This blog is a place where we can join together and provide understanding, help, and resources to help one another find our way through this journey. Living with FASD is often a challenging journey with many different 'waves', 'storms', and even 'hurricanes', and we're here to help each other as we journey through these challenges, but would ask that comments remain positive, uplifting and helpful. Thank you.
"Acceptance doesn't mean resignation. It means understanding that something is what it is and there's got to be a way through it." -Michael J. Fox

Monday, July 21, 2014

Birthday Gifts

My daughter had a birthday yesterday.  We have loved, struggled, triumphed, heart-ached, laughed and cried through 14 wonderful years.  Isabella is a gift!  She was adopted- we always like to say "was" adopted not "is" because it was just a one time event.  Something that happened on certain day 14 years ago and not part of who she is- it is not her identity and neither is FASD.  FASD is just something that happened to her that has made her brain work differently.  It isn't who she is.  She lives with the consequences of FASD just like she lives with the consequences of being adopted or being a second child- but it isn't WHO she is.  She is an amazing, valiant, courageous, child of God who I believe is here to teach me.  She bends me further than I thought I could bend.  I have learned I am stronger and have more endurance and patience than I ever believed.  That is a gift!  She is my mirror, she holds it up for me to see all of the ugly, untamed, unpolished, and hidden parts of my character that I need to notice and refine.  That is a gift!   She forces me to think about things in a different way and to live more consciously.  Because her brain works differently I have to pay attention to how my brain works, how and what I think.  There is no yesterday or tomorrow with Isabella, when I'm with her I'm in the moment (I usually call this impulsiveness but "living in the moment" sounds so much better ).  That is a gift!  She makes me question things I have never questioned, she draws attention to things I have never noticed.  These are all gifts!  Fourteen years of painful,  wonderful, soul-stretching gifts!


  1. I hope your daughter had a wonderful birthday! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights.

  2. Thanks for sharing this Natalie. What a great post! I love your insight of looking at GIFTS! And I appreciate how you said: "There is no yesterday or tomorrow with Isabella, when I'm with her I'm in the moment." I feel the exact same way with my son, Sam. We are always 'in the moment'...there is no yesterday or tomorrow. It's such a different perspective to have...I have to remind myself of this often...and try to see the world through my son's eyes. Thanks for reminding me to look for the GIFTS!