Today is a little cold and definitely it is a bit dreary! Days like this it is so hard to be a positive person but I guess that is why I have to try a bit harder! I so enjoy the fact that I have the wonderful opportunity to be at home with my wonderful family and live in the country where we are able to have a way of life that is very kid friendly. I am very blessed in this and I so appreciate it. As we sit in front of our window and watch the “Lamb-pede” every night (for those of you who don’t know what a Lamb-pede is it is at dusk when all of the lambs begin running and jumping around it is hilarious and great entertainment!) I get to hear all of my kids and how much they enjoy being here in the country.
It is hard to believe how big all of the kids are getting. To know that D is now officially a teen and the youngest JB is now almost 5! To realize that my oldest V is almost not even a teen at all anymore! The adventure of getting to watch these kids grow and discover the world has been such a gift and has been pretty interesting. I think one of the things that has amazed me the most is that truly friendships have been made or broken over the whole issue of FASD. I never expected that. I never realized that this would be something that people who did not live with it cannot understand at all. Not only can some people not understand but they do not understand why it becomes such an important cause to people who are dealing with it. We start to understand how devastating it can be and we become advocates to try to help people understand how important it is to not drink while pregnant. I know prior to my children I had no clue just what FASD was or how important it was to not drink at all when getting pregnant or really just when you are sexually active.
I know that there are people who have just said when times were hard that we should just “give them back”. I have often asked how many others would give back their children to which I have always gotten oh that is different. I don’t understand how that is different. Hmmm I guess I am not sure how but this is how my friendships have changed. I have such amazing children and I am so blessed to have been part of their lives.
Our oldest son V has had a rocky road but he is now settling down and he is training to be a firefighter. We have been so incredibly blessed to be able to meet his birth father and his girlfriend. They are fast becoming part of our family and they are so amazing.
My son D has had a hard year with his mental health issues but he is such a survivor and is doing so much better. We still are working on getting meds that work well and also he has such a wonderful therapist who is helping our whole family. On top of having FAS he has inherited biological mental health issues.
My daughter R is doing well. She is so tiny still and she is very aware of this. She hates when people comment on how little she is but it is something many people seem to notice. She does like to try to pull the “I have FAS” card every once in a while but we are quick to remind her so do the other kids and they still manage to do what to get their chores done. She hates it when we point that out but is quick to recover.
M is the next girl and is a wonderful little girl. She hates to ask for help and so is struggling in school at this point. She is a beautiful little girl who has physically matured at a rate that is too fast for someone of her age. She looks years older than she is and this worries her father and I a lot. She is a compassionate child who wants to please so badly and worries about being “normal” way too much. She is always pointing out things she feels she does badly versus looking at all of her talents. She is an incredible artist but what she concentrates on is the fact that she cannot read well.
Doodle bug is next and he is still struggling at times with medical issues but he is also certain that if he can only live to be 100 he will be able to become a fire breathing dragon. A very estimable goal to have. He has had a lot to deal with due to his prenatal exposure to alcohol but they gift he has is for doodle he is more than okay. He does not in any way see himself as different like some of the other kids do. He feels he is okay and that everyone loves him. I wish I had as much certainty that all was well in my world.
F is the next girl and she is also a very happy girl. She knows that she is a beautiful girl who has a beautiful singing voice and is a great dancer. F can memorize any movie or song right away. She may have had a significantly stressful birth but she is a survivor who will find a way to get through life with a smile on her face. F also has the gift that she is cognitively delayed enough that to her she has no issues and she is just able to be happy with out worries most of the time.
K is a child who struggles. She had such a traumatic birth that she is a spastic quadriplegic. She wants so badly to be able to play like all of the rest of the kids. They include her in all they can but she really wants to be able to just do it the way they do. I wish that I could fix it for her. She is very smart and I wish that the world would look past her physical disabilities and see that she is an incredible little girl. She will go far in this life because she refuses to let anything hold her back. She will find a way to do it no matter what is happening.
JB is a busy man who is sure that he will conquer all. I tend to believe him as I know that he is pretty determined. JB is fairly certain he is a super hero. Not sure how to convince him he isn’t. He is sure that he will be taking over the ranch any day now too. He likes to pretend he is putting up hay. He follows his dad and does everything that he does. He is the child who most looks FAS. He also has ehlers-danlos syndrome which affects his connective tissue and can be very painful. The interesting gift that FAS gave him is that he is not in as much pain as he would normally be.
Our other son AJ is another fighter. Being born with FAS and very early he made it home only to have a parent end up shaking him. He is now non verbal and has had lots of issues secondary to shaken baby syndrome. The thing is he doesn’t seem to care. He is an amazingly happy child. He is learning to walk despite the fact that he was supposed to never be able to. He has learned to say mama and I am so excited to hear that word from him.
I could brag all day long about my children. I know that they have taught me more than I have ever taught them and I am still learning. All I know is if we listen we can learn so much.