to cuff, or not to cuff
I just watched part of the video of the little girl in Florida who got cuffed by the police.
I admit that she was being horribly difficult, and that it is a parent's job to raise their kids in a way that they don't behave that way. But, the school approached the situation all wrong. They gave the child all sorts of attention while she was misbehaving, then, when she finally sat down, the police officer put handcuffs on her. They should have had a time out room and the teachers should be trained to use positive reinforcement, rather than negative.
A great site to learn about a great technique is www.loveandlogic.com
. My partner and I have used this method with our foster kids, who are older and more set in their ways than that little five year old, but just as disturbed, with great success.
If I were the boss of everything, I would insist that all teachers and school administrators were thoroughly trained in Love and Logic. Hell, if I were the boss of everything, I'd make all parents get trained in it before they were ever allowed to have children.
The private agency through which we foster just called my partner up and asked her to take one of the kids (but not me) to some bigwig fundraising dinner tonight. The agency is going to be the recipient of a rather large amount of money and they wanted a foster parent to be there to get interviewed. The clincher is that they want to say she's a single parent, if she's asked, and not get into the whole gay foster parent thing that consumes us right now.
How is she supposed to do that? She gave half a dozen interviews last week and her face was on three different newscasts. She asked me, "What if it's the same reporter? What if I don't mention it but they pull footage from last week?" She is not the type to lie or fudge around those issues. She does feel pressure through our devotion to this nonprofit agency. They've helped us and been more supportive than we ever could have imagined.
She said she'd go, but reminded them that she wouldn't have to tell them for them to know she's gay. She said she'd be the last resort - if they couldn't get anyone else. I don't know. Kind of makes me mad that they'd even ask us to do something like that. But, they are really good people. I understand that they want the event to be about the work they do and not get riled up in the politics of gay fostering. The timing really sucks. A month ago, or probably two months from now, it wouldn't be so much of an issue.
high school ?
My fourteen year old is growing up. It is unexpected because she's fought so hard to stay eight for so long... She will now use surprisingly adult logic on occasion. I'm very proud of her, but it doesn't make her that much easier to live with. I still want her to stand up straight and keep her elbows off the table and chew with her mouth shut. In four months, she will be in high school. Can she possibly be ready by then? We've put so much pressure on her the past six months. Tantrums don't go over well in high school. The kids will remember and treat you like a pariah for the rest of your high school career. Doing better, or trying to do better isn't enough, she has to be able to control her behavior enough to not scare off all the other kids. She is a good kid with a good heart, but these survival behaviors she clings to are now self defeating. Holly is much better at dealing with her now than me. Holly says I push her too hard. It doesn't feel too hard to me. I had many depressing and difficult moments in high school because I didn't get the social cues, and I fit in like a homecoming queen next to her. I just have to let her be who she will. Her will to survive is made of kevlar. Most kids who've been through what she had before we got her have already given up. She'd gone further already than any of the professionals thought she would. I just have to be patient.
The ball is rolling
I spent last night at LGRL (www.lgrl.org
) calling people on their volunteer list, requesting them to call their State Senators and Representatives about the SB6 thing. The sad thing is that we are all in Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos district, who already came out strongly against the amendment, and most of the Reps in this area are supportive as well. They are still going to get swamped with calls.
Holly is going to the noon protest at the Capital. I can't get off work, but our (straight) next door neighbor is going and she'll help with the twins. Holly is a little nervous. She did the whole gay activist thing in college, but we've both sort of changed gears and settled down into parenthood in suburbia. I guess this proves that you can never let your guard down.
Both of us, if we can get a babysitter, are going to be on the radio tonight. Holly will go alone if we can't get a sitter.
Last night, Holly and I talked about how great it feels to have so many people come to our defense - gay and straight, parents and not, even famous, like Rosie. The warm feeling helps balance out the cold fear. But, we will survive this. We will win
. We have to, because we aren't going to lose our kids.
If you can help...
