We were given a manila envelope and told to fill out all of the paperwork inside before his next appointment in 3 weeks. I sat down that very night armed with a pencil and a Diet Coke.  This shouldn’t be hard. Just answer the questions.

  “Distracted by external stimuli?”   
  “Often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected?” 

  “Often does not follow through instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)”

  “Poor performance in Schoolwork.”
   “Careless…” “Impulsive…”  “Disorganized…”  ..trouble focusing..” “difficult..” “Mean spirited…”

  I answered all of the questions on 3 or 4 different forms.  I sat back, relieved… for a moment. Then I looked at what I had done…spent hours judging my son.  Picking his behavior apart. Saying that he was not perfect. That our family is not perfect.  That I am a bad Mom.  I mean, shouldn’t I have been able to fix this?  I saw ADHD in him years ago. I talked myself out of it, “He’s just being a kid.”

 We sat in the Doctors office today for 2 hours while he made his diagnosis.  He was VERY thorough!  
In the end he gave us the diagnosis. Explained the reason why his brain works this way. Gave us choices in how to proceed. We left the office with one excited 6 year old (he can’t wait to start taking his pills), samples of medication, (and prescription for more) and a sense of relief. A Dr. had finally confirmed it.

Not even an hour had passed before I got the biggest lump in my throat.
What had I done?
What had I done wrong?  
I had failed my son.  My son that I had worked so hard to protect.

  For years after he came to live with us I was afraid to speak to him harshly, or discipline him because I felt so guilty that he had lived in an Orphanage for 15 months.  Maybe that is where I had failed him.

I love this boy. He is precious. He is perfect.
This is not his fault, and I know
it is not my fault either.

Why do I still feel like it is?


19 thoughts on “…fail?

  1. Oh Lola…I promise it will get better. Please don't take it personally, you are a great mom, the best mom for that little person. Tay is one cutie of a kid and he's going to do just fine. You did NOT fail him, you are doing what is best and right for him. I love you chiquitita…you're the best :o)


  2. you did not fail him, this is an internal-nobody's fault issue. the fact that you love him enough to do whatever is needed to help him be everything you know he can be is proof enough that you are not a failure, quite the opposite i would say.


  3. Fail? I don't think so. You know the only one holding on to the fact he was there in that orphanage is you. He has forgotten all about it, and has moved on with his happy little life, he is loving and loved and that is all that matters! Let it go and be happy with him Lola! What 6 year old boy can sit still? Not one of mine. Why is it that we expect these kids to be dumbed down, and label them with letters because they are unlike the rest? This part of him is something amazing just waiting to get out and express himself. I for one can't wait to see what his so called disorder propells him to become!


  4. You did not fail! My Karas had autism and ADHD. I did not fail her. The Lord sent her here the way she is for us. She is here on this eathly world to teach someone something. I don't know if that someone is me or if I am preparing her to meet someone else she is to help. John and I did nothing to make her this way. The Lord sent her and your little guy the they are for a reason. You may not know now, you may have to wait for the eternities to find out. Hang in there. He'll be great!


  5. As mothers, don't we all feel that we failed our child(ren) in some way? I know I do. Look at the positives…God didn't put that little boy in your life (or yours in his) to self-doubt. Embrace the hurdles, hold his and leap over them together!


  6. You'ce not failed in the slightest with your son. You are the one who has gotten him a diagnosis and are willing to work with him to handle this. Many parents I know ignore their kids ADHD and do not monitor medication proberly so the kids grow up lawless and without boundaries.

    Stop beating yourself up and recognise that you have actually done something quite remarkable and loving in getting the diagnosis. That is being a loving mother, not a failure.

    Hugs from a Brit with an adult friend who has ADHD!


  7. I'm sure it's overwhelming right now. Sometimes we KNOW something in our heads long before we know/feel it in our hearts. You know it's not your fault, but you can't help think and worry about it. It means you're a good mom that you're thinking there's something you could've done better to make it better for him. But honestly, it's not all about you–you couldn't have done anything different. He is who he is. He was made that way by Heavenly Father and given to you and ONLY YOU as a steward over the early, important years of his life. If He trusts you, you should too!

