What a thing to hear, to process, to fully understand. I thought the statement was a crazy thing to say to a mom!!! That was just what Joe Haas said to me many years ago. Maybe it was the harsh reality of children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Now that is better known as FASD. Who really knows??
Fast forward many, many years now. Maybe that statement is more true than ever. Merrill and I now have many adult children that have made a somewhat successful transition to living on their own. Please do not read it has not been without more than a few bumps in the road, for there have been many. During their transitions, our pain has been nearly unbearable at times.
We have often wondered why did things have to be this way. What did we do wrong? What could we have done differently? Why does there have to be so much pain??
We have come to figure out that it is all part of the journey. That sounds funny, doesn't it? As child, most of our children were very impulsive, guess what, as adults they are also. Many times they did not get what was the consequences of their actions.....oh wait, that still happens. They jump fast and forget to look. They make decisions without much thought. We must believe that this is again just part of the adult life with FASD.
We have some friends who have gone through the exact same thing with their adult children. They have felt the same pain. Some have adult children in jail and even worse, prison. We have traveled that route also. For a few of our adult children, they have slowed down just enough to realize what family means to them. In doing so, they have reconnected with us. They have brought along an adult friend or two that have become important to us also and help fill the void of our missing adult children.That is a joyful part!! But sadly for most of them, that is not the case.
Where do we go from here? To be honest, I do not have a clue. Will we connect as a whole family unit? My pain filled guess is no. My painful guess is as they have moved away, they have forgotten their family unit. It may be that same impulsivity that drove them to move so swiftly from one thing to another as a child that drives them to do the same as an adult.
What about love, where does it come into play? The answer is, it never left. While we do not like this path, our love for our children will never leave. They brought so much joy into our lives. While that joy may be a bit different as we never were blessed by a birth child, we can never forget the day we met each of them. We will never forget the day they came home to us....their forever family. We will never forget the day the judge said they were forever ours. Nothing can change that. Our love for them flows freely.
Yes, their path has caused us a great deal of pain, I have come to accept it is part of the journey. The part that made Joe Haas say, you might just give them a safe place to grow up.