Archive for the ‘2011’ Category

Jon and Desi  2011

Yesterday we went to apply for DD services. It was a bit hard because Jon got ODD in the middle of it and argued with me over stuff that I was telling them.
When we got done, the woman stated that they would look at his qualifying factors and decide if it was a matter of “won’t, not can’t”.
My insides just CHURNED! Lady you have no clue. My heart was once again ripped out from my chest when someone did not understand my son.
Today the school teacher sent me some help and I sent it over to the DD lady.
Terry — Below are my comments in regards to Jon’s functional abilities based on the 7 Life Activity Areas:
  • For Prescribed Medications:
Jon is unable to consistently obtain the correct dosage of his medication. He is not able to identify the medications he takes or the correct amount of each medication that he takes. Jon is not able to understand the implications of not taking his medications. He does not remember to take them — he has to be given his medications each day by a parent or sibling in order for the correct medications and dosages to be taken.
(Added info by Terry Quinn-Jon has to be watched to see that he will swallow the medications or they often will be stuck in his pocked and land somewhere in his room.)

  • Jon does not maintain healthy relationships. He is easily talked into inappropriate situations — skipping school.
(Added Comment by Terry Quinn- Jon will go with a stranger if the stranger offers money. This did happen one time.)
  • Jon ‘reacts’ to situations in which he is frustrated or uncomfortable. There have been two occasions at school where Jon has slammed doors and hit people causing them physical harm. He also throws items. Jon reacts without processing the possible results of his actions.
  • Jon is not able to independently arrange medical appointments. He is unable to identify the names of his doctors or the way in which they can be contacted. Jon cannot remember the date and time of appointments.
  • Jon does not follow through with decisions. He makes appointments to meet at certain days and times but is unable to remember the arrangements therefore does not follow through. He also jumps from one task to another without fully finishing the first.
  • Jon does not comprehend the cause and effect of decisions. This is a documented part of his disability. He will spend an entire weeks paycheck on a tattoos without regards to the fact that he will then have no money to spend for the rest of the week.
  • Jon continually repeats inappropriate behaviors in spite of regular consequences. He is has multiple suspensions from school for repeated behaviors. Another example is Jon having multiple no shows at work — if it were not for the communication between Jon’s mother and his manager he would not continue to have his part time job.
  • Jon is unable to appropriately budget his money. He cannot approximate how much money needs to be saved in order to pay bills throughout the month. Jon lives ‘in the moment’ and does not understand that he needs to save money for expenses later in the month or even later in the week.
  • Jon needs frequent prompting to be on time. He has to be prompted minute by minute to get ready and be ready on time for his ride to work and school — example — Jon get dressed you have 10 minutes; Jon brush your teeth you have 5 minutes; Jon put your shoes on you have 2 minutes — and he has to have a count down while performing tasks … ex: Jon you have 2 minutes left to finish getting dressed. He is often late to class because he gets distracted and loses all track of time to get to class — a special plan had to be created for Jon because of his excess tardies to class.
  • Jon has had numerous no show/no calls to work. He would have lost his job long ago without the open communication between his mother and his manager.

I am very grateful to Jenn, Jon’s teacher for all the help that she has given to us. She is an angel.

However last night Jon came home totally stoned out on pot. I was shocked that he would come home in that state. He usually tries to hide this behavior, even though we have highly suspected that he was doing it.

I was flabbergasted! I have a 17 year old daughter, Deserai, whom I can’t set an example, that it is ok to live here and get high. So I had to send him out. He is likely living at his drug friend’s home now.

I feel like I am loosing one child right now, and I could not stand to loose two.

I know Jon is helpless to take care of himself forever, but he lives at this drug kid’s house anyway. The only thing he wasn’t doing is sleeping there.
Then too, sometimes he snuck out at night to be with this guy.
Right now Jon is in an avalanche of danger and only God can help him. He won’t listen to anything I say or do. He is determined to have his way.
He could potentially loose his job and I don’t care right now. If he looses everything, will it save his life?
I don’t know. I don’t know if it is possible for him to recognize when things are totally ran out.
Am I going to have to live a life with him as an “in and out drug addict”?
I can’t. I am not physically strong enough to handle that. He would have to play that out somewhere else.
Am I throwing him to the wolves? Jon was thrown to the wolves the day his birth mom got pregnant with him and never stopped drinking. I didn’t do this to him.
I have raised him and fought for him almost every day of his life. Nothing has ever been easy for Jon and I. It has always been painful.
Why did God pick our home for a child who is so painful? Because he needed someone.
He needed someone who would love him in spite of the pain.
I guess even though I have suffered greatly, it was a good choice for Jon.
The theory that these kids are self medicating is probably true. However drugs are not a safe way to self medicate. They can and usually will lead to other usage, possibly alcohol and worse.
They can lead to death also, so how is that a good thing?
Drugs might be self medicating, but they are a path of destruction and these kids don’t have the ability to self regulate that. They are not social drug users.
The addiction to drugs will cause people to do about anything eventually to get them. Stealing? Jail?
Oh also, I recently saw a video that shows that it is PROVEN through MRI’s that marijuana causes brain damage in teens up to 25. Their brains are still forming.
So they are damaging an already damaged brain. I have noticed lately that Jon has been a lot worse. At times he seems almost like a vegetable that doesn’t care about anything, doesn’t want to do anything, and does not understand much at all that I am trying to help him with.
Life on earth is often about suffering something, sometimes.
Somehow, I need to find peace with this though, as it is tearing me up.

Sadly this is the course for many parents of children who have FASD. They were born drug addicts and when they pick up that drug later in life, they take off where they left off in the womb.

How much more do I now want to spread this message, that it is so unsafe to drink while pregnant. If you are pregnant and drinking, you are sentencing your child for life of pain. Please, PLEASE hear my heart. Give your child a chance. This world is not an easy place to be in when you don’t have that against you. Having FASD just makes it that much harder.

This mom has a huge ache in her heart tonight and all I can do is pray. That is a big thing though, for I know that God gave Jon to us and therefore, I have to trust HIM that God has a way out of this mess for Jon.

Lord, please put your biggest and strongest angels with Jon now. Stop him from any danger. Deliver him from the desire to use drugs. Open his brain up to see the danger he is acting out. Give him a chance God. Please, give him a chance………

I had removed this post as another parent didn’t understand it. However I am about to post something that is progression to this post, so I am adding this back into my blog. It will help today’s message make sense.

Well this week I actually hit my limit. I had to attend three drug meetings with Jon after he got caught at school with pot and other kids, about to smoke it.

I didn’t want to go to these meetings. I thought since Jon was 18 that he could attend himself. Why punish us parents? However I am glad that I went. I learned some things that were helpful and I saw parents struggling with their possibly neuro typical kids too. It was good to get that perspective. Not all issues are FASD. Some times they are just teenage stuff. I should know that, I have raised nine kids. I just didn’t have near the issues with the other seven, but they did have their times with the world’s temptations too.

Ok, so fast forward to meeting number three, this past Thursday night. Everyone is getting their turn to talk about what is going on. I have been dealing pretty heavily with Jon of late because he doesn’t want to go to work. Well no one just loves to go to work, but Jon’s emotional ability is about half his age, so he is treating his job more like a child would. I don’t want to work, so I just call off. It doesn’t matter that I have real bills to pay. I don’t have a clue what real bills are. I can’t manage money. Doesn’t money grow on trees anyway?

That type of magical thinking is where kids are, but by the time you are 18, you should have a little sense of responsibility. It just isn’t possible for Jon though.

To get Jon to work at his very part time job, I have to manage his time. I have to tell him when to get dressed for work. Sometimes I have to watch him get dressed, or he just won’t do it. He will lay in bed until he is late.

So we were having this battle. Two of his friends had birthdays this week and Jon had put on the calendar at work that he wanted five days off to celebrate these birthdays. FIVE DAYS? WHY? Only Jon understands why.

I told him that he could not take that many days off, as he won’t get enough hours in to work that week to pay his bills.

He insisted that he was going to get that many days off and there was nothing that I could do to stop him.

I had called his job on break to verify that Jon was calling off again. I found out that he was.

