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I sat with tears streaming down my cheeks and buried my head in my hands. “God, I can’t do this anymore!” I cried.
I had prayed, begged and pleaded with God to give my husband and I more children, and he answered that prayer by allowing us to adopt through the local foster care system.
Several years later, I could no longer find the joy and gratitude that had overwhelmed my heart at our son’s adoption. It was lost in a turmoil of tears, rage, misunderstanding and pain.
I looked at other adoptive moms, and it seemed like they loved their children, so what was wrong with me?
Many doctor appointments, psych evaluations and much therapy later, I heard about something called FASD, which stands for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. FASD happens when a mother drinks while pregnant. Alcohol is a teratogen, meaning it crosses the blood-brain barrier. When a woman drinks alcohol, it goes directly to her unborn child’s brain and interferes with whatever is developing at that time. This is why everyone with FASD is affected differently and to varying degrees. Sadly, the damage is permanent, although therapy and a very structured lifestyle can lessen the degree of frustration the child will endure.
The more I read about FASD, the more certain I was that this was at the root of the struggles we had with our son. He didn’t learn from his mistakes–instead he blamed us for all of his troubles. He couldn’t follow directions and his rage went from zero to sixty in seconds. He screamed for hours, but when the rage had passed he came to me begging to be held and comforted. Moments after I held him, he would be off on another fit of anger.
There was one problem with getting him diagnosed; in order for a child to be diagnosed with FASD, there has to be proof that the birth mom drank during her pregnancy. Unfortunately, our son’s mother had denied it when we adopted him.
As we were seeking help, a woman who adopted our son’s bio brother approached me asking if I was aware that the boys’ birth mom had admitted to binging during her previous pregnancies. That was just the “proof” we needed to pursue a diagnosis, and we thanked God for providing the missing piece to the puzzle.
“Before they call, I will answer.” Isaiah 65:24
Now that I knew that I wasn’t the cause of my sons actions (why do moms always think that?), I could focus on helping him reach his full potential. When our son was diagnosed, I cried at the unfairness of it, but God has blessed me with caring friends and opened a ministry to helping others that would not have been possible were it not for my dear son and his disability.
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
About the Author
Hi, my name is Sandra. My wonderful husband Dean and I have been married for nearly 15 years years. We now have 4 children who have a knack for keeping us humble but whom we love dearly. My hobbies include reading, writing and most of all mentoring others through difficult circumstances. I daily lean on God to help me through each day and thank him for the work he has done and continues to do in both my life and my family. Visit me on my blog and social media channels. Tales from Our House, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter.