...because we all have our motley moments!


Monday, October 5, 2009

SFA

Before we had kids, my husband and I LOVED to watch TV, and one of our many favorites was Everyone Loves Raymond. I keep thinking about the episode where Marie found Ray's junior high diary. She was upset because one of the entries read, "I EHAT my mom." Ray had written in a code that he thought his mom would never be able to crack. Moms are pretty smart though, and sure enough, Marie cracked the code.

I have been thinking about this post for a few weeks now. I need to share part of our story, but I just don't want to. I wish I could sugar-coat the story or write it in code, but that would not count as coming out with the truth. My son Alex has FAS, and I would rather write it in code - SFA. If you didn't know, FAS stands for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He was diagnosed with this in May of 2008, and the diagnosis greatly influenced our move to Florida.

Basically, his birthmom drank while she was pregnant. Of course, we don't know how often or how much, but we do know that damage was done. FAS is a spectrum disorder as the affects can range from minor to severe. Whatever is developing in the baby when the mom is drinking is what is impaired. In our case, the FAS has caused permanent brain damage. Alex's left and right side of his brain cannot communicate, so although he may know rules like "We don't hit our friends" his brain cannot stop him from hitting before it is too late. It causes many problems in preschool because he can tell you the rules and the results for breaking those rules. As a result, he is disciplined as if he can control these impulses. In many ways, we are very lucky. Alex has a lot of strengths. He is very bright and loving. His speech is great, and he loves to read. I am hoping this will help him be successful in school.

I honestly don't know why I am having such a hard time accepting this. When we decided to adopt from Russia, we knew this would be a possibility. I even asked several of his doctors along the way if he had been affected by this. It is very surreal. I wasn't really surprised to hear this diagnosis, but at the same time, I was not expecting it at all.

In the five steps of grief, Step One is denial. I have mastered that. I have been denying this for almost a year and a half. In fact, I tried to blog about this a few months ago, but I was only able to tell you about some of his related conditions.

Step Two is anger, and I am doing great with that one too! I am mad at God - largely because I keep asking him to help me be more patient and graceful with Alex. I feel like he is failing me. I am mad that this happened to my child. I wonder what his life without this would be like. I am mad at Russia. I am most mad that this was preventable. I do not want to speak out for this. Why not autism? Aspergers or OCD? Sadly, I can no longer sit by and just be angry anymore. I need to protect my child and be an advocate for him. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Esther 4:14, "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?" Ignoring this for the last 18 months has only caused me stress and heartache. I give up. I will acknowledge this.

I have probably sinned in my anger with God, but I do still know that only He holds the answers for us. I believe He is not rushing in to save us so that we will find a long-term solution instead of a quick but temporary fix. I do believe God pieced us together to be a family, and I do hope to move on to the next step soon. It will just take time and chocolate. Until then, I ehat FAS, but I deeply, fiercely love my child.

10 comments:

Liz said...

Oh, Pam. All I can say is that I love you and Alex and I'm praying for you.

Pam said...

Thanks Liz!

Bryssy said...

Pam, I know this is so hard for you and your family. Just know that we Motley Moms are praying for you and love you and Alex, just the way you are!

fawnda said...

I am praying for you and your family.

I think that God understands our anger, He wants his children to be honest with him, and look to him for help.

Donna said...

It's hard not to be angry at the woman who so blatantly disrespected the life that grew inside of her. Thank God Alex's life is in your hands now, together with Charley and the grace of God, and his birth mother at least had the grace to acknowledge that she was not cut out for the job.

Praying for you all and missing you here in LW!

Pam said...

Thanks girls! Your prayers will do the most to help us, and I am so lucky to have you all in my life! I just wish all my favorite people lived in one perfect place.

Lori said...

I know this has been really hard for you. It is hard for everyone, because we all love Alex so much and want him to be able to have a full and happy life. I think that you and Charlie wiil do your very best to see that he reaches his full potential. It will not be easy but just think what his life would have been like had you not adopted him. You know how much I love him. I see all the great things he can accomplish with your help. I believe that God gave Alex to you because He knew how hard you would fight for him. I know that God could have prevented this because I believe he controls al things except free will, but He didn't. Instead God saw to it that you and Charlie would have Alex, because God loves Alex too and wanted the best for him. A real mom who would do her best to give him the real chance at life that he needs to succeed. I am so grateful to have you as my daughter and Alex as my grandson. I love you both so very much.

Bryssy said...

Oh man, that just made me cry!!

Donna said...

Pam, the comments here are a testament to how much love and support you have built around yourself and your beloved son. I hope this knowledge boosts you on the tough days, soothes your ragged nerves on the rough days, and offers a peaceful reminder of love every day!

Pam said...

Girls, thanks so much for your love and support. We have had a little easier week this week, which I am sure is a direct result of your prayers! You all are precious gifts from God to me :) I love you!!