I came back to the room and confronted him with that. Jon blew up and used some language that described how he was feeling about me at this time.

So I said “OK Jon, I am done with you. ” I walked out of the room and left that meeting.

I went home and locked all my house windows and doors. Jon wants to be an adult, make adult decisions about his job. Jon can live life as an adult out side my home. I was just done.

About 9:30 my doorbell rings. Jon is outside. I didn’t answer it. Then I get a call. It is his councilor from the program. I tell him that he doesn’t know all that we have been going through with Jon and I am sorry but I can’t explain it all. I am done arguing with my son though and he is an “adult” by the worlds standards. So please don’t worry about him. He has lots of friends and he will find one to stay with.

So he left and eventually so did Jon. However he called me about an hour later and used some more of that nice language with me again. He informed me that his clothes were in my house and he would get the police to help him get them out if I would not let him in. I just hung up the phone and prayed. I don’t like dealing with the police, but if that is what I was going to have to do, then so be it. I cannot spend my life arguing wtih my son. It has worn me out. This is not about this week. This is about Jon’s whole life and how he doesn’t want me to have any part of keeping him on the right path.

So I was DONE DONE DONE!!! I was physically spent. I went to sleep.

Come morning and no Jon sighting. I called the school to warn them that if Jon came to school, he would not be medicated as I kicked him out the day before and he didn’t have his meds with him. Of course I have to protect them from any anger that Jon might spew out on them.

Well then a couple hours later Jon calls me. MOMMY, PLEASE HELP ME! I slept in the park last night. It was so cold. *yep it was 24 degrees that night*. I want to come home mommy. I can’t do this mommy. I can’t take care of myself out there Mommy. PLEASE, PLEASE LET ME COME HOME!!!

Jon, I can’t argue with you any more. It is taking mommy’s heart away.

MOM, I won’t argue any more. I will go to work. I promise. I will do anything mom. PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME???

Jon, will you take a drug test each month?


Ok, he says he won’t argue. He will take a drug test. I am caving. Maybe he learned something in the cold night. MAYBE. One can hope.

I let him back home and he was so tired he slept all day. He hasn’t argued with me yet and he went to work tonight.

Do ya think that it will last??????? To be continued………..I will let you know………….

Lord, Please let it last. Please don’t let him forget this one lesson. Please imprint this on his brain and over ride his memory loss for just this one thing? Thanks Lord. We both would really appreciate that. I love you Lord.

Edited to Add:

Jon is like a horse. He needs a bit in his mouth to keep him on course. Without the bit, he runs wild.
The phone has always been the bit, but lately it has not worked as well. The big problem is online you cannot turn it completely off so people can still call him. I have to call in to have it turned completely off and that is a hassle.
So now I have told him, if you don’t come home in time for work, don’t come home, the doors will be locked.
I am using it as the bit. Not kicked out, just stay out and he knows what the plan is.
I am going to find out how to do a drug test too.
That is another bit.
Mike and I have always discussed that we can’t kick Jon out. He can’t make it. We had changed our language to fines, grounding, phone off etc.
BUT, now we have a new one.
That night I needed Jon to FEEL like he was OUT. He can survive one night, though it is not pleasant. I needed him to THINK that he was going to have to live like that.
Yes I did let him back in. But now it is another bit and he knows it. We have already discussed that.
The biggest problem though is that I am NOT SURE that I can handle him for life.
So he might have to go out on his own, but I am looking for services for that. Not putting him on the streets.
He is comfortable at home and may not like that either, but it may have to happen.

This week has been one from hell, is seems, but I can’t share about it. Sometimes life is just so personal and I just can’t talk about it on a public forum. It was about the kids with FASD though. They just didn’t do well this week. It was awful. It was one I just don’t want to repeat, ever.

I think FASD is like that. Sometimes kids/adults with FASD just have really bad days. I mean REALLY BAD. It seems that life for them is like riding a roller coaster and the hills and valleys are frequent. I am ready to get off this ride, but I feel locked in my seat and crashing around bends, screaming “Let me off!”, but getting off isn’t possible. The motor is broken. It was damaged by mood altering drugs and alcohol and only a miracle can change that. Not that God isn’t the author of miracles and I am one who is certainly not limiting Him. I believe for the very best for my kids all the time. For now though, each day, I need His grace to deal with the ride.

So this week we were on the top of the coaster and free falling down a mighty long hill going 200 miles per hour and at the bottom, we crashed. It was just awful. That is all I can say. I am still trying to recover from the crash. I am not well. This ride took my physical body to the bottom too.

 I will recover. I always do, but I just want off the coaster. I can see that I am still strapped in and for a few days it appears that we are going to coast. I hope so at least, but then I don’t know when the next bend is, or the next hill, or drop. I don’t know when we will suddenly pick up speed, or fly over a top and crash again.

 I can’t afford the luxury of having fear of what is around the corner. That too, is a dangerous part of the ride. I have to work at letting go,  trusting God and staying close to Him. I have to continue in prayer for my kids.

Every day a little more of my heart, lets go and trusts God more with my adult/almost adult children. I have to. It is more then I can handle alone.

 I have to keep talking to myself. The worst that can happen, is ok. It has to be ok. I can’t afford to spend my heart in worry and fear. The worry and fear is part of the ride. I have to some how, some day, get off the ride. Thirty one years I have been raising children. I want to feel that they are successful adults, that have their own lives.

 It isn’t that way with FASD. It has robbed the two kids/ young adults, that have it. FASD stole their freedom in many ways. It is sad. I get sad. I can’t change it though. One more part of the ride, to learn to accept the things that I cannot change. To let go and let God.

 He has to have the ability to bless their future. He has to take the things that they were robbed of, and turn it around for good in their lives. He is our only hope and we will never stop hoping.

 So though I can’t tell you the details of the week, I have shared the feelings. The feelings of living with FASD. Sometimes I look around me and see others who think life is hard. They think life is hard when they have it seemingly easy. Once I asked God how to deal with that. People would come to me and say, “How do you handle nine kids? I can’t stand the one I have.”. It would make me mad. You don’t understand how easy one is. Why not?  Why God?

 He said, “Terry, I didn’t give them grace for nine. They can’t understand your grace.” Wow, it is His grace. Yes it is hard, but without His grace, I would not be able to live. That is just all there is to it. I would not be here. Since I am, then I know that He is beside me in my coaster car. He is there when I crash. He will not leave me or forsake me, nor my kids. There is a victory for them and we are going to keep believing that we will get it.

 I don’t want to pity my kids. I want to empower them. Empower them to live victorious over FASD. Let’s walk that journey and see how that is done……..Thank you Lord for teaching us how to be victorious over this ride. Show us how to walk over those rough spots and not crash. That alone would be such a victory.  So many parents of FASD are burned out. There has to be an answer for victory over that. I guess for one more day, I will stay in my seat and see where this ride is going. So glad that God is in my seat with me. Thank you Lord.

Monkeys in Training

Posted: October 25, 2011 in 2011, Raising Hearts

Raising kids with FASD is a road that is not fully paved yet. We parents who have discovered that our children have this disability/spectrum disorder, are the ones that are paving it. The library is not loaded with books that are titled “How to successfully raise your FASD kid”, “Surviving FASD”, “How to heal FASD”, etc.

There are a few out there that are sharing their experience and most of them are, or have traveled a pretty bumpy road without any key directions that work perfectly for each child, that is born with this. We are all Monkeys in training.

Every day we wake up with a plan to do our best for our kids and it seems that we are never fully prepared for the curve balls that we get tossed. It might be the same behavior over and over, but do we ever just get used to it?  Can we just say calmly, “Oh well, he just snuck out his window again, no problem, he will be home eventually”. “Oh ok, he is high on dope, no biggie, he will learn soon.”  “Oh my, he got caught by the police again. I guess if he goes to jail he will finally get it.”

 NOT!!!!!!!! NOT!!!!!!!!!!NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is NOT ME!! I guess this monkey needs a whole lot more training.  I am not calm when my son does these things. Well I am not throwing a fit, crying, or yelling, but it tears me up on the inside. WHY?????  Why can’t I just get calm about constant crisis’? Why can’t it just be that simple? It sure would be a whole lot easier on my health and the emotional status of MY LIFE!

