In less than 24 hours, you will be coming home. You will have completed yet another stay in a care facility. As much as the facility would have us believe differently, there is no cure for your condition. I explained it once to you, maybe you remember? I also told you there is no cure for the condition you were born with.
You have something called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It is within a group of disorder known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Like Autism, there are wide variations in the symptoms that people with this condition have. This is why we see so many specialists.
Why do you have this?
When your birth mom was pregnant with you, she did a lot of things that were not healthy for you, these included using drugs and alcohol. As much as I want to say that she is evil, I can’t. Without her, we wouldn’t have you. There is a pathway in your brain that was damaged while you were still in your birth mom’s tummy.
So, if you can’t be cured of this, or it can’t be fixed, why are we bringing you home? It’s simple really, you deserve the opportunity to live in the community. Like it or not, the facility is not the same thing as a home, even though it is in a community. Not certain that makes any sense.
For most of the last 7 years, we have fought hard to get you supported services so that you could live outside a facility. For 9 years before that, we fought to keep you out of the facilities altogether. Sadly, we aren’t any closer to achieving that goal. And that is okay. Within the state of North Dakota, which we call home, there is a belief that you can live unsupported in the community. I don’t know if you can or not. But, we are going to sure give it a try.
We won’t succeed if we don’t try.
Until now, every time you have been in placement, you have experienced success. This is owed to the fact that you have staff support 24 x 7 while in care. Which is not something we can replicate here at home.
I don’t know what comes next for us, for you. What I do know is that your mom and I love you very much, as does the whole family. In less than 2 years you will be an adult. Where most young people your age are getting drivers licenses, going on dates, and finding jobs; you aren’t there yet.
We have built a great team over the last few years of people to help us through your life journey. It is my hope and prayer that you are successful. What will success look like for you? Honestly, I have no idea. And you know what? That’s okay.
Sadly, while you come home in 24 hours. It could be another 5, 10, or 20 years before you fully understand what any of this means.
I am okay with that.
Like you said last Spring, “don’t give up on me.”