Thursday, December 23, 2010

It Was a Very Long Line

Today at the pharmacy I was about to get in line at the counter when I saw an older man with a cane hobbling along.  I said for him to go ahead and get in front of me. It was very busy and I figured we would be waiting a while.  He said I didn’t have to let him go in front.  Of cores I don’t, but some day some one will do the same for me I say.  We stood in line and chatted.  He asked about my Bluetooth earpiece and whether I could just listen or whether people could hear me when I talked into it.  I told him that they could and that I walk around all day looking like a crazy bag lady talking to myself, minus the shopping cart.  That is, unless I am shopping and then I just look like a crazy lady shopping.  I laughed.  He didn’t

It was a long line.

He wondered what technology is going to be like when you are my age he says.  Wow, I don’t know I said, I can’t even imagine.  For one thing I bet we will just have the Bluetooth installed in our heads.  I smiled.  He said he had cut out and saved an article many years ago about what technology would be like in the future, and he hadn’t looked at it since.  He said when he got home he would dig it up, because now he was curious about how accurate they were.  I should have given him my digits, because now I am curious too.   I told him about my grandpa and how he loved new technology and some things he never thought he’d live to see...some, he didn't.

It was a very long line.

He got up to the counter and gives the pharmacist his name and says he has 6 prescriptions to pick up.  He was old you know.  And she went to get them; she rings them up and says "$933.00 that is very expensive".  I don’t hear what he says and I can’t see his face, but I turn away, because suddenly my eyes are filled with tears, I don’t want my new friend to turn around and see them.  Were you expecting it to be that much? She asks, this one cost $300 and this is $150 and that one is… 

And the line is longer.

He pays for is insulin and syringes and whatever else it was he needed to keep him alive.  He thanks the lady and wishes her a nice day.  He turns around and thanks me for my place in line and for chatting with him.  He said he enjoyed the company. I did too, I tell him, now go home and find that article; I bet you’ll get a kick out of it.  And I wondered what it said about the cost of prescription drugs in the future.  I wondered about the cost of prescription drugs in my future.  And I wondered how on earth our elderly retirees on fixed incomes can afford to stay alive.  And I wondered…

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stuff Amélie Says

Yesterday Amélie (5) insisted she wanted chocolate milk. She did not drink it, so we put it in the fridge and gave it to her at dinner tonight. "Excuse Me! Why can't you solve the mystery? I decided I do not like chocolate milk!" she says.  

Are there any mysteries you just can’t solve?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What If

I saw a couple of posts last week about by adoptees, like these by Amanda and Von about what might have been. Based on this quote by B.J. Lifton Amanda had post on her blog:

"Those adoptees already in Reunion need help in integrating their two selves—the one who grew up adopted and the alternate one who might have been" (Lifton, 2010, p. 8).

Even though I do not have two separate families that I could contemplate what life would be like with one compared to the other, it did make me stop and think about the “what could have beens” in my life. I am certainly not discounting all of the wonderful people I had in my life instead; my nanny, my foster parents, teachers, social workers, surrogate parents, staff, the Word Family, and my friends have all been a tremendous blessing in my life, but what if:

What if my mom and dad never got divorced?
What if my mother never left us with my dad?
What if my mom had not came back to get us, and took her to live with her?
What is my dad would have paid for a nanny for us like he did when we lived with him and he worked full time.
What if my mom would have paid for a nanny to take care of us while she worked full time?
What if my mom would have left for work an hour later and got us up and out for school instead of eating breakfast in the cafeteria before work every day?
What if my mother came home after work? 
What if she ate dinner with us, or at least made it?
What if my mother didn’t go to her support group EVERY night?  What if she didn’t hangout for coffee with her friends afterward EVERY night?
What if my mother would have allowed my older sister to come back home to live (at 16) and help take care of us after she had run away?
What if I wasn’t (literally) tortured and beat up by my older brother on a regular basis?
What if my mom would have gotten a baby-sitter while she was hanging out?
What if I would have been better at taking care of myself?
What if I didn’t hate school so much that I wasn’t going unless somebody was going to get me up and out the door?
What if I hadn’t become so angry?  
What if my mother believed all of the experts and people who told her that kids need rules and consistency (parents)?
What if my dad would have/could have stood up to his wife for ANYONE including himself about ANYTHING , EVER ?

Where or who would I be now?
I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t be nearly as resourceful as I am today.
Any one of those things would/could have changed my life


I will never know beyond that, because it never happened.
Like Von said…It is what it is, I am who I am.

What are your what ifs?


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Random Chatter

  • I spent yesterday “preparing” for today’s colonoscopy, so fun…I am, at the moment no longer full of crap I am pretty sure I am not full of anything at all, and still a little loopy from the meds.  It wasn’t fun but it wasn’t so bad…so if you need one get one.

  • CoCo continues to pee on the potty.  Every time she starts to pee she starts giggling her little head off, I wish I thought it were that fun to pee!   Sadly I am not the only one blogging about pee and potty The Good Lord Giveth and the Good Lord Taketh Away...

