June 15, 1999

Dear President and Mrs. Clinton,

Someone recently quoted that it takes a village to raise a child. There are thousands of children in our country who need more than a village; they need the support of our nation. I am referring to the children born to birth parents who drank alcohol during their pregnancy.

Over 50,000 of these children are born each year with either Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Effects. This is the leading cause of mental retardation, but not all of them are so labelled. Some of them look "normal", have "normal" IQs, and are expected by society to lead "normal" lives. However, they have an invisible disability. They have permanent brain damage. Damage that was 100% preventable, but is 0% fixable.

My husband and I are in the process of adopting two of these children, twins. Their mother is the daughter of an alcoholic and is probably fetal alcohol effected herself. The twins were her third pregnancy. She has since had another child, which was also removed by Children Services, and is now expecting baby number six. She has been unable to keep a stable home, job, or her children.

Help stop this awful cycle. Please support a nationwide FAS Day on September 9, 1999. Many mothers who drink during pregancy do not realize the danger they are putting their child in. Once that child is exposed, the risks of alcoholism and lascivitous behavior become much higher and the cycle goes on getting worse with each generation. We can prevent this from happening by educating people about FAS and the harm in drinking while pregnant.

Thank you for being one of the many hands in the village who reaches out to a child in need.

Kenda Armstrong

FAS Web Page