Our daughter lived with FASD for 45 years. This is her legacy.
Parenthood is an unfolding of realities that break down stereotypes and assumptions. A young parent’s statement: “My kids will NEVER do that!” may slowly or suddenly change to “I love and value them as they are.” We may wish things were different, but unconditional love places equal value on each family member.
Our daughter Tanya once wrote, “Out of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” She taught us that people born with FASD, suffer from Schizo-Affective Disorder and substance abuse have much to contribute to society. She lived through homelessness, prison, unimaginable trauma and indignities. She was seen by most as a “throw away.” Unconditional love could not remove the pain or heal the wounds, but love, caring and compassion were always needed. To us she was a precious gift from God.
With all her difficulties, she described life this way: “I was adopted by Laura and Larry Rorem at 8 months old. Their goal was give a child love and a home, teach about God, and give them values. I was raised by Laura and Larry Rorem. What I learned is — forgiveness, respect, kindness and God are ALL ABOUT LOVE.”