Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rachel is home

Rachel is home. The plan is to spend the next few days finalizing things and starting her support group and therapy. Ella is doing great. Thank you for the positive comments and support.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's A Girl

We have a Baby Girl. Her adoptive parents have said it would be okay for me to share her first name and statistics. They are hoping that if other woman found herself in Rachel's role, that this story might help them make the best decision for themselves and their baby.

By the time I got back to her room, Rachel's labor was progressing right along. She got to 6cm and then everything just really stalled again. The baby wouldn't go past zero station. We got her up and walked around the halls for what seemed like forever. Then, the doctor was saying that a little pitocin would help, but she'd be in bed the rest of the labor if we did that and I'm not sure if it scared her uterus into action or what but things started kicking along again.

Ella(nicknamed immediately "Ellie") was born March 27 at 1:45am. She's a little small: 4lbs 15oz, but she was long 19.5". She's beautiful. Long, long fingers and perfect little lips. She'll stay in the NICU a few days to gain some weight but she's breathing fine and is very healthy.

It was beautiful. I've seen births before but this was hard and beautiful. Rachel was really strong in her decision and as soon as little Ellie was born, she called her adoptive parents into the room to see her. I know it was horribly difficult for her - I can't even imagine- but Rachel was/is so strong. Everyone was so good to her and so cautious about her feelings and protecting her, but she didn't need it. She said this morning that she wouldn't change this. I was so prepared for the worst- for her to want to change her mind or to be unconsolable but she's handling it well.

We're both exhausted. I came down for something to eat and then I'm going to go back up and catch a nap with Rachel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Maybe baby?

Rachel is in labor. She started having bad back pain at four this morning. We called the doctor and he had us come in for a visit around nine. It wasn't Rachel's normal doctor, but he said she probably should just go home and rest. They did a non-stress test and everything was great.

We got her home and I made her a little lunch and she said she wanted to shower. While she was in the shower, she yelled for me. I will never forget the look in her eyes when I walked in. There was a little blood running down her leg. So, back into the car we went to the doctor. It was their lunch, so we ended up sitting there for a few minutes. A nurse walked by the waiting room and asked Rachel if she was okay. We told her about the shower episode and she said something about "nervous first timers". Well, when the doctor got there, he had Rachel go in and he checked her. Rachel's aminotic fluid was leaking. She was also at 2cm and 80 effaced. They sent us next door to the hospital. We've been in her room since 1pm. They've put a little pitocin in her line to try to speed things along because she wasn't progressing very well. All of this time she's spent contracting before she was supposed to and now she's going slow.

I'm excited. I don't know if I should be. The adoptive parents are talking to Rachel right now and I'm downstairs making this post. I'm scared, guys. So far she seems to be handling this in a remarkably calm and logical way. I'm freaking out. This baby is coming tonight. My niece will be here tonight and I am excited. I can't wait to meet her...and then I think about having to watch her go to the other room with her wonderful adoptive parents and I know it's going to ache. I can't even imagine the ache Rachel will feel. I'm not sure how to do this and be there for her. If this is how expectant fathers feel then they have my sympathies. It's non cake walk.

*breathe* I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Baby Shower

Ok, ok. I finally got the hint. Some of you want to have a "shower" for Rachel- to "shower her with love and opportunities". I had a very hard time accepting this because it felt a little wrong to accept gifts since she wasn't keeping the baby. I've been assured that it's common to have birth mom showers. The baby will be very well taken care of. No worries there. So what can we do for Rachel? I'm open for ideas and if those who want to host this want to host it on their blog, that's fine too.

Some have asked: Is these anything Rachel wants to do after the birth that would take her mind of things? What can we give her to look forward to?
She really wants to "live it up" at Disneyland. She has never been and she wants to experience it. She also wants a new wardrobe- to move out of modest modern. I'll leave the rest up to anyone who wants to host this. Thank you for offering.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Has Rachel chosen a family?
Yes!! I'm so proud of my sister. She found a wonderful family for this baby girl. I don't want to disclose too many specifics - it's probably not wise- but the family isn't typical and they're so far from Gothardism that it's almost comical. I have no doubt that my sister's child will be loved, provided, and cared for.

How's Rachel?
She's doing pretty well, all things considered. Emotionally, she's pretty exhausted. Physically, she's getting a basketball belly and she's ready for this to be over. She's stopped having serious contractions and she's still at 1-2cm and 70% dilation. From what I understand, that's problematic because it's enough to be concerned about a premature delivery. However, every day is one day closer to term. I could be wrong but I think she's 35 weeks today. We're definitely in the realm of healthy baby. They did an u/s for growth a few days ago and estimated that the baby was almost 4lbs.

Friday, March 16, 2012


One of the harder conversations that my sister and I needed to have happened last night. I've been dreading it, really. How do I start this?

When I left home, I knew, in my heart, that I was breaking away from my family---not just my father. I knew that, by leaving the way I did, there wasn't much chance of my going back. At the time, the urge to self-preserve trumped my fears and worries for those I was leaving behind. That's a guilt I've lived with for the last several years and it's partly why I insisted on anonymity. Being anonymous and letting my father remain anonymous in turn felt like a small way to protect the people I left behind. As it turns out, I was partially right.

