Friday, April 29, 2011

Making New/Old Traditions I Go Along

038Right around the time LT was in her friend’s basement, trying not to infringe on their traditional family Easter, and writing her post: what you miss growing up as an un-adopted foster kid, I Ironically I had a ham in the oven. I was boiling the noodles for baked mac and cheese, throwing some fat-back into a pot of greens and cutting potatoes for some country style green beans. For the first time in my adult life I was having a traditional Easter celebration, at my house for my kids and my family.

065Before everything fell apart, the Christian holidays including Easter were a very big and important part of my childhood and our family traditions. There were Easter baskets, colored eggs, new clothes a trip to St Collette Catholic Church and hour long car ride to Tecumseh to visit both sets of grandparents. We would absolutely gorge ourselves on my Grandma Koffron’s deviled eggs, wearing black olives on our fingers and sit at the kids table with all of our cousins. Those are the kind of memories that could, should shape a lifetime.

056But then my world shifted on it’s axis. The bottom fell out. Children became inconvenient baggage, and the universe conspired to convince us that that world never existed and to make us forget who we really were.

I would like to say that we did forget, but we never did and I never will forget that we were the Koffron kids of Country Club Drive, the children of Bob and Linda, grand children of Bob and Amethyst, Hugh and Ernie(stine), great grandchildren of Mable and Elmer, and that the first nine years of my family life were just as real as the next nine years struggling as a ward of the state.

057The memories of those nine years did not die, they festered, and they showed up and made themselves known as rage and sour grapes. They showed up as walls of self-preservation, denial and apathy towards anything traditionally family related. But as destructive as it was to me to suppress and as convenient as my denial may have been to others, the fact is that I once had a family, we were once catholic, we had a traditional upbringing and we had traditions that belonged to us. Ones I will no longer allow to be held hostage to the convenience of others, the devastation of myself or the disappointment of my children.

061I do not have any plans of showing up for mass anytime soon, but I will no longer deny that my family ties to my father’s catholic religion are any more or less a part of me and my early family upbringing than my mother’s blood ties to Judaism, my father’s later conversion to Judaism, or the years I spent in the no-man’s-land of the foster care system.

This year we had Easter. We dyed eggs. We spent the day with some of the people we love most and who are and have always, since the day they came into my life been forever family, my (n)sister, and three generations of my “chosen” family. And the neighborhood kids turned out for what ended up being a monumental Easter egg hunt, with more eggs being scrounged up and filled with each new “count me in.”

054This year I have come to realize that to deny myself of my childhood memories is to deny my children of the making of their own. I think we had the best non-Catholic, non-Jewish, non-African-American traditional Easter ever, because that is all a part of who I am and am not.

If you are in the neighborhood next year, come on by…you are always welcome here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

On the wrong foot and between the wrong toes

The old man is snoring

He went to bed

And bumped his head

And he couldn’t get up in the morning

A girl and her frog

Somehow, even as a very little kid, I assumed that the old man had been drinking and bumping his was just an excuse to sleep it off. I wonder what that says about me.

My girls are having a great time “saving” frogs today.  You know from the pond and swamp that they naturally live in, by moving them to the plastic sand box.

Super frog saving girls

Feel free to make your own analogies/comparisons if you’d like.

We have  been clear that once they are done “rescuing” the frogs that they have to be returned to where they found them. Love

Wild things deserve to be left in their natural habitat.


Ahh, but look at the satisfaction that rescuing the ‘poor’ frogs gives them.

Suicide Frog

I had to intervene before this one took a header off the little table, after he climbed out of the bucket.

I was very nervous for the frog.



I have been suspecting for a while that we should add sensory issues to the list of CoCo’s quirks.

Today she kept sitting down on the wet grass to remove her '”Slip-Plops” and brush the dirt off the tops of her shoes and bottoms of her feet.

Ever notice, if there is a camera - Amélie  is looking at it?

At that rate, it could prove to be a very long summer.

I felt so bad for her, I had to go track her down some Wellies, so she could keep her little souls clean.  (They will be far more comfortable when she wears them on the wrong feet.)


Yep, that is Mr. Sunday, home during the week.  It is kind of one of those good news bad news things.  We all miss him so much when he is gone.

