Category Archives: adoption

Don’t give up on me.

With those few words, “Don’t give up on me.” David ended our phone call tonight.

Dad, don’t give up on me.

I assure him each time that I won’t.  He is our son and will always be our son.  See today he admitted to assaulting his mom.  If he had been adult, he would have been guilty of a felony.

Look closely, this is not what people with developmental disabilities should go through

As it is, he is in a detention center where he has been since March 27th.  On Friday he will move to what is called a safe bed, which will allow him a bit more freedom, as well as a chance to get back on his medication.  (why the detention center for youth doesn’t give him his medications like they are prescribed is a fight for another day).  Then next Tuesday, he will be moving to a Youth Home in another city.

See.  For the longest time, we (his whole team) has referred to his condition as a mental illness.  And really, it’s more than that.

It’s a developmental disability.  His brain was harmed during development.  There is no “cure” for that.  There is maintenance and long term support. His condition is known as FASD  (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)  it’s a condition visited upon him by his birth mom.  Because she chose to do drugs and drink while she was pregnant.  He went through withdrawals immediately after birth.

So with the upcoming placement we are hoping that he will get support.  That he will again stabilize and become the best version of himself that he can be.  He knows his brain is different.

Seeing him locked in the detention center has been difficult.  To have him in waist chains and handcuffs is very difficult to see.  This is not where he needs to be.  In truth, there isn’t really a place for the kids like him, kids who will grow into adulthood without a place in their world where they can be the best version of themselves.  Places that aren’t jail.

He needs ongoing support.  His executive functioning isn’t what the average person has, and he needs an external subconscious telling him to think about what he is doing.  To reconsider the actions he is undertaking.  This is done with staff support.

Don’t give up on me.

It’s not free.  It’s not cheap.  But for his world, it will be infinitely better than being in jail.  In jail, he will be even more vulnerable to the influences of more “powerful forces and people” who would take advantage of him.  He desperately wants friends, even though he really doesn’t understand the concept.  The people he calls his friends are not good for him, and influence him to do things that are wrong.  Support staff can help with that.

I could see David being a video game tester.  He could be very successful at that, and he would never have to leave his house to do it.  Success for David will look very different from what his peers will experience.  And you know what?

That’s okay.  Nothing wrong with that.

So David.  I say this to you.

We won’t give up on you.  Don’t you give up on you either.

Breaking hearts, practicing tough love with our son

Breaking our hearts to practice tough love with David. He called home for the first time since he was placed in detention.  Full of tears, and a story about how he banished the bad version of himself. Breaking Hearts During the first hearing, he didn’t want to talk to us. During the second, he said… Continue Reading

The Hard Decision

I title this post “The Hard Decision” because we have had to make a difficult decision. We made the decision to not bring David home on pass. An expert in David’s disorder has recommended for safety reasons that David not come home. So we have made the decision to refuse passes.  At 15, as much… Continue Reading

National Adoption Month – A thank you

Adoption story – A thank you Readers may remember more than 4 years ago when I wrote about Ronald McDonald and Houdini.  That four post series is still among the more popular posts on this site. My brother and I are adopted.  Our father, adopted us when I was 3 and my brother was 4. … Continue Reading

SMI and the Tragedy of Adulthood

SMI – Serious Mental Illness The National Survey on Drug Use and Health  (NSDUH), which defines SMI (Serious Mental Illness) as: A mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders); Diagnosable currently or within the past year; Of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the 4th edition of the Diagnostic… Continue Reading

Adoption – Misapplication of the Paintbrush

Adoption. It can be a trigger for negative behavior. Here is a hint.  – Not everyone who is adopted is like my son David.   Not everyone who is adopted has mental health issues. Just because someone is adopted, doesn’t automatically require them to seek psychiatric help. Labeling people for any reason is just not… Continue Reading

Admitting the horror

It has come to our attention that David has admitted to trying to kill animals with his hands, and with chemicals. I don’t fault David for admitting the horror that he has tried.  I don’t fault him for it, it is a symptom of his mental illnesses. Last year he attacked me more than once… Continue Reading

For those Dad’s who played a role in my life

    When we adopted our youngest, we did an adoption study. We had to write a bio and answer a ton of questions. Growing up, I had step-dad’s. My brother and I were adopted. Bio-Dad was in prison. Mom doesn’t acknowledge that period of her life. For those Dad’s who played a role in… Continue Reading

Reciprocity

One of the difficult things about raising a child like our son, David, is that the love that we feel for our son will likely never be reciprocated. It isn’t that he doesn’t bond with people, he just doesn’t bond with family. It is a facet of the attachment disorder. He is more likely to… Continue Reading

visited my son tonight

I went to see my son tonight. He wants to know when he can come home from the hospital.  Nothing about the other night.  When I asked him why he wants to come home, it was all about missing the trip to Bismarck with his mentor that he does once a week. Nothing about the… Continue Reading