Thursday, October 10, 2013


I think I have been in blog recovery.  Not sure I am out of it yet, but I am giving it a shot.  I have been using Google Reader for years to follow everybody's blogs and they shut it down this summer so I have not even been reading people's blogs.  Again, I think I have been in recovery.

I also have been super swamped with my job at MOFAS.  I have met some amazing families and I really enjoy working with them.  There is such a huge need, so many families struggling.  I had three main jobs in the youth development field before we started our family.  I loved all three of them.  I love working with teenagers.  And I absolutely love being a Family Resource Coordinator at MOFAS.  I never thought I would find a job in a different field that was a better fit than youth work.  I think I was wrong.

I so wish there had been someone I could have called when Akila was 6 and we first realized she had an FASD.  I called MOFAS at that point and didn't get any support.  It wasn't until I went to a training that Kari was leading that I actually met somebody else who lives this life and understands the dynamics we deal with daily.  She was the one who helped get me into blogging and took several desperate phone calls from me over the years.

I feel that I am now doing that for other families.  I don't always do it right.  I don't always say the right thing.  I don't always have the answers they are looking (rarely do I have the answers as a matter of fact).  But most of the time, just being a parent living the same type of life, makes a big difference.  Last night was one of my new support groups that meets in Eden Prairie.  We had 6 moms at it.  It was energizing.  It went great.  They were super supportive of each other.  It felt right.

Akila had a pretty good spring and summer.  She is in 9th grade.  She is struggling.  Normally, she does fine each school year until November when she starts to feel comfortable and her behaviors start up.  This year, the behaviors started up the 2nd week of school.  I think the pressure of high school is hard for her, and for the first time, she is dealing with anxiety that we have never really seen before.

My heart is breaking.  If I had the energy and the courage, I would try to start up a charter school for kids with FASDs.  The majority of our kids are too high functioning to fit into the pull out special ed programs.   They get eaten alive in the typical high schools if they are mainstreamed as they are so vulnerable and get sucked into drugs, alcohol and all things icky.   Akila is in a small high school where it would be more difficult for her to fall between the cracks.  But the downside is that there are not enough students to offer different levels of math, or other subjects.  She is having to sit through the regular 9th grade geometry, and biology for example.  She is actually doing better grade wise in those two classes, as she has some individualized help.  She is bombing English, as she doesn't have extra help.  We are working on that, but high school is going to be hard for her.

Imani, Hezekiah and Zeke are all doing great.  We had a nice summer full of adventure.  Our bummer news is that the company Michael has been working at the past two years relocated to Texas, so he is unemployed (as of mid August).  Job hunting is never fun.  Hope all is well with all of you.


Mommy Linda's said...

It is so good to hear from you again. I say this with tears because you are right, we need each other for support, whether or not we have the answers. I am so happy for the support you are giving and are receiving. It is a long, hard road to parent kids with FASD.

We have had a difficult time this year with our 15 yo daughter. Her behaviors would be hard enough, but it has been even more difficult because the police, doctors, educators, psychologists, etc. have not been educated in FASD here in California. So not only do I have to help my daughter, but I have to try to educate people along the way who think they know more than I do, yet know nothing. Some think I'm making all this up, or am exaggerating her disability because she doesn't "look" FASD or act like she has an IQ under 70. They don't understand that the facial features fade after puberty or that brain damage can happen even without the features.

I am so happy you are spreading the word in your neck of the woods. Keep advocating. Keep teaching. And for my sake, please keep writing.

Blessed said...

I am so glad to hear a little update--it is fine for you to take whatever break from blogging is necessary, as long as you remember that you are people who care about you and your family all over the place. : ) I'm so glad you have found work and community that makes you happy!

Thank you for the update on Akila esp.

r. said...

So good to see you back!

QueenB said...

Good to read your update. Thanks for keeping us apprised of your life...praying for your husband for a job. Please continue to post when the mood strikes!

Tana said...

Thank you for sharing your life, struggles and advice. I also have a freshman girl with FASD and school has definitely been harder for her this year than it has been before. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs. Completely understand that everyone needs to take a break now and then. Gotta take care of ourselves so we can take care of our kiddos.

Anonymous said...

So happy you are back!!
Please keep writing!
Truly missed you!!

Anonymous said...

So happy you are back!!
Please keep writing!
Truly missed you!!

Laurie said...

I'm so glad to hear an update! I have been thinking of you and praying for you. You are so right that just knowing that there is someone else out there living the same kind of life and dealing with the same kind of stuff is amazingly reassuring and encouraging.

Blessings and big, big hugs,

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