Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm with ya sister . . .

Kari has been struggling lately with the rages that her son exhibits due to his prenatal alcohol exposure. He and his sister were adopted by Kari and her husband Mike years ago. Their birth mom showed up at the house a couple weeks ago unexpectedly on Anna's birthday. She informed Kari she was pregnant again and hoped Kari and Mike would consider adopting this child as well.

Kari has a wonderful heart. She has a great outlook when it comes to sympathy for her children's birthmom. I am not so gracious. I'm angry with her that this illness she stuck her son with was 100% preventable. I am pissed that she was so selfish. I am irritated that she ruined the life my son could've had. Kari has a much more pleasant attitude than mine. She sees this woman's drinking as the addiction it is and understands she didn't make this choice out of selfishness. I wish I could have her outlook and her grace. I am learning.

Kari works for an organization that advocates for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She trains families, professionals and foster parents on the disorder and what that entails for the children they are taking care of. She "gets" it. She lives it. That doesn't make it any easier.

Right now they are struggling with rages. They are blessed to have a program in Minnesota that provides PCA (Personal Care Attendants) hours that provides a care giver to be with each child for a certain numbers of hours a week. I'm jealous. I would kill for a program like that here. Does that make it any easier to deal wth the rages and the daily struggles of FASD? Nope. There are not PCAs in the middle of the night when Anna has night terrors or when Ben wakes up at 4:00 am ready to start his day. It still sucks just as bad. She loves her kids. She wouldn't choose differently now knowing what her life is like. I wouldn't either . . . but it still sucks.

Dustin had been really having issues with stealing. He steals everything. Food is a big one. He doesn't really eat it either. He hides it, hoards it. And we know when we go get something I knew was in the kitchen, or when the dog is trying to dig a hole to get under the couch. Last night he stole a whole box of Little Debbie Cakes and the dog ate all but one, and proceeded to puke today. Dustin is angry and grouchy and foul. He is a teenage boy but with the tempermant of a 2 year old. He is not fun to be around right now. I adore him, but I could choke the life out of him. (not really) His newest thing is throwing himself on the floor and saying, "Geez mom! You hurt me!" when I haven't even been near him. Nice.

He is also the world's biggest whiner! He grumbles, and whimpers, and cries under his breath if he doesn't get his way. It's really easy to say ignore it, but much harder to do when you've been ignoring it for 45+ minutes. This is usually when he perseverates on something. If he gets it in his head he wants to do something, or eat something, or go somehwere he will NOT let it go. He has dogg-ed determination when it comes to getting what he wants. It would be easy to send him to his room when this happens, but the waterbed would be drained, the toilet overflowed, the upstairs set on fire or the dog would be skinned if I let him out of our sight. He has to be constantly supervised. It's tiring and frustrating and now I'm being the whiner.

I hate this disorder. I hate what it means for my family and my child. I hate that I cannot hire a babysitter to have a nice dinner with my husband. I hate that I have to think about the bleak future I see for my son. I hate it and yet I am filled with love for this little boy who didn't ask for this. He didn't ask to be born with a hole in his brain. He didn't ask to be physically abused by a parade of boyfriends in and out of his house as a toddler. He didn't ask to be shufled around from foster home to foster home. He didn't asked to be thrown out when he was "bad". He didn't ask for this life.

He simply wants to be loved and safe and happy.

I'm trying, Dustin, I'm trying. . .


Eos said...

{{hugs}} - I had a foster daughter for three years w/ RAD (although now reading about FASD I wonder if she had that too) and I think I aged 10 years in just those three...what was harder for me for some reason than actually dealing with it was other people's lack of understanding. It was bad enough worrying that she wouldn't lie, steal or act sexually innapropriate w/ someone when we'd go visit but to have people look at me or make comments like somehow it was my fault was although I have no words of comfort just wanted to send you a hug. Is there a relative that understand and might be able to give you the occassional night out?

Ps. I "understand" the anger...I used to feel it too but eventually you get to a point where you understand that it's fruitless...imagine your son as an adult making choices that may or many not affect a child he's helped create...for all we know this could have been his mom's thought processes...damaged herself by whatever had/has happened to her or even self inflicted but damanged nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Kari sounds like a great woman. So are you. It takes time to forgive and move on from the causes of our child's health issues. I have been where you are many times. I think those emotions go in cycles. It is good to admit them and work through them. That takes guts. I admire your honesty. you will help many people by sharing your feelings.

Caustic Cupcake said...

Hang in there, Sheri!

FAScinated said...

I am flattered by your kind words about me but you need to know how important your support has been for me. I so appreciate knowing that there are others who understand. That's the only way I've made it through the recent muck we've been wading in. Thank you. ~Kari

Jo said...

I am so right there with you! Especially the choking them. I, jokingly, sort of course, recently told a friend I need a cattle prod to help us. I get so tired of battling his need for control and possession. He just wants it to keep other people from having it and it gets to me.
And I don't know if it helps or not, but Little Man doesn't have the history of abuse, but I swear, he and Dustin are identical twins.