My guy is home... I picked him up at 2:00 today. What a difference a few days make! he is happier. He seems to be proud of himself and you can see he feels good. You can also see that he is working hard to cooperate, and trying his best to get back into family routine.
When I picked him up from the hospital he made my heart smile...he had really struggled to earn "smiles" at the hospital. Smiles were used by the the kids to shop at the prize store. The first day he was there he got a truck, but then over the next week he never earned a smile to shop with. Finally on his last night he earned 2 smiles and was ecstatic to go shopping. I figured for sure he would purchase a race car or a paper airplane he had been eyeing since day 1. Instead, when I picked him up he handed me a blue teddy bear and said "this is for you mom. I worked really hard and earned my smiles and got you this bear. I am so proud of myself!" I melted. This is the Matthew I know. This is MY Matthew.
It is very important that I remember that Matthew may need a tune up again in the future. That I keep in my mind somewhere that he deserves to live a happier life. That while it is frustrating for me to live with him when he is tantrumming a lot, it is worse for him. He does not feel good when he is like that. He does not have control over it. He has a mood disorder. He cannot control when his moods are up and down anymore than he can control all of the other things that the fetal alcohol syndrome does to him.
it is hard in the middle of the battle to remember to help your opponent. In this life Matthew is not my opponent but it had felt like that for a while. Matthew is on my team, and i am on his...but I may need reminders from those around us. If you see Matthew slipping, please tell me. If you see me being too harsh, please remind me. If I am frustrated and need a break, please remind me to take one. There is no one else here to tell me when I am off the mark. Those of you reading this blog are our family, our community....and it is true, it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village for my family, and I have learned over these past few weeks we are surrounded by an AMAZING village! What a community of support we have! We are surrounded by amazing people.
I learned over the past few week and a half that life with a child with Fetal Alchohol syndrome is harder than i was aware. When I was living in the midst of our chaos it was just that...it was our chaos. It was life as I knew it. Now I know that life has to be slower paced. I have to make time for fun. If we are not having fun then something is wrong. We have a new behavior plan at home. Bedtime is more structured and there are expectations of each of the boys that they will perform certain tasks.
With summer around the corner, we are going to slow down, create more structure and ride the ride! Thanks to everyone who got me through this past week and a half. I am so happy to have my boy back home! And proud of myself for allowing him the opportunity to get the medical care he needed instead of allowing my fear to continue to make us live as we were. Mental illness is still illness, it just happens in the brain where it can't be seen.
- I am a single mom of three amazing boys! All three of my sons entered my family through adoption. All three of my boys have developmental disabilities. My oldest son, Matthew has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. David, my middle son, has a genetic condition, he has a duplication on his 15th chromosome which leads to autism like symptoms, seizures and learning challenges. My youngest son, Jacob has learning disabilities. Each of my children bring unique challengs to our family and also bring their own personality and joys to our everyday life!