Preditors & Editors Poll (novel category) and received 5 stars from the Midwest Book Review. The latest title is A GIFT FOREVER. She writes Amish fiction, contemporary romance, inspirational mainstream, chick-lit mystery, and non-fiction books. Her novels have received great reviews from readers and reviewers.

Diane has published through a variety of houses, including Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery, Samhain Publishing, Whimsical Publications, Victory Tales Press and She writes fun and inspiring stories filled with memorable characters. Diane gives thanks to God daily for all her wonderful blessings.

Recently, Diane has enjoyed publishing her Amish romances, A JOYFUL BREAK, Dreams of Plain Daughters, Book One, JUDITH'S PLACE, Book Two and FLEETING HOPE, Book Three. She also wrote a short title AN AMISH STARRY CHRISTMAS NIGHT. Diane has recently reissued several of her books that were previously published. They have new covers with some new material added to them.

Learn more about Diane and her books at

Important Note: A GIFT FOREVER was titled A Christmas Gift and was published by Whimsical Publications. When Diane decided to get her rights back, she changed the title to A GIFT FOREVER and had a new cover made for it.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I can honestly say Diane Craver speaks from the heart about the good and bad moments she has experienced with her family throughout her children's lives. Sharing her own story is her GREATEST gift, and Diane's strength will certainly help those of us who are struggling with mixed emotions about the birth of a child who has special needs. Diane's energy is depicted through the many creative activities listed in Chapter's Six and Eight, and yet the blessings she discusses in Chapter Nine will guide any parent into knowing they are truly blessed with the love of their child! Reading this book will make you laugh, make you cry, and will be a comfort to you when you need it most!
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