 These kids are totally unpredictable though.  We may get a few days of peace, but that corner isn’t far away often and sometimes it takes us quite by surprise.  Like the night I got woke up at 4 am by a woman who informed me that my son was going to be arrested for breaking and entering and statutory rape!  Yes that was some surprise!!! Us Monkeys just are not built for this type of constant stress.  I do know without the Lord, I honestly would crumble.

I pray. I pray for creative answers about how to deal with my children that are not in any books. Sometimes I get things that work and I share them with my friends. I can honestly say that we are somewhere that we weren’t before. We have learned. We have grown. Well the Monkey Mommy has, but the children, are a bit slower I am afraid.

 I do notice that Desi is growing a bit faster then Jon. She is getting it. She is less affected and I have many hopes that she will be able to be a success in her life.

With Jon, he seems stuck way back there in fifth grade, or some where in that area of life. It is still like that movie “Fifty First Dates” with Jon. We still have to repeat the same lessons daily and even when we repeat it, do we have any hope that it is going to stay there? Not usually and that is what makes this whole thing much like trying to shovel snow while it is still snowing out. It just keeps coming back. The work seems like a merry go round, but it must be done. You can’t leave it undone. We must keep trying.

  Lord please train this Monkey to learn not to react to everything that my children do. Help me feel that the world won’t crumble when they do crazy things? Help me turn off my adrenalin faucet when I see my son’s bed empty and the window open. Give me peace at night when I lay my head on my pillow, that no shocking phone calls will come in. Teach me to trust you fully and please once again, bring out your strongest and smartest angels to watch over my kids. I need them so bad. I am not strong enough yet and I am not smart enough yet.  This road is still being paved. The book is not yet written.  Thank you Lord. My web site that is going to be used to make a difference.

Why is it that when I see the school phone number on caller ID, that I can feel a surge of adrenalin every time? I mean you would think by now that I would be fully used to a crisis on a regular basis. Right? Why not? Isn’t that what normal life is?  

I will say that is seems to be at my house. I remember when Jon was in middle school and at least twice a week the school would call. “Mrs. Quinn. This is the Mrs. *Principal* at Franklin Woods. Jon is here in the office with me. He is not hurt. He is fine, BUT…………………”

 Then  I would get the rest of the story and is would always mean he was in trouble for something. In those days, I did not know he had FASD. I was living each day just trying to figure out how to help my son and not feel BLAMED for his actions all the time. I did always take some comfort in the fact that he was adopted and surely someone would understand that I was doing my best.

 Fast track to Jon today, a senior, now in special ed with a laundry list of diagnosis’ in place. Everyone at the school knows it is NOT ME, but that Jon has brain damage from his birth mom drinking when he was in her tummy.

 So today the phone rings and it is that school number again. I swear I don’t own a gun, but if I did, it sure would be fun to just once shoot that phone when the school phone number comes up! lol 

  The phone was a recording. “A student in your household was not in attendance at Franklin Heights today”. WHAT? I ran down stairs to see if he was in bed. Nope.  Oh boy. I call the school back, and all the while, I can feel my blood rising up inside me.

 “OH hello Mrs. Quinn. The principal was about to call you…………” As soon as I heard that, I KNEW that I was in for it. I am really trying to learn not to allow things to blow me apart. I can’t handle the after math when it does.

  So I wait. They get him on the phone. I learn that Jon has been caught with a group of kids, before school, just off school grounds and they were all about to GET HIGH!!!!!!!  UM, Ok……….I am not in complete shock here. I knew that Jon had played with this drug before. I have caught him myself. However it has been our policy in the Quinn home that if a teen wants to do drugs, that they hit the road and do it outside my house.

 The problem here is that Jon is very mentally disabled  and  cannot take care of himself out there.

I am requested to pick Jon up at school and take him off school grounds. He has been suspended for nine days. A policeman caught these kids, but the school was able to deal with it so none of them went to jail. Wow, I must be getting use to these close calls with Jail.   Or I should be.

 Now my son has racked up three get out of jail free cards. Does he even realize that this kind of grace does not happen forever? No, my son can’t because he does not EVEN UNDERSTAND the danger.

 Isn’t that scary? He is unable to play football and my heart is broken over that. We worked so hard to get him on the team this year. I do think that is the one thing that has made just a tiny impact on him about this. Can I even imagine for a minute that it might stay up in his brain and remind him next time, just like the hot stove that one got burned on once, might be there to remind one that doing that again might burn you??

 I don’t know yet, probably won’t know for a while, but it didn’t stop him from pulling something else just this afternoon. I told him that he was not playing football today and since I saw him washing his football clothes, he needed to know that so that he would not go to the field.

 One hour later I get a text from his coach. “I just sent Jon home. He is not allowed to ride on the bus tonight for the game. He is not kicked off football though.”

 WHAT?????????? My son just took off to play a game without asking me when just this morning he was GROUNDED, PHONE WAS SHUT OFF and he was FINED FOR THE DOPE? (fining is our way of trying to teach reality as jails do fine people).

 So I go jump in the car and dash out looking for him. He is nowhere to be found. I come home and there he comes around the corner. A picture ot total defeat. “Jon, why did you take off?”

 “I had to talk to the coach”. 

“But Jon, you are grounded and I told you that you could not play football.”

“I just need to ask the coach how long  I am not going to play.”

“Jon you could have called him.”

“I didn’t think of that.”

BUT he did think about leaving when he was grounded. OH WAIT, he already forgot he was grounded? Good chance. Jon forgets everything. Jon’s brain is a blank slate often. Those little neurons that are suppose to fire across his brain, can’t find their way through the maze of holes that are shot in his brain from alcohol. :*(

  That would have been enough today, but as life goes, it wasn’t all. Desi texted me all excited that she got her lip pierced by a friend at school. WHAT???  A KID WITH A NEEDLE STUCK IT IN MY DAUGHTER’S MOUTH? Not a professional?  Not to forget also that I don’t want my daughter pierced in her lip? Obviously she didn’t remember that, as she was so excited to tell me.

 I told her that if she took out the ring, there would not be punishment, but it did add to my streak of adrenalin shots for the day.

So now I am like that little Thomas the train, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can………..just keep on going and not let this day take me down…

Just another day with FASD. It is not my friend. It never will be. You don’t make friends with the perpetrator of your children. You just have to deal with it. 

  Please Lord, protect my two FASD children from themselves. They are helpless Lord. THey need angels with them at all moments. Also God, those need to be the smartest angels you have, because they need to make up for the things that are missing in my kids brains that they had no choice about. Thank you Lord for another day of Grace. Thank you that my son is home tonight and not in jail.

 Matthew is off to college now and I can see such a maturity growing in him. He wants to be on the deans list and he is working so hard to do that. Little sleep and lots of hard work are teaching him that life as an adult is difficult, but worth it. He is making a way for himself and we are all so proud of how he is doing.

  I have to step back some days and just “admire” my children. They each have done so well. It feels great to launch them off into adult hood in a healthy way. 

Megan is my inspiration. She is our oldest and she is in a happy marriage with her bachelors degree in music. She lives life to the fullest and is so strong. She is raising our little grandson, Joshua who is such a treat.  If I had only had Megan and Jacob, what I would never have known about life? We did almost stop having children at two. One for me and one for you………..But God had other plans.

  Jacob is our oldest son and he is now disabled, but he is an awesome son. He is a gentle giant of a guy. He lives with us and he has been such a blessing to have here since he has taken over much of what I was responsible for. I am able now to concentrate on my two youngest children and work on getting well from fibro myalgia.

 Nate is our entrepreneur. He is planning to be a millionaire one day and bless mom and dad. Well that would be awesome, but first I would like to see him get a car, lol.  He is the most positive person on the planet though. Nothing daunts him. He just gets back up. That type of faith can take him far.

 Anna is so happy in her new marriage to Tommy who is such a great guy. We got two great son in laws. Dan who is Megan’s husband is also just what a parent would order for their daughter.Anna has such a strength about her now. She has matured alot. It has been much like watching a flower blossom out into beauty.

