Maybe it would be easier to just give up, concede that his future won’t be different from the present, and stay content to not believe in my son. But there’s something deep within me that keeps hope alive.
I’ve just drifted off to sleep. It’s a blazing hot afternoon in Central Indiana and I only have a fleeting 30 minutes until the show my 2 younger sons have chosen, on Netflix, ends. I’ve bargained with them to let me nap in exchange for a show of their choosing. I’ve hit the jackpot. We don’t allow them to watch TV unbridled, at will. They think they’ve hit the jackpot too.
This may be the best kept secret in the FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) community. We’re pretty sure it is. The impact that one simple week of camp had on our son’s life is beyond measure. We are convinced it will have the same impact on thousands of other children just like ours.
It was a Google Search. I found this week of camp by typing in “Summer + Camp + Kids with FASD” in the search bar. I was following my own prescribed remedy for making it through the dreaded summer break with a difficult child. I was filling up my son’s summer with camps that kept his days structured and fun.
The journey of foster care is not free of pain, nor deep hurt, in the least bit. But allowing yourself to feel the emotions that come from loving a child from a difficult place may fill you up more than you realize.
20 years ago.
“Let go!” the camp counselor shouted encouragingly from 100 feet below. With one hand gripping the zip line tightly and the other hand securely fastened to the tower, I stared at the tops of the trees below. Adrenaline coursed through me and my senses were completely on alert. The warm July breeze on my face, the creek of the wooden stairs I had just climbed. I had a choice to make. Let go or hold tighter. My muscles ached with the thought and my knuckles had turned white with fear. Boldly jump or slink back down 10 stories to admit defeat to my fellow campers. “Let go,” I heard the trees whisper. “Let go,” the wind whistled. “Let go,” my heart thumped, and I did.