Those girls are going to sleep well tonight, two showers, three changes of clothes and a pair of puddle jumpers later. 015

I would say, “come on May flowers” but I am just now beginning to enjoy April.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Foster children would be allowed to get clothing only from second hand stores | Michigan Messenger

I am honestly so angry right now I am not able to come up with anything coherent and not profanity laden to say right now. 

Under a new budget proposal from State Sen. Bruce Caswell, children in the state’s foster care system would be allowed to purchase clothing only in used clothing stores.
Caswell, a Republican representing Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties, made the proposal this week, reports Michigan Public Radio.

His explanation?

“I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.”

Under his plan, foster children would receive gift cards that could only be used at places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other second hand clothing stores.

Read More: Foster children would be allowed to get clothing only from second hand stores | Michigan Messenger

Senator Bruce Caswell can be contacted here, if you are so inclined to let Mr. Caswell know what you think of his bright idea, to save the state of Michigan a few dollars by further demeaning our already traumatized and ostracized Foster Children here in Michigan. 

Please call, write, email, share, tweet, retweet and shout from the rooftops that this is NOT OK!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

White Mothers / Black Hair

Who Done It HeadThis is a fantastic post where a transracial / international adoptive parent takes a serious, heartfelt look at the never to be underestimated issue of HAIR of color. I love what she has to say and the way she says it. I think it all boils down to respect, of the child, the culture around her, his heritage and of her job to attempt to teach him something that she doesn’t know herself – how to be black in America.  There are lots of interesting comments to read too.

As a preteen and teen a regular part of my Saturday morning was the smell of sizzling hair grease and singed hair wafting through the house, floor, building from the hot comb heating on a burner of the stove. (Thank goodness for flat irons)Plaits, parts, and the ritual scratching of heads are things that I grew up with, that I know, that I love. Black/African American/ African-African hair is not something many white people have much experience with of understanding of.

I know that since that time I have seen that white momma, with that black child, with that dried out, broken off hair that was all over their head and I have hung my head in shame for them. I have thought “that poor baby, if that momma is going to raise a black child, the least she could do is learn how to braid, find someone who can or take them to the beauty shop or barber and do something with that hair.”

And I know that when J was with us when his mother was sick, I kept up with his hair because I knew that if I didn’t it would be,

“Tisk, tisk what a shame.” On me.

It was never lost on me that if I were black, I could have waited longer between cuts. His momma could have let him grow his hair down his back and got him a press-N-curl if she were so inclined (and believe me she wasn’t). But as the white lady, I felt my obligation to him was to follow the standard for an African American child of his age during that time in our area. It was bad enough his mom was sick, he was separated from his family and staying with relative strangers, would it have been fair to add pitiful and scornful looks from strangers over his hair to the mix, with a case of who done it head?

Nobody wants anybody to think that must be a motherless child, about their child, from a crossed the mall. Well, at least I didn’t.

What do you think?

Do I have it all wrong?

What would you think about me as a mother if I took my white child out in public looking like this?

Let me hear it…

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Today, I Start My Old Koffron Family Traditions Anew

027We did something we have never done in my house before.






That’s right, we colored Easter eggs.







The two little ones were so excited.








This one was not so sure….  She was hurt.  We are doing what?  Why, we have never done this before?  Why NOW? (Why when they are little and not for me when I was little?)

I told her that I owed her an apology.  I was wrongheadedly attempting to save her some huge future disappointments by keeping the things she could lose to a minimum.


I have realized that I was making a mistake, that while I was narrowing the list of  things she could miss, that could be taken away, I was depriving her and her sisters of fond memories, they could look back on and family traditions that they could pass on.  Like the ones my parents gave us, before the bottom fell out, and narcissism, jealousy, dishonesty and revenge became more important than 

046 family, traditions and children’s souls. 

That is one family tradition I am not willing to continue today.   There will be colored eggs, stickers, new beginnings  and the sounds of three sisters laughing today.  




Today, we start our old Koffron family traditions anew.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hard Hard-Wired For Empathy?


I thought I would share this very cool video about empathy that I saw over at welcome to my brain:

Thank you Christine.