Rachel and I started talking about her memories of my leaving in the middle of the night. I'd always wondered how any of my sisters slept through my furious gathering of clothes in the middle of that night. How did they not wake-up? Why did I not get caught going out the back door? As it turns out, I did wake someone up. Rachel was awake when I left. Rachel.

Last night, she poured her heart out about how it felt to be left behind by the only person in your family that you felt loved by. That broke my heart. She was just a little girl when I left and I betrayed her trust. She reminded me of one afternoon, when she'd received a particularly unjust punishment for some small thing, and I had consoled her by saying that I'd never leave her alone with dad. Then, I left her. She said that the morning after, when I had to ride in the police car to the station from our neighnors, my father had them go to the window to watch me ride past. As I've always suspected, he was telling them horrible things about me. Rachel says that my dad told them I "was in so much trouble that even the secular authorities" had to step in to "control (my) wild behavior" and that the authorities felt it wasn't "safe" for me to come home at that point. I had run away! He was painting it to look like I'd been taken away for breaking some sort of law. In any case, my dad told all of the kids that "even if I came home", they weren't to speak to me. Rachel says that when I didn't come home- dad told them; I was a whore, I was running away to be with another boy, I was garbage, and that I would be dead within a year. Those were his predictions.

What I had always feared was that my leaving made it even harder for my sisters and I was right to fear it. After I left, my dad went even more fundamental and insulary. He cut off the house phone and bought a cell phone that only he carried. He started sending the kids to every Gothard suggested camp or intervention because my sin of leaving had marked them, too. Just crazy stuff! Rachel says that this really didn't let up until within the last two years. She says she kept preaching the party line and saying she rejected my choices just to avoid angering him. Then she left, too. She said she went back because she remembered how hellish life had been for those left behind when I left. I asked her if she was afraid of what was going on since she'd left again and we both cried. The truth is: even though my father has shunned Rachel, that is no guarantee that he's "washed his hands" of her. He could be using us as examples to control those left behind- my mother, in particular. Rachel has filled me in on how "into it" the remaining sibs are and maybe they'll be okay because they seem to really be "into" living the QF life. I'm still scared. And, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I was selfish when I left Rachel. God, this sucks.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Email comment- Is Gothard greedy?

I'm sitting here in the hospital with Rachel: she's been admitted for betamethasone to mature the baby's lungs in case of early delivery. No worries, though! She's not having more contractions or anything- this is just a precaution because she was slighly more effaced at her appointment Friday. Hopefully, she'll go home tomorrow morning.

An anonymous commenter left this comment on my last post and I think it deserves a fair answer.

AnonymousMar 9, 2012 04:49 PM
I might get pilloried for saying this but in the interest of fairness, I am unaware of any credible allegations ever being made that Bill Gothard has siphoned money from his organization for his personal benefit.

You won't get pilloried. You may be debated.
What do you consider "credible" allegations? I don't think there's a debate that he's benefitted greatly off of his ministry.
His organization is audited annually by an independent accounting firm charged with opining whether or not any financial malfeasance has taken place.

How do you know this? I ask in the spirit of fairness, as well. I would love to see this accounting you speak of. Also, while it would interest me to read an audit of the ministry's finances, it really wouldn't change my base problem with the organization and the man himself. See below.
Gothard has no personal trappings of wealth which argues against the idea that he is fleecing his flock for his own benefit.

This is where I have to take issue with your argument. He doesn't have to "siphon" or pilfer money away. It doesn't have to be illegal to be ethically questionable. He benefits from his conferences and books and organization. Whether he's living in a shack or a four bedroom, ranch style- he benefits from the hardship of others and that's wrong, in my opinion. I admit- people within ATI and the QF movement give money to him of their own will, no one is holding a gun to their head. However, I've seen how these large families scrimp and save to stay debt-free and make ends meet, and how their children go without, just so that they can go to Big Sandy or a conference. I've watched my own siblings shiver because we "purposed" to use less heating oil. And, yes, Gothard used to encourage families to "do whatever it took" to "participate fully" in his ministry. Was it his fault? Perhaps, not. I mean, you would be justified in arguing that my parents got carried away, too. But, it's also maddening to think that a single, childless man would be in a position to sway families like he does.

I'm unaware of any former IBLP insiders who have ever alleged financial impropriety on the part of Gothard.

Again, it doesn't have to be "impropriety". What about just "common decency"? The man encourages people to trust in the Lord...but buy his books while you're at it. Trust in the Lord...but educate your kids using this proprietary system of teaching that he profits from. Trust in the Lord...but support all of these friends of his that he gets kickbacks from. Again, it doesn't have to be illegal to fail the sniff test.

I'd be interested in seeing any contradictory evidence. Could it be that no credible news organization has "blown the cover off Gothard's scam" because, after investigating, they have concluded that there is no scam?

