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>Untangling Blame

November 10, 2010

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One of the things we don’t talk much about in the Korean adoption community is prenatal alcohol exposure. It is a subject I’d like to talk more about here because as our kids mature, more of us are discovering that it poses challenges for our families. Yet because we don’t talk about it, and the referral was so long ago, and the amount of alcohol consumption listed (if any) fell within our comfort zone, it takes many of us a long time to confront the truth: some of our kids are living with the neurological and behavioral effects of prenatal alcohol exposure.
One of the reasons we have a hard time talking about it is because it raises thorny questions about our child’s birth mother. Some of the information we’re given puts our heart in a conflicted snarl. How can we reconcile ideas like “she loved you enough to make an adoption plan for you when she might have aborted you” with “she drank alcohol while she was carrying you and it permanently damaged your brain” ? (No: this is not a conversation I’ve had with any of my kids yet. But some conversations are years in the making.)
Today, Kari at Coffee Catharsis, whom I admire for blogging candidly (helpfully) about the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure, posted her answer to that question, the same conclusion God has led me to. If you are newer to this subject, Kari’s post is a helpful starting place.

Updating this post with another link. My friend Dorothy is also parenting kids with FASD and reflects helpfully on their first mothers here.

Both Dorothy’s blog (Urban Servant) and Kari’s blog (Coffee Catharsis) are linked in my sidebar.

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