I think it is interesting that the narrator points out that if our empathic nature is repressed, by our parenting, education our business practices, our governments the secondary dives come in to play the narcissism, materialism, violence and aggression set in.

I find the whole discussion interesting because I have often mused that my childhood, my life and my family relationships would have been much easier if I had been able to suppress my natural empathy, and adapted to my familial core nature of materialism, narcissism and latent aggression. I truly was not equipped to fit in or succeed in my family of origin. As an adult, a wife, a mother and friend I have to say I am glad that I never have and at this point probably never be the person I would need to be to in order to truly be a part of that family.  I am grateful today that I have never lost my sense of empathy, justice and fair play.

Some clubs are not worth the price of admission.

Now this club was totally worth the $5 cover charge. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Phantom Comments


I have had a couple of cases where reader comments have been misplaced in my Intensedebate comment system. It is not personal. I do not moderate comments that are less than 30 days old. I have only had to remove comments once….I was trying to avoid an all-out family feud. Short of that, I hope that I never feel that I have to. If you happen to post a comment and it does not appear on the page, please let me know, so far I have been able to find and post the ones that I know about.

There are many sign in options for leaving comments. You can now sign with FaceBook and Twitter, Open Id, Word Press to just use a name and email address, theoretically they don’t even need to be real and your blog address if you have one so feel free to express yourself, freely.

I’d love to see your sweet face or at least your favorite avatar. You can grab or upload one at that will be connected to your email address in most comment systems around the web.

Don’t forget to check the CommentLuv box and add your blog’s URL/web address and it will create a back link to your most recent post; we’d like to know what you are blogging about, today.

As side note, if you happen to notice a glaring mistake in my posts, like if I use college when I meant to use collage, or moderate instead of mediate or leave out entire words, or plain don’t make sense, feel free to let me know, I promise I won’t take it personally or feel any stupider than I already do. I swear I do proof read my own work, I read by context, not by sight, I just don’t always catch that stuff.  

Most of all, just comment, we’d love to know what you have to say.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Here Comes the Sun And I Say It’s Alright

    I think spring has finely sprung, it got up to 85 today according to my out-door thermometer!

    The kids got to play outside and came in smelling like wet dirt and grass…I love it.

    Mr. Sunday was home this week end and played catch with our big girl.

    034 2

    Look at that toe point – very important in soft-ball.

    Mad was home all week for spring break.

    All week I thought it was the last weekend in April and that Easter was THIS Sunday!

    Welcome to my world.

    CoCo wasn’t all that cooperative for her evaluation.033

    Why buy toys when paper towel rolls are free?

    It didn’t help that I thought it was at 2:30 instead of 2:00.

    How like me can I be?

    Since my main concern is her not being able to come up with the right word (aphasia) they say there isn’t much they can do as far as therapy. 011

    That is totally not ME, she has an extra 5 inches and Coach shoes.

    It is my niece, who stopped by because she was on this side of town.

    They say when she is older she will learn strategies to get around it.

    Kind of like me and my dyslexia, and other issues. LMAOOOO!

    If you read my blog regularly, you may know why I am laughing.

    They will reevaluate her again in October.

    Plan on sending her for 2 ½ days of preschool next year.

    Maybe they will catch some glimpses of where she is struggling.

    This one fell off her scooter and scraped the front of her neck on the handlebars.002

    It looks worse than it is, thank goodness!

    Totally freaky!

    She looks a bit like Frankenstein now.

    She won’t be going out in public for a couple of days.

I was surprised  and very touched to read this, today.

I am glad that something good came out of that post.

How was your weekend (and Easter Break)?

Just think, my family gets to do it again in two weeks?

Friday, April 8, 2011

There is Hope

photo credit Linda KoffronSo, I ain’t all that. I have done nothing so special in my life. I am not what one would expect from the daughter of two college educated parents. Not what you might think of when you think the daughter of a therapist and a patented inventor, with a second home in Aspen. I am no, physicist, accountant, or attorney.

I am just a devoted wife of 17 years, mostly stay at home mom of 3, surrogate mother to more, cool Auntie to many, and these days part-part time gymnastics coach, who struggles daily to provide for my children.

There is no bag of chips with that.

