I often hear the question of if I were to know what was ahead would I still have started fostering and especially adopting. Boy what a question. Our journey is certainly not one we ever imagined. Not in a million years. I had barely heard of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and I had never heard of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).
However, I can honestly say without pause that I would never change my journey. The children who are in our lives and have come through our lives have all taught me something, mostly patience but definitely also what love is. Over the years there have been 97 children through our lives. They have all been affected by the addictions of their birth families. Addictions that have harmed their birth parents and them in ways that only they will ever be able to share. We have been able to be blessed to know each of these children if even only for a little while.
So often people hear about FASD and they hear the negatives and the hopelessness. I hope to share the fact that this is not what FASD is. FASD to me is my son playing dress up with his sisters. FASD is my 3 year old playing dinosaurs with a tractor set. FASD is the pain in my 15 year olds eyes because people think she is lazy and not that she struggles to remember what is said to her. FASD is my oldest son being locked up for years for a crime that he didn’t even commit but he took the blame for in order to seem like a good friend.
I know that there are hard moments…believe me I know. I watched a baby who had never done anything fight for her life as the damage done prenatally was more than she could overcome. I held her while she found her angel wings. I watch my children suffer through the ignorance of others and at times of myself. I watched my teen son struggle through mental illness that overcame him and finally took his life. I have seen the hard sides. I mourn them daily but I also have seen the powerful and amazing possibilities. I will continue to work for those possibilities as with the right support for people with FASD those possibilities are ENDLESS.