Briana is a hard worker and a great mommy to Jayden. He is our first grandson. Gotta love those grand babies. Bri is another one who never complains about life. She is about the sweetest thing on the planet and everyone just loves her. She turns 21 tomorrow.

Caleb has that golden touch. He is the type that can trade a paperclip for a house. He just keeps moving up in life and it seems nothing he does goes wrong. He started out in a fast food restaurant and made it to manager and every year he has improved his job and pay status to now he is writing software. His girlfriend, Kayla is in college to be a doctor. They are going to do very well. It has been so much  fun watching Caleb grow up. Life with him has never been dull or boring. He always has a joke and he keeps you on your toes.

I just wrote about Matt at the top and what an awesome kid he is. He has the whole world in love with him. lol That dimpled smile is what I think does it Or maybe his way of using his last two initials on facebook, IQ. He calls himself that to the world and it is a cute joke. He is so deep in his thinking that it fits too. His middle name is Isaiah and last Quinn, so you can see it was just part of God’s plan to give him that IQ. lol

 Next is Jon. Jon didn’t plan to have a disability. He has always wanted to be treated just like everyone else. There has been some grief that we have all shared to realize that Jon is not able to go on to college and move up in life the way his sibblings have. Often he has had the attitude that since he is not going to college, he is a nobody.

  Well NO ONE is a NOBODY. Everyone is put on this planet for some reason. Not all of my kids have gone to college and it doesn’t always drive a persons success when you do.

 Jon is becoming much more accepting of his limitations, even though I never limit my kids. The sky is the limit and God can do anything. It is nice to see him becoming more at peace with allowing us to help him though.

  Desi is our youngest and she is a senior this year. She does want to go to college, but we are trying to help her do it in a manner that she won’t get overwhelmed. So we think doing a two year college in four years would be better.  Having FASD affects everyone different. She gets stressed really easily and when she does, she can be prone to melt downs.

  Yes I can look over all my kids and find so much beauty and joy. Each is walking their own path and through the Lord, they are on a path of joy and success.

  We can’t look at anything as a negative in life. God can use it all as a positive.

Nothing worth fighting for is going to be easy, but every one of my kids are a blessing and have all been worth fighting for.

The battle is still on too. I am there with each of them as they walk through life and learn lessons that I once had to learn. I like to think that my ability to share with them how it was for me and the wisdom that God has given to me, spares them some of the pain and agony of the trials.

 I have heard it said that sometimes we keep going around a mountain until we get the victory. When we finally give up, then God can work and make our situation a blessing and success. I am always hoping that what I share with my kids will keep them out of that wilderness and into the promised land, faster then it took me.

 I have a dream and a vision for my future too. I am believing God for a farm and some land. I want a second home on that land for my disabled kids to live in. That way I can monitor medications and what is going on for them in their lives, but allow them some independence to have their own place.

 I want my own home too. 31 years of raising kids and I would love to have a kitchen back. One that isn’t constantly full of dirty dishes and left out items. One that allows me to do some cooking for wholistic eating and enjoy the process. Every woman loves her kitchen, but I haven’t felt that my kitchen has been mine for many years now.

 I believe God is going to make that happen for all of us.

I want to raise our own beef cattle on that farm. I love gardening and I adore our chickens. If I have a farm, more chickens can join them. We can keep a rooster. My daughters want horses. They can live on our farm and I will get to enjoy them.

 God has given me the desires of my heart all my life. He has always blessed me over and above what I could dare ask or think. I know that this farm and second home for the kids will happen. I have declared it and now I wait on God to bring it forth. He will. You all will rejoice with us when it happens. It is the promised land. The land right before Heaven. Heaven will certainly be a glorious place, but God gave us this beautiful earth to enjoy and I love it. I can’t wait for my beautiful land with trees, woods and places for animals to roam. Our promised land will be a land where quiet can take place. Praise God for it. Praise God for my children. I love them all so much.

I know you are all dealing. It seems a day doesn’t go by without some sort of crazyness. Jon was kicked out of a class today for good. They are just taking it out of his schedule. He is too disruptive to that class and it is an elective. He doesn’t need that credit to graduate. Sad, that I had to tell him that he got booted out because he disrupts the classroom and he tells me he did nothing wrong. He doesn’t notice what he does.
My bike is missing, we think he got it stolen in the night. He says he didn’t have anything to do with it. Well our garage is always locked. The one time it was open for a bit, someone climbed over the piles, past two other bikes and took it off the ceiling where it was hanging and then made out with it from our garage. All this and the dogs didn’t bark?  I don’t think so, but  I will have to wait until Heaven to know the truth.

 Last night Jon told me he wanted to get his tatoo touched up. He said it would not cost anything. Why wasn’t my brain clued in to what was really happening? Briana and Ryan spent their gas to come pick him up for a free tatoo? No. He came home with a new tatoo and now he owes Ryan 30 dollars. I had specifically told Bri that he could not get anything that he was going to owe for. She assured me that he wasn’t.  He did it quite deceptively. Got what he wanted after manipulating the situation to make me believe that he was not getting one. So now he doesn’t get any money for his allowance because since I told him not to do this, I won’t allow him to pay Ryan. Ryan knew that he wasn’t supposed to do this.

Sadly, he is using Jon for money. Jon will gladly be used too. That is how he is. He does not notice when people are taking advantage of him. I have seen it often. He will just give his money to people and trust everyone.

 Desi is having her fits. You can’t ever tell her that dirty little word “NO”. 

Last week Desi had a fit when she could not see her boyfriend after coming home from work sick. She went nuts and screamed THREE times at the top of her lungs. I was wondering which neighbor would call the police first, when they thought someone was being abused in our house. I stood there calmly watching her just bellow out these screams. You don’t say no to Desi. It is her way, or a tantrum.

Tonight she informed me that she requested not to work on Friday or Saturdays at her FAST FOOD JOB. Hmmmm I am thinking that she probably won’t be working much then as those are the nights when teenagers are needed. But you know “I don’t understand her” and I am “not fair” when I tell her that she can only work two school nights as it will stress her out for school.

So after she gets done with her crazy yelling at me etc. I am tired. It has been a long week, month, year, life, and I tell her go ahead and work all she wants on school nights, but you plan to move out when you turn 18 as I am done with your little tantrums when someone tells you no. 

It is just me. 31 years of raising kids. Nine of them*children*. These last two have FASD. I think I will move next summer and not give a forwarding address. 🙂
Just “sayin”…………………

Parent burn out in parents raising FASD kids is really high. I just read an article today about a family who adopted a child from Russia. He had FASD and he died after banging his head on a stove. He had a habit of head banging. Now the parents are charged with manslaughter, lost their daughter, their home, their jobs. They lost all because a child had brain damage from alcohol in utero. They lost it all because they wanted to do right trying to help a child. It made me sad.

 I know of other families who have been highly persecuted for fostering and adopting when these children are angry and turn on them. They call them abusers to get even.

  I know mom’s who have tried everything with their FASD kids and still don’t have the answers.

Whether you are a birth mom of a child with FASD or an adoptive mom, you are in a battle that isn’t going to go away. Brain damage doesn’t get better unless God makes a miracle. We never stop believing for those miracles, but every day we need to be prepared for the battle.

 Sometimes though, we get weary. Sometimes I think we just need some TLC ourselves, but there isn’t anyone to give it.

They say ” this too shall pass”, but with these kids, it seems ” this too shall stay”………………….

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 30:41

I am waiting God.  I am waiting on you.  I need to run and not be weary. To walk and not faint. To be able to deal daily and not get burn out. To have peace in the midst of all storms…………to just rest…………Thank you.

Someone told me today that Bill Cosby made this statement about parenting, lol.