There is no incessant bragging to friends on my behalf. I am certainly not someone my parents would be especially proud of.

I am nothing special, and no one to aspire to be.

That is unless you are familiar with the common expectations for many former fosters/ foster care alumni who age out of the system. Unless you knew me as the 11 year-old whose mother didn’t make her go to school. You knew the depressed 12 year-old who realized she had been set-up and whose parents managed to successfully dump her on the system. The angry smart mouthed 15 year-old who lashed out at everything and everyone who represented the life she lost. The disillusioned 17 year-old alone in a world she was woefully unprepared to navigate. The homeless 18 and 19 year-old aged out foster youth, living in shelters, couch surfing and hitch-hiking a crossed the country looking for somewhere, anywhere she could belong. The blind drunk, lost and bitter 20 year-old looking for love in all the wrong places. The desperately struggling 22 year-old, faking it till she could make it. The hopeful 24 year-old who stunned everyone by having a wedding rather than a funeral.

My parents had written me off by 11.

Many strangers hung in there, tried to support me the best they could and many times got grief and disappointment. They watched me stumble, they watched me fall, they witnessed undeserved rage. There were some tough times for me and times I made it very hard for those around me, those who tried to help. I would say I had burned bridges, maybe a few, but with exception of my parents, I still have relationships with a lot of those who were involved in my care. And believe me they took a hell of a lot more crap from me than my parents ever dreamed of.  (Which I attribute to my theory that kids really lash out those they truly trust.)

I was a disappointment, incorrigible, ungrateful, unappreciative, needy, defective, and generally hopeless, a throw away kid…written off and thrown away at 11.

I may not be all that, but I ain’t so bad either.

I was not a waste of time. I try not to spend too much thinking about the what ifs, the who I might have beens if my parents would have been as willing to sacrifice as much as parents as they were willing to sacrifice their children.

No matter how hurt any child is, how much rage they display, how futile you view your efforts, how disconnected you feel they are. They are yours. You have no crystal ball, you cannot predict the future. There is no way to know who they will be. Before you write your (or any) inconvenient kids off, keep in mind that there is always hope.

And that the chickens always come home to roost.


197079_1718628490330_1376815686_31674575_3399823_nThe joys of having a much older sibling home for spring-break.

My five year old has started using “air-quotes”


My 3 year old is saying “eh-hem”

“Eh-hem, ice-cream.”

“Eh-hem, up-ppie”

“Eh-hem, milky”

“Eh-hem, mommy *insert air quotes here* “needs a break”.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hey, That’s My Foster Kin You Are Bitching and Whining About

I have resisted doing my own post about this bloggers wife “Foster Abba” for a long time,I really didn’t want to “go there” with my blog.  Her post on the Layers of Loss, where she outlines the many things she has lost by adopting her child, left my husband saying that next time they should get a dog. And me? I am not kidding when I say it sent me looking for my bottle of Xanax to deal with my full blown PTSD adrenalin overload. All I could hear is my self-screaming in my own head:

“Your Loss…what YOU have LOST!   You didn’t even want kids in the first place? That does not put one high on the list of people who should adopt. You had to jump through hoops to adopt a kid nobody else wanted?  Including YOU.  Your dream of a family died when you sent her to boot camp, Believe me, so did hers! and you had a serious conversation about abandoning your adopted child at the airport…when she came home? Wow, just wow! You don’t think you have a strong enough bound to sacrifice your own life for the life of your child? WTF?  You lost friends and almost the relationship with your wife because you don’t see eye to eye on how to parent your kid? Maybe that should be a clue, maybe not everybody but you has it wrong! YOUR religion, you can’t go to shul, because the kid you adopted as tween can’t act right? I may be WAY of base here, but seeing that I was the ONLY kid I met in care who had a Jewish family, I am guessing (and could be wrong) that Judaism was not her religion of origin. What about the loss of HER religion? You realize her options in life will be limited [based on her observed intelligence] and you “ponder the futility of your actions” [on her behalf]. Her lack of intellectual potential is somehow YOUR loss of YOUR dreams? You lost your ability to connect with people because other people’s problems seem “petty” when you compare them with your own? You got that one right, Missy!

