Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why Don't You "Just" Adopt?


Sgt. Reunited With Baby Given Up for Adoption
An army drill sergeant whose estranged wife put his daughter up for adoption without his knowledge or permission while he was stationed in another state, has been reunited with the little girl, following a nearly two-year battle to get her back.
"I'm just happy right now. I'm with my daughter," Sgt. Terry Achane said. "It's about time."
The Utah Supreme Court earlier this month overturned a request by the toddler's adoptive parents to stay a lower court's December order that the child be returned to Achane, her father.
On Friday the original trial judge, Darold McDade who ruled in Achane's favor, held a transfer hearing that resulted in the little girl and her father being united this weekend for the first time since she was born 22 months ago.
"This is the first known case where the Utah State Supreme Court has removed a child from an [adoptive parent's] home and returned the child to the ... legal father," said Achane's lawyer Mark Wiser.
Wiser called the Supreme Court's ruling a "huge victory" for "equal parental rights," meaning one parent can't put a child up for adoption without the other's permission, and decried the adoption practice in Utah.
"Terry Achane believes that justice is finally taking place," Wiser said, adding that his client remains "heartbroken that he has missed 22 months of his daughter's life because of what happened. This is time that he and his daughter can never replace."
Achane, 31, was stationed in South Carolina on March 21, 2011, when his estranged wife, Tira Bland, gave birth in Utah and turned the baby over for adoption just two days later.
He initially believed that his pregnant wife had followed through on a threat to have an abortion. It was several weeks after the baby, whom he calls Teleah, was born that he learned the child had been adopted and was in Utah.
When Achane contacted the adoption agency that had facilitated the baby's placement with the couple, Jared and Kristi Frei, he was stonewalled, denied information and ignored when he told them he had not consented to the adoption, according to his lawyer.
In his ruling to restore Achane's custody, Judge McDade said he was "astonished and deeply troubled" by the actions of the agency, the Adoption Center of Choice, calling its treatment of Achane "utterly indefensible."
According to Achane, Bland gave the agency Achane's old address in Texas where he lived prior to being stationed in South Carolina, and suggested he would not consent to the adoption. The agency attempted to contact him once in Texas, but seems not to have made any other efforts to receive his consent, Wiser said.
The agency would not comment.
Achane knew Bland was pregnant and had taken her to prenatal doctor appointments in Texas, but Bland cut off all contact with him following his deployment to South Carolina and made arrangements for the adoption in secret, he lawyer claims in court documents.
Calls to the Freis were not returned. In an emails to ABCNews.com, their lawyer Larry Jenkins wrote: "The Freis have asked us not to comment publicly about the case."
The Freis, however, have maintained a blog about the case where they claim that Achane "left [Bland] without any money, a car, or details of his whereabouts. Needing to act quickly for the best interest of her unborn child, and with incredible faith, fortitude, and courage, she put her child up for adoption."
In 2008, Kristi Frei was diagnosed with endometriosis and told she would not be able to conceive, according to the blog.
The Freis insist that it was they who tracked down Achane "several months" after adopting the baby, whom they call Leah, but to "our great shock and dismay" he refused to consent to the adoption.
The judge said in his ruling, however, that the couple knew that Achane had never been consulted and "acknowledged this risk but decided they wanted to proceed forward with the adoptive placement anyway."

And this is why people are afraid to adopt. The children that they have loved and prayed and cared for are ripped way from them. I'm glad that the Sgt. got his daughter back but my hearts break for the adoptive parents who lost their daughter today and, although it is not their biggest sorrow, they also lost the $10,000+ they spent to adopt her. "Just" adopt doesn't exist.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"And Then Came Love" Critique


“Successful New York journalist and single mom Julie Davidson's (Vanessa Williams) six-year old son Jake (Jeremy Gumbs) is acting up, so she finds his sperm-donor father Paul Cooper (Kevin Daniels), who's a struggling actor and law-school drop-out. Paul starts hanging out around Jake, and they instantly bond, much more than Jake does with Julie's boyfriend Ted (Kevin Boatman), who's asked her to marry him.

Julie discovers her growing feelings for Paul, who soon becomes Jake's new nanny. Her meddling mom Mona (Eartha Kitt) doesn't help things out by unknowingly revealing to Paul that Jake's father is a "D-O-N-O-R" who went to the same university as him, which pisses Paul off. Julie breaks off her engagement with her boyfriend.

Her book tour takes her to Boston, where Paul has an engagement in a play. First they almost meet, then they do meet, make up, and relationship ensues. Roll credits.” From http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0825346/synopsis .

