We are foster parents and in the process of adopting one child (hopefully another child also) who have both been exposed to alcohol before they were born.
Over the five years of being foster parents I think I can say with certainty that we have had ONE child WITHOUT FASD in our home.
The one thing I have learned in five years is that EVERY child is different.
Here are some things worth knowing:
- There is NO cure for FASD.
- You will, or may, hear stories of kids with FASD and how they act. Let me reiterate... It affects everyone differently. Please don't judge my kids without knowing THEM.
- Some people have asked us why we would "take on" children with FASD, knowing the potential problems they will encounter in life. My spouse and I have talked about this a lot, and I guess I would ask - "If not us, then who?" These kids are here, alive and growing up. Where should they be? Certainly it is every parents dream to have a perfect child, but there are children out there with imperfections, and they are no less deserving of a loving home than any other. So that's why. We don't have our heads in the sand. We KNOW there are potential problems, but we will educate ourselves, and we will advocate for our kids, so if not us, then who?
- FASD does not impact IQ.
- There may be NO outward signs, physical signs, of FASD. It is brain damage.
I am sure as we raise our family that I will post on FASD and the impact it has on our lives. I am preparing now with my spouse to go to an FASD conference where we will hopefully learn more ways of intervening on our children's behalf.