Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How are you, Ruth?

I've had many, many e-mails asking me how I am doing. Thank you for your concern. I think with everything that is going on with Rachel, I haven't had much time to worry about my own problems (which seem insignificant when compared to hers). Mostly, I'm fine. I'm just tired. I go to school. Go check on Rachel. Go back to school or study. Go to work. Go to the grocery store or go make dinner w/Rachel and then go sleep. In some way, I feel like a husband. LOL I'm not complaining, though. I see what Rachel is going through and I'm even more set in my desire to not have children. I watched my mother go through several pregnancies but there was a certain detachment because I was a child and she was an adult. Now I'm adult and I'm watching another adult go through it doesn't look like fun.

If I can make it to Spring Break (which is coming up soon), I'll be okay. Next term won't be so difficult academically.

Does your sister know what she's having? Yes! A girl. She's about 32 weeks.

Has Rachel chose a family? Not, yet. She's thinking about the couples that have been presented to her and she'll be meeting with two of them next week.

Have you talked to Harris at all? I see him around and we've had casual conversations. We don't hate each other.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nothing really.

I'm a little shocked and proud of myself. :) I went in to talk to one of my profs about dropping a class and he said I was getting an A and shouldn't drop. *I* am getting an A in a science class. Ok. Really, it's an A-, but still. I've been working really hard to keep up and thought I'd barely pass with a C.

I won't be moving in with my sister. It turns out, there's too many negatives regarding financial aide and scheduling. I am starting a new job tomorrow. It's very part time. However, it'll give Rachel some spending money and I can study while I work. It's sitting in a parking booth and collecting fees for campus parking. I applied for a few waitressing jobs but my lack of experience and the number of people applying didn't work out.

Rachel is getting things figured out. She wants to enroll in a GED class so she has something to occupy her day. Ironically, if she were keeping the baby, she'd be eligible for financial aide at different schools. As it is, she'd have to get my dad to submit his information for the FAFSA and that isn't likely. He wouldn't do it when I needed it, either. I'm happy that she's at least thinking of pursuing a higher education and trying to prepare. We also got her enrolled in a birthing class because, at this point, I'm scared that she doesn't know enough about her body and what birthing is. That's something I think all fundamentalist families need to address. A woman should know how everything about her body works- not hide it or shame people for wanting to know about it. Rachel decided to do a private, open adoption through an attorney, not through an agency. When we went to meet with the agencies here, they were, by-and-large, religiously based or bent. Some even had requirements about the religion of the adoptive parents and wanted promises to raise the children in that faith. Rachel honestly would prefer that the couple NOT have strong religious ties. I can't say that I blame her. In any case, she'll start meeting with the couples who work with this attorney and are on a list next week. I like that she'll have the ability to meet the people first and even get to know them. I'm proud of Rachel every single day- I don't know if I could do what she's doing.

On the home front, dad has backed off of Rachel. He "washed his hands" of both of us. Rachel's grieving that loss and I know I've grown some because my response was, "Good! It's about time." Two years ago, hearing him say something like that would've left me in tears. Isaiah's family has also backed off now that Rachel has an attorney. I know some of you said she should just deny that she knows who the father is but that's apparently not the best way to handle it. If she did that and he could later prove paternity, then he could fight the adoption and end up with total custody of the baby. What we're planning to do is see if he'll deny his own paternity rights. It sounds like he might do that because he's still claiming this can't be his child. The DNA testing will answer that question and, yes, he's legally obligated to take one to clear OR retain his legal rights.

I spoke with a reporter who's doing a piece about the media's obsession with QF/ATI families. She's said that I'll be granted anonymity and I'm happy for that. But, I think I'm ready to start talking to people and telling my story in a more open manner. That doesn't mean I'll out myself on the blog any time soon but this crazy idolization of the QF lifestyle needs to have a counterpoint.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Getting Set Up

Rachel met with the adoption agency today and by next week, she'll have a place to live. Because of the situation, they want to have us both living in an apartment together. I'm going to do it because I want my sister to have the support she needs. I also know that this is going to mean me dropping a class. I was the RA here on campus and I can't do that if I'm not living here. The dorm advisor understands the situation and, luckily, we'd been training up a new RA for our floor since December (in case Harris and I had lasted and I moved out). I need to drop the class because I'm going to take the advice of someone on these blog comments who told me to try waiting tables. Maybe they were just being sarcastic, but that isn't a bad idea. Rachel and I are going to need to pick up things for the apartment and pay the uncovered expenses that the adoptive parents and the agency will eventually pick up. Rachel can't work. She's going to be busy going to doctors and seeing therapists and lawyers. I want to do this for her. However, please don't feel badly about me when I say I'm scared to death.

I think craigslist will be my new friend. :)

We're here

We're back. We're getting everything worked out.
Rachel is fine. She's tired (but, then again, so am I). It's strange seeing my sister so pregnant. Despite the circumstance, we've had a good time getting to know one another again. Now the hard stuff begins.