Or “A movie to strike fear in the heart of any aspiring Single Mother by Choice”. My mother and I sat down to watch another movie yesterday morning and didn’t make it 5 minutes in before deciding it was a little more than we wanted to see (ahem!) and looked for something on Direct TV. Encore was having a free weekend and this movie came up on Encore Love. I thought it would be great to watch with my mom since she has not voiced any opposition to my shared thoughts on the future possibility of becoming a single parent. Well, not very far in to the movie I could sense that she has merely been trying to be supportive and actually quite agreed with Mona,. The movie starts out with the son, Jake, and a classmate fighting. Jake makes up a story about his dad being a Yankee (as in baseball, not a Northerner). Busy Julie is called to meet with the teacher. Fist beef- Julie works far more than needed. The teacher suggests medicating Jake to solve his behavior. Julie jumps to the conclusion that such behavior is genetic so it must be the donor’s fault since it can’t be hers. She hires a private investigator to track down the donor. Second beef- this is why they call it anonymous donation. You don’t track the donors down (even if it is possible). She approaches the donor in a bar and discovers that he is an aspiring actor now, not the law student he had been when he donated. Disappointed she leaves abruptly. Now he tracks her down to invite her to his play and meets Jake who takes to him instantly—as does Jake’s nanny. They begin to watch Jake together. Well, they talk and flirt while Jake does his own thing. Somehow this is okay with Julie. Third beef—would you really be okay with your nanny bringing her boyfriend along while she watches your child into the night while you are working? In fact, leaves this child alone with her boyfriend because she had to leave? Julie has a confrontation with her mother, well, several, where Mona  tells Julie that all her problems are due to the fact that Jake needs a father and that Julie is SELFISH to have chosen to become a single mother. Fourth beef—I’m just flabbergasted that no objections were raised to Mona’s assertions. I think having a two-parent home is ideal, but it’s no longer the norm. Mona reveals to Paul that Julie’s child is fathered by a sperm donor and he puts the pieces together quickly and is enraged that Julie didn’t tell him. Again, that’s why it’s called anonymous donation. She in no way was obligated to tell him! Meanwhile, Julie is also going through nannies and ends up calling her mom and begging for help. Fifth beef- there’s nothing wrong with asking for help, but Julie is over-reliant on her mother because she continually chooses to put her job over her child. Julie and Kevin meet back up and declare their love. Sixth beef- Really? If he was in his first year of law school when he donated, he is approximately 27-28 years old. Based on the age of women who are on forums and blogging who have realized  that if we don’t have kids now, we won’t ever have them, Julie is 41-48. That’s quite an age difference. Now, it’s quite realistic and I will say that at least they referenced in the film that there was an age difference. But there’s also a big maturity difference. Kevin is on his third or fourth career choice and at 28, that’s okay if you’re single, but maybe not so much if you’re contemplating a relationship with a 40-something with a child. Biggest beef- Jake’s behavior is due to bad parenting. It has nothing to do with being raised by a single parent. Julie needs to make him a priority. She does a good job of explaining that “there are different kinds of families” but it is obvious that she isn’t surrounding him with people who will advance that idea, such as his teacher and other care workers. While I can say this, it still scares me. I look at the statistics. I know that children raised by single parents by choice turn out just as well as children raised in two-parent households—sometimes better since the child doesn’t have to suffer the trauma of divorce (or more correctly, the conflict that proceeds it)—but I still wonder what you say to your child when he asks, “Why don’t I have a daddy?” and your mother calls you selfish for having a child on you own?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ole' Missouri

These are attributed to Jeff Foxworthy. I’m acquainted with Missouri and have to say that many are dead on!
If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't even work there, you may live in Missouri. Yep, it happens.

If you've worn shorts and a jacket at the same time, you may live in Missouri.
Also happens.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Missouri.

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Missouri.
Yes- I’m actually related by marriage to one. And it was more than once in the same year.

If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' and back again in the same day, you may live in Missouri.

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you may live in Missouri.
No. I’m not that stupid.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you may live in Missouri.
True dat.

If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both doors unlocked, you may live in Missouri.
This is probably not a good place to admit or deny this one. . .

If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Missouri.
I do carry them but I’m too scared to use them. . .

If everyone in your family has been on a "float trip." you may live in Missouri.
Actually no. But’s that has more to do with my conservative upbringing than anything else.

If the phrase “I’m going to the Lake this weekend” has only one meaning, and everyone knows what you're talking about, you may live in Missouri.
Lake of the Ozarks.

If "Down South" means Arkansas and you know where Idiots Out Wandering Around are located, you might be from Missouri.
Iowa. . .

If "Vacation" means driving to Silver Dollar City, Worlds of Fun or Six Flags, you might be from Missouri.
Not personally.

If you ever rode a school bus over an hour each way, you might be from Missouri.
Also not personally.

If you failed World Geography in school because you thought Cuba, Versailles, California, Nevada, Houston, Cabool, Louisiana, Springfield, and Mexico were cities in Missouri (And they are mind you!), you might be from Missouri.
They forgot Cairo. . .

If you had school classes canceled because of cold, You're probably from Missouri. If you had school classes canceled because of heat, You're probably from Missouri.
In the same week!

If you can recognize whether another Missourian is from the Boot Heel, Ozarks, Eastern, Middle or Western Missouri soon as they open their mouth, You're probably from Missouri.
I do lack this ability.

If you know that Harry S. Truman, Walt Disney, George Washington Carver and Mark Twain are all from Missouri, Well... you guessed it.

If you know what "Home of the Throwed Roll" means! You're probably from Missouri.

If you know what’s supposed to be “knee-high by the Fourth of July.” You're probably from Missouri.
That would be corn.

If you pronounce Missouri with an “ah” at the end. You're probably from Western Missouri.
Or a long time native.

If you think “deer season” is a national holiday. You're probably from Missouri.
It’s not?

If you’ve ever said (or heard) “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” You're probably from Missouri.
Said many times.

If you’ve seen people wear bib overalls to funerals. You're probably from Missouri.
This happens!

If your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor. You're probably from Missouri.
Yeah. . .

If you've seen farmers stop work and remove their hat as a funeral passes by. You're probably from Missouri.
And I love it!