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.


  1. Wishing you the best as you and Rachel figure this out. It sounds like things are going as well as could be expected. Hugs to you both.

  2. You two women are seriously amazing. Rachel should look into being emancipated. Since three of you have left so far, and based on what you've written about in your blog, I bet she has a strong case. For undergrad, you have to put your parents' info into FAFSA until you're 23 or 24 if you're not emancipated.* That's a long time from now for Rachel, so if she does want to go to college I would look into it.

    Also, maybe see if she can find any doulas in your area who will come to her birth pro bono. I worked for a volunteer program in California and we took on a lot of teenagers. It would be awesome if she could find a doula who works with adoption births and could do some postpartum follow-up. Maybe the adoptive parents would even pay for a doula, if you can't find a pro bono one. DONA has a doula search tool:, but there are other certifying agencies so not ALL doulas in your area will be on their list.

    *OR "At any time on or after July 1, 2011, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?" which may be an easier possibility than emancipation?

  3. So glad things seem to be working out for Rachel. I thing going through an attorney is a good thing. From what I have heard adoption attorneys usually r VERY careful who they help while some adoption agencies do not.

  4. First, congratulations on your A (or A-). I'm so glad that you talked to your prof before dropping. So many kids fear their professors instead of talking to them. Hopefully you'll keep chugging along through school.

    Second, good thoughts and wishes to Rachel. I would be scared if I were her, but she's very brave. I would remind her to ask the couples open ended questions, so they can't try to "figure" out what answer she wants. I hope that the attorney is impartial and looking for a good match.

    Third, you continue to serve a great purpose to your siblings. You are a lighthouse to them, a beacon of all that is possible if they decide they are unhappy with the lifestyle their parents have. Try to remember what a good job you are doing when times get tough.

    Could the attorney helping with the adoption help Rachel find answers on emancipation for school purposes? I hate the Financial Aid process/age. You are practically retired by the time you "independent". Or should I say "Duggar Daughter age for marriage?"

    I hope you do talk to someone about this crazyness. I point people to your blog when they talk about 19KAC. I want them to see the truth about the situation and the bigger plan of Gothard.

  5. I hope you will continue to share your story with others. Maybe someday you could write a book. The world needs to hear about how damaging the fundamentalist/gothard lifestyle is to its members, especially young women.

    I'd second getting legal advice so that Rachel can get legally emancipated from your parents and move on with her life and get an education.

    Your job sounds pretty good, getting paid to study and all. Waiting tables can be great work but considering you've had multiple leg/foot injuries you might want to stick with a job that doesn't require you be on your feet for long shifts.

  6. I'm glad things are getting more settled for the both of you. You've both been through a lot.

    I would love to hear a counter-quiverful article in the media. The extent that this kind of lifestyle is hyped with the Duggars is discouraging when there are so many problems with its ideas.

  7. As an adoptive mom, just wanted to say she is doing the right thing by NOT denying who he is with the adoption. You are absolutely right~he could over turn the adoption later on which isn't fair to anyone. And I second that you should write a book one day!

  8. I am amazed at what you two have accomplished in such little time. Ruth, you are to be commended - for getting an A in science (heck with the -) and for working a job for the benefit of your sister - for reaching out for advice on your blog and for weeding through the overwhelming amount of information in order to make good decisions.

    I know the news about dad is difficult. It was inevitable based on his attitude. He had a choice - to stand fast in the movement or to love. There was really little doubt in my mind that he would chose the movement over his children.

    Anyway, I'm so very glad to hear such positive things are happening for the two of you.

    PS: The idea of a doula is fabulous!

  9. Getting an A is awesome - and the fact that you did it against the backdrop of your family drama is even more amazing!

    Please do talk to the media. Not only is the media obsessed with the ATI lifestyle, but we have a candidate for president sounding a lot like a Gothard follower and shamelessly aiming to use the presidency to promote that agenda. Did anyone catch his comments about education? Basically said something about how he and his wife home-schooled their kids and that presidents home-schooled their kids for 150 years. Then went on about cutting all kinds of education funds. And he's gaining in popularity! And the Duggars are campaining for him. He must be stopped!

