“Why Would God Create Such A Broken Child?”

The lonely, and often, defeating road of parenting children with disorders like FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) or attachment issues can cause a person to shake their fist at heaven and ask “Why?” We know this because we’ve been there.

Just Me

Her email dripped with desperation. As I read each line I could feel her defeat, sense her anguish, and understand her anger. According to her, I was her last resort.  She was parenting a child with FASD, and it was taking the life out of her. Her son’s decision-making, logic, sense of self, and care for others was missing all-together. All I could think was, “I’ve been there sister. You are not alone.”

Tears welled up in my eyes, and my heart broke in two for her, as I read her words….

“I hate this disability. I hate watching it slowly destroy my child. And there is nothing I can do to save him. I can’t help him. And God is not helping him. Why? He is just going to be another statistic of a child with FASD. Why won’t God intervene?”

Wondering Why?

Lord knows I’ve shaken my own fists at the heavens a time or two (or 400), and asked God why! I’ve stood alone in our backyard after 8 hour violent tantrums over something as minuscule as It’s too late to start a movie, or You’ve already had a full dinner, and a snack, and desert so no more, it’s time for bed, and wondered what we did to deserve this. I’ve felt rage toward birth parents for making the selfish choice to consume alcohol or drugs days before their due date, and demanded answers from God. I’ve even reached the point of almost cursing His name and giving up on more than one occasion.

I get this precious women’s heart cry. I feel her pain to the core of my being. She was describing the lonely, overwhelming, and frustrating journey we’ve been on for more than a decade. Her tears are our tears. Her questions are our questions.

But her questions weren’t void of love for her son. They were driven by it. So have many of ours over the years. If love weren’t a factor, we would easily find the answers to our questions. The deep love we have for our kids makes this journey hard.

You Cannot.

I sat alone in a tucked away corner of the retreat center I was at, reading her email, over and over, praying for an answer to come to me. Minutes seemed like hours. And then it hit me. An encouragement I’ve given to thousands of frustrated, weary, worn out, and searching foster and adoptive parents over the past few years, flooded my heart and mind…

You cannot determine your child’s future based on their current behavior.

I know. Easier for me to say than for someone stuck in a desperate trench to believe in, or practice. Trust me, I’ve even questioned myself over this. I began to tap the keys of my laptop in response. I shared these words with her. I told her about our own difficult season with our son, and how we’ve struggled to find any hope. But then I shared a verse of scripture from the Old Testament that continually brings us hope for a bright future with our child…

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” -Jeremiah 1:5.

In-spite of the hard days. In-spite of the questions. In-spite of the battles we routinely face, often at the expense of our family, I believe my child has hope, and a future. I believe God’s words through His prophet, Jeremiah. I believe these words over my son. Right now, his adolescent self is out of control. His disorder is nearly taking the life out of us. But that does not necessarily determine his future. Why? Because God makes no mistakes. He didn’t create the disorder in my child. A broken and sinful world did that. He’s loving and good and He’s making all things new. He’s designed every single human being with purpose and future hope. It may be hard to see right now, but I have to believe in a brighter day, some day.

This is true for us, and our child. This is true for this hurting mother, and her son. We cannot determine our child’s future, based on their current behavior. To do so would limit the healing, transformational power of God.

That gives me hope!

Question: Have you struggled to find hope in a new day, because of the daily battles you face with your child? Share your story with us. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Ellen Sanchez

    It’s so hard to stay positive when trying to survive not the day, but the current hour. It’s easy to forget that the heart deep inside is good when it seems everything they say is mean and rotten. It’d be easy to give up. And then you go to bed and wake up, it’s a brand new day. You have to keep the faith, something has got to work….a teacher might connect today, maybe the counselor will suggest something that makes sense, maybe a classmate will stop making those annoying noises today…. one day there will be a change that will make a huge difference in that kid’s life. You have to have faith. I almost gave up on my David two years ago. David had been expelled from two high schools in four months for threatening teachers, we had holes punched in our walls, windows broken, suicide attempts, filthy language all the time, a broken windshield. And then our school district finally gave in, they granted an out of district transfer (and payment) to a school I was putting every single one of my eggs in…. after four months of begging for it and praying about. That transfer made all the difference in the world; these teachers understood David, they saw the good. The students were all considered “fragile” and didn’t harass or tease each other because they had been teased all their lives. One day something will happen that makes all the horrible worth it, to keep trying, to keep that faith going. That transfer of school districts made all the difference in our lives, our world. When the Director of Student Services of our district, at our spring IEP, admitted that he had been wrong in denying the transfer for four months and mom had been right…. I wanted to jump for joy. My David, a totally different kid, stood up to thank him and shake his hand. It still blows me away, we are truly blessed, don’t ever give up.

    • Wow, Ellen, that’s amazing that they allowed this. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Allisonm

      Great job advocating for your son! I have a son by the same name and we have a very unusual IEP. Whatever it takes to meet our children’s needs. Some of our kids just do not fit neatly into little round holes. And the law supports us in getting the free, appropriate public[ly-funded] educational environment our kids need to thrive. Having the right IEP and an effective therapeutic approach has taken us from surviving the current hour to enjoying a whole new level of emotional regulation. I have the doctors reports to prove that my son was completely hopeless, but I also have a son who, through God’s grace, proves those papers wrong every day.

  • Dawn Goebbels

    Sorry, but I love it when I read something like, “I’ve stood alone in our backyard after 8 hour violent tantrums over something as minuscule as It’s too late to start a movie.” It makes me feel that I’m not alone and I don’t have it so bad after all. We had a wonderful 24 hour break away with friends at a hotel, having prepared Mr Four weeks in advance, and he was well behaved with his separation anxiety at an all-time low (he went off to the toilets alone and to play alone). However, the break in routine compounded the school holidays insecurity, and all hell broke loose when we came home. We had a one hour meltdown over being asked to say please before I would plug in the computer charger and later another hour when he would tell me to go and push me out of the bedroom door and then scream if I accepted to leave. At least Mr Four is loving and cuddly between episodes now, and today, the day after the day from hell, refusal of a second balloon created minimal fuss.