#050 Linda Rosenbaum: Not Exactly as Planned

fasd success show Jan 17, 2021

It is so interesting how the FASD journey intersects. We all have mentors and people who have inspired us in our journeys. Linda Rosenbaum, author of Not Exactly as Planned, A Memoir of Adoption, Secrets and Abiding Love has been one of mine for a long time. I refer to her as one of the “OGs” – original (FASD) gangsters. Well, she was also the inspiration for another person I recently met on my journey – but before we get to that, we do a deep dive into Linda’s journey. 


Linda and her husband Robin moved to Canada from the United States during a time of political upheaval. Unable to have biological children, they first adopted Michael in 1987 and later Sara. Linda did not know about fetal alcohol upon adopting Michael and this podcast is her journey from then to now. Linda shares: 

  • The clues that led her to suspect Michael was not a “typical” baby and how she felt when despite her insistence medical professionals told her he was fine, that she was just a nervous mom. 
  • Insights into his educational journey and the difference between when he was supported versus when he was not, and why it felt like she was being punished when he was expelled and the toll it took on her professional career – not because he was so much work – but because there was so much work and advocacy involved to support him. 
  • How recognizing Michael’s interests and using a strength-based approach and accommodations has led to the discovery of Michael’s passion. 

All these years where people had told me I was a bad mother …. Maybe I wasn’t a bad mother. It reinforced that I knew my child better than anyone else did, which I think is an important message for parents out there – that nobody knows your child the way you do.  

We also delve into the sibling relationship, how they supported Sara and the grief and loss the family has gone through. We get an update on where both her children are today and how both are thriving in their thirties. Oh yeah, and that intersection of FASD journeys? Stay tuned to the very end when she gets a surprise entry for her “Couldn’t Put It Down Folder.”  

Check it out, let me know what you think!   

Show Notes:

Not Exactly As Planned: A Memoir of Adoption, Secrets and Abiding


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