    1. That scares the hell out of me that he is gaining momento I really do not want him to win I know for a fact that my state would never allow it. Back to Ruth I agree do not talk to the media. Like u said before u can be anonymous maybe telling your story will help someone else. I do have to say that after reading your story I am happy to see the other side of ATI.

    2. I think he is much less worrisome than who we have in there now. The most Santorum will push for in these areas is to make it easier for those who want to home school, be able to do so.

      But I am not a Santorum supporter....I would really like to see Newt in there.

      I will vote for ANYONE other than Obama, but I am NOT at ALL crazy over what the Republicans have to offer. It's disappointing.

    3. Obama is "worrisome" because why? And creepy Newt or Santorum would be better because why?

      If your issue is with "Obamacare," you should know that the rest of the developed world thinks the American health care system is idiotic.

    4. I'd be happy to debate it with you elsewhere, but I am not going to take over someone else's blog with it. Name the place and I'll be there.

    5. Ask and ye shall receive. It's an open thread for anyone who actually wants to have this conversation; you're all welcome, so go for it. Please be civil, though.

  10. Well, I'm sorry that you won't be able to move in with Rachel, but it sounds like she'll be okay (and nearby). I'm glad that you're sticking with the classes (and I second whoever it was that praised you for talking to your professors). And it sounds like you're moving carefully, which is all to the good.

    So... yay for good news? Or at least for a dearth of bad news, which is good new in its own way.

  11. (((hugs))) I'm proud of you two. You're doing much better in your studies than you expected and Rachel is making her own way, as difficult as it is for her.

    You are both strong young women with prospects and good lives ahead of you. The fact that both of you are making the hard choices, which will yield good fruit in your futures, bodes well for you.

    I do, however, have much sadness for Rachel. Giving your child up is incredibly difficult and she would be wise to allow herself to mourn the loss of her child and to get with a good support group of adoptive mothers. Even though she will be able to determine most of the circumstances, it will still be very hard.

    My best to you. There are so many good things for you both.

  12. Congratulations on the class! I also think GED classes are a good start for Rachel.

    I would like to encourage you to move carefully about your story in the broader media. I also am attracted to the counterpoint about this movement, but Rachel is also at a very vulnerable point in her life. Media does weird things and can quickly slip out of your control. In addition, people do weird things when the light of the media shines on them. If something were to happen and Rachel's identity were widely exposed, Isaiah's family may posture publicly and cause additional complications.
    I guess what I'm saying is I'm all for a more open public discussion about ATI, but not at the loss of a person's privacy because the media can be very invasive if you capture their interest.

    1. I agree. Here you can control exactly how much is shared. Out *there* who knows?

  13. I'm glad things seem to be working out for you and Rachel, Ruth. Hope I didn't set off a political argument up there.^. I'm not even American and I'm terrified a Republican will get in. They's crazy!

  14. you go girlfriend! i'm so glad everything is falling into place for you and your sister.

  15. Ruth,
    congratulations on your A!!! Keep right on going with science! I think birthing classes for your sister are a great idea. You might also want to help her formulate a birth plan that is signed, notarized and read by the doctor that will be attending or the midwife whatever. Birth rape is a real phenomanon that happens, often to young new to birth mothers. Your sister has had enough trauma and needs to be able to take control of her choices on this one. A good birth will make alot of difference on her feelings about the adoption. She needs to know that she is in control of her own body and that someone will back her up on that. The other thing to discuss with her is, is she based on your upbringing comfortable with male doctors or staff being present or examining her? This might seem ludricous but it can be a big issue. I love the idea of a doula! You are doing great both of you.

    I am sorry about your dad. My dad washed his hands of me too until I "repented" I don't plan on "repenting" and returning to abuse any time soon. Its a process there will always be an ache bt it will lessen with time. Your dad would be wise to ponder what Jesus said about causing "little ones to stumble" and "provoking your children to anger." Continue to be a strong wonderful sister who is a blessing to her family.
    Praying for you

  16. Wow. You two absolutely take my breath away. You're so brave and so strong, and I am SO glad you've got each other. The new job might not pay as much as waitressing but it's going to be a LOT less stressful, and I think you've got quite enough stress already without adding to it. ;-) I'm assuming you're allowed to have a book or some homework in the booth with you?