I am sure you have all seen the commercials about the CD/s, The Total Transformation?
Well I wanted to get my hands on them, but I could not afford to pay for them.
However I always wanted to know what those three little words were, that would stop kids from arguing. James Lehman is the doctor who created these and he has since died, but his wife has continued his legacy.
So I prayed about it. I thought maybe someone would loan me the CD’s or something.
Then one day I was at the BMV with Matthew, to get his license.
I was standing in line, when our turn came We got papers etc. and I had one more question for the girl behind the counter. She had gone on to the next person. I tried to ask her anyway, and she looked firmly at me and said “I’m so done!”
I was stumped. I shut right up. I stood there in shock, embarrassed and turned to leave. I wasn’t being rude to her or anything.
Then it hit me. She had used three little words that literally  SHUT ME UP!.
That was a HUGE blessing to me. I was like, PRAISE GOD for giving me this answer. He is so faithful to answer even the smallest of prayers.
After that, I used those words and similar words with my kids.
“We are done arguing” and I walk away.
If I won’t argue with them, then there is no one to argue with.
It has changed my whole household and they don’t argue as much now. What a relief that is after years and years of kids that had to have the last word. Jon is diagnosed ODD, which is opositional and defiant disorder. He LOVES to argue. Not me. I like peace.
Now we have it most of the time. Well until they do something unexpected, lol.

This would work in relationships too. Why do people have to have the last word? Why do we have to be right? It really isn’t worth it and with kids that have trouble understanding, they certainly are not getting it in a shouting match.

Well yesterday I was in an IEP meeting for Jon. There was the IEP teacher and the principal. When we were almost done, I was asking the principal about education for girls in the school that are pregnant. I stated that I did not see even a poster hanging up about not drinking during pregnancy.
He told me that I could get him posters and he would put them up.
He told me that I could contact the health teacher with education.
Then he shared with me that this little lesson about not arguing with the kids that I have educated Jon’s teachers about, has spread so wide in the system, that they are now teaching all the teachers at school to handle kids this way.
Hall monitors are having success with kids in the hall, simply because they will not argue with the kids.
WOW after YEARS and YEARS of trying to make a difference for my kids, this blew my mind that this little idea, that God showed me, and I showed Jon’s teachers, went that far in the school.
I felt just so blessed to know that. All along, my purpose in telling the teachers about this was to keep us from a lawsuit, lol. If teachers argue with Jon, he gets heated and would have a risk of doing something dangerous. He once had a felon on him for slamming a door on a teacher, but praise God charges were eventually dropped. We just needed to keep peace in the school for him though.
So now I find out that all the work to help Jon, has spread to all the kids in the school. Wow, I just praise God for that. Us parents should be given these keys to parenting in birthing classes, lol.  As Bill Cosby says, Don’t negotiate with terrorists!! 🙂
So many of us parents of FASD kids, all want this message to get out. We want services for our kids. We want diagnosis. We want the world to talk about it more, so that children are spared.
After dealing with schools since Jon was in kindergarten, year after year over the issues that they had with him in school, this little nugget that the principal shared with me, gave me so much hope. People are listening. If they are hearing this, then eventually they will hear more. Don’t stop talking Terry. Keep at it. The world needs to hear. Kids are suffering.
 We have been through so much over the years. Teachers haven’t always liked Jon so well, because of his impulsive, not stop talking, and argumentive behaviors.
As parents, we didn’t know why he acted that way until he was almost in high school. Then it wasn’t a doctor that pointed it out, it was my researching as much as possible about FASD, until I just knew, that I knew, my two youngest had it.
 I mean it isn’t such a secret, is it? Desi was born crack positive. That should have been a clue to me. Most drug addicts drink also. In fact we knew her birth mom and watched her live out her prostitution life style and yes we saw her drinking.
  I was the uneducated though. I didn’t know enough about it. Why? Because the world is silent about it.
  Now I am educating the doctors, teachers, other people, trying to get the word out about it. So many children are suffering in the school system and the prison system, because our world has this problem under cover.
Joyce Meyers has stated that she is the MOUTH in the body of Christ. Well I guess I am another one.
While I am left on this earth, I won’t shut up about this.  He is with me and He is opening those doors.
I just praise him for little miracles. Kids are counting on us. Kids are suffering and often no one knows.
Someone has to speak up. Their silent suffering cries to be spoken out.
 They are not bad kids. They are brain damaged and they go through life being treated as though they are bad kids.
Imagine if that was you? Wouldn’t you want someone to speak out, so you could get help? God helps the helpless. These kids are the helpless, but He uses US to do HIS work. I am a mouth in the body of Christ and God is filling it. The children with fetal alcohol syndrome’s heartache, calls me. I must go.  Lead me Lord. Thank you. I hear their cries……………….

I like Quiet

Posted: September 15, 2011 in 2011, I like Quiet, Raising Hearts

Wow, a week and a half and peace reigns. I love that. I relish every day that I can get without great stress. Of course there are little things that happen, like today Jon skipped football practice to go help someone mow their lawn. The promise of money lured him. It does concern me that because it is a bit of a stranger, that he won’t get any money for his work.

We had to change some things about football now to make sure he goes there.

It is hard to have to watch an 18 year old as closely as a young child, but this is how it has to be to keep Jon safe. I didn’t dream it would end up like this.

When we started adopting our children, we thought that we would be the best parents that we could be and they would all go out successfully.  Isn’t that every parent’s dream for their child?

I am learning that success means a lot of different things, then we thought it would mean. It does not always mean a spouse, two kids, a college education, great job and that white picket fenced house.  The all American dream?

Sometimes it means just doing your best each day, no matter where you are at, and even if you can’t go to college, or you can’t get that dream job etc. I believe it means relying solely on the Lord for your provisions in life.  AND as far as God is concerned, it means becoming more like HIM!

Yes we seek material things and He seeks our hearts. I am telling my kids that they have a purpose in God’s plan and it does not matter where they are at here on earth. He will still be using them to fulfill HIS plans down here. All he wants is our hearts. He wants us to love HIM. He wants us to communicate with Him. He wants to show us each day how to live it. He wants us free from fears and anxiety. He wants us to trust Him. Every challenge that hits us is an opportunity to learn more how to trust Him and lean on Him.

 The more I grow in that, the more peaceful and joyful my life is these days.

I have gone through a period of grieving when we fully realized that Jon would need help for possibly his whole life. At this point, of course, we don’t know if that will be us forever, or not. For now, yes though. I grieved that he wouldn’t be fulfilling that American dream of college and a good job. I grieved that he would need continuous help from us and retirement is not happening. It was hard to accept.

Jon grieved over this too when his brother, Matty, was all about going to college and Jon knew he wasn’t. He felt like he had no future, no hope.

But the closer I grow in God, the more I accept His plans and He says that He knows the plans He has for us, plans for Good and not for evil, plans to give us an expected end.

So I let go of grief and I trust. I take life one day at a time and I deal with each situation as it arises. I am not trusting perfectly yet. I still get upset when Jon does something that blows me away and steps out of our safety zone. I still have a hard time accepting that his brain just does not function on a normal level and when he does something he shouldn’t, I am still trying to strike that match in his head that will blaze a fire of knowledge. It seems so often that only a spark gets in and then dies out. So yes, I am still not fully letting myself just accept that this is the way it is. However in reality, gosh, it might not be forever. Who am I to limit my son? God can do a miracle with him and we might see Jon come out of this and walk in independence one day. With God, the sky is always the limit. He is able to do abundantly over and above all that we can dare think or ask.

So why not have hope? Why not live life as though we have to do all this for Jon now, but believe that God can light that spark and bring that blaze into Jon’s brain. To believe that all those missfiring areas up there, might one day start firing the way he was intended to, if his birth mom had not drank alcohol, can keep me reaching for the stars and never giving up on Jon.

He needs that and we need that. So I am going to continue to praise God for my children. All of them need His help daily and so do Mike and I. We are all helpless without Him.

Praise His Name. God bless my children. God bless you Megan and Dan and little Joshua. God bless you Jacob, Nathan, Matthew, Caleb and Jon. God bless you Anna and Tommy. God bless you Briana and Jayden and our youngest, Desi, but certainly not the shortest, lol. God bless you my loving husband, Mike. May we all see God’s full miracles in our life each day. May we walk in HIS plans and purpose for us and not look at the exterior things for success in life. May our success be over coming each day’s issues, pains, challenges etc. with the Lord’s miracles. I love you all.

Flash cards at 18?

