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I love doing therapeutic foster care. Even when I feel like I want to pull out my hair with three teenage boys visiting the house, I love it. Sometimes though the minutae slips away and I am angry at people and the damage they have done to their children. Angry. And I know we all have demons and some parents have lived impossible lives themselves. And I’m usually good at living in the moment, and dealing with whatever comes up. And it’s just not my job to judge. Still, sometimes I feel angry.

Children should never have legs broken by their parents, or be so severely neglected that their developmental delays may never be overcome.  And drugs and alcohol and all the following ramifications. And abuse of all types, and neglect, and pain and hurt. And an education system that treats kids like they need special ed, or a medical profession that medicates everything, in the exact same way. And the stigma of foster care. It’s really too much.

And the kids? They’re awesome. They really are. Resilient and strong and broken and amazing. Really. You should all be in awe. And humbled.  And I want to pick up the broken pieces and tape it all up until it’s good as new.  But I can’t. I’ll help though. And my house is here when foster parents need a little break, and my house is safe. It’s not much of a house, but there is food and laughter. And a Wii.

So hug your kids if you have them. And know that we are part of many families in our lives and biology isn’t everything….  It’s a huge part of who you are and where you came from but it’s not everything.

And love? It is the most amazing thing. We have an infinite capacity.

Mara ~ whose ‘kids’ are giving her more than she could ever give them.

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Hmmm

A bunch of you have let me know that Bloglines is not picking up my feed… And I don’t know what to do for you..

Mara ~ wordpress ludite

Go see this article.

 Try to read through the comments (it’s tough, believe me!)

And let’s chat, shall we?

Mara

Short version.

bellanbone

  • My 16yr old dog died. I am sad. My child was inconsolable. Which made me more sad.  I still find myself looking at her blanket or going to get her dog food or finding some hair under the furniture. Poor Bella.  It was odd how it happened. Quick thankfully, but not really expected.  I mean she moved relatively slowly, she was thin, her eyes were cloudy.  She hadn’t eaten in a couple of days (not unusual, she’d done that her whole life), but one afternoon I found her lying in her own pee looking lethargic. I bathed her, and she never liked baths. She had enough energy to drench me from head to toe, and to snort water all over me. I dried her off and put her on her bed. I went on to cook supper, clean up after the kids and went to check on her. Her respiration rate had gone way down, she was not too responsive. On the way to the vets she was still breathing but by the time we got there she was no longer breathing, had no corneal reflex… but her heart was still beating. We stopped her heart, my child wailed, The Guy and I cried. Say hi to dad Bella. We miss you.

 

  • BFF’s 4 month old daughter is sick, and has been flown to another facility to have her bone marrow tapped. Please pray.

 

  • MIL has finally broken her silence and actually communicated with The Guy. The good news is that we know she’s alive, her finances are being looked after and she’s taking her medication. The bad news is that she refuses to take any responsibility for anything and continues to look outside of herself for someone else to blame. Head games, poor decisions continue, and I fear we may end up with further hospitalizations etc. And as for the doctor saying you can leave the hospital? That does not mean he said you SHOULD leave the hospital.

 

  • I find it quite rich that in a letter sent to me by MIL she told me to get over the death of my father and that I was setting a poor example to my child by showing her I could not cope with anything. Hmmm. I know she’s mentally ill, but it’s hard not to have feelings when people say things like that to you. Get over it. Indeed.

 

  • This whole months has been a sea of respite therapeutic foster care for teenage boys. My house is filthy. I am drained. I found myself annoyed  when I felt one of the boys was not ‘grateful’ enough for all the accomodations and thought I was providing to make his stay as comfortable as possible. I quickly slapped myself . Is this why I do this? Gratitude? Nope? So shut up then. Okay.

