Sunday, April 29, 2012

The QF Life

My sister and I have been talking alot about our childhood and some of those things which, at the time, seemed completely normal to us and now seem completely silly. Just little lifestyle things, mainly. When we were folding laundry the other day, we were giggling about the fact that, as kids, we had to pre-separate the underthings from the regular laundry because one of the boys MIGHT see it. Like our days-of-the-week, flowered underwear would incite a riot of passion in our brothers? Also, as the boys got older, we handled their laundry. Which, as adults now, we're sitting here wondering why our virtue wasn't protected from seeing all the boys nasty underwear? My older brother has shared that he had to "get over" having his wife see his underwear because of all the subliminal messages of evil regarding underwear that we grew up with. We had these little hooks in the back of the closet for hanging bras (when we were finally allowed to wear them) to dry and my brother remembers the first time he saw those and he honestly wasn't sure what they were. Truly, in this day and age, only a Gothard boy would not know what a bra was. Having bed spreads is another oddity. We didn't have them growing up. Well, we had them, but they weren't ours and they didn't stay on our beds. We had sheets on our beds but the blankets were just folded up and put in a central place during the day. It never made sense. I think there was some justification that we didn't need blankets during the day and they could just be used as a place to hide and do "self-harming" things during the day, so responsible parents kept them in a central place. I don't know if this was all ATI families or just ours? But, I like having a big comfy comforter. Then we started laughing about the vitamin drink that was popular with ATI folk back in the early 90's. God that stuff was awful. I can't remember the name of it but it was brown, syrupy and cost a fortune: but, we all had to take it. Yuck! Just life in the ATI.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sleep is good.

I feel like the last few months have been a roller coaster. People had warned me about the emotional exhaustion that would happen to my sister after adoption; but, I didn't think that exhaustion would inlude me. I didn't give birth. I am exhausted, though. When I'm tired, I don't always think straight. So, with that said, I owe an entire group of people an apology.

As I said in my last post, I understand the doubt. I also made a decision a while ago that, while I understood the doubt, it was something I *chose* to deal with to keep my anonymity. I choose it. I shouldn't be upset when someone voices their cynicism or questions my credibility because I choose it. What can I say other than "I'm sorry for reacting." There's one line of my last post I wish I hadn't said.

That said, I'm human. I'm not perfect and whether I invite it or not, the constant doubt does hurt my feelings at some level. That's MY problem, though, not yours.

FreeJinger is a great place. It serves a necessary purpose for pointing out the snarkable hypocrisy in fundamentalism. I shouldn't be shocked when a few people there turn an eagle eye on my own writings. It's a little bit humbling to see that the very thing you're upset about is the very thing you've participated in. I'm sorry if I've hurt anyone with my own hurt feelings.

There are a few things I want to make clear . For whatever reason, I am having trouble with the log in screen of FJ and have had an issue for about a month.
I don't choose anonymity out of a fear of being sued. I chose anonymity because I had/have siblings at home that I worry about. For a variety of reasons, I fear that my putting my name out would send my father into a higher realm of control and damage control that might put my siblings in the path of a moving train. This is also a movement within my parents derive their livelihood. If I out our family now, then there MIGHT be financial consequences beyond the consequences they experience now. It's already bad. I don't want to make it worse. I also choose anonmity because I don't want to go into a job interview where a potential employer could now read about my therapy or my life and, legal or not, use it as an excuse not not to hire me. I've been told that employers are using google, now, too.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Here we go again.

Once again, a post on another website has started questioning whether I'm real or not. Once again, I'll say what I've said for almost four years now- it is up to every person reading this blog to decide if they trust that I am who I say I am. I won't fault anyone for having a healthy dose of skepticism about anything they read on the internet. I understand that I can't give the details that some people think would cement my "truth". I understand that my choice to be anonymous means that there will always be some people who don't believe me or my story. There's no comfortable way for me to prove to everyone that I am who I say I am.

I am, however, tired of being called a liar. I don't ask anyone to read and I don't ask anyone to donate. In fact, there's been some talk that I'm making a whole lot of money on this blog. That's not true. There's been a suggestion that there was a baby shower for Rachel. Not true. And, actually, when I think about, if I were faking this story for four years and I created a pregnant sister to get money or gifts, then wouldn't it have been more prudent to have let my sister go to her due date in some story to give people more time? As it was, I wasn't comfortable accepting gifts for her for her an adoption and, as it turned out, she gave birth before anyone could plan to do anything. She went early. That's life. I don't know what to say about the tip jar. It's there because there are some people who occasionally like to donate. If anyone thinks I'm raking in the money, then I'd be happy to show someone I've grown to trust here the real data and let them verify that this is not the case. Then I think about how ridiculous that seems and I just think it'd be easier to take the tip jar down.

My sister picking a gay couple is not a "plot point". As I stated, she didn't pick them because they were gay or as a "screw you" to the family. She chose them because they had the qualities she wanted for her child. We chose a secular agency and I was amazed by the number of gay couples on their lists. Possibly because it was a secular agency and other agencies don't allow gays to adopt? Saying that it's impossible for an ex-ATI girl to think giving her child to a gay couple is ignorant. My sister is a woman with her own thoughts. She hasn't bought into most of Gothard's principles or social beliefs for a few years- otherwise, she wouldn't have left! If you recall, one reason she wanted to give her baby up for adoption was because she didn't want it involved in patriarchy or fundamentalism. Not that a heterosexual couple would've gone to fundamentalism but there's less of a chance with Ellie's parents than with a heterosexual couple, that's for sure. Gothard wouldn't let Ellie's parents through the front door!

