Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quick Q&A

Congratulations Ruth! No matter how hot it gets in that trailer, I suspect it's better than living with your parents. At least you can leave the trailer whenever you want, or change it in any way you like. Exactly. Rachel and I have had some nice evenings in this trailer and it's a piece of our lives that we'll probably remember fondly. We've been playing cards and talking most evenings. It's kind of nice. To all those who posted about ways to cool off. Thank you! We tried the buckets of cold water for our feet last night and it worked shockingly well. :) Question: Have you had any contact with Harris? Another Question: How is Ellie doing? I couldn't understand how open the adoption was from your posts (and the comments sections make my eyes swim!). I hope she and her family are doing well. I suspect she will grow up thanking Rachel for her sacrifice and I hope that she's able to have a relationship with you two and your future children as part of her lovely extended family. Contact with Harris- not much to speak of. I see him now-and-then. We parted as amicably as I would suppose any engaged couple could part. Ellie- Last we saw her, Ellie was growing nicely. She's absolutely adorable. Her family is over-joyed with the new addition and they've been great with Rachel. We get a picture at least once every ten days or so at this point. That will probably lessen with time but that's expected. The adoption is pretty open. The adoptive parents don't mind e-mailing or sending pictures and exchanging notes. We're supposed to join them for a bbq on the Fourth of July. Time will tell how close we all are in the future but for now we're focusing on making it a day at a time. Rachel is working on her future. She wants to get some higher education and we're trying to get her legally emancipated. If she had kept Ellie, this would be very easy. However, since Ellie isn't legally hers, she's going to have to go through a similar experience to mine (dad would still have to give her tax information for the FAFSA). For now, she got a part time job at a local ice cream shop and she actually enjoys it. I'm just happy she's doing well post-Ellie.


  1. This is great news. Yes, you'll have fond memories of your time in the trailer, but, really? It's perfectly okay to hate the heck out of it now. ;-)

    Currently there are aspects of my life which are... less than desirable (nothing sordid, just not all that one might wish). And every time you post, I'm reminded that there are people who have FAR greater obstacles than I, that you and your sister are out there, trying your best, making strides, growing and feeling hopeful, and then I kick myself around the room. In a good way. You're both inspiring. Period. I'm about to throw some bucks in the tip jar; use them however you'd like, but if you can? Spend a bit on something truly indulgent. You both deserve it. ;-)

  2. Glad the bucket tip helped. :-D It saved my sanity during the Paris Heat Wave of 2006 (99F and no A/C.)

    Glad to see you back, and hear things are going OK. Thanks for letting us know! Things will work out. You are doing great. Proud of you both!

  3. We love our open adoptions. Facebook is the way we mostly connect, so our boys' birthmoms can see pictures as often as I can get them posted. Our boys all know they are adopted (it's very obvious) and it's been great to be able to say "If you have a question, just call" when they have questions. It appears that, for our family, the boys are more content with themselves knowing they weren't just "dropped off" somewhere but that their birthmoms were real people who made real plans and cared for them, even before they were born.
    Best wishes to you!

  4. Hey Ruth, I've got a question about how the births of boys versus the births of girls is looked at. The thought came up because of the recent birth of 2 grandchildren to the Maxwells (you know of them right?). The reaction, on their blog, to the birth of a son to the second eldest Maxwell son, a "firstborn son", was very different than the reaction to the birth another girl (their 4th) to the eldest Maxwell son. There were more pictures, a longer accounting of the birth and discussion of the name, and just a generally joyous tone to their blog posts. In contrast, the girl had a short paragraph and a couple of pictures with muted headlines. Even one of their regular readers commented on the difference.

    Is this normal? Are daughters not as celebrated as sons? And what's with the firstborn stuff?

  5. Ugh, I know your pain. I had to live in a no a/c and unheated camper trailer in Pennsylvania for two and a half years. No running water and no bathroom, either. :/ We did at least live in my fiancé's parent's driveway, though, so we used their bathroom at least, but still ... in the winter, if you woke up in the middle of the night and had to pee so bad, you had to get up and bundle up, navigate an ice-y driveway (my fiancé's parents apparently didn't believe in using ice) and up a flight of stairs in the house to get to it. Oh I was grateful for it, if it wasn't for them we would have been out on the street, but I still hated every minute of it.

    Another cooling off tip (I haven't read other comments so I don't know if this has been suggested or not): I suffered particularly at night, but I found that if I wet a washcloth or small towel with ice-cold water and then wrapped that around my neck, it was a little better. If I woke up and the ice-cold washcloth/towel was warm, I just fling it around in circles in the air and it would cool down enough to help again. When it started getting in the 90's I'd do this during the day, too.

    (Just wanted to add that I've actually been following your blog for a long time now, but I've never commented before. I'm sorry if that sounds kinda creepy, me just all of a sudden jumping in and commenting, but I don't really know how else to start!)

