Adoption Kids Motherhood

My Son Has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

My Son Has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Kathy Rau

Tomorrow my son will be 13.  You may not be able to appreciate this milestone but for us (and him) it’s a huge one.

He has come so far.

My son has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He was born 5 weeks premature weighing in at 5 lbs. We finalized his adoption when he was 2-years-old, but he has been with us since birth. During his first 12 years of life he has struggled both medically and emotionally. Along with FAS his medical conditions include ADHD, Epilepsy/Grand Mal, mood disorder, small stature and is academically challenged. 

Our family has had many ups and downs over the years as we learn more about FAS. We have seen first hand the side effects. These include physical and neurological effects on the body. Often I am overcome with emotions. Anger over the life that he was given. Sadness knowing he wants so desperately to feel normal and fit in. Frustration because others judge and do not understand him when he is acting impulsively. I want to shout out to the world that he is not a bad child. He is actually a success story. He is surviving. 

Even as parents we often lose sight of our children’s successes when times are tough. We tend to focus on the negative and we forget how to celebrate each of their successes. We allow how others react to our children to beat us down emotionally. We want to educate everyone we meet about our children so that judgement will not be passed on their behaviors. Is it our job to warn everyone we meet about our children and how they may act at times? Nope. But we want to. Because we want our children to be accepted, loved and seen through our eyes. 

My son has been given challenges most parents would not purposely impose on their children. Despite all of these challenges he fights. He is a fighter. He is my fighter.  He fought in the hospital to thrive as a preemie. He fights in school to stay on grade level. He fights to be accepted by his peers and to fit in.  He fights to control his impulsive behaviors. He fights to be understood. He wants to be seen as a good boy. And he is!

I celebrate his victories.

I ask that each of you celebrate the little victories in your own children. Don’t let others beat you down. If you see a family struggling in public with their child – celebrate them! Celebrate that they made it to the store and they are doing their very best. Don’t assume a challenging child is bad or misbehaving. They have a story, too. Educate your children on acceptance and how to make every child feel included. 

Most importantly I want to tell my 13-year-old son – thank you.  Thank you for showing me what a true fighter looks like and teaching me to love unconditionally.  I heart YOU!

Photo credit: Gilzpics via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

About the author

Kathy Rau

Kathy is raising four beautiful children with her husband, Mark. She loves living in the historic area of Fredericksburg, VA. For over 20 years, Kathy has been a Licensed Veterinary Technician and currently works part time in emergency and radioiodine medicine. Kathy runs a small business called Your Girl Friday, FXBG. Kathy has been blogging for less then a year but loves to share her stories. She has been published on Her View From Home, The Mighty, America Adopts and has had a variety of other guest posts. Her niche is Motherhood, Friendship and Adoption.
You can find Kathy at: www.yourgirlblogs.com IG: krau67 Twitter: @kathyrau Facebook: Your Girl Blogs.

5 Comments

  • Kathy, I rarely get misty…even with pieces that speak to my heart. Your essay brought tears to my eyes as you so beautifully described being a mom to a child with challenges. I was blessed with a healthy son and must add that to my prayers of gratitude.

  • Our daughter is also 13 & has full FAS. It is a miracle she survived to be adopted. She was born pretty much full term, according to her endocrinologist. She was 1700 grams (3.75 pounds) & 14″ with only 2 weeks in the hospital after being born. There have been good times. There have been extremely hard times. But I wouldn’t trade her for anything! This last year in school (7th grade) was the best since kindergarten. She is finding friends. Yay! Summer is still hard because her friends (all 2 of them) go to daycare & grandparents house while parents work. She is not at grade level but a delight to school teachers & staff. I hope your son keeps doing well.

    • Opps! I replied above! I hope your summer went well. Your words sound similar to my own. My son is in 8th grade and still finding his way. I know this will be a life long struggle. Best of luck this school year! Cheers, Kathy

  • Laurel, Wow! Your words are very similar to my own. I am glad your daughter has found a few friends. My son is in 8th grade this year and still finding his way. I know this will be a life long struggle for him. Best of luck this school year!