I Will Never

I will never have the children I dreamed of adopting-
But I do have the children
God planned for me to adopt.
So I will adopt new dreams 
for my family and children.

I will never be able to be the mom I want to be.
But I am "their" mom
So I will be the mom they need.

I will never have a "normal" day - one without meds, 
doctor appointments, therapy, IEP meetings.
But I do have normal moments.
So I will learn to savor the moments 
and take each day as it comes

I will never be able to assume my children can 
follow the simple rules, act appropriately, 
understand the consequences of their actions, 
or be safe.
But I can surround them with a support system
who will think for them, 
remind them of the rules and consequences, 
and keep them safe.
So I will be their external brain.

I will never know what my children could have been.
But I can celebrate the wonder of who they are 
and what they can become.
So I will give them all the love, support, 
encouragement, and the tools they will need
to become productive adults.

I will never be able to change the fact that 
the birth mother drank during her pregnancy.
But I can forgive.
So I will not condemn, pass judgment or hate her.

I will never forget the damage that alcohol has done
to my children's brains.
But I can make a difference for another child.
So I will share my knowledge and experiences 
as often as I can.

I will never see another child screaming in a store 
and just assume he's misbehaving due to poor parenting.
But I can sympathize 
with the stress and frustrations of meltdowns.
So I will smile 
and offer words of encouragement and support to the mother.

I will never hear another horrible news story 
about a child in trouble with the law 
and not wonder - was he FASD?
But I can pray for them and their families.
So I will pray for the ones in the news 
and the ones we don't read about.

I will never know a bigger joy 
than watching my children master a new goal,
remember a rule, or sleep thru the night.
But I can lower my expectations of them and myself.
So I will celebrate with them 
every mountain climbed and hurdle crossed.

I will never have a day that is not wholly consumed 
with the results of a woman who drank during pregnancy.
But I can raise the community's awareness, 
education and support 
of this totally preventable birth defect.
So I will.
So I will.

by Vicki Brewster, May 21, 2004
Grieving the Loss of the Dream