How did this go down? After my post asking for anyone who had resources, I was directed to call a woman's shelter in my sister's area. They got in touch with Rachel and put her in a safe place. Between my brother, and a very nice woman who reads here who had some frequent flier miles to transfer, and others, we had enough to fly me out to pick her up and drive her back here. Another reader has a sister who does family law and she's agreed to help us with the next steps probono. All we'll have to cover is filing fees and basic things. Rachel is meeting with an adoption agency today.

I feel like this is going to work out for the best.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I hate to do this; but, I need to ask for your help.
Does anyone know of ANY resources for moving her here? I've been google searching for hours and haven't found anything! We did, however, get a lucky tip here regarding the free legal aide, so I'm hoping there's someone here who knows of some resource to tap for getting her moved here and set up with an attorney, not for the adoption, to protect her from my dad and others who wish her harm. Any ideas are welcome! Thank you, in advance.

Edited: I edited this post to remove some information. We've got a plan and it's going to happen this week. My brother freed up enough credit card space to help work something out. I'll be spending today finishing up some assignments and labs (my professors were fantastic). I shared my blog with them in an e-mail and asked them to excuse my from labs. One of them is opening a lab today so I can do it before I go. Then, I'll be meeting Rachel (don't want to say more than that to keep it protected).

THANK YOU for the phone numbers of attorneys. I found one who is going to help Rachel for nothing more than the filing fees and such. She's local and a sister of someone on Freejinger. We've already spoken. Thank you, to all of you, for offers of help and offers of places to stay. I think it's going to be okay. I'll not be posting for a few days, but don't worry. For the first time, I really think this will work out. -Ruth

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! Since y'all are the closest thing to friends I have, I wanted to send you best wishes for Valentine's Day.

A few questions and then a note about my sister.
May I ask a question, Ruth? Did you ever become very close with a sibling you helped to raise so that you felt the baby was your baby instead of your sibling?
Yes. That's, frankly, what kept me in my family as long as it did. My mom wasn't a hands-off mom, but the demands of ATI/Homeschooling and the demands of meeting my father's needs were so great that she just couldn't get around to meeting all of our emotional needs. As the oldest girl in the family, I did feel like I was tagged as a substitute mother. Rachel and Rani will always feel less like my sisters and more like my children. Rebekka and I were close enough in age that I didn't have to take on an emotional role in her early childhood. Rachel and Rani were handed off to me almost exclusively. That's also why I have such a deep-seeded need to protect the two of them.

How can we help?
Your emotional support is worth more than anything!
Any tips I have received since the first Rachel post has gone to Rachel. I have noticed that people here are saying they left something for me- thank you, but Rachel needs this so much more than I do. Please don't feel like you have to tip me.

How is Rachel? Did she decide on adoption?
Rachel is feeling well, physically. She had an anatomy scan on Thursday and found out that she's having a girl! My brother's boss went with her and said that it seemed like the ultrasound actually resolved Rachel in her decision to place for adoption. I spoke to Rachel later and she confirmed that. Rachel isn't choosing adoption because she has to (I know some people are concerned about that). She's, at this point, choosing adoption because she's seeing a bigger picture. Rachel is, emotionally, where I was several years ago. She's just left a place where she wasn't treated like an adult or expected to make any adult decisions. She's just left a headspace where she wasn't allowed to; choose her own clothes, go out of the house alone (EVER!), listen to a radio, watch a television, or do anything without asking my father for his authorization. While she could physically care for a child (change diapers, nurse, or whatever), she has very real concerns about meeting the emotional needs of a child when she's really needing care herself. She's wanting to grow up first and find someone to share her life with before having a family. She trusted someone she shouldn't have and, from what I hear, didn't realize what they were doing was what would get her pregnant (as far off as that sounds). She's trying to do the best she can for her and this baby.

We have managed to secure basic legal aide for her for free. This law office is working to find a lawyer specializing in open adoption for her. Rachel really does NOT want to go through an agency. She's spoke with several and everything near her has a large religious component. One even told her that she was a cultist and that they would ensure her baby was "raised in the light". As you might imagine, this scared the crap out of Rachel. She wants the baby to end up with a good family, with a strong support system, and no fundmentalist leanings of any sort. So there we are.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Men or boys?

Before I start getting into this post, I want to thank those who have donated something for Rachel. I transferred the money to my brother today and he will get it to Rachel. Rachel also wants to thank you. She plans to use the money for some more modern maternity clothes. Also, thank you for the legal references. Rachel and my brother went to the Social Services offices and contacted the free legal aid office that someone had listed here or at freejinger. They were able to help answer her questions and draft a letter to Isaiah's family telling them that she plans to put the baby up for adoption and seeking Isaiah's confirmation(?) that the baby "can't be his" (even though we all know it is).

