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The Effects of Alcohol and Drug Abuse During Pregnancy

Updated on February 18, 2013

A Smile That Goes On Forever

Little Jacob

I watched Jacob play today – trying to build a tower with the blocks around him. He always has a crooked smile on his little face – there is nothing you can do to take that smile away. He doesn’t understand right from wrong – he really doesn’t just get it. He tries. He tries to write his name – he tries to count the blocks – tries to sit still. But he just can’t.

Jacob is a kindergartner – new to me this year. I didn’t get much information about him before he came. I knew that he had been adopted by a wonderful couple who also adopted his younger sister. I know that he has a mild form of cerebral palsy. I know that he probably has at least some degree of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.) And I know that he has a killer smile!

Today, I learned more about this little guy. Jason was born prematurely at 27 weeks – a full 13 weeks – early. I found out that he was born early because his mother tried to perform a late term abortion – her words – by using cocaine and other drugs in an effort to kill her unborn child. I know now that he was put into protective custody at three days old so that his mother would not harm him. I also know that this “mother” gave birth to a little girl barely eight months later and that little girl was also taken from her.

I learned that Jacob had been sexually assaulted for months before he turned a year old – in a foster home that was supposed to care for him and love him. I found out that in his next foster home he was placed in scalding hot water for several minutes because he had an accident in his pants – when he was 18 months old. I was told today that he was placed in a dark room for hours – sometimes days – on end with just a bottle every once in awhile in yet another foster care home.

I knew that Jacob was afraid of the dark. I knew he didn’t like anything hot. I knew that he had more fears than any other five year old child I had ever seen. And today I found out why.

How could adults treat children so horribly? How can people who are supposed to care about and love a child, treat him, instead, as if they were his own personal torture team. People who wouldn’t treat their pets this way, have no qualms about treating a poor, helpless little boy this way.

I also learned today that he (and his little sister) now has wonderful parents that would give their lives for him. So maybe today, I also learned that there is still hope in a world where so many horrors exist….

I look back at Jacob - my heart just melts - he is still smiling....


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    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Cclitgirl...Jacobs forever parents are true angels....they definitely restore my faith in humanity...

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      5 years ago from Western NC

      Wow. Thank you for sharing this story. It makes me nuts how many horrors exist in this world at the hands of human beings. But then again, finding out that Jacob has parents that would lay down their lives for him restores my faith that there is good in the world.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Thank you, Sunnie...I know how very lucky Jacob is...and how lucky I am that he crossed my path!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      5 years ago

      Being a retired school nurse I have worked with many of these children like Jacob and too many that have had to live through the most horrendous events in their young lives. I don't know if I will ever forget what I have seen or heard. I still see their little faces. I am so happy Jacob has a good home full of love. I have no doubt he will thrive and do really well. Sometimes children are not so lucky to be adopted into good homes so you are on the front lines making a difference everyday. Thank you for sharing. The school and children are so blessed to have you.



    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      7 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Peanutbutterwine- I am very lucky to have these little ones be a part of my life. They are awesome children.

    • PeanutButterWine profile image


      7 years ago from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

      heartbreaking yet a happy ending for Jacob thankfully, (as much as it could be)...

      As teachers and educators it can be incredibly difficult to be the revolving door for children with difficulties, yet it is reassuring to know that there are teachers out there who truly and deeply care for all their little charges.

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 

      7 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Adoptive parents are the tool God uses to save so many children. I see many such children in my own church--adopted out of terrible situations and thriving now--or at least in the process of healing.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      7 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      He is such a sweet little guy...he also has wonderful parents now so I am sure that he will go far...

    • cloudrider profile image


      7 years ago from Dallas, Tx

      The hope is definitely out there. So happy he found it sooner than never. Especially when the state is involved.

    • lupaj profile image


      7 years ago

      some of us are put here on earth to do great things, you are one of them. Why other people can think to abuse and hurt the innocent, I dont know. But thank God for people like you who care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank God here are a few teachers like you that can see beyond the cold hard facts of his life. You and his new parents may really make a big difference.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      7 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Right now he is really not even sure he likes his teacher! :)She is making him follow directions and do his work...but he is an awesome young man, tho...

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 

      7 years ago

      This is just heartbreaking to read, yet there is hope for this child in a very special and loving home. I really hope he grows up to be a well adjusted young man.

      I am sure that he loves his teacher too! =)


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