Posted: September 10, 2011 in 2011, Flash cards at 18?, Raising Hearts

Does that sound really strange? Well it might, but I believe it is what the Lord has shown me to use for my son.

Jon is 18, but he hasn’t matured a whole lot since he was about 13 or so. He seems stuck. That is what FASD does to a person. Their brain is damaged and they can’t seem to get things like a normal brain would. I mean GET THEM. Did you hear me? Of course you did because you GET THINGS!  Not Jonny, he will appear to get things. You will think he “got it”. But then one day along the way, he will repeat the same wrong act that you thought he, got, AGAIN!

Now I know we all have things that we do, that are repetitive sins. None of us is perfect. We all struggle in areas. But you would think something that might have gotten us into serious trouble, might make an impact on our brains and we would not do it again.  I mean if you put your hand on a hot stove, get burned, suffer for days, I am betting that you look to see if a burner is on from now on.

With Jon we cannot assume because he has suffered great consequences, that he has actually learned from something that he did wrong. He might not have. His brain doesn’t seem to keep those things in memory. He forgets everything.

Have you ever walked into a room and wondered why you went there? Does that drive you crazy? It sure does me. I HATE IT when I forget what I am doing. I hate it when I can’t remember something that I was just thinking about. I love my memory. I treasure the fact that my memory works pretty good and I can keep my life organized and things done. I love to remember appointments. I never want to disappoint someone that I promised something to. Memory is very important to me.

Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a world where you can’t remember anything from one minute to the next? Imagine being who we are with good memories one day and living in that world the next? I would go crazy. It would scare me.

Not Jonny though. It doesn’t scare him. He has never known it any different. He was born that way. He can’t remember that he can’t remember.

So here was a biggie this summer. Jon had a bike that wasn’t in good shape. One day I looked out the window and saw a familiar bike out back. IT WAS MINE. I went downstairs and asked Jon, why was MY BIKE out back, where his bike usually was. He “borrowed it”. He took it out of the garage and just used it without my permission.

Well my bike was fairly new and I treasured owning this bike as it is key to helping me get myself in shape. I know I have a long way to go to get into shape, but this bike came to me in a very blessed way and I really appreciate it. I want to keep it nice and be able to use it.

Well Jon doesn’t use anything nicely. He could have gotten my bike stolen in one day, as he had no lock for it. I had no idea where my bike had traveled that day. I was so upset knowing that he carelessly just “stole” my bike and went around with it that day.

I explained to him that he had stolen a bike basically, as he didn’t have permission to ride that bike. It was no different then taking a bike from someone elses house, since it was not his bike and he had not asked me to ride it. I even imposed a fine on him that night. I wanted the message to be very clear that taking someone elses bike without asking, was a CRIME!

I knew that I had to be very strong with him on this, as Jon has a history of taking things that don’t belong to him. I mean if it had been the first time ever taking someone’s something, I would have regarded this as a mistake, but not Jon, he took people’s stuff without regard often. I am like, isn’t he ever going to get the message that this is WRONG?

So I made a really big deal about this. Yes I know kids with FASD are prone to stealing. But my kid is going to learn and that is that.


Well it should have been over. Yes it should have been. But not a month later and one day I looked out my window and low and behold, my bike was in the back yard again.  I could not believe it! I ran downstairs and jumped onto Jon with “What are you doing with my bike again?”
Oh he was going to ask me if he could borrow it.

I am like, that bike was hanging on a peg, high in the garage, where no one would touch it and you got it down and took it again, AFTER YOU ALREADY GOT FINED FOR DOING SO, just a few weeks ago???

Oh he forgot. ARE YOU KIDDING? How could you forget that? I was in shock. I made him hang the bike back up. It took me a while to get over that and I thought, surely Jon now knows that he can’t  take my bike. SURELY!

NOT!!!!!!  Well almost not. Just yesterday, Jon took off early for football. I sent Jake after him as he is not to be at the school until it is time for football and this was an hour and a half early.  So Jake brought him back and in then I find out that not only did he leave early to hang out at school, but HE TOOK JACOB’S bike, which was my old bike!!  I mean, He was told not to touch bikes in our garage when he took my bike and he is now on another bike from our garage????????  Well I about flipped out. I scolded him and sent him to his room to wait until it was time for football.

I kept stewing about that and it wasn’t until night time that I realized why I was so upset. It wasn’t that he took Jacob’s bike. It was that Jonny just didn’t seem to be learning that he could not touch our bikes. Why wasn’t he learning? After big punishments, he just did not get it.

It frustrated me and it scared me all in one. Is his brain that bad???

YES IT IS! I have to accept that my son is getting older, but not growing up like he should because his poor brain is damaged and his memory does not work. It just doesn’t.

So I started praying. “Lord, how can I help Jon?” We just can’t let him go on repeating the same dangerous things in life. I mean he has to learn that he can’t meet with girls in the night that are younger then him.  He has to learn not to take people’s bikes, which by the way, mine wasn’t the only bike he took this summer. Bikes came from near and wide and landed in my back yard. They always belonged to a friend of his blah blah…..but I always wondered if some little boy was missing his bike and it really bothered me.

We even bought Jon a brand new bike. Well Jon paid for it, but we took him to get it and we thought that would solve things, but in less then a month, his bike is missing. We still don’t really know where his bike is. He says his friend took it to his aunts house and about every day, I have asked him to get the address of where his bike is, but he keeps forgetting to do that. sigh….

So now I realize that it is not just the bikes here, that have me upset. It is that Jon isn’t registering that this is wrong and keeping it in his registry.

“Lord, how can I help Jon?  There has to be a way to get his brain to register.”

Then I could see this idea in my mind. FLASH CARDS! Yes. The same way you teach kids to read. I am going to make typed pages of things that Jon needs to learn and put them inside page protectors. Then Jon and I are going to play this game daily. He will read the flash cards and we will discuss them. Ten minutes a day with the flash cards.

Hospitals do stuff like this all the time when they are working to help an accident victim relearn how to do things if  they have brain damage. Sometimes people have to learn all over how to talk, walk, read, everything. It can be done though. The damaged brain can recover.

I know this is pioneering work with FASD, but I have to try. I have to find out if Jon’s memory can be reworked in his brain by using flash cards daily.

If this works, we can share our idea with other families who are struggling with FASD. Maybe we can help other children. I don’t know yet. All I know right now is that my son needs help and this is what I feel the Lord has shown me to do for him.  Jon deserves to have some working memory. Let’s see if this is possible.

I already have started. I don’t have the cards made yet, but today I went over things with him on two occasions. I am like, Jon repeat after me. I can’t ride any of mom’s bikes. Jon says, I can’t ride any of mom’s bikes.

Good Jonny, now say, I can’t meet girls in the middle of the night………….Jon says, I can’t meet girls in the middle of the night. Good Jonny……He didn’t mind doing that. He thought it was fun and good attention for him. lol.

Ok so it is. Flash cards for Jon….Let’s see if we can train his brain to have working memory……Praise God for creative ideas.

Over the years often I get asked how do we handle the mixed race issue. We are Caucasian, our four birth kids are also and all of our five adopted children are black or mixed.

I am amazed at how our family has done over the years and the fact that we have not encountered many issues at all, with this fact.

When the children were babies, I was a power house of energy. (would like that back God?).  Anyway, I used to gather up all my little chickens and put them in the van and we would go grocery shopping together.

Megan would push a cart with all five of the little ones in it and I would push one that would gather up food. My other three birth kids usually hung off the sides of my cart. We were a great team, Megan and I. I would usually send Anna, Nate or Jake fishing isles for things we needed and they would run around, get them and come back to hang on my cart.

Well The comical part was the people. It is so funny how people’s pupils can grow quickly when they look at you with shock. Secretly I guess I enjoyed shocking them all just for fun. Let them all guess if I was a bad girl who had too many partners, lived on welfare, etc. or if I was a foster mom. Rarely did anyone get that we actually adopted all these children. Most asked me if I fostered, if they dared to ask.

I always held my head up and just concentrated on the task at hand. I guess if I had an “Alice” at home, the little ones would have stayed home and I could probably have done this so much easier.  I never minded taking my kids places with me though. I didn’t have any race issues in my bones, or God wouldn’t have asked us to do this.