This brings me to my rant. I hope every ATI family reads this post and sees this lifestyle and "ministry" as the sham that it is. In this situation, we have an ADULT MALE (by law) acting like a child! A spoiled, pampered child who, because of fear from his parents or fear of being cast out of this "ministry", won't own up to his responsibilities. I have no doubt that Isaiah is scared. You know what? My sister is terrified and she can't hide this pregnancy as he can. She's living it while he goes about his merry way. Word on the street is that he's hurriedly began courting another young woman. I feel sorry for her. She'll never know that "the one God had for her" had someone else. Courtship can work, I suppose. But treating grown men and women like foolish children is ridiculous because it allows them to face the responsibility as children do ("let mommy and daddy fix this"). What crap!

I'm actually glad his family isn't owning this for one reason: Rachel deserves far better and so does her child! God forgive them- because I won't.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I didn't mean to go dark for several days after my last post. I spent most of the weekend on the phone (thank goodness for phone cards!).

Rachel is reading here and at FreeJinger when she can. She's very appreciative of the prayers, thoughts, and advice that people have offered. This is a very scary time for her and every bit of positive advice helps. Thank you.

Although Rachel would make a wonderful mother and although she really wants this baby, I think she's leaning toward adoption and I couldn't be more proud of her. She's just concerned about what she'll be able to offer this little one and it's been something she's thought about since she found out she was pregnant. Between my brother and I, we're going to try and get her to see an attorney to see what we need to do to get Isaiah to either sign his rights away or outright deny paternity legally. The other option that's been discussed is having her move out here so that she can get some space. I just don't know how that will work, but it's a possibility. There seem to be more agencies in my area than hers. From what we're understanding, this would take care of her medical expenses and her worries about supporting the baby with little education and some things she needs to work through. Of course, if she changes her mind, I would understand and I say this to the blog because we'd like to hear it if you have adoption experience.

I think our first step needs to be getting Rachel healthy and ready for this. Thank you for your help.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crumbling, crumbling

"My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same." - Job 4:8

The brother who I am closest to called me last night. Among other things, he spoke about my sister, "Rachel". She's the sister who tried to leave before and went back. Well, as it turns out, she's pregnant (very pregnant) by the son (let's call him Isaiah) of another ATI family. My first thought was to wonder when they had the opportunity to hook up!?! ATI girls aren't allowed much, if any, time alone with boys and Isaiah's family doesn't live close to mine. Doing the math; the only possibility we can arrive at is that the conception occured during an ATI regional conference! Holy moly! You can bet heads are going to roll for this one.

She's due April 24th, which makes her about 28 weeks along. She's terrified and understandably so. Isaiah's family is claiming it can't be their son who got her pregnant. Of course, their "child",...their 21 year old, god-fearing son wouldn't have broken the purity promise he made to his parents and God. Because, we all know that 21 year old boys never think of sex! Right? So, it's my sister who's lying about her "promiscuity" (one man before marriage equals promiscuity in ATI) and she'll have to prove paternity.

Isaiah's family's actions are horrible. But what's worse are my father's actions! I know, no one is at all surprised that he didn't handle this well. He is livid. His legacy is falling apart. His quiver full of righteous soldiers are straying from the intended target. Rather than support my sister in her claims and attempt to, you know, help her - he's playing the blame game and has decided that my mother is the one to blame!!!!!!!!!!!!! She didn't "keep better control of her daughters."

So Rachel has been turned out of his house and my mother is now banned from speaking to her, too. All I want to say to my dad is, "You reap what you sew!"

Really? What part of Christian parenting suggests that you should abandon your children in their greatest time of need? I understand, in a limited way, that my dad felt I was a threat to the family's beliefs. But, shouldn't he be embracing my sister's situation? She's bringing forth one of God's blessings! Or, does that only count when two white, Christian Gothard followers marry? The hypocrisy is so evident. If Rachel were married, then my parents and Isaiah's parents would be crowing about this blessing from God. Both families are staunchly pro-life and have attended rallies wherein they crucify women who choose abortion - but when it's their own children who are involved, they don't support life and support my sister's decision to go forth with this pregnancy. They kick her out and call her a whore. REAL. F-ING. NICE.

If there's any positive to this situation, it's that Rachel is out. She, like myself, found a second family to offer her the love and support thath should've come from her church and her biological family. She's moved in with my brother's boss and wife. They've helped her get state issued insurance, a part time job, and are helping her negotiate this stressful time. These people are truly amazing and are true Christians.

Please keep my sister in your thoughts and prayers. And, if anyone knows of a good family attorney in Northwest Arkansas, can you please e-mail me the name and number. I think Rachel needs to get an attorney and pursue holding Isaiah responsible. I'm assuming she'll need an attorney to do that? Do any of my readers have experience with this sort of situation?