And they think I’ve got it all wrong?  I don’t know what THEY are going through?   That I am so out of bounds by commenting on their PUBLIC blog that I should have a whole post dedicated to how much I don’t know about kids from foster care?  That is where they are WRONG!

Oy Vey!

Here is the cute little post “Foster Abba’s” wife did dedicated to me. I don’t know if they will publish my comment or not since they mediate their comments, and since I really don’t necessarily enjoy writing, I figured I’d also publish my response as a post here as well.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Danger of Assumptions

FosterEema here...I wanted to respond to a comment one of our readers left yesterday and make a meta-comment about the danger of assumptions.

In response to The Return of the Temper Tantrums, a reader by the name of "Sunday Koffron Please Stand Up" wrote:

The Final Maze: The Danger of Assumptions [update 5/14/2011 links removed as Foster Abba, has removed her posts]

Thank you “Foster Eema” for the mention, however I noticed that you failed to include a link to my blog. I have to wonder if that was an oversight or if it is because it would lessen your attempt to make me look like as if I am an outsider with no real insight as to what kind of child you are dealing with. As that is a common practice you use dismantle and dismiss any commenter who has the bad taste to not see things Foster Abba’s way.

Since I have raised other people’s children, including a teenager with FAS Encephalopathy, that I spent the bulk of my childhood as a ward of the state, living in a number of group homes and residential treatment centers I know a whole lot more about kids like Danielle and about being Danielle than you ever will. You have had the pleasure of living with one traumatized youth; I have lived with near a hundred.

When we open our blogs to comments we open ourselves to people who may or may not see things the way we do. And as readers we can only make assumptions based on what the blogger puts IN their posts and we must base our comments on that alone, because that is what you have given us to go on.

I was very excited when I first found foster Abba’s posts on improving the foster care system. But then every time I read her posts about Danielle, my heart sinks just a little bit more [each time]. Not once have I read one of her posts that has anything what so ever positive to say about your child. The posts about Danielle have such a negative and bitterly disappointed undertone that I cannot imagine (well actually I can, been there, done that. Which is why I spoke up) being a child having to live in a house with a parent who held such a negative view of me or my position in the family. (See her post on The Layers of Loss and many more)

I do read blogs by other trauma mommas who mage to talk about the struggles of parenting traumatized children without coming off as bitter or as if they are demonizing their children, Christine Moers at Welcome to My Brain being the first name that comes to mind, maybe you’d like to pop on over and see that it can be done. Of course I think Dr. Karyn Purvis, Director of The Institute of Child Development at TCU, manage to humanize children “from hard places” and has a lot of positive suggestions for dealing with traumatized children as well, however the Christian influence some might find off putting, I would strongly suggest overlooking it for the sake of the true massage about hurt children.

Effective Discipline Strategies for Adoptive & Foster Families - Dr. Karyn Purvis from Tapestry on Vimeo.

"Effective Discipline Strategies for Adoptive & Foster Families" by Dr. Karyn Purvis, presented at the 2008 Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference.

**now you all know how hard it was for me to come out and give a nod to Dr. Purvis and Christine Moers, and since I have not heard, read, seen EVERYthing that they have to say, I am only willing to say for the most part they each seem to advocate, patience, kindness, compassion and respect as ways to help wounded children heal. They may say or do things that I do not completely agree with or buy in to, but I haven’t seen MUCH of that yet. (Now that was said like someone with some real commitment issues, LOL  But once a foster kid, always a foster kid!)

A First-hand Account of Holding Therapy in the UK | Invisible England


A First-hand Account of Holding Therapy in the UK

As far as I am aware this is the first time a first-hand account of Holding Therapy in the UK has been published on the internet. I have seen and heard evidence from a number of sources that reassures me that this description is genuine. This child would have experienced this treatment on a regular basis between the ages of 11 and 13 and the sessions sometimes could last for several hours, usually only ending when the child submitted to the authority of the therapists. Holding Therapy will probably have taken place today with a number of different children, sometimes as young as 8.

A First-hand Account of Holding Therapy in the UK | Invisible England

I found this blog threw Jean Mercer at CHILDMYTHS. I am really grateful to see so-called “holding therapy” getting some much needed scrutiny and being brought back in to consciousness, here, on Von’s blog and even on FaceBook.