    Rachel, if you're reading this, I won't presume to know what you're going through, other than it's probably the hardest thing you'll ever have to do. But I DO know you're doing everything right. EVERYTHING. Please remember that, and also remember that even if your "family" isn't, there is a big bunch of people you've never even met who are rooting for your success.

  17. I'd have Rachel talk to a financial aid counselor about what she can do in terms of money for school. I've always thought it ridiculous that you have to be 24 to be considered an independent, since you've been a legal adult for 6 years at that point. I would hope that the fin aid counselor would be able to point Rachel in the right direction.

    Lauren H.

  18. The Coffee Fiends echo the wise words here...particularly this:

    "I (we) do, however, have much sadness for Rachel. Giving your child up is incredibly difficult and she would be wise to allow herself to mourn the loss of her child and to get with a good support group of adoptive mothers. Even though she will be able to determine most of the circumstances, it will still be very hard." not take on more than you can handle during these next painful months. Keep it on getting your GED of course, but do not COMPARE yourself to others who have not lived your life, and subsequently try to take on too much.

    Small steps will get you where you need to go, and you've got total strangers pulling for you, and willing to help as they can.

  19. I agree with those telling you not to put your name out there to the public yet. I don't think this is the time, considering you are still in school and are still getting to know who you are and getting settled in a life. As others have also mentioned, this is not a good time for your sister to be publically exposed. However, I DO think you should provide information on an anon basis. I know of so many people who look up to the Duggars and it sickens me. I have refered countless people to your blog for the other side of the story. Yes, they may not be physically abusive, but their girls (and boys) lack education and the ability to function in the real world. They are at such a disadvantage outside their bubbled-world, and they are absolutely clueless about it. You need to tell your story, but be careful!!!! -PAM

  20. Knowing that you love Rachel so much and that you helped to raise her in many ways makes me so glad that you two are together now. I can't imagine how difficult things seem. I think you are awesome and I am pulling for you. Try to relax and let people help you. Much love.

  21. Hi, Ruth,

    I am glad Rachel is with you and that you're taking steps to deal with the situation in a mature and ponderate way.

    I wish I were able to donate some money, unfortunately I am not in a position to do so right now and I'm very sorry about it. FWIW, I'm keeping both you and Rachel in my thoughts and I wish you both all the best for the future.


  22. I am glad you found a job! quiet as it's kept, the campus parking booth is a great job for a college student. i am glad you are balancing your need for a job with finding employment that suits your lifestyle. About waitressing, I wasn't able to get any experience until a school friend quit her job at a small, mom and pop owned place. She told me I could have her job if i just spoke to her manager, and that's what happened. If you (or your sister) ever need to start waiting tables, try an independently owned restaurant. They have more hiring flexibility than a restaurant chain. Making tips for the first time was very nice!

    Also, seriously look into emancipation for your sister's financial aid purposes. Especially if it looks like your dad is really done with being supportive of her in her young adulthood. Getting fin aid helps at every level of post-high school education. My husband just started his first semester at community college. His Pell grant will pay for both semesters of tuition (no loans!). I was also able to finance almost all of my education at my city's public college with grants, (where I also received a discount for being a state resident). I did not have to be emancipated, because I dragged my feet through school and didn't graduate until about 9 years after I started.

  23. I. Am. LOVING the way this is turning, at least at the moment.
    Please know that a sensible Christian (me) has you and Rachel and the baby in her heart and prayers. I also have Isaiah in my prayers - that he will keep out of the kidlet's life, legally, physically, mentally, etc.

    PlEASE let us know when the article is published. The truth needs to be trumpeted farther and wider than Duggar's and Gothard's phony smiles!!!!


  24. So proud of you both! One day at a time, you are doing amazing things in the middle of a difficult situation. (Congrats on that A!!!)

  25. AnonymousFeb 26, 2012 07:10 AM....

    "I also have Isaiah in my prayers - that he will keep out of the kidlet's life, legally, physically, mentally, etc."