 

  • There’s a huge controversy about this article.  Adoptive parents are scared a negative article about adoptions form Ethiopia will negatively affect the future of adoptions. There are lines being drawn in the sand. “I had a good experience!”  “I had a bad experience!” “Adoption is good!”  “Adoption is bad!”  “The article was biased and negative!” “The article brought to public attention irregularities!”  “These families are brave!” “These families are selfish!”  I’ll save my ideas for another post.  Though I must say I really do HATE,  HATE, HATE the title “Buying Babies”. Mostly it makes me tired.

 

  • I’m planning my daughter’s 5th birthday party. How did this happen? What a cliche… The time does fly though.

Mara ~ Spring is almost here!!!

Trust me, it hurts. A lot. Like swallowing a thousand razor blades in a mouthful of drool, and it leaves you choking and a little panicked by it all. So anyway, tons of meds and some AWESOME, GODSENT mouthwash, and I have moved beyond the insanity and the creeping anxiety everytime I felt the need to swallow. It made me freak out a little when the walk-in doctor asked if the doctors in the emergency department had even looked in my mouth the previous day….  Hmmm thanks emerg!

Now onto a subject that is just exhausting me! And I’m white! And privileged in ways I am sure I have not yet acknowledged! And I’m heterosexual! And I’m middle class! Did I mention I am white? And I live in Canada!  

 ENOUGH with the slant eye gesture! Es tu Miley? Es tu Miley?

mileycyrusasianmockingppw7

Now I could start the whole southern-God-fearing-trailerpark-cousin-marrying-idiot-parent analogies, but  that would be uncalled for. And I would only gain a moment of satisfaction until the self-loathing would creep in. So I rise above.

So, it’s the racist ‘chink eye’ gesture again. Dude, my Chinese daughter does not need to see that shit from a Disney Billion Dollar Empire. And can I once again say how incredibly sick I am of the non-apology? (See here).  And that poor Asian guy in the picture, just coming to realize that his friends are a bunch of racists. Sigh.  

Miley says her actions were taken out of context. I have a tidy little sum running on whether she knows what that actually means. All she has to do is provide said context. And poor Miley, she was just trying to make ‘goofy faces’. Because, you know, those asians are really goofy looking. How can she be expected to control herself?  And the kicker is that she can’t believe SHE is being targetted for being a racist when God has a plan for her and the evil media are just trying to get hits on their websites or copies of trashmags sold, and her fans know her heart, and she’s really just a young, silly girl. Wow. It sucks to be the victim doesn’t it Miley? Because of course how could some slant eye ever understand anything about being marginalized, being discriminated against or having to watch some un-taught child do the equivalent of calling you the n-word? Because that gesture is exactly the same thing. The. Exact.Same.Thing.  And please don’t argue, because as a whitey you (and me) do NOT get to tell people of colour what is and is not racist. You just don’t.

And now I’d like to hate-on so called allies. You know who you are. You are the white parents of children of colour who don’t want your children to see racism behind every tree. You don’t want your child to run away with a ‘victimhood’ mentality, or to be ‘oversensitive’, or to walk around being constantly ‘offended’.  You say you’ll be there ‘if’ they encounter racism. IF?!  What you are teaching them is that YOU are insensitive! YOU are sending them the message that being one of ‘those’ people is not desirable. Of course your child never mentions anything about being the victim of racism…. because you, the parents, are racist. And the zipper is stuck on your white privilege bag. And it’s hard, but you have to be willing to learn, to unpack and do better. Your children deserve it. The gesture is not in good fun, the gesture perpetuates the beliefs of a racist society. If you are not Asian you do not know what it’s like to be Asian. If you are not adopted, you will never know how it feels to be adopted. These are not things we should teach our children to let ‘roll off their backs’. We need our children to know that we know it’s wrong and we will not let them navigate through a racist world without us having their back. And working actively to dismantle a power structure that refuses to fundamentally acknowledge and accept our children. Our children of colour. Yes, sometimes I hate my fellow adoptive parents. We can be so fucking clueless.

And once again the way to apologize is to say “I’m sorry. I’ll do better” and then sit down and shut up. A little hint in case you are having trouble formulating an apology, never, ever use the word “if”. Never.

