Saturday, June 16, 2012


Because I have no experience whatsoever with special needs *coughcough* and because I have absolutely no skill *coughcoughcough* and because I'm in completely over my head *coughcoughcoughcough*...I managed to get two of my daughter's three therapies started, after more than a month of excuses of delay.

Two strongly worded emails and locating a private speech therapist was all it really took to compel her educational service provider to stop delaying and start delivering.  It's unfortunate that it takes this amount of pressure to get what our daughter needs and is legally authorized for, but the end result is that she should begin her speech services and occupational therapy services next week. 


I know of a family that has been waiting since November for their child's services to begin.  That makes me very angry.  This is a child who qualifies for therapy and is forced to wait for reasons that, on top of being illegal, are just plain wrong.  Laws are in place to implement a child's service plan within a specific timeframe.  These timeframes are often ignored, so not only are laws being summarily dismissed, but no one is benefitting. The possible exception to this is the educational service provider.  Make up sessions, which are routinely offered to parents and then "stuffed" into a child's schedule are not efficacious for therapeutic services.  Therapy must be consistent and sustained, not stuffed into a five day week to "make up" for what was previously lacking.

My daughter's will be.  I pray that the other children are appropriately served as well.

There is a stereotype associated with the educational service providers in my state; one that says that they are generally tough to deal with and eager to deny children services.  I'm grateful that, till now, I have not experienced this.  But, like most stereotypes, they are rooted in a truth, even if that truth is now distorted and magnified.  Regardless of my experiences with this provider, I must actively remind myself that not all providers are this way.  I must try not to paint the entire system with a horribly broad, biased brush.

I recently began re-following Regretsy.  This is a group that pokes great fun at some of the oddities found on Etsy.  As a decidedly un-creative sort, I find Etsy fascinating.  But I also find some of the things offered on Etsy humorous, sometimes offensive, and even a little head-turning.  Some of the commentary offered there directly appeals to my sarcastic nature, and so I am amused.

Many, many, MANY people use Etsy to sell the products they create.  (Okay, so some people use Etsy to pawn off items that are forgeries, but that's another post).  Some people use Etsy to sell things that perhaps they believe are creative, but...well....I mean, I saw some sort of a garment marketed as some kind of "flutter shirt" that was, honest-to-goodness, nothing more than a sports bra with handkerchiefs safety-pinned to the exterior.  I know I'm not creative, but I think even *I* with my lowly abilities could manage that creation for $60!

Periodically, a legitimate seller on Etsy will comment on some blanket statement appearing on Regretsy.  I recently saw someone reply to a comment - something about "all Esty sellers sell junk" (this was the jist of the statement).  A legitimate Etsy seller basically replied with, "Hey, I like your site and you point out a lot of funny, junky things on Etsy, but I'm not like that.  I wish you'd broaden your horizons a bit and accept that there is actually SOME things of value on Etsy."  To which the esteemed moderater replied, "Oh yeah, and I forgot that the rest of the sellers on Etsy who pretend not to sell junk are actually humorless idiots."

I shook my head.  Harmless, I'm sure.  Regretsy doesn't care about the legitimate sellers on Etsy.  Their site is about humor and about hyperbole.  I don't hate Etsy and I get a chuckle out of Regretsy's commentary, even as I know that it's not accurate.  The good part?  It's not meant to be.

My next thought was how so many adoption hating websites operate similarly.  They take the very worst "offenders" in adoption; they copy and paste blogs and writings out of context, and offer their humorous take.  They take less "harmful offenders" as well, and rain down a torrent of sarcastic, unsubstantiated garbage.

The sad part?  Many hold themselves out to be legitimate outlets of information (even as they admit they are biased!) as the "voice" of "reason" in the corrupt, horrid world of adoption. 

The good news is that any competent googler can easily find the right information and separate the facts from biased hate speech.  Or, they can read the *same account, over and over and over and over again* of the abuses adoptive parents have shamefully done to their adopted children - things that are inexcusable - and realize that it's not a representation of the entire picture. 

I was standing in the checkout line of my local grocery store when I saw the headline of the newspaper which read, "Man arrested for killing infant daughter."  I scanned the article and didn't see any mention of adoption.  I then held up the headline for my husband to read and said, "I don't understand. I thought only adoptive parents killed their children.  This must be wrong."

See what I mean?

We were at a local ice cream store and saw a banner for a family who is raising money for their daughter.  This child apparently suffers with a brain tumor and the ice cream store was putting on a fundraiser for her medical expenses.  I couldn't resist.  I pointed to the banner and said to my husband, "How dare this family fundraise?  Didn't they realize when they decided to procreate that their child could be afflicted with a horrible disease?  Is it society's fault that they don't have tens of thousands of dollars to pay for her medical care?  Obviously, if they do not have the funds to pay for this child's medical care, they are ill equipped to parent her!  Oh, but someone will try to argue that this was a surprise - not a choice.  But they chose to have a kid, so it IS their choice.  Oh, but maybe they have paid all of these expenses themselves, but ran out of money.  Oh well.  I guess the kid should suffer with the half of a brain tumor left if they can't afford to take it all out."


A very broad, biased brush.

I can't afford to paint with that kind of a brush.  My education patently forbids it and teaches me otherwise.  That's why I'm grateful (and actively read) some of the anti-adoption information that exists on the internet.  Some of it is true.  Some of it may not be, but it covers a grey area that needs to be talked about.  And some of it is absolute crap.

I'm grateful and blessed that our family has approached the adoption process with eyes open, trying to learn what we can, and embracing the unknown.  I am so happy that we have the opportunity to parent a child most deserving from a place that children should not live in.  I'm blessed that people have chosen to help us make this a reality, even as we write the checks ourselves.  I'm glad that some people recognize the differences and choose not to paint with that broad, biased brush. 

Stereotyping is an easy shorthand that everyone uses at some point.  If we had to actively evaluate each and every person or situation we encountered, we'd never leave our homes.  Don't get caught in the trap of stereotyping.  Take the time to evaluate for yourself before you paint every special needs adoption, every Reece's Rainbow child, or every adoptive parent with the same broad, biased brush.

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Kind comments are welcomed. Poorly researched, ill-informed, horrifically biased comments are exploded. :)