Monday, November 15, 2010

I am not taking down my blog

I am not going to hide my blog. Recently, several moms have had charges filed against them with Child Protective Services and their blogs came up as an issue. No, but the problems are serious, profound. One blogger had children removed from her home. Another blogger has had severe legal problems linked to her blog. Several other bloggers have abruptly stopped writing.

I will not.

Corey does her usual great job of explaining the issues while also providing ideas and solutions so folks can help right here

I started this blog with the idea that I would talk about the many unexpected issues brought into my family with the adoption of an older child with special needs. We have had success beyond the highest expectations of anyone. We have resolved a massive, fatal medical condition because of my own research and problem solving. We have uncovered several new root problems in the process, that we tackle every day.

Our daily shit is hard people, it is really fucking hard. But it can be done and by bloody jingo I am going to write about it and post it. What I desperately want to accomplish with my blog is to be a link, a lifeline, a bad example, a good example, dare I hope an inspiration. My goal is for a mom, any mom, to read my blog and say to herself, oh thank heaven I am not alone in this.

When I started reading other people's blog, three stood out as life rafts to me. Lisa at Life at the Grateful House, Stephanie at Parenting the Hoovers and Kids Special Needs, I don't know her first name! Being able to read the words of these women surviving similar chaotic daily lives made all the difference in the world. I would link, but none of the three is currently blogging.

This is a first amendment issue. I'm trying to avoid a "Donna Martin graduates" mentality and I don't want to play into some Journalism 101 thing either. But it is a fact that I have to ability to speak freely as a citizen of this country.

I can tell you that without the cognizance of other people in similar situations, we might not have made it. We would have returned to being a family of three about six months into the placement, before the finalization. There was a time, a long stretch of time, where I was convinced there could be no worse parent for Genea than myself. None. I have said once or twice that I would imagine going down to the prison out-yard and throwing a rock. Whoever that rock hit would be a better parent for Genea than me. I used to make a sick game out of it in my mind. I could throw a rock at the line outside the illegal shelter for people rejected from the usual homeless shelters in town and find Genea a better parent. I could stand outside the only methadone clinic, 45 minutes away, and throw my rock. Until I found out about the different manifestations of Reactive Attachment Disorders from a book another parent recommended, and I read that book and for the love of shit there was Genea on every page of "her" section. And I realized, Dear God I did not cause this.

People who have shut down their blogs are doing what they have to do to save their families. They'll get no judgment from me. I see it in a way as shooting a big fat middle finger to the powers that be. (Blog? What blog? Yes, that IS a coincidence)! It's not enough that these are people who have taken on some of the most difficult, traumatized, hurt children in the country. We have had no one to talk to, no one who understands the truth and now the outlet, the community of blogging is being knocked down? Bullshit, that's what it is. Bull. Shit.


Is there any consideration, and I have no facts, just an instinct, to the idea that with public blogging suddenly the freewheeling policy "interpretations" in various social services are coming to light? I wonder if someone, high in authority somewhere, has not issued one big memo with the subject line "Cover Your Ass".

So I am not going to hide. I will be right here, where I have always been blogging about the same shit (literally!). I will not tone it down. I might even take it up a notch to try to help cover the void.

22 comments:

  1. I am with you. Without those now-shut-down-blogs, I never would have considered adopting from a disruption.

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  2. I am so glad you will not hide!

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  3. I am not going anywhere either. Those mamas so helped me get to where I am today and I do not know that I would of made it without them. Sometimes I hate the system

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  4. You go, girl! But having been through an investigation I can tell you that it is a terrifying and helpless feeling. I'm with you, though. We have to give a hand to those in need because one of these days it might be us.

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  5. I let my foster license lapse after 14 years last March. I couldn't take the abuse of the system any more. There does seem to be a DCF blog witch hunt lately. They can't handle the truth.

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  6. Hey! I am glad you found me again! I took mine down for a bit, and then relocated, and tried to hide better, (only from our boy's bio family) and I know I may not be, but have been very careful what I talk about. I don't talk about any issues I may have anymore b/c we had trouble right before our adoption, and it creeped me out.

    I always enjoy your blog alot even if I don't comment as much, I have just been very busy and not commenting on anyone's.

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  7. You totally rock, Essie! Thanks for being spunky and brave and one of the amazing blogging Mom that keeps me sane and laughing. MWAH!

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  8. Good for you, and very well-put.