Here are a couple of the things I had to say on FB:

  • Sunday Koffron Taylor One of the things that makes this type of therapy so bad is that the therapist has all of the answers they want to hear and the torture continues until you tell them you are feeling what THEY believe you are feeling. There is no way to get out of the sessions and be true to yourself and your own thoughts and feelings. They will not let you go until they are told what they want to hear. That is not therapy that is inducing a retreat into survival mode, it is absolutely brain washing, and these methods are still being used, not just on adoptees, but on autistic kids and foster children to. We should ALL be outraged; we should all speak out against its ALL cases.


  • Sunday Koffron Taylor It also sets them up for sexual abuse, because they are being taught they have no rights over their own bodies. Adults have the right to touch, hurt, smother, and lay on top of you if they want to whether you like it or not. They are supposed to be the ones in control over your body. it is just so horrible. I couldn't even talk about it until very recently and my experience with kind of "therapy" was back in the 1980's when it was cutting edge.


The more we talk about this and expose “holding type therapies” for what they are the sooner parents will start making other choices for their children. The sooner parents will start saying “this is not O.K. for my child.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Who Am I Anyway

There is a doctor around here who has making news recently; It is actually a amazing story…wife finds her husband a live kidney donor on FaceBook…how cool is that? But that is not what draws me to the story…the doctor who did the transplant is…a Dr. A. Koffron. No I don’t know him that is the thing…should I?

It is a funny thing to not know who you are. I mean, yes I am indeed Sunday Marie Koffron Taylor, daughter of Robert Koffron and Linda Andrews or should I say Jacqueline Jean Lessard, my mother’s original pre-adoption name?

Koffron is a very uncommon name around these parts, and until this doctor made news by coming here form Iowa a few years ago to set up a new transplant center, my direct relations were the only Koffrons in the state.

The only DNA Koffrons we have ever known personally are, my grandpa, my dad, my brother, my sister and myself. That is it.

There is of course the my little step-brother who legally changed his last name to Koffron when he turned 18, and his step-son who had his named changed when my (s)brother married my sister in law, and obviously she and their daughter are Koffron now too. They are family but not related. That’s not what I am talking about.

By blood. Decedents. Koffrons.

My grandpa’s family is almost as much of a mystery as my mom’s, but at least he because he wasn’t adopted, he had access to his original birth certificate, and some information so someday I may be able to track our Koffron family tree to our family back in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he was born and lived with his grandparents before coming here in his youth.

My grandpa only recorded the branches of our Koffron family tree back to Lewis Edward Koffron (September 26, 1893 died Aug 1975) and Anna Lehrman (December 29, 1898 died Jan 1979), their sons Raymond Charles (My great grandfather October 29 1900 or 01), his brothers Karl (July 13, 1904) and John (January 4, 1904), my grandpa, Robert John (August 1922), my dad Jr., my brother, my sister, and myself, and our children. That is it. That is all I’ve got.

Well, and a couple of very likely cousins that we are just beginning to learn about. But how cool would it be to know more and to have more family out there, to know our own family story, to know where we came from?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Trying to Make Sense Of The Therapy Bit

Fainites's avatar

Fainites · 5 hours ago

Hi. I was trying to make sense of the therapy bit. Was the attachment therapy done to make you attach to your parents? Or foster parents? What age were you?

That is a Million Dollar question. That makes no sense.  The “blanket therapy” I described I believe was meant more as a “rage reduction therapy” which is the same/similar “technique” as rebirthing therapy, made famous by the death of Candace Newmaker. I do remember being told that it had to do with me being mad at my mother, about not taking care of or protecting me, however she was not there...I think the therapist was playing the role of my mother and I was to yell at her about why I was angry as if she was my mother…it was a long time ago…when I think about it I remember, more like experience the feelings just like they are happening right now. But the actual words are fuzzier. I believe I was 11 at the time. The implication has always been (and I had been told by staff and therapists) that I failed to properly attach to my mother. I will not argue the point. What I will argue is that even as a kid I was no fool…

I believe my mother (a social worker/therapist herself and adult adoptee) believed that her children, most of all me (the youngest) were defective because we failed to fulfill her expectations as children. We were needy, selfish, and always hungry and generally in the way of her doing what she wanted to do for herself. Worse yet we were all ungrateful and unappreciative. Once she divorced my father and he refused to continue to pay for our nanny to take care of us,  help our mother in any way or provide to for us, my mother proceeded to manipulate, exaggerate, and flat out lie to get me made a ward of the state and out of her hair. (Or as she likes to tell people including me to get me “the help I needed.” What I (and my sibs) really needed were actual responsible parents.)

