I was told from the beginning that Dunham's parents were alcoholic criminals. I was told his mother was a drunk. I searched and found them the eve before Ukrainian Christmas on Facebook. After finding and speaking and stalking his birth parents for two weeks now...... I have found this to be completely untrue. They are professionals. His mother is artistic and very intelligent! She is thoughtful, healthy, kind, and beautiful! His parents are still married and have another son that is handsome, athletic and intelligent. The father is a businessman and the reality is they were normal, healthy, happy, social people. She does not drink and certainly did not during her pregnancy! This changes everything!
Dunham does NOT have FAS.
So... what does this mean for Dunham. What does this mean for me? I had accepted this diagnosis without question. I had glued it to my sons permanent record. I had taken that label and quite relieved to have found an "answer" slapped it on his tiny soul and marched confidently to tackle the next task. I finally had an answer. Permanent damage, nothing I can do. Phew! I am "off the hook". Okay I probably didn't go to that extreme but a part of me did. A part of me accepted that as the "answer" the "solution". It is time to adapt again! My oldest daughter made a comment that same week that really hit me. It was a very simple statement but... none the less it struck me. She said "Mom, Dunham just wants to be treated like the other boys. He is tired of being treated like a baby." I realized that because I was so untrusting of his impulsiveness and past behavior issues. I had stopped raising the bar. I had stopped expecting more, trying more, teaching more! I had decided this FAS diagnosis was preventing him from ever advancing and that is where we were. I was ok with that answer. I had decided I would get healthy and give myself "me" time. I would focus on being a happy healthy mom. This wasn't a bad thing. It was a great thing. but.... there was still work to be done. God had presented this knowledge to me at the perfect time. Dunham does not have FAS.
For the past few weeks Dunham's best friend and biggest ally, big sissy, has been working with him several hours a day on his behaviors. I have been focusing a lot of attention on Dunham and raising the bar. He has met every challenge like a champ! Exceeding my expectations every single time. He is now fully potty trained during the day. Only wearing underwear and never having accidents. His yelling and throwing have improved about 50% in just a couple of weeks! His therapists have all commented on the change and how much he has improved so quickly!
I tend to think, move, and process things quickly! If there are improvements to myself, my kids, my home, anything, that needs to be done! I tend to do it fast! If you have followed my family on Facebook you may have already noticed this trait ;) both my husband and I are this way. Once I made this realization in my mind, I asked myself... what else am I doing to hold back my children?! I hire all these professionals to work with them, I work day and night to provide them the tools they need.... am I holding them back!? Yes. The answer is yes. I don't tend to feel sorry for myself. I swallowed this huge humility pill fairly quickly and then set about "fixing" it! I handed Lettie a spoon and yogurt. She ate that yogurt like an expert! I began to raise the bar for all of my children across the board and they have not disappointed! Why? Why was I holding them back? Several reasons. One because they are my "babies" and I really love babies! ;) Two, because I did what was convenient for me. Feeding Lettie and Anna a yogurt is quick, less messy. I have six kids! I did what was fast. But I was a fool. Lettie made less of a mess than mommy! and she can do it herself if given the chance. Third, I enjoy caring for my children. I like doing things for them. Unfortunately I was doing TOO MUCH for them! and this was holding them back.
So, I have a challenge for you. What have you been doing to hold your kids back? What diagnosis have you accepted as fact that could use more research? What have you accepted as resolved that may not be the best solution?
It is hard to go back to those challenging dark places when you have finally found "light" but perhaps it deserves a second look?
Yes Lettie, that is exactly how mommy feels. Face palm. ;)