What: Save Texas Families Rally and Protest
When: Friday, April 22nd –
12:00 pm Gather and make posters,
12:30 pm Rally begins,
2:30 pm Rally ends.
Where: In front of the Capitol Gates, 11th and Congress Ave.
Why: StandOut has organized this Protest and Rally in reaction to SB 6 which seeks to reform the Texas Child Protective Services Agency. Rep. RobertTalton's amendment to this bill would do, among other things:
- Prevent Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual people from fostering children in the state of Texas
- Take the foster children away from all 2,000 Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual people already fostering children
- Remove these children from loving, stable families and place them back into the already overburdened Foster Care system
- Emotionally destroy these Texas families
- Allows the new CPS Agency to conduct "investigations" into suspect fosterparents not already officially identified as Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual
- Will cost the state of Texas an additional $8 million dollars every yearWe will not tolerate this kind of discrimination.
We will stand together.We will fight. We will make ourselves heard.
Holly and the babies will be there.
or call your Texas Representative and Senator and demand that they help!
Now they want the kids...
What the HELL!!
The friggin' Texas House of Reps has passed a bill with an amendment that would take my kids away! What is it with these freaking republicans! My family is sitting here in our own house, paying taxes and not hurting anyone, but we are so offensive we have to disband!
My partner and I took adolescent girls with emotional problems severe enough to warrant them not adoptable, and after three years of blood, sweat and tears, we have a FAMILY. Our teens are happier and more balanced then they have EVER been. The seventeen year old will probably age out before this becomes a problem, but the fourteen year old is right in the middle. After all of the abuse she suffered from her (heterosexual) birth family, and then two failed adoption attempts, her psychiatrist felt that she would never have healthy attachments with anyone. But we did it - it was like pouring acid on her to get her to accept the fact that we wouldn't give her up - and now she is ours. We are hers. If they take her away she won't survive emotionally. We are trying to get the adoption for her going, but her level of care is still high and her case worker wants us to wait another year.
Just yesterday the foster agency was pressuring us to take another girl. Now the Leg. wants to take them all away. Is there a God?
Ever tried to answer a phone with no voice?
I've lost my voice, and I do tech support over the phone. I can't go home for another hour. I just sit here hoping no one will call.
My Holly called and was happier and calmer. The twins are being cute. Our daughter points at dogs and calls them 'dog' consistently.
The twins are our joy and our sorrow at the same time. Our older kids are ours, and will be forever, but the twins can be taken away still. If we don't live up to the social worker's demands, or if a member of their birth family pops up and wants them - they might have to go. It won't happen, we tell ourselves. The social workers like us and help us and the family was given a chance and nobody wanted the babies. The ball is rolling - it's gonna happen, unless it doesn't. They can't take them away - we are totally bonded with them, and they with us - unless they do take them away.
The law is on our side, for now. The legislators don't like us, much, here in Texas. Babies should have a mother and a father, not two mothers!! Even preemie African American drug babies like ours?? We were good enough when they were born and tiny and their futures were unknown/unsure... but now they are a year and strong and perfect. Are we still good enough? We are, and the social workers and case workers and therapists and judges know it. But do the legislators? The governor?
We want to fight, to be activists, but don't dare call attention to ourselves until the adoption is final. We have to leave that to our friends.
I just read Rosie's latest blog, which is a reprint of one from three years ago. Just a big reminder that life is a journey, not a goal. The joy of life is in the little things - picking kids up from school and trips to the park - not winning the lottery or having a wonderful uber job at the top of the food chain.
I want to go home now. I'm at work and tired of working, being a Friday afternoon. Only 45 minutes left. I want to play with my kids. I want big hugs and no computer screens all weekend.
Life is what we make it, however cliche. I made a decision after college that I didn't want to work as hard as it would take to get rich, so here I am. I have a wonderful life, don't get me wrong - Just wish I could make it while working 20 hours per week, or maybe 15. Especially on Friday afternoon.