A Question

“What will happen to Chloe when she’s a grown up?” Zippy asked from the backseat of the van.

I asked him a couple of clarifying questions to try to pinpoint exactly what his concern was.  I decided it was just a general question of concern.  Perhaps he had never tried to picture Chloe as a grown-up, and tonight as he tried to picture it, the picture concerned him.

“Well, we don’t really know exactly.  Maybe God will heal her, and she’ll just be a regular ol grown-up.  But if not, then Mom and Dad will just keep taking care of her even when she’s a grown-up.”

“But what if she has babies?” was the next question.

Oh, he tried to picture Chloe as a Mama, but he couldn’t quite picture it.

“Well, if Chloe gets married and has babies, then her husband can take care of Chloe and the babies,” was my short answer.

It’s weird how seldom I think about the future.  About Chloe’s future.  It is hard to imagine what life will be like if God doesn’t heal her.

One of the first concerns I have is of my back.  My back kills me sometimes now, lifting a 47-pound Chloe.  How in the world will I lift a grown-up Chloe?  I assume I’ll just get stronger as she grows bigger.  I hope so, anyway.

Paul and I always thought that if Chloe doesn’t get healed, then she will just live with us forever.  But that thinking changed a couple of years ago during a conversation with a man who has worked with special-needs families for years.

When he heard of our plan to just keep Chloe at home with us forever, he questioned:  “Oh, and when the two of you die, what will she do?  It seems like her world would come crashing down.”

Picturing a grown-up Chloe totally dependent on us suddenly left alone after our death was a terrible vision.

The man helped us understand that if we eased Chloe into a group home situation — still taking part in her daily care. . . seeing her everyday . . . communicating to people what she means when she makes that sign . . . teaching people how she likes her ice cream . . . making our expectations clear — then she can go years living life with us and in the group home setting.  Then when something happens to us, she, of course, will be sad and will greatly miss us, but her life won’t be turned upside down.  And she will already be used to whatever  living situation; therefore, her life will easier, and the people we trained will know how to take care of her.

These things are difficult to think about and to talk about, but, of course, it is important to do so.

Well, I mean it is important for Paul and me to think about those things.  It is too much for Chloe’s 8-year-old brother to have to think about — to worry about.  Zach doesn’t need to worry about it.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Regina on February 20, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    It breaks my heart that you have to think about these things. One thing is for sure, God is good. He always provides and I am certain that He will help you and Paul make the right decisions regarding Chloe’s care. I am very hopeful that the bond that Chloe has with her cousins will last a lifetime. They all absolutely adore her. I’m praying for you! May you have wisdom, discernment and peace along your journey. Love y’all!!


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