  • It made my day to see some posts about reforms in the Ethiopian human trafficking baby selling market adoption industry.  Check them out:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Show Some Restraint

When Anastasia from Sweet Butter Bliss heard about the death of a Child due to restraint in a Texas Residential Treatment Center (RTC), she asked me to do a guest post for her blog on what it is like for the kid being restrained.  My gut reaction was “I still have a very hard time talking about that…"  (That must mean it is something I need talk about.)  So I agreed, and asked her for a trade.  I would do a guest post for her on being restrained (here) as a child and she would do one for me as someone who has to be willing to restrain a child as part of her job.  Here is what Anastasia has to say:  

I work at a Residential Treatment Center. An RTC for short. I work with kids who were either given up or taken from their homes. Sometimes it's because the parents did nothing wrong but they just can't handle the kid. But usually it's because the parents are asshats and the kid has been raised by said asshats and came out with any number of sociological and psychological  problems. And the asshats throw their hands up in the air and shipped them off .

If I think too hard about the treatment of some of these sad faces I get angry. And their is nothing I can do about it. I try to focus on the girls now and do what I can to get them to trust me and I try to make them laugh as often as possible. They haven't had enough laughter in their lives. Not to get all hippy on you here but I feel like their problems all stem from not getting enough love from day one. So I try and remember that when they are trying our patience. It's all attention seeking behavior. 

Recently a boy in a Texas RTC died from a restraint. He was basically smothered to death. According to the news story the boy was restrained by one person, in a closet and died from asphyxiation.  My first problem was why the fuck were they in a closet? Secondly one man restraints are frowned upon, they are unsafe for the child and the restrainer. And the smothering, it takes some time to smother someone to death. It's not like in the movies. The child would have gone limp after losing consciousness and the employee should have let go immediately and called 911.  Obviously there's no proof, but the employee would have had to continue to "restrain" (i.e. smother)  him for a while after he passed out for him to die. And if you dig further you find out that Texas Department of Child Safety already had this treatment center on probation. Because two other children had died during restraints, and the staff had made two developmentally disabled girls fist fight over a snack. You know what they're probation included? No new placements. What the fuck? Two children die and the staff manipulating mentally ill children. But they are still open? The government had a hand in this boys death. Period.

I'm sorry. I'm ranting. Where I work we only do restraint if the child is going to hurt themselves or someone else. And some kids we don't even do restraints, either they are too big and will hurt us, or because it traumatizes them more. It has to be a two person restraint and if the child goes limp we release immediately. We have constant classes on restraint reduction. Restraint is our very last resort. 

At the beginning of my shift I had to perform a short personal restraint. That just means I held their arm or hand to prevent them from hurting me or themselves. And I still feel bad about it. I feel like I violated her space and should have talked to her more. Every time I feel bad, during it and afterwards. It makes me sick to think of Sunday going through the things she went through. I want to hug her, but she probably has trust issues.  

These kids are put in a place that they are supposed to feel safe and have people they trust in their lives. And when the kids are abused, mistreated, neglected or manipulated they just retreat further into themselves and we wonder why they age out and go right back into the system as adults, or why their children end up in the system. I wish I had some call to action to give you, but their aren't any petitions to sign, or bills to get passed. These are the forgotten children. If you have them, just go hug and kiss your children and try really hard not to be an asshat while raising them.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Princess CoCo

I have been a very naughty blogger!  If I’m lucky I might get a little spanky, LOL.

I have been a slave to Princess CoCo of the Pee-Pot and her porcelain throne!

First we get MRI results, and then she commences to decide to finally learn to crawl (after walking) at almost 3 years old. Now this…

The other day she says “I have to go potty.”
“Oh yeah...I’ll be there in a minute”  
“No, RIGHT NOW” (yep she learned that phrase from me.  I end every statement to her 12 year-old sister with… “Right Now”)
Ok, I drop what I am doing and I kid you not, I put that kid on the potty and she pees!
About an hour latter she says “I have to pee” and again…she does.

Now I don’t know if this happens with anyone else’s kids but with mine it happens like clock work.  First comes the whining, irritated, and generally needy kid.  Then comes the emergence of regression in behavior, I was sure we were well beyond, me wanting to pull my hair out, and wondering WTF is going on with my poor kid.  Around the time I think I am about to lose my patience I think “This always happens before a break through, I wonder what developmental, emotional, or intellectual leap this kid is about to make.”

Now maybe that is just a mental game I play with myself to keep myself from setting my hair on fire and putting it out with a sledge hammer, or running away from home to join the circus (I have one hell of a high wire act), but it works.  I steel my resolve to get this kid over what ever whatever proverbial hump they are facing.

A good 2 or 3 days into childhood insanity, it happens…they walk, they crawl, say their first words, they get a back-walk-over on the high beam, they get an A on their algebra test.

I don’t know why this happens, but in my experience it always does.  Maybe the brain can only handle so much.  But in a few days I get my old kid back and I am glad I didn’t runaway, or bash my own head in.  