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  9. You go girl! I feel like half the blogs I follow are gone now. Sad.

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  10. I guess I am out of THIS loop! I agree that being investigated is one of the worst imaginable feelings. And we've gone through it twice, but frankly, without my blog friends, I couldn't have handled it.... Because I was sure as heck not going to chat about it with people who know my children! Or people, who I trust and love, but who just MIGHT not understand...and will have to be seen regularly, in person, regarding other areas of life - work, school, etc.

    I'm not quite understanding how blogging could be a problem....in fact, I'd relish haveing anyone read my blog who wanted to understand how hard it can be to have dealt with a few our our "situations". I am completely honest, as I am when interviewed by the DHS. It is just that in an iterview I don't have the time to phrase things perfectly, or remember all the salient details.

    I had some reason not long ago to tell someone about where I got the most support as an adoptive parent - and hands down, it has been from fellow bloggers. That is where I've gotten the most encouragement, understanding, inspiration, and as you say - just knowing I'm not alone is HUGE.

    So, I guess I need to follow your link now and figure out what you're talking about!

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  11. thats terrible. and yes I have thought about this topic. I have fears of some crazy person misinterpreting things on my blog and taking away my kids...so I have been careful of how things are phrased and rethought things. Its scary.

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  12. I debated whether or not blogging was still right for my family, but you're absolutely right about needing the support of other parents going through this out there. I don't know what I would have done without Lisa and Christine and the many others whose blogs I read. I will continue to blog.

    Mary in TX

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  13. If a blog and a book by two different authors covered the same content, with the same level of openness, I have to wonder if both would be equally at risk of recrimination and external forces swooping in. I suspect the book-author would be safe, because it is more "acceptable" to put these things into bound form (and of course, we wouldn't want to censor an actual, hard copy, published book, now, would we?)...but I am thinking there aren't the same "rules" when it comes to blogs...thereby placing bloggers at greater risk of discrimination. Just my initial reflections...

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  14. Joy and Geoff - point well taken! Though, if the problem is that she blogged about foster kids, then they would be adamant in any case. For some reason this was pounded home to us at training. The point of it is primarily to protect the kids from a) being discovered by anyone to be foster kids, (thus incurring prejudice) and b) location of the child being discovered by anyone who might be a danger to the child.


    But, I can see some of our workers using a rule in a way it wasn't meant to be used, that's for sure.

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  15. Yes, this is serious first amendment stuff. Good on you sticking with it. I will be too (continuing my non-blogging blog...).

    Just so you know, you have in fact accomplished your hope of being an inspiration. You were one of my first discovered blogs, and you gave me such a life line you can never imagine. Even though we were well down the path of therapeutic parenting by the time I started reading blogs, just hearing that others were dealing with the same crazy days as me was so tremendously helpful -- sanity saving actually.

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  16. Essie, you rock!

    So glad you're sticking around. I have none of the adoption/etc. issues that you write about, but life as a single mother can be (and is) tough in so many other ways. You are one of many blogs that I read just because it helps to know that I'm not the only one struggling. And none of us are perfect. (Side point: before reading other parent's blogs, I would have said no one is perfect... that's what blogging does! It fosters a sense of "us"... hope that makes as much sense onscreen as it did in my head!)

    While I understand the inherent instinct to protect oneself and one's family and I totally respect those other bloggers (some of who I have read but many I haven't) for doing what they felt they had to, I also love, Love, LOVE that you're standing your ground.

    Simply put: Thank you!

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  17. Scary stuff. But if you stop posting, we're all going to hunt you down and demand you start again. You know that, right?

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  18. Thanks for your post - I don't have a kid with RAD, but his bi-polar and ODD has some similarities and it is so helpful to know there are other moms out there who get it. And knowing that others are coping and even thriving has made it easier for me to be a better parent. All you bloggers out there share what is working and what is breaking your heart and I don't feel alone. I'm so glad you are sticking around!

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  19. Finally getting around to catching up on blogs. Love your humor so am happy to hear you are here to stay. We have been through 2 investigations. The last one was very rough. I had to go private to protect my family. It makes me mad that this is what I had to do. The system is very sucky. Let me know if you want an invite to my blog. I am not real active on it yet, but am getting there. I missed reading you!

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  20. Hi, Accidental Mom. Thanks for the shout out. I'll be back. Long, long story, but I'll be back soon. Thanks for not forgetting me! Stephanie

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