    I know I'm just a trashy atheist, but I'm thinking along the lines of: Maybe you should pray that he will get a clue, since he has clearly been brainwashed into this lifestyle as well. I'm not saying his child won't be better off if he signs away his rights, but, ugh, this is exactly why atheists get disgusted when people say they will "pray" for them.

    1. Dawkins, trashy atheist, you've got a point there!! I sincerely thank you for posting it.

      I shall forthwith amend my prayers for Isaiah, since my initial ones were clearly not with his own best interests at heart. You betcha boots, he is in need of help.

      It's no good to hope/pray/work for one person's benefit at the expense of another persons.

      Thank you for pointing this out. I'm going to keep it in mind.

      Ps: I can dig that you're atheist if you say so, but trashy? Naah. ;) You're good stuff.

    2. Ok, IDK if you are being serious, but the "trashy atheist" handle is one I adopted on here because Ruth's father called me "trashy" in his Q&A post. (He didn't address anything I brought up, just decided to call me trashy because I mentioned I'm atheist.) By "Dawkins".

      Anyway, I just think people should keep in mind that all of these kids have been raised in cults and even the ones who drink the kool-aid have been brainwashed.

      Hopefully Isaiah will get a clue eventually. There is actually a chance that he'll get treated poorly enough because of this that he will break free. I hope he doesn't get sent to one of those Gothard reprogramming camps for rebellion as I've read a lot of horror stories about them.

  26. At the rate your dad is washing his hands of his kids, he might not have any left twenty years in the future.

    Another organization that could possible help Rachel is ORT America. You don't have to be Jewish to use their services. My husband works for the (we're both atheists lol, so we can vouch that religious affiliation or non-affiliation is not an issue).

    The ORT colleges basically give affordable job training (I want to say mostly in computer/tech type jobs). I cannot say enough good things about this organization. If you are interested in learning more let me know and I'll see if my husband can get your sister information on who to talk to.

  27. Congratulations on rocking science, Ruth!

    And I'm happy to hear that Rachel is inclined to go for an open adoption--I think that that's the most empowering course for her and her child, and I am sure that she will pick great parents for her baby.

  28. I'm glad that things are continuing to progress. Even if you and Rachel don't share an apartment now, you can always visit (and it may work out for the summer or other school breaks).

    I know the feeling of being surprised at academic success! I struggled to pass math classes through school, until I was in college -- and making A's. Awesome feeling, isn't it? :)

    Continuing to pray for/send positive thoughts your way. Keep at it! Your lives can only get better! :)

  29. Great job on that grade! I work with adult students who have "been there and back" many times and doubt what they know--I always tell them "you've done harder stuff than this in your life" they smile and nod and start telling me. You've been down that road and I'm glad you're getting the REAL rewards you deserve--like recognition for having real brains. DO speak up about your life any chance you get. Too many people see the "big happy family" lie and don't ask questions like "ah, why are there so many adults living there?" (Yes, there are really good reasons in some cases--like paying cash for college, but this isn't the case!) Again, I thank your sister for chosing adoption. I am a very happy adoptive mom!

  30. Forgot to say: sometime I hope it does come out who your family is. Not to hurt them, but to show your Dad you no longer fear him. And to show any families who maybe looking up to him that it isn't all it seems.

  31. Ruth, Rachel,

    Several comments about how strong you both are - and something that another friend said to me on FB - got me to thinking. I don't know if this is needed, or even if it's appropriate, but here goes:

    The fact that we think you're strong and want to support you? That's a compliment, not an obligation. You don't have to be strong all the time. Everybody's entitled to melt down now and then. It's normal, it's natural, it's healthy. A bit of freaking out can be very therapeutic (and, given the circumstances as Ruth has described them, perfectly understandable).

    Basically, I don't want you to feel like you have to be strong all the time, or like you can't complain or feel sorry for yourselves. I especially don't want you to feel like we, Ruth's readers, have some expectation that you must always show strength, you know? 'Cause that's just not how real people work.

    And if you need help, please don't hesitate to ask.

  32. Very perceptive and thoughtful, Michael. A good reminder for us all. Continued best wishes for you and your sister, Ruth.

  33. Hey, I'm also a student going to school without parental help or involvement... It is possible to get financial aid without the parental info. It is a pain but I'm doing it. Best of wishes to you all


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