ďWhy arenít you angry at the birth mom?Ē
Q (from one adoptive mother):† I canít believe that adoptive parents are not just totally ANGRY with the birth mothers for what they did to the children that you are raising and have to put up with all the time!
A (from another adoptive mother):† I don't have time to be mad at the birth mother. I haven't even seen her for 9 years and wouldn't know where to look. She probably has FASD herself. I don't even have time to hunt her down and help her, frankly, which is what I ought to do if I could. EXACTLY because of all my daughter's problems, THIS CHILD is where my attention has to be, not on her birthmother. If I were to track her down and yell at her, when I was done, my daughter would still have FASD and I would still owe hospitals more than I'll ever be able to pay and nothing would be better except maybe that I would be in jail and have some peace and quiet time there.....
I do understand how you feel. You're at a really angry stage that most of us have been to at one time or another.† But are you mad at us for not being mad at someone? Mad at whom? To what purpose? Why should we risk our own health like that, when we need it to fight the good fight for our kids?
You have no idea the amount of damage my child has or what we've been through with her. She has permanent endocrine damage and will need the care of an endocrinologist every 4 mos for the rest of her life, as we were told this month. She has an IQ of 72. She has never slept more than 2 solid hours in her life unless she had a fever or was drugged. And good luck with drugging her - nothing works safely for her. She has some heart damage that we have to keep an eye on. I had to quit working in order to homeschool her because the schools were destroying her, and that means learning to live on one income and that my other children have to do without things their friends take for granted.
Not to mention that I'll never be able to enter the workforce at that high of a level again or at that rate of salary. That's a factor that none of the statisticians take into account when figuring the cost of FASD.† She needs specialized healthcare that our insurance company thinks is not necessary, so we pay out of pocket, in spite of my not being able to earn a living any more.† But who's to be mad at, and what good would being mad at anyone do?
And how can I be mad, when I see her? She's a joyful, loving and spontaneously wonderful kid. I'm lucky to have her. I love her dearly.† She has some good qualities I've never seen in another human being. The good outweighs the bad, and I really would rather dwell on the good than the bad, anyway. I would adopt this kid again in a heartbeat, regardless of how little I was told when I got her ("she just needs some TLC.")
And all of the good things that I've been able to learn and do for her seem to actually be helping! That's the great news! Her educational testing this week showed that she is doing the impossible - that she if functioning 15-20 points higher than her IQ. In other words, I've been able to teach her to work around some of her neurological roadblocks to find more creative and better ways to think. YES! THAT is SUCCESS!!! So am I going to waste time being mad that 15-20 points over 72 is still no where near what my birth children are capable of or what she might have been capable of without alcohol damage? No - I'm going to celebrate this good moment in this life.† And even better, she's happy!!!! We've reduced meltdowns to something that almost never happens, and this was a kid who was melting down several times a day a few years back.† THAT's worth celebrating. That's what makes all this worthwhile.
I'm glad you're not apathetic. To be more efficient, though, and to save your own health, (because you're going to NEED it since our kids don't hit maturity until around 30,) you need to channel your energies where they can actually accomplish something.
Just some advice from an FASD Warrior Queen, Mother from Hell, known in DC as "The Mouth From the South", bane of the existence of woeful service providers.