It was others that might have had a problem. The truth is that we rarely ran into any real problems. When I would go to the school to see a teacher for my kids, sometimes my kids friends would say stuff like “Is that your mom?” and my kids always proudly smiled and said “YES!”.

They all were proud and happy that I was their mommy. No one hid shamefully because they were a different color then us. They all knew that their mom loved them so much and that is all that counts.

If my kids were ever persecuted for this, they didn’t tell me about it and they usually all told me everything, so I just don’t think it happened.

Today it is interesting who they date. Caleb is mixed and he always has dated caucasion girls.

Bri is black and she has dated two asian boys.  She is still with Ryan now and he is asian.

Megan married in her race. Anna married a part hispanic guy.  Dan and Tommy are loved by all in our family.

Nate, our birth son, is single but often dates black girls.

Matt dates all races and Desi is currently dating a black gentleman named Max.

I just don’t think we are looking at race ourselves. We see people. I know all about racial prejudice. I am not unaware, but do you realize that all kids grow up about the same, no matter what their skin color is? They all have tantrums at age two. They all have tantrums again as teens and they all have beautiful purpose on this earth. God created each of us the same on the inside. It is called Human.

I always told the kids that we are not really black and white. We are all brown, just different shades of brown.

That is the type of Oreo we are, brown on the outside and human on the inside. We all love each other so much.

When we get together as a family, it is so much fun. Gosh, I am glad Mike and I listened to God and didn’t worry about what the world would think. Each child that is in our family was hand picked by HIM.  No mistakes at the Quinns.

This afternoon I received a call from the mom of the girl, that Jon visited in the night.  The first thing she said was “I am sorry”.  I can tell you that coming from the experience that she had this weekend, finding a naked black boy in her child’s room, in the night, this took alot. I didn’t blame her one bit for being as upset as she was.

She also took full responsibility for her daughter’s part in it all too. I love to know parents like that.  Our kids are better off when we make them learn from what they did, rather then blaming everyone else. These two kids were both wrong. BUT, Jon was certainly the more responsible one in this event. Too bad though that in Jon’s mind, he can’t see it that way. He  thinks like a little boy.  He doesn’t recognize how dangerous all this was. He says he was just “chillen”. Well son, Chillen can get you little butt in jail…………….

Now there is going to be a restraining order against him. He is not to go anywhere near this little girl who is only 15. I think this will be a very good thing. He will now know that Chillen can get the police on your case and the law is bigger then he is. Maybe it will save him from making a mistake like this again, that could be worse then chillen.

Sex is everywhere. We can’t turn on the TV without seeing it. Our kids are getting the message that sex is a normal thing to do with anyone.

Today it is not abnormal to walk through a school and see 12 to 20 girls in the school at one time, carrying babies. They think their little tummies are so cute. Most of the boys involved don’t stay involved and these poor parents are often stuck raising these children.

These same teenage girls are often out partying on weekends, totally oblivious to what can be happening to the life of their unborn child.

I want so badly to be able to be a voice to these teens.  It will take some real harsh reality to get through to them though. I don’t think telling a pregnant teen that alcohol can brain damage their baby, will mean much.  Too bad we can’t make a movie staring FASD kids.  It would probably not be a big seller, but it could sure carry a message.

I am so grateful to the mom that called me today. I am grateful that my son did not end up with charges of breaking and entering and statutory rape. This weekend was a night mare, but now I can feel the healing breeze of God blowing over it.

We have set up a whole new set of rules for Jon. He is no longer a renter here, but living as a child under restriction. One of his teachers offered to get us set up with MRDD today. I didn’t even know he could qualify for that. I am so excited that God is sending some help. We need it so badly. Praising God for small miracles today. I am grateful.


Posted: September 4, 2011 in 2011, He DID WHAT?, Raising Hearts

My phone rings at 4 am today. Jon is supposed to be at the night shift at Mcdonalds. I am thinking he is probably calling for a pickup ride. He is supposed to call his dad, so I am a little annoyed that he called me and woke me up. Then I notice it is another phone number. My brain works quick and I figure he is using a friends phone.

 “Hello”. …….the caller on the other end is not my son. She states her name and asks me if I have a son. I say yes, not realizing to tell her that I have five sons. I just knew it was about Jon.  The caller is calling in the middle of the night and Jon is not home.

 THen she says “Well he is about to be arrested for breaking and entering and statutory rape with my daughter!”  She is quite angry. I am in shock!!!

I mean someone could have hit me over the head with a hammer and I might have thought it was all a part of the same thing. I felt like someone might have died. Where was I?  Did I just hear that my son’s life was over?

She wanted me to come get him but when she asked his age and I told her 18, that is when she said, never mind then he is going to be arrested for blah blah blah…………..

I walked around dazed for a bit, then had this huge attack with my stomach. As I sat there, I felt this peace come from no where and the Lord was saying it was going to be ok.

 I didn’t feel any better, I just felt that. I had nothing to base it on. I didn’t even know the details of the crime yet.

So I tried to pray and praise the Lord for working this out, but it was feeble at best. I was just in shock.

I did have the presence of mind to get my adrenal meds under my tongue so that I didn’t end up sick and in the hospital too. Shock is very dangerous for someone with adrenal insufficiency. 

So I collect myself enough and decide to call this lady back and find out more. I did and I explain that my son has Fetal alcohol syndrome and that he is adopted. He is in special ed at school.

“Well He knows right from wrong, doesn’t he?”

Hmmm I wasn’t sure how to answer that, as in reality he doesn’t in some ways.

Some how my appeal softened her a bit, I felt.

Then Jon called me. He told me that it was all stupid. Nothing was going to happen. He was just visiting her. She invited him over. They had not had sex. He did not break in. etc. The cops were telling him that there was nothing they could do.

I could hardly believe all that because the words of the mom are ringing in my ears of the charges. She had also told me that she was a prosecutor.So he picked the wrong house to do this in.

I gather up strength to look up the street he was on, in mapqueust and ask Mike if he will take me over there. Mike was fully in on this. He was taking charge. We drive over and there are all those lights flashing from the police vehicle. We can hardly see where to park, it was so bright.

 The son that I love dearly is sitting in that cop car and I don’t yet know the outcome. In that moment I wanted to protect him. I wanted to shout to the world, my son is not ok. Please don’t put him in Jail. It will kill him. You can’t do that to him. He can’t survive in jail any more then he can take care of himself.

I am now learning the story from the officers. The girl invited him in, as mom was out of town. The girl is 15, and Jon is 18. BUT, a new law is in place and now 15 is the age of consent. ( truthfully that law should have been a long time ago as normal 18 year old kids and 15 year olds are just kids.

The officer asks one of the mom’s, they are a couple, if she wants to talk to me. I try to go over and apologize, but the other mom comes out and lights into me with all four barrels. She is going to be putting a restraining order on my son blah blah and she starts coming at me.

 The officers put a stop to that and my husband told me to stop talking and get out of there.

Then he almost said something to her, but held his tongue. I then tell him to stay quiet.

So now Jon is loaded into our car and the bike he “borrowed” for the night is placed in the trunk.

We shake the officers hands and thank them for everything.

Did that just happen? Did I go from hell and thinking my son’s life was over, to simply going home with him?

Ok the real story is that my son skipped work, hung out with a friend, and connected with this girl on the phone and she invited him over, let him in and they were caught necking. Supposedly no sex took place YET.

She consented and with the new law, Jon had not broke into their house, the officers could do nothing about it with Jon.

I have had three hours of sleep and the night before only a few also because Desi had Max over without my consent, and his dad didn’t come and pick him up until 1:30 in the morning.

That will be Max’s last evening at our house, ever.

This will be Jon’s last time of freedom while he lives at home and is completing high school. He is now on house arrest. I took his phone. We sent him to bed so that we can all discuss this after we are rested.

 WE are not sure that Jon still has a job, as he called off work.

Oh Jon, yes your life is not going to be the same any more. You are no longer an 18 year old living at home with a rental contract. Now you live at the Quinn halfway house and there will be rules again, lots of them.