Who said it was a scam?
Look, I know Gothard has a legitimate business set-up. But, so does Amway. There are many companies that play by all the tax rules and run like a real businesss. But, they're just that- a business- and no one pretends otherwise. The company that makes Tylenol doesn't guarantee that taking their medication will lead you to a heavenly kingdom or protect your family or lead to spiritual satisfaction. Tylenol says, "Hey! If you have a headache, we can alleviate some of your pain." They also put a warning on the back of the bottle telling you not to abuse the medication and to get real help if it's not working. Gothard doesn't do that. He says, "If you live by these character traits and buy my books and educate your kids with my system and conferences, you'll be more right with God." Um. Who is he to sell that?

I understand that some people disagree with his teachings. However, it seems hugely unfair to the man to make unfounded allegations concerning his financial propriety simply because of those teachings. Gothard may have a number of faults, but I don't think greed is one of them.

Have you ever had the man in your house? I have. I think it's hugely unfair to the kids who grew up in that system who had experiences like mine to suggest that, just because he doesn't drive a Porsche, that he's a swell guy. To each his own, I suppose. And, he's certainly not wanting for anything.

I am truly sympathetic to Ruth's plight and the pain caused by the actions of her father. However, I would challenge anyone to cite any of Gothard's published teachings which could be reasonably construed as endorsing Ruth's father's behavior with regard to Ruth and Rachel. It just doesn't seem fair to attribute the actions of an unloving, maniachial, control freak to Gothard merely because he purports to be a Gothard adherent.

Did you read the article? His teachings ARE questionable. His statements are hurtful and can be damaging. Not only did his teachings endorse my father's way,...the man himself endorsed my father's way privately and held it up as a standard for others to follow. As I said from the beginning, my dad was there from day one...back in the "Youth Conflict" days. The scary part is: my dad isn't the exception, he's part of the norm in this environment.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Apparently, this writer got an interview with Bill Gothard. I'm a little shocked because, from what I'd heard, Gothard hasn't been speaking to many reporters lately. Because I'm quoted in the article, I'm sure the floodgates will open on anonymous commenters. As a warning, I just wanted to let everyone know that I may have to go back to IDed comments if it gets too nasty.

I like the article. However, I know it will be dismissed out-of-hand by the very people who need to read it most. That's unfortunate. Also unfortunate, ATI and IBLP are, according to recent estimates, raking in almost $100Million dollars a year. One-hundred million dollars annually from some of the poorest people in our country. What people in the mainstream media need to show is that the Duggars are such an anomaly within ATI/QF! I would say 95% of ATI families have no where near the financial security that the Duggars have. If it weren't for TLC, the Duggars wouldn't be where they are...and not every family can have a reality show. Look at the Bates- before TLC, and even with some TLC help, they're still relying on their son to help with the bills. But, Gothard gets his cut off that family- oh, you can bet he does! That $100M came from somewhere. In my own family, some of us went without medical care just to be able to afford that Big Sandy camping trip or the Chicago seminars. Excuse my mini-rant, but Bill Gothard has a company raking in $100 Million dollars and I have a pregnant sister with an ATI education, who conceived at an ATI event, who can't provide for herself. Something's wrong with that picture.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Good, Bad, and Ugly

The good: Isaiah signed the legal documents giving away rights to the child. DNA testing will be done after the birth, but it will be done only for information purposes and to give the legal documentation MORE merit. Essentially, the way I understand it, Isaiah lawyered up and our lawyer discussed it with his lawyer. They came to an agreement that Isaiah isn't saying he fathered the child but that if he is the father, he gives up all rights to the child and places decision making rights in Rachel's hands. There's more to it than that, I'm sure, but it will work. Isaiah is sticking to his story that the baby is not his and even if the DNA proves he is, there's a stipulation that he won't have to know and his family won't know or some crap theory. So much for being a man of upstading moral fiber.

More good: The baby looks great on ultrasound. She's looking to be about 3+ lbs. And, Rachel is pretty confident about one of the couples she met.

The bad: Rachel is on bedrest. We were taking a walk the other night and she had what we thought were Braxton Hicks contractions. We waited it out and by midnight, we realized that the contractions were beginning to regulate until they were coming every 8 minutes. We called her doctor and the doctor advised us to bring her to the maternity ward to get checked out. She was dilated to a one and 20% efaced. They gave her something magnesium in an IV which made her feel horrible but stopped the contractions. Now she has to take daily oral medication. Those meds and the bedrest are making her kind of impatient and hard to please. She's at home now because she went without contractions for forty-eight hours but I was pretty worried about her. Now she's extremely bored. I checked out some DVDs from the library but their selection is poor. I may give her my computer and see about getting her an internet connection at her place. Does anyone know of a cheap alternative to cable?

The ugly: My mom and dad sent an e-mail through this blog trying to guilt her into coming back home and keeping her child FOR THEM TO RAISE. It's pathetic. Among other things, they're claiming that they'll sue her to get custody. Now we have to deal with that craziness. Rachel's attorney told me that their office will handle this but Jesus,....why can't they leave her alone?