The Journey to Forgiveness


My daughter suffers from FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). At this point in her life, she neither knows about this diagnosis nor would even be able to understand it. Though I understand the unfortunate effects this has on her mental and physical abilities, I still struggle with why this had to happen to her.

As a bit of background, we adopted our daughter from Estonia, where she spent her first six years of life in an orphanage in the southern part of that country. She was born prematurely, at around 32 weeks gestation. After coming to the orphanage, as far as we know, she received only one visit from a relative, her grandmother, just a few months after coming to live there.

I’m angry…Angry that a mother would subject her unborn child to a drug that causes more damage to people and families than any other in the entire world. Angry that a life was unalterably changed before it had barely even begun. Angry that my family is now afflicted with the issues that inevitably result from FAS.

Don’t get me wrong. I am immeasurably blessed by God. I am certain, through His providence, that we were led to adopt our daughter and that He has a plan and special blessings in store for us. But that doesn’t take away the pain and heartache that has occurred in our lives as a result of one birthmother’s choice, now nearly eleven years ago.

I’m thankful that our daughter’s birthmother saw fit to give up her child, to let someone else take care of her until we were able to adopt her. I still struggle with why she would consume enough alcohol and damage her own daughter in the process. Maybe I’ll never understand it. I just hope I’m someday able to forgive her for it. This journey to forgiveness is a hard process but God never said it would be easy.

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2 Responses

  1. I understand your anger. My wife and I adopted a wonderful little boy from Russia in 2001. He is bright, funny, gentle, loving and kindhearted, just an incredible boy and our love for him overflows. But he is FAE and will spend his entire life adjusting to the permanent damage his birth mother caused him. And yet we believe with all our hearts that God brought us together with this child for His purposes and that God’s will shall prevail and help us and our son overcome the damage that has been done to this innocent soul. Every day we learn to deal better with his issues and as we work through each one, we learn so much about ourselves (especially patience!) But we are growing together in ways we never anticipated. I find that by following the old adage of staying focused on this journey rather than thinking about some ultimate destination that was taken away from him, I can end each day with a smile and a prayer of thanks.

    • Thanks for the response…It definitely helps to know that there are others out there struggling with the same issues and yet keeping it in focus. God bless you.

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