    As a teacher, I can tell you that once a child has been diagnosed, things get better. It makes a huge impact on the child's life to know he has help (medication, teachers who know his situation) and that he can ask for help from adults who care for him. Helping him learn coping skills while he's young, before the hard work or Middle and High School start, will drastically improve his chances of success. You've done the right thing. 🙂


  8. You haven't failed him. Quite the contrary. You've loved him. Such a precious gift you've given him. Your heart. Your family. Imagine his life if you hadn't opened your arms and heart to him. Who would have cared enough to take him to the doc to start finding his answers?


  9. Oh sweetie, you did not fail. He IS perfect! But we have no idea what happens in those orphanages. And we do know that the first year, there is so much growth and development in their little brains. It is NOT your fault. You are the BEST mommy for him. He is your precious boy, given to you by God because He knew you needed each other. I am glad you were finally able to get a diagnosis. I know, at least for us, the struggle to find a diagnosis that fit was so frustrating. But now you have it and can move forward. Thankfully, he is excited and wants to be successful. That is a huge blessing.
    I am praying for you.


  10. It's not your fault.

    Print that, cut it out, and carry it in your pocket. Take it out and look at it whenever you need to.

    My son has Sensory Integration/Sensory Processing Disorder, and it's been a tough row to hoe. It STILL is. Intellectually, he's way ahead. Socially, he's way behind. I fear for him. And I wonder if I did something wrong.

    But I didn't. It's just how he's made.

    So remember that. There will be tough days. But most days will be good days. And no one can take away that HE IS YOUR SON and he loves you and you love him.


  11. My son is adopted, and smart, handsome, ADHD and 26. ADHD is a wiring issue not a parenting one. Having the “label” is a relief like knowing you have diabetes when you wondered what was wrong. Now you can work on helping him. It is an interesting ride, but worth it in every single way. He is a gift and the ride was a gift.


  12. Please, please don't think it's anything you have done. A lady in our ward adopted over 20 (yes thats not a typo) children of various ages from orphanages in Russia….nearly all have this disorder. But what wonderful lives they have because she had the capacity to give them the gift that she did. And your little guy is equally as lucky. And you are lucky to be his mommy. Just do what your “mommy-sense” tells you to do. As a former 1st grade teacher, I have seen so many kids that do well with meds, and others that did well without. (As a side note…one of our best friends had a motorbike accident at 14, and when he woke up, he no longer had adhd….)_He is now a dr. of psychology with his own practice in Phx, and he insists that it is something PHYSICAL in his brain that was somehow “dislodged” or changed. He has three children, and all have it. Genetic? I would say it's a definite possibility. Just a thought. jamieh@whitemtns.com


  13. It's hard to know when they are really young. I always thought my son had ADHD until I was talking to the school district psychologist and he had mentioned Sensory Processing Disorder (I see someone else mentioned that). I looked into it and the lights went on in my head. It can look a lot like ADHD but doesn't require drugs just occupational therapy. So if he doesn't respond to medication you may want to check into SPD. It's hard because my son acts up at school, on the bus and at church (we don't do sharing time anymore) but I just do the best I can and not let myself feel that mommy guilt. It really is just a wiring issue. Hang in there. The Lord gave him to you for a reason, he knew you could do this.


  14. LOLA!!!!
    I ave been there! I have 5 adopted children and held out doing EVERYTHING to accommodate before ever considering the meds routine. For us it worked like night and day for two of them. We were able to do after school activities for once. Now we did end up homeschooling, but it worked for them and us. Write if you have ANY questions or just need to talk out loud. I get it! Remember, the Lord has placed YOU as the parent for these kids…all of them and He knows the beginning to the end. How funny that we think we are in control! Hah.
    Have a blessed day,


  15. I just happened upon your blog. I have no insight on the matter, but I just wanted to tell you that my heart goes out to you. The fact that you are able to subjectively look at his behavior and help to get him the help he needs shows that you are a caring and loving mom. I hope all is well.



  16. You know in your HEAD you did not fail him, and that you did not determine his body's chemistry, and that this is NOT a fail in any way on anyone's part;

    but your HEART says you're the mom, and feels that love should fix everything.

    Knowing and feeling are two different things.

    It's that simple.


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