Sunday I got to just enjoy the sun and all of the smiles. For a whole day it was just about baby A and his wish. He wished for a riding arena to ride his therapy horse in. See baby A was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). No one told his birth mom. She never understood what it would mean to her and him. She was so young and with no support system at all. She had told everyone how afraid she was to take him home. That she was struggling with her addictions and wanted to be sober. No one seemed to listen. No one seemed to care. Baby A went home after 5 months in NICU. He was a 24 week premie who was the surviving twin. He was still detoxing terribly and screamed almost all the time.
Within weeks birth mom went to her first follow up and told the pediatrician she was really sometimes thinking it would have been best if he had died too. The pediatrician called CPS who did go out but there were no concerns really. Within weeks the pediatrician was called to the ER with a patient who had been shaken and thrown into the wall. Baby A was the victim of shaken baby syndrome. But really his whole family was the victim of a system that has no supports for anyone until something like this happens. Birth mom had been stuck in a hotel room all by herself with no help the whole time and with a baby that never quit crying. She lost it. She felt so alone and so hopeless.
I look at Baby A now and see a little boy who is so amazing. He has already surpassed everyone’s expectations for him. I remember when we first met him. He had been waiting for an adoptive family for a very long time. A lot of people were worried due to all of his medical issues. I am so glad that we were chosen to be his forever family. The thing is that we are not his only family. His birth family is a very important part of his life. When his birth mom was charged with child abuse she was evaluated. When they evaluated her she was diagnosed with FAS and was shown to have an IQ of 59. To think that she had been left for months in a hotel room with a very demanding infant with NO support. I have been asked if I hate her. No I don’t. I feel so sad for her. I will never forget her asking if we hated her. She said she knew something was wrong with her. She wanted to love baby A but she felt she just never could. She struggled to attach to anyone.
So today I watch baby A smile as his dreams are made real by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. He has joy. He has love and he will always be seen as an amazing person. Some days we have to realize that we have to enjoy each of these days of smiles. They count so much more than the days in between.