Meanwhile I had father who sat back and watched the two women in his life rage, fight and throw his children under the bus for the sake of his own comfort. He watched, he knew what was going on, he knew it was wrong and he did nothing to stop them from throwing the lives of his children away. Some things never change.

As I see it after many years of reflection, is in essence the trauma-drama I went through being in foster care revolved around my mother’s expectations of how her children were meant to serve her needs and how we failed to meet those expectations, her own emotional limitations and her view of parental responsibilities that were shaped by her own childhood of severe neglect. (Although those are not her conclusion, merely my observations and interpretations)

I would never deny that I was a very angry child, and eventually I was filled with rage, but I honestly wonder who wouldn’t be.

When I look my life and my mother’s role in it I have to say that it makes a lot of sense to me now.  It has taken many years to get any understand of how she could have been the kind of parent she was to us. But when you look at it, what does she know about being a parent? She knows severe abuse and neglect at the hands of her parents and those whose care they left her in, which causes victims dislocate and disconnect, and a deep instinct of self-preservation above all others. She knows loss. She knows the upheaval and instability of foster care. And she knows the expectations of blind obedience and gratitude all too familiar to many adoptees. She knows that kids are meant to serve and improve the lives of their parents. She knows that when they don’t it is their own fault and you can just walk away or send them to the next place on the list, this is what her life taught her.

Those are the lessons I refused to learn, and for that I thank god.


As for my father? Well, there is still no excuse for him…Yet.  But I’ll keep looking.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hundreds show support for mother involved in standoff with Detroit police | Detroit Free Press |


Hundreds turned out to a rally in Detroit today to support a mother, who was charged after a standoff with police last week after Child Protective Services came to take the girl, claiming medical neglect.

Godboldo, 56, was charged with three counts each of assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting and obstructing a police officer, and one count each of felony firearm and discharging a firearm inside a building after barricading herself in her home March 24 with her daughter. She's accused of firing a gun at police, though one of her attorneys said last week that her client did not shoot at officers.

Hundreds show support for mother involved in standoff with Detroit police | Detroit Free Press |

I don’t have all of the details of the story obviously. I don’t condone discharging a firearm for any reason. But I have to say I do kind of admire the apparent willingness of this mother to fight to keep her child at home.

How far would you go?

Friday, April 1, 2011

I Was Told Not To Get Birth Control Today — Our Ordinary Life

prolife from

“Now she lost my attention as there was no way I’d have baby after baby and just give them up for adoption.”

I Was Told Not To Get Birth Control Today — Our Ordinary Life

Bravo, Kristen!!!

She talks about her conversation with a picketer outside of her local Planned Parenthood office, I commend her for speaking up and taking a stand.

It is disheartening to me that “good” people would spend their time irresponsibly proselytizing that young people should forgo birth control in favor of relinquishing their resulted child to adoption. I am sorry I see nothing godly about that advice.

I think that it is interesting that those of us whose lives have been shaped by the loss of family, abandonment/adoption/foster care don’t come out of the experience thinking that it is a wonderful life event that we would wish on anyone else.

Maybe, just maybe those of us on the losing end of adoption/abandonment & the foster Care system know what we are talking about when we say that adoption/abandonment/ foster care is not a win/win situation for any child, no matter who they end up with as parents.  Maybe when we say that every reasonable effort should be made to help people avoid bringing unwanted children into this world, we know what we are talking about. Maybe when we say that every reasonable effort should be made to safely keep children within their original families we know what that means and we know what we are talking about.  Maybe when we say women MUST have reproductive choice, we have good reason. when we talk…

Does anybody listen?

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