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How to Help Children Understand Their Sibling’s Medical Needs

For parents or caregivers, understanding the medical needs of our children can be challenging and even daunting. So if this holds true, think how your other children are processing the medical needs of their sibling. Whether a brother or sister has an injury, needs surgery, or has an illness, your child may be experiencing thoughts and feelings that he or she does not know how to express. Some thoughts and feelings that your child is experiencing may include …

  • Missing you and/or his or her sibling. 
  • Not understanding the extent of the needs, leaving him or her to  feel worried or scared.
  • Feeling guilty.
  • Having a desire to help but feeling unsure how to help.

As you lean in to help your child process his or her understanding and feelings surrounding his or her sibling’s medical needs, remember the following strategies: 

  • Be honest with your child, and share age-appropriate information. Make sure to leave room for questions.
  • Validate your child’s feelings, looking for changes in behaviors and feelings.
  • Spend special time with each family member individually. This could be as simple as watching a movie, enjoying a treat, or playing a favorite game together. Make sure to bring levity to the special time together and have fun.
  • Try to keep things consistent, including your family routines, rhythms, rules, and expectations.

Show Hope’s mission is to care for orphans by engaging the Church and reducing barriers to adoption. Those barriers include the financial barrier (addressed through our Adoption Aid grants), the medical barrier (addressed through our Medical Care grants), and the knowledge barrier (addressed through our Pre+Post Adoption Support and Student Initiatives). 

Through Show Hope’s Medical Care grants, families receive financial assistance with the medical expenses for their children welcomed home through adoption, whether it is a pre-existing condition or a need that just recently developed. Today, our average Medical Care grant is $6,000 and can be applied to varying procedures, treatments, equipment, and rehabilitative therapies. As our Founders, Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman, once shared, “We are convinced that families would certainly benefit from additional support accessing quality medical care for their children impacted by adoption. And so our hope is: As families come to know these financial resources are available, they will feel more supported in their journeys to love well the children who have been entrusted to them through adoption.”

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