 You are going to be dealt with in a much different manner or you will simply not be here. It is your choice. If you don’t stay here with us, the chances are good that the next call, could be real. WE can’t help you if that happens.

You will no longer be living at home though and roaming the streets at night. I think it is time you were told what you are really dealing with. I haven’t told you that you are borderline MRDD. I didn’t want to limit you. I didn’t want to discourage you. BUt maybe you need to know that so you will let us help you.  You will probably always need help and you need to be willing to allow that.

You can’t keep yourself safe Jon. FASD took that from you.

Mike says that maybe generation X is all FASD damaged and that is why we have  a whole generation of lazy , back talking, law breaking kids that won’t keep jobs.  I think that is a little extreme thinking, but who knows. Alcohol is treated with such casual thought. No biggie. Everyone drinks. People often don’t even know that they are pregnant and are drinking.

 When it damages kids as much as it has, Jon and Desi, it should be taken far more serious then any crime that is out there. It cripples people for life. It takes away their choice to be fully functioning adults. It is just wrong. SO WRONG!!

Just another day

Posted: September 2, 2011 in 2011, Just Another Day, Raising Hearts

It is 9:23 in the morning. I have already had several phone calls from the school this morning.

Desi went to school in leggins that are not allowed unless there is a dress or long shirt over them. She tells me that the office won’t allow her to go get the pants that are in her locker.

I finally connect with the school and Desi never told them that there were pants in her locker.

Desi just wants me to think she is being held hostage at the office, so that I will be upset with the school on her behalf. She is good at that type of manipulation.

Next call was from attendance. School has been in session for one and a half weeks. Jon has three lates already.

Jon cannot manage time for anything and may not even be able to tell you why he was late.

We are going to have a meeting for his IEP to discuss what discipline to give him this year for this, as there cannot be home discipline any more. Jon has reached 18 and now has a contract with us to live at home, pay rent and be his own boss, etc.

We are going to put something in place that will benefit everyone, as Jon won’t really learn how to manage time, no matter what the consequences. Do I limit him when I say that? I don’t mean to. I am just trying to accept reality of living with a son who has FASD who may never be able to take care of himself properly. 

Sigh…..this is what life is for these kids. They can’t manage time, money, their things etc. They don’t tell the truth. We are all ingrained to believe that lying is a sin. If a kids lies, they are a child who was not raised right. These kids lie to protect themselves on a very animal level. They lie to get what they want. They lie because their conscience section of the brain has holes in it.  They have brain damage and can’t feel guilt about stuff like you and I can. We never give up trying to help them learn to be honest. We hope that some how we can make some routes through that brain that will work right.

I raised 7 kids before these two. They all tried lying out, but every one of them found a place in this world that gave them a conscience as they grew. They can cope with life like normal individuals and have no real reasons to lie. Most of them love the Lord and wouldn’t consider lying, especially to their mom. 🙂

FASD is definitely a different road to tread on. We have to have compassion and understanding, or we will be in constant judgement. We cannot treat them the same, but our world doesn’t understand it that way, so for us parents it is a double whammy. We deal with our kids who don’t get it, can’t be honest, etc. and we deal with the world who also doesn’t get it and expects our kids to be up to par and “normal”, or they are BAD kids. They don’t see that this child’s choice was removed when birth mom drank alcohol. Sigh. it is painful being a mom sometimes to FASD kids.

It saddens us greatly that our kids will have the same reputation that our politicians have, lol.  They lie to control our country and get what they want.  Maybe they are all brain damaged. 🙂

Hello World,

 I am one voice, but I represent many voices with the same heart beat. Children are born daily with FASD and little help is out there for these kids. Many parents that are raising children with FASD are frustrated because they cannot get a diagnosis for their child. Genetics clinics diagnose based on facial characteristics and a baby will only have these characteristics if the mom drinks during a two to three day time period that the face is forming.

 The rest of the pregnancy, when ever a mom drinks, her baby is drinking with her. The baby does not have the ability to detox the alcohol out of it’s system like the mom does, so basically the baby’s brain is pickled in alcohol for that time period.

 Critical brain cells are forming daily that make up every aspect of the brain. While the baby is pickled in alcohol, not only are these cells not forming that should  be, but others that were formed are dying.

 So when that child is born, we will see what is noted as “Swiss Cheese Brain”.  The brain is part of our guts when we are forming and at some point our brain and guts separate, so that is why a brain looks much like a gut in side the head. Babies with FASD will have holes in areas all through out the brain, depending on what parts were forming when the mom picked up that drink.

The brain with holes in it, collapses down on itself and is smaller. The electrical impulses that are meant to go across the brain, have to weave themselves a fresh pattern to make it. Then we will see children who can’t function properly because they literally have brain damage. You don’t grow out of brain damage. It does not change. These kids suffer their whole lives with a host of malfunctions and cognitive delays in many areas. They will often get diagnosed with many secondary mental illnesses, but the main cause is brain damage due to fetal alcohol exposure in utero.

 Mothers are very often not aware of what damage can be happening to their child, as there is a great lack of education in our country about this. There is a huge stigma attached to this problem. How many parents are struggling with their kids issues and don’t realize that it is because they drank while they were pregnant?  Do we condemn these moms? NOT AT ALL! This is a social problem that we are not addressing in our country. The word isn’t getting out there. People are not aware of the seriousness of it and how damaging it can be to a child to drink while pregnant. Often mom’s don’t even know that they are pregnant before it is too late. So no we don’t condemn mom’s who have drank. They need help though. They need help with their children. There is nothing more difficult then raising a child with this disability.  Parents need support. They need clinics and doctors that can diagnose. Treatments cannot fix brain damage but can help some of the symptoms.

 These children are often labeled as troubled, behavior problems, etc. They struggle in school. They often can go into adulthood unable to even care for themselves. Often they need an exterior brain to help them get by in life. They have problems with time management, money management, anger management, impulse control, stealing, lying, and so much more. These kids almost always have ADHD, but not that alone, but coupled with a complex variety of mood disorders, ODD, etc. Teachers struggle in school with these kids and often blame parents for not disciplining their children properly, when in fact, these children may often come from great homes, but have brain damage that affects their behavior.

 We are conditioned to think that if someone lies or steals, they are criminals. These kids lie and steal because they don’t have impulse control. They don’t often have understanding of what belongs to whom. They are brain damaged in the area of the conscience. Isn’t that scary? How can we look at these kids and think they are criminals? However the justice system does and often these are the kids in jail.  Wow is that sad. They could have had a chance if their mom had not drank and their mom could have had a chance not to drink if our country would have put a commercial on TV about this danger. We can’t keep ignoring this. It is a huge problem. More people are affected then we know. Many kids are not even getting a chance.

Well I have two children that have FASD and they are getting a chance. We are fighting for them all the way. Our story will be revealed through my blog. I hope that through my blog, others will get educated, and maybe some babies will be saved. Maybe some children will get help. Maybe some doctors will learn about this disorder and study it. Maybe clinics will pop up all over that can diagnose and treat this.  Maybe some parents will get the support that they need. Maybe some children will get help in school that they need. Maybe some adult persons with FASD, will have support into their future.  Some of these kids are in desperate straights. We can’t continue to shovel this under a bush and pretend that it does not exist. 

I have a yahoo group that supports parents who are raising kids with FASD. You are all welcome to join:

I am also in the process of putting up a website with information about FASD. With that, there will be a link to the beginnings of my book “Raising Hearts” which is only in the foundation stages. I am going to be sharing it publically though. I have a desire to share all the God has done through our miracle family. It is only because of Him, that we can do anything.

Talk to you all soon. Terry Quinn

Hello world!

Posted: September 1, 2011 in 2011, Hello World, Raising Hearts

Hello, I am mom to nine fabulous children and married to Mike Quinn, my wonderful hubby of almost 32 years.
We have four children by birth and five by adoption.
Our two youngest have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and have suffered a lot with it.
I am here to help educate our country on this disorder and hopefully help fulfill a need to help prevent it, bring forth clinics that can diagnose it, create support groups for families that deal with it, find support systems for adults with it and just in general make this issue more known in our country.

Thanks, Terry Quinn