Friday, March 2, 2012

FASD: FASD and Christianity......

Perfect!  My real life sister-in-the-journey and friend Julie wrote the post I have had brewing in my heart for weeks.  Being a Christian and having (or living with someone who has) FASD is very different from the squeaky clean life that many American Christians envision as ideal.  Just like her kids,  mine exhibit behaviors which would have them removed from membership under many denominations.  Not that they don't love Jesus, not that we have taught them wrong but simply because their disabilities play out in ways that we consider 'controlable sin' and since they don't stop (lying/stealing/destroying etc...) the churches decision is to often remove them from fellowship.  Not helpful....Not helpful at all to turn our neur-normal backs on those who have permanent pre-birth brain damage. And I'm thinking.....not at all what Jesus would do.

Here is a cut from her post today - link over here to read the rest.

Before you adopted a child, you most likely had an idyllic image of what life was going to be like. I remember speaking with my friend who began on the adoption and foster care journey shortly after us. They were in the process of getting to know a sibling group of 3 who had been removed from their birthparents by social services in our County. I don't think my response to my friend was all that helpful when she proclaimed-- "My husband and I have decided that we will not lower our standards for the children coming into our home. We will expect the same behavior out of all of our children." Yes..you guessed it, I laughed. I didn't mean to. It just exploded out of me. FASD had already been very evident in our kids and knowing the history of the children that were soon to be theirs, I knew that the reality of raising children with permanent brain damage had not yet hit these parent's hearts............


Amen and amen to Julies words.  Parenting these wonderful kiddos is the hardest and most challenging thing I have ever done.  They expose our own sin so completely that we have no where to hide and must be transparently honest with ourselves and the community it takes to raise them well.

Hugs to all of you who are just realizing the 'cost' of adopting kids with FASD - will you believe me today if I say that it is the best thing that ever happened to me?  Really - I was just living the American Dream and living surface Christianity before they blasted into my life.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Imagine this... my family was in a strict fundamentalist church that practiced shunning when my parents started doing foster care (eventually adopting 8). Yeah, they didn't last long there. I agree, best thing that could have happened!

-Martha

Dandelion Wishes said...

I love that last line. I too am living something richer and more meaningful than the American Dream.

Kirsten said...

D--I have a tip of the tip of the iceberg glimpse of this dilemma now that we have several friends with children on the autism spectrum. Just considering the mental energy that goes into discerning what is happening and how to address it, x # of kids on spectra + physical energy + regular-life commitments = my head spinning. But it's not spinning to fast not to pray for them--and you!

waldenbunch said...

I have struggled with years to reconcile parenting my RAD kids with my bio kids. How to understand the "standard" and how it relates to what God expects of us each of us. We desire the same things for our kids but our expectations are different. Sometimes it's hard to leave that bubble of "how good Christian parents raise their children" and enter the land of reality. Prayer covers it all when I can't make heads or tails of it.