  6. I just wanted to say thank you for all of your updates. I am happy to read about anything you post, drama or not, work or family related, everything. :)

  7. Would you be interested in participating in the Raised Quiverfull project? I'm looking for additional voices.

  8. Oh, Ruth. I followed some kind of intricate spiderweb to find my way over here to your blog, and then couldn't stop reading. I went all the way to the beginning (of this blog...apparently there was another place before here?) and read all the way through 2010...but then real life beckoned, aka, kids need to eat, etc., so I skipped to the end. I have almost been in tears through the whole reading. Your experiences are such an interesting mix of what I grew up in, and what I *almost* stumbled into as a parent. I am amazed at your resiliency. I was *just* (at age 43) diagnosed with PTSD from those experiences as a child. Learning to live as a "normal" person has taken me years, and things are still such a mess in my head. It is such an amazing thing to recognize that not only are there others "out there" like me, but that my concerns and my husband's concerns are very well-founded. I am so glad your counselor suggested is part of my therapy, as well...and very helpful. My head is just swimming from all you have gone through that parallels my life, and I wish I could write a lot more, but supper beckons. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  9. Dear Ruth,
    I am not QF, nor have I ever been. I always viewed the Duggars as a train wreck that I just could not turn away from. That may seem insensitive given I have no background in the movement. I just can't help but be intrigued. That being said I have read your entire blog from start to finish yesterday/ today. I don't remember how I stumbled onto it, something just kept me reading though. It is nearly 1 am and I started reading around 10:30 am yesterday. You are a very strong person, I am thankful however that my parents were not that way. The only thing I remember my mother saying to us as we made our confirmation (we were raised Catholic) was that we are now Soldiers of Christ. That kept ringing through my head as I read your words. I think I have been more interested in fundamentalist/ ATI/QF faiths more recently because of my parents republican affiliation. It may in fact be a stupid fear I have of the possibility of an extremely religious person being in office soon. I just feel like I have to prepare myself for what "they" think of "real Family Values". Nonetheless, thank you for the insight, I am so glad I was raised to think for myself, I married the man I knew I was to marry, after I completed my B.A. ( I was expected to try college at least). That's not to say I guarded my heart within an inch of anything, there were boys I crushed on and kissed before my husband, whom I dated for 5 years before he put a ring on it. I have b/g twins and that is the end of our procreating. I work but have a flexible schedule. My kids will attend kindergarden and public school, as for now I am preparing them for that ( I was a preschool teacher prior to getting married so I feel a great responsibility to my role for them). It is also my job I feel to give them that piece of me. Plus I get to be a teacher to the two preschoolers that I waited a long time to teach. Our life together is not perfect and I would never claim it to be, we are happy though. I truly hope that you have everything in life you want. For people to question your being real is just stupid. Thank you again!

  10. Dear Ruth,

    I just wanted to let you know that I read your ENTIRE blog, from your earliest post up to your most recent, over the span of six hours today. Literally could not stop. Forgot to eat dinner. From reading your blog entries, I feel that you are an incredibly strong woman who has dealt with everything you have gone through so well. I hope that things get better for you and your sister and that you continue to grow closer. Thank you for sharing your ongoing story.


  11. Hi Ruth, I tried to find a way to email you directly but couldn't find one, so I'll put this in a comment. I just found your blog today and your story is incredible. I was also raised in a similar environment, but not nearly as extreme. I'm 29 now, and even though I was fortunate enough to complete college while still living at home, I can totally relate to the struggle it is to jump into the real world after being so sheltered. I cried every day after school because it was so apparent that I was so far behind everyone else and I thought I'd never succeed, and pretty much every day I woke up wishing I was dead (not to mention I had no friends because who wants to be friends with the weird quiet girl wearing a homemade jumper and a headcovering??). Now that is behind me and I'm happy to have proved my dad wrong. You are smart & determined and you WILL succeed! It seems like you already have a large following of supporters :)but if you ever want to email me, just let me know how to get in touch.

    Can Rachel file her FAFSA as an independent student? I would hope that it might be possible to make an appeal to the school's financial aid somehow, explaining the situation. I found the following statement in the notes on the FAFSA form, and I would think that Rachel could definitely qualify for the abusive home situation:

    "Under very limited circumstances (for example, your parents are
    incarcerated; you have left home due to an abusive family environment; or you do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them), you may be able to submit your FAFSA without parental information. If you are unable to provide parental information, skip Steps Four and Five, and go to Step Six. Once you submit your FAFSA without parental data, you must follow up with the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend, in order to complete your FAFSA."

  12. Hi Ruth!

    I'm glad you and Rachel are hanging in there - congratulations on graduating! I really hope your job situation improves - I know it's a terrible economy for college graduates.

    Having grown up in Texas - I can attest to the damp cloth on the back of the neck strategy. Putting cool cloths on your wrists and the back of your knees can help as well. Drink plenty of water and stay safe in this heat!

  13. Hey Ruth and Rachel,

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter, but I thought I could actually be of help here.

    Since the two of you are actually living in a camper right now, I'm pretty sure that under the McKinney-Vento law that would mean that you are legally considered homeless for financial aid purposes, and I believe she would qualify for "unaccompanied homeless youth" status.

    She might also be eligible for an apartment through programs meant to support runaway/homeless youth - I don't know how it works where you are but here, they are called Transitional Independent Living Programs - youth ages 16-20 can live in supported apartments and receive counseling services and help with educational and job-related things.

  14. Hi Ruth, it's been a while! Are you and your sister OK? Did you end up going to the BBQ? How is Ellie? (longtime reader, just don't comment much. but long absence has got me a little worried)


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