If you see me in the next few days it is safe to assume I will be wearing Princess CoCo of Piss-Pot on my hip, in the sling that I thought I had put away for good.  But her pants will be dry…so it’s all good.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Will You Wednesday: Children Aren't Puppies (revisited)

She is right, there really are NO words!   Will You Wednesday: Children Aren't Puppies (revisited)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lesson Learned

The other day I was talking to my mother about one of my posts, and we got on the subject of one of my biggest pet peeves in the adoption (foster care) world…

“Your mommy loved you so much she gave you away…”
“The most loving thing a mother can do for a child is to give them away…”

(Every time some one says or writes such nonsense it truly pisses me off.  Let me tell you as the one on the giving away end it doesn’t feel very loving at all.  It feels like awful, overwhelming rejection!  It doesn’t look loving on the receiving end either it looks selfish.)

It is funny sometimes I can "get" and understand my mother’s adoption issues, and I can get my foster care experiences, and I know that a lot of her pain and inability to parent come from the pain and chaos of her childhood.  Sometimes I don’t always connect the dots.

As we were talking about the fallacy of “the most loving thing a mother can do for her child is to give them away”, and what I crock we both thought that was, that I said “How many times were you told that growing up?  No wonder you kept trying to get rid of us and dropping me off all over creation, that is what loving mothers do after all.”  I was kind of laughing, because I was over come with the absurdity of it.  I don’t think my mother thought it was so funny, but what are you gonna do, it can’t be changed now?

You never know which of the lessons you teach your children are going to take hold, or how.  So keep right on saying that “the most loving thing a mother can do is give her children away”, especially if you are looking forward to raising you grandchildren too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

At Least she's Got A Pot To......

CoCo is a good Momma
I think Mad’s cough is finely calming down a bit.  She started antagonizing her little sisters yesterday so I packed her up some cough drops, gave her some codeine and dropped her 12 year-old butt off at the bus stop…hey at least I waited for the bus to get there before I gave her the boot!  (All day I was waiting for a call and lecture from the school…something like ‘WTF were you thinking sending her here with the plague’ but alas, they kept her.  –Thank God!)

The first blog I ever read was this post Cerebral Palsy Baby in January 2009, just after bringing CoCo home from a 3 day stay at the hospital for what they called a febrile seizure.  In my heart I knew what the deal was after reading some of Shannon’s posts, but she gave me a real sense of comfort.

Which brings me to…drum roll, please – CoCo peed on the pot today!  (Not that I’m too hopeful, but she said she had to go.)  Along with all of the other stuff I was reading about CP, even Mild Cerebral Palsy and or Global Dyspraxia, I had read that potty training could be challenging because of the lack of motor control.  I have never pushed it much because I feel like kids let you know when they are ready (18 & 20 months for my other ones) at 33 months I haven’t really had the impression that CoCo was any where near ready.  Besides if you saw the video of her crawling, you may have noticed she is very unsteady, it would only take one glance down at her shoes and she could do a nice gainer right off the pot face first.  And goodness knows I spend enough time in the ER as it is! 

Amélie has decided she doesn’t want to live with me anymore; I am the meanest mommy ever!  I asked her who was gonna fix her bowls ice cream, PB&J, and go get her juice for her?  She said “MAD!  You can go and we’ll stay here!”  I think she forgot that even the meanest mommy in the world is nicer than her Big Sister.

What's Not To Suck?

I got a comment today that said “I’m sorry your experience sucked”; I thought it was cute and sweet.

…But, for me it was not the foster care experience that sucked, it was the fact that I was there at all was that sucked.
Not that I am saying it was like going to a 7 year sleep away camp filled with fun activities…oh, maybe it was JUST like a 7 year sleep away camp.  And the best thing about it for my parents it was FREE.  Good thing they wised up and learned how to use the system between the years they sent my sister to boarding school and me to foster care.  Imagine all the extras they were able to afford for them selves with all of the boarding school tuition they saved.  

I am very grateful to all of my non-parents and the influence they had on me, most of whom were amazing selfless people, and I credit those strangers for who I am today. 

So, I didn’t have a bad foster care experience –being in foster care IS a bad experience. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What about U.S.?

Another illuminating post by Malinda AdoptionTalk: "Get out of my way, I'm entitled to adopt!"

"Those 100,000+ foster kids are waiting for ya'll to get as excited about adopting them as ya'll are about protecting your rights to adopt ANYONE but them!

Um, yeah, as an American Foster Care Alumni, I definitely would have preferred my life in foster care over being shipped out of my country, no matter how much junk my new family could have bought me or how much they loved me. I'm so glad you asked since US foster kids seem to be the last thing on the majority of perspective adoptive parents minds!"

"Another thought: I wonder if the 100,000+ children eligible for adoption in the American foster care system would recommend permanent foster care as preferable to adoption."
a commenter asked",
I said:

...On the other hand maybe the Swiss would be willing to take some of our foster kids, since they seem to be the last thing on the minds of most of the Perspective Adoptive Parents, here in the U.S.

I Owe You Nothing

“I owe you nothing!  …You did what you were supposed to do!”  I love this scene from guess who’s coming to dinner, I can so totally relate.  Except for that in my case my parents DID NOT do what they were supposed to do, but expect the gratitude any way.  Oh, well...

I am catching up on some reading, I thought this was an interesting post Adopted children as emotional assets by O Solo Mama

Powered by Blogger