Mara ~ I think I’m back 🙂

Alive! Yes I am! Thanks.

Where the fuck did December go? Dude. Awash with chocolate (6K truffles..  God I hate chocolate!) Drowning in exploding commercial 5K pasta machines….  Sooty from a wood fired brick oven… Awash in catering and cooking and orders and how I just am now HATING Christmas. Bah and Humbug! Not to mention the drowning in the CRAY-zee that has become my experience with therapeutic foster care ( a different teenage boy in my house every weekend or for a couple of weeks at a time). Good, but Cray-zee and unsettling and heartbreaking and hilarious and annoying and fun. So you can see the schizophrenic tone my life has had these last few weeks.

In other news,

  • BFF had baby #3, she is awesome!(Both mom and baby). I was lucky to be there for this birth too. It’s all such an amazing, intense miracle. And totally reaffirming that I have TOTALLY made the right decision to NEVER EVER do that. Thank you very much!
  • I’m secretly jealous about BFF having 3 (THREE!) kids, and my own stalled version of #2 still not even on the way here.
  • I can’t bring myself to clean the DISASTER that has become of my work kitchen, and like almost everything else, the longer you leave it the worse it gets.
  • Speaking of which, something I have left for 2 years is biting my ass and I can’t bring myself to deal with it, and leaving it is going to leave some not so nice consequences…. what is WRONG with me?
  • The MIL situation is still up in the air. Mental illness is a bitch and unresolved stuff is just really difficult. SIGH. BIG BIG SIGH.
  • Mom had a stroke, then went to Poland for three months. What is WRONG with her 80 yr old self?
  • The holidays, aside from cray-zee-ness, was THE BOMB. Seriously. My kid is amazing. We were unpacking Christmas decoration (on the 23rd, I am not even kidding!) and I have a picture of my dad from a few Christmases ago, where he looks old, sick and pained, but still the guy I loved my whole life… and we put it up beside a birchtree candle and I light the candle and it’s way for me to remember. On evening at supper time Squirt says in a wistful voice that only a 4yr old can muster “I wish Grandpa was here.”  I responded that I did too. Her head whipped around and she looked me in the eye. “Don’t cry mama, he’s happy now you know.” Okay then. Insert wry smile. God I love her!
  • the Wii is awesome, and MarioKart? Too. much. fun!

I hope everyone is doing well. I have over 500 items in my bloglines…. I’ll be making the rounds.

Mara ~ bad bad blogger

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27859660/

“To save adopted girl, California couple gives her up.”

Please read this article. Especially if you have adopted internationally or are in the process. Adoptive parents need to stop looking at solely filling their own desires and go into things with eyes wide open. We are not entitled to children. We are especially not entitled to other people’s children. Our desire to grow our family should never come at the expense of an ethical practice. And don’t dismiss this as just a problem unique to Guatemala. IT. IS. NOT.

I believe ethical international adoptions can and do occur. I also know that our privilege remains mostly unexamined and without a real understanding of the complexities of adoption we are doing a disservice to our children. We need to do more than acknowledge loss, we need to fight corruption and unethical practices. This is an adoptive parent’s responsibility. We need to actively fight against it. To not do so dimishes us all. Demand transparency, question your agency, look under the surface. Maybe see if you are able to change a request from an AYAP female? Maybe stop complaining about the wait for referral (and I sympathize with those waiting, I’ve been there/am there too) and consciously choose to err on the side of caution and let checks and balances play out? Maybe let your joy at referral be tempered a bit by the reality of a mother unable to care for her child and making a decision we could never imagine?  Realize that love in and of itself is not enough. It’s just not.

I want to look my daughter in the eye one day and tell her not only about my love for her, but about my love for her first family. I want her to know she was not a commodity, she was not “purchased” to fill my void. And I did not look the other way.  I will not look the other way.

Mara ~ off my dusty soapbox, sorry!