Friday, February 18, 2011

Our New Love

Scott is my adopted son. He is now an adult.  He has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or FAS. His birth mother drank alcohol while she was pregnant. As a result he has had a ton of challenges in school and in life. He has a cleft palate, which means that the hard palate on the top of his mouth had a hole in it. Before it was repaired food would come back out through his nose. It was difficult for him to suck on a bottle to the point it wore him out and he went into cardiac arrest. As a result they had to put in a feeding tube. It's repaired now and the food tube is out, but he still has issues with food textures and is a picky eater as an adult. Getting him to try anything new is a real challenge. He's an adult and still thinks Mac and Cheese and Hot Dogs are the only edible food groups.

Scott's cause and effect are damaged. He is very literal and has difficulty taking what he learned from one situation and applying it to a new situation. People become frustrated with him, because they expect him as a young adult to be able to think about his actions before he acts. But his cause and effect is so damaged from the alcohol that his lack of impulse control (ie ADHD) takes over. And when you talk to him about the choices he made, you can tell he meant well-but didn't think it through.

For example he is forever leaving the house and not telling me where he is going. His rational is that I may have laid down for a nap and he didn't want to wake me to tell me where he was going because he knew I didn't feel well. Yet he doesn't think to leave me a note or leave a message on my cell phone. And we go over and over this...... He feels terrible afterwards but the next time the situation is slightly different so in his mind it doesn't apply. (ie I was on the phone for instance)

Having an adult child with a disability is much more challenging than when he was in school. While he was growing up there were all kinds of services available. Now however because his IQ is average he doesn't qualify for most services. And now he needs services more than ever. Just because he turned 18 doesn't mean that he was magically cured.

He is unable to live on his own because others are so willing to take advantage of him. He will give his last penny to someone because they want to get a dog. Forget about the fact he has holes in shoes and the money was supposed to be for new tennis shoes at Wal-Mart. Another time a girl friend's father tried to trick him into paying for an apartment for the father and daughter. Scott had no concept that he didn't make enough money to pay for an apartment for himself, let alone the girl friend. So as a result I have legal guardianship. And at times it is a challenge, because Scott sees it as controlling, but other times tells everyone," I need to live with Mom. If I lived on my own, I would die." And he is sincere when he says this. He took off once on his own and on his bike. He was gone overnight. He called me the next morning shaken and begged me to come and get him. I am still not sure exactly what happened. All I know is that he tried to get a job and no one would hire him. And then apparently the bike, God, and Scott got into a huge fight. Scott was thrown from the bike and thankfully God helped Scott see the light. But I am clueless as to what was said. Thankfully he was only slightly banged up, just enough for God to get his attention.

I have told his pyschatrist that I need a book on how to RAISE an adult child with FAS. And I do mean raise. He's still functioning at the pre-teen level but he is in an adult body. And his friends are adult. He wants the priveleges of being an adult, but is unable to handle the responsibilities of a teenager, let alone an adult.

I somehow have to set boundaries, but I can't ground him because he will just take off. Talking to him doesn't work well because his cause and effect is damaged. Although when he is calm afterwards, I can usually break things down into small parts and figure out where his reasoning went wrong and go from there. But boy it is still very stressful for both of us trying to figure out how to get him from point a to point c without ending up on tangents x,y and z.

However, I do love him to pieces:) And thinking about when we brought him home from the adoption agency still gives me a warm feeling. He's 6 months old in these pictures, but he is still wearing newborn clothes. A nurse gave him the puppy to hold his pacifer when he was in NICU because he didn't have the strength to hold it for himself. At the time the puppy was bigger than him, look how much he has grown! And for the record the puppy still sits on his dresser as an adult!

The materials I used for this project were all recycled from stuff I had in the scrapbook room. I decided to use older stuff to make it go with the time period of the picture. (So maybe I will get lucky and no one will notice it took me almost two decades to get the pictures scrapbooked? LOL)

Have a day filled with the little wonders in life:)


  1. So nice to share with us this side of your life! You were and still are very brave when you decieded to adopt Scott, knowing that he had health problems!
    Lo is perfect!!! And at this age Scott is so adorable!!!

  2. Thanks Maria,

    I am hoping that maybe if I speak out about the challenges of raising a child with FAS and the fact that it does not go away when they become an adult, maybe it will touch someone enough not to drink while they are pregnant.
    Scott is a great kid, I love him to death, but he certainly didn't deserve the consequences of his birth mother's choices:(


  3. I completely agree with Maria, you're really brave and it's really great of you to take a decision like this. Unfortunately people don't think of the consequences of their acts before they do anything, this applies to almost everyone. And in this case i really think it's horrible and immature for a mother to do this to her own baby without even thinking what will happen to the baby. I honestly wish all those people could understand what they're doing and stop it before it's too late. But anyways, all that matters now is that Scotts's all safe and growing very well thanks to you, he's very lucky to have you, i truly believe this :)

    Very nice layout, the pictures are very cute!!!


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment! I appreciate all of my wonderful readers! Elizabeth