M came to us April 27th, 2013 just 5 days old. We had been waiting for his arrival for some time, but the call still felt unexpected. G and I were working in his studio making a bookshelf for the then unoccupied nursery. G answered the phone. Our agency got a call about a newborn baby boy who needed an immediate placement. There were very few details about him. We were told that they didn’t know who his mother was and some woman apparently tried to kidnap him from the hospital. The latter detail was really a major generalization of the facts.
G and I were prepared for a baby exposed to drugs. We had taken extra classes to learn to care for drug exposed/affected children. In fact, the only thing I thought I couldn’t handle was FASD. I didn’t know as much about FASD as I do now. To be honest, I thought of it as equivalent to significant intellectual disability. I had no idea about the FASD spectrum. I’m glad we didn’t know, I love that we jumped into this experience feet first. Of course, we quickly fell in love. By the time we found out he was exposed to drugs, his history didn’t matter. We were only focused on his future.It was only the second or third visit by our agency worker that she mentioned that his facial features were indicative of FAS. I remember spending hours searching for infants with FAS to compare his facial features to. They weren’t as prominent as the textbook examples, but it was relatively easy to see the flat philtrum, the epicanthal folds, and the thin upper lip.
But, M was a dream as an infant. Other than the fact that he hardly slept and ate tiny amounts constantly, he was happy and easy going.