There are people who know my name. People I trust. They aren't coming forward because I've asked them not to. That doesn't mean it won't come out someday. In the meantime, if you think I'm lying, then don't participate. If you gave me a donation AT ANY POINT and you didn't get the thank you you wanted, then please e-mail me or post here and I will refund you. I've offered this before and I mean it. Please contact me. You deserve to be comfortable with any organization you donate to. I'll admit, and I've said it before, I'm horrible at getting thank yous done on time. That's why I usually try to do blanket thank yous here on the blog. Paypal doesn't always include an e-mail on donations and some people will ask me not to identify them. Other times, it's weeks before I get online or check paypal and by that point, I feel bad for not noticing it sooner or thanking people sooner. That's definitely something I can work on.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Posting about Ellie's adoptive parents being a homosexual couple didn't sit well with many, many people. Despite the fact that the couple were the absolute best choice for Rachel, and that's really all that matters, there were several people who were angry. I eliminated anonymous posts because it was necessary to stop the b/s comments and e-mails. Well, the emails are still coming fast and furious, but at least the public, blog comments are more managable.

I didn't share the sexual orientation of the couple to get "extra points". This isn't a game.
Rachel chose these parents for her baby because they were, on paper, the best choice. She looked at several couples and narrowed it down to this couple because they met criteria Rachel had. Those criteria were: two professionals, spiritual but not religious, didn't believe in spanking, had a supportive extended family, were okay with a semi-open adoption on the bio mom's terms, and were prepared to take a child immediately. Notice there's not a sexuality requirement. She didn't care if they were hetero or homosexual. It just happens that they were homosexual. But, you know, it wasn't a statement to our parents or to Isaiah. It was just the way it worked out. They are the best parents for Ellie.

Some have asked a legitimate question: "how does a Gothard Christian girl feel comfortable enough to choose a homosexual couple to raise her baby?" From what I understand, Rachel was just looking for the best couple. When she saw the line about them being a gay couple, she did have pause. We talked about it and she came to the conclusion that, while it was contrary to everything we'd been raised with, what we'd been raised with didn't guarantee a solid family. I know Rachel prayed about it and she felt God was telling her to follow her instinct on this one. Rachel may have been raised to believe homosexuality is wrong. But, that doesn't mean she believes it. We were also raised to believe women were supposed to be subservient to men and that adoption was not for "us". Neither of us believe those things anymore.

Basically, it's done. Ellie is doing fantastic. Rachel is feeling pretty good and she's making plans to start a new life. Are my parents happy? I don't really care, in all honesty. We've heard that they've had a bad reaction to all of this --- but, they've told both of us that they've "washed their hands of us" and that we're disowned, too. It's done.

I did get a birthday card from one of my older brothers (through the brother I'm closest to) and I honestly had to laugh at the message. He said "Happy Birthday" and reminded me that I was always getting closer to God's judgement and hell. (roll eyes) I haven't seen the card, but it's been read and described to me. I'm tempted to remind him that he, too, is closer to the same things.

Thank you for the great, supportive messages and comments. For every one bad one, we received fifteen positive, helpful messages and that's what counts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

After birth

I'm sorry that I haven't updated since last week.
It's been a rough time.
First, the good news. Baby Ellie is doing wonderful! She was released from the NICU today and is now home with her family. Leaving her, when Rachel was discharged, was immensely difficult. However, knowing that she's being loved on by so many people helped. I know that she's in a much better environment than I, or Rachel, could've given her at this point in our lives. All of the paperwork has been signed and it's time for everyone to get on with life.
Rachel is doing as well as I could have expected. She has her moments of depression but the counsellor/therapist and support group have been very helpful. She also has moments where, by looking at her, you know that she's so confident in her choice that it seems silly for anyone else to be sad about it. Physically, Rachel is doing very well. We need to start looking for a permanent place for her.

I did write that letter for Ellie (the letter her parents asked me to write). I won't re-type it for the blog (because it's her letter). I do want to share one things I thought of while writing it.

During the hospital stay, I got to see Ellie's new family. They're wonderful. As I've said before, Ellie's family isn't traditional. As some of you have asked/guessed, her parents are a same sex couple. We didn't choose them because of that one things, though. Even though Rachel wanted a couple that were far from fundamental, it wasn't their sexual orientation or their secularism that drew her to pick them. It was their family. Both parents are strongly connected to their extended family and one of the grandmother's wrote a letter to include in their family portfolio for prospective birth mothers. This grandmother talked about how, while the world was telling her otherwise, she chose to accept who her chidl was and to support her child regardless of her differences. There was something so appealing about that sort of unconditional love and I'm so glad that Ellie's new grandmother has that capacity to love. Ellie's birth parents are committed to letting Ellie be who she'll be. Both Rachel and I are drawing a lot of peace from that knowledge and hope. Additionally, when they were chosen by my sister, the birth parents invited Ellie and I into their home. When we arrived for that first home visit, we were greeted by an entire family- aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and just this incredible community of people- all ready to love the baby my sister was carrying. I have to tell you that that amount of support blew me away. I know Ellie will be raised by a village of people and that that village will be far more capable than the one I was raised in.