Our family has been hit pretty hard lately with drama caused by FASD, RAD, past trauma, adoption, all mixed with typical teenager identity issues.
Before I had kids, I told myself my child would never wear unmatched socks, run around with a runny nose, or be outside half naked while potty training. Before I adopted, I told myself I would not be like other adoptive parents who are bitter about adoption because their teens or adult adopted child became out of control. Well, I completely failed with the socks, noses, and potty training vows, and I'm struggling with the adoption one. I love all my kids dearly, and it hurts me to the core when any of them are hurting.
I realize that my youngest kids have a lot stacked up against them. The statistics are pretty grim for kids with FASD. It will be so hard for them, especially the one more affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, to have a good life. Some things, like impulse control and decision making are difficult for any teen, but it is many times worse for a child whose brain has been damaged by alcohol. I don't blame either of them when they struggle.
But I am angry. I'm angry at people who have made policies that make it harder for me to parent my children, that keep important information away from me because my children are teens. I am angry when people gloat when the policies that will harm my family are passed. And if I even hint at having another viewpoint, I am considered a bad, bad person. I am tired of educating people who should know about fetal alcohol yet have no clue. I am tired of people who look at my daughter and tell me she is an average teen who is angry at me because I homeschool her and took away her iPod. I am angry that I have to spend so much energy getting help, but come across roadblocks because my state doesn't even recognize fetal alcohol as a problem. I am angry that my precious children are struggling because their birth mom drank, neglected, and put my kids in abusive situations and yet the kids are drawn to the birth family and their culture of gangs. I am angry that an official told my daughter that when she turns sixteen next year, she could apply for emancipation and decide for herself where she wants to live. The same official told me that my daughter doesn't look MR, and that I don't know how to parent. Maybe I don't. Maybe parenting a child with FASD is so much more difficult, and so different than how I raised my older kids. Maybe no matter what I do, I won't get it right and my youngest kids will suffer for it.
But maybe we'll get through this time, my kids will get help, and I will learn to accept and appreciate in whatever situation I find myself.