I'm just going to paste an email that I received from a glbt adoption organization:
TEXAS LGB FOSTER PARENTS TARGETED BY DISCRIMINATORY AMENDMENT
Last week, the Texas House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 6 with an
amendment by Rep. Robert Talton that would ban gay, lesbian and bisexual
Texans from serving as foster parents. The legislation also authorizes the state
to conduct investigations into the sexual orientation of current foster
parents and remove children from any home with an LGB foster parent.
The Senate then referred SB 6 to conference committee for deliberation. That
committee has been named, and its members are listed below.
This amendment would tear apart loving and stable families, and further
reduces the already too-small pool of qualified foster parents in the state of
Texas. In addition to the emotional and social cost of destroyingTexas
families, this legislation would also cost the state as much as $8 million a year by
reducing the number of qualified foster parents and to conduct investigations
into the sexual orientation of potential and current foster parents.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!!
We need ALL Texans who care about children to contact the members of this
conference committee and ask them to remove Talton's amendment, which would ban
lesbian, gay and bisexual Texans from serving as foster parents, from SB 6.
His amendment would bring untold harm to thousands of Texas children.
Sen. Kyle Janek (R-Houston area)
(512) 463-0639 (fax)
Sen. Jon Lindsay (R-Houston area)
(512) 463-8810 (fax)
Sen. Jane Nelson, chair (R-Dallas/Denton area)
(512) 463-0923 (fax)
Sen. Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso area)
Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-South Texas)
Rep. Toby Goodman (R-Dallas area)
(512) 475-1178 (fax)
Rep. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, chair (R-Central Texas)
(512) 463-8284 (fax)
Rep. Robert Talton (R-Houston area)
Rep. John Davis (R-Houston area)
(512) 479-6955 (fax)
Rep. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio area)
(512) 463-1448 (fax)
To send a fax to your own Senator or Representative, go to _www.lgrl.org_
I will never be the great filmmaker that Patrick is, but here is a wee attempt to capture the sights and sounds of Nat in motion. It's only a minute and a half, it's in quicktime and there's no music because she makes some cute little noises (including hiccups).
Aunt Nancy, whose personal goal of not falling asleep at work dovetails nicely with her goal of keeping my brain from turning to oatmeal sent this article from today's Washington Post.
It's about a committee hearing on Social Security. "Wow," you must be thinking, "Aunt Nancy's job must be really boring if reading about Social Security keeps her awake by comparison!"
But the gist of the rather comedic article is that the Congress itself (on both sides) is incapable of actually discussing the actual issue and instead must resort to ridiculous metaphors that get so mixed as to be depleted of any meaning whatsoever.
"How then," you may ask, "am lowly I to be able to understand this issue well enough to write a coherent letter to my own Senator about my opinions on it?"
And that's where what's left of my brain comes in. When visiting my in-laws a month ago, I read their AARP magazine cover-to-cover (that's pretty much what I do there, once I've finished the Inquirer's daily crossword) and that's where I read this incredibly simple explanation of what the heck is up with Social Security and reason #3054219b why GW Bush is satan spawn.
I commend it to your attention, but the upshot is that the much-touted "bankruptcy" prediction for Social Security has actually been getting further away over the past several years for number of sound reasons. Also this "personal accounts" nonsense would actually go far torwards depleting the funds available for current retirees, let alone retirees in 50 years.
Oh, and personal accounts would actually lose average investors money over the years, whereas the rich (who already have personal retirement plans anyway) get to put the little money they owe to today's retirees into their already-existing accounts and laugh all the way to Club Med as usual.
In other words, it's the biggest tax cut for millionaires Bush has cooked up yet.
Please read the AARP article. It's actually not boring, and it will make you smarter than your senator, after which you can dash off an educational letter to same.
Thanks to Rebecca, Kristen, Sarah, Kathleen, Michele, Dorothy and Rebecca H. for helping protect Nat's family through our HRC page.
The past week has been a tough one for Texas foster families. Please keep them in your prayers, and if you are a Texan, please write your local reps and tell them what's really in the best interest of foster children.
Dawn and I were talking about crying last week. She wrote a big-ole post about it too, but she's password-protected, and I've been wanting to say something about it myself, anyway.
Nat has had a rough couple of weeks. Last week, she was having digestive troubles (to euphemize) and in a lot of pain and quite fussy about it. This week, of course, she got her immunizations, which put her into a fevery, unhappy mood as well, and so she's basically been crying a lot more than her usual amount. She's also sensitive to over-stimulation and if I don't give her plenty of sling time (which I call her sensory-deprivation chamber) in the afternoon, she can melt down in the evenings for a couple of hours, too.
I know that babies cry. I knew, going into parenthood, that some babies cry a LOT and that some babies cry a lot for seemingly no reason. I've cared for many, many children over the years and I know that personalities are different and start different from very early ages and some kids are just weepier than others. But for some reason, even though I knew Nat might be a baby who cried a lot (she generally isn't, but she has been, lately), it never really occured to me that so much of the real substance of parenting would be just holding someone while she cries for reasons you either don't understand or are out of your control anyway.
I figured our baby might cry and we might have to put up with that. But "put up with" is not really what it's like. Sometimes, when I'm holding her and rocking her and offering her pacifiers (which sometimes help her calm herself down, but sometimes get in the way of her desire to just yell and complain--and she lets me know when they do) I find that I am finally in a psychic (perhaps spiritual?) place of being able to just let the heck go of my desire for control over everything and just BE. Whatever she might actually want from me, all I can offer my daughter is a shoulder to cry on when she needs to cry about things I can't control.
And the things I can't control seem to vastly outnumber the things I can. Diaper change? No. Bottle? No. Entertainment? No. Burp? No. And so we just rock and she just cries and I realize that this is not something outside of parenting that I have to "put up with." This is parenting. And then I think about all the times in the future when she might need to come to me and cry. I think about her first broken heart or her first lost job prospect or her first rejection from whatever/whomever it was she wanted to accept her. And I am so happy, really, about the fact that I will be a person she can come to and cry.
Because once we're finished clothing and sheltering and educating her, what's left? What does being the mama (well, one of three of the mamas!) really mean after that? And it turns out that it's the lesson I've been trying to learn for years--the one about living in the moment, letting go of outcomes, accepting reality for what it truly is, without exagerrating its importance or its misery. And now, after all my attempts at contemplative prayer and Buddhist meditation, Nat comes along and cries for no reason I can fix, and suddenly I'm Siddhartha. Who knew?
I was simply trying to avoid google hits on the topic and make a clever pun at the same time.
I would certainly never repeat some of the things I've heard the party in question called, only because name-calling of someone I don't know well seems ill-advised.
I also know that plenty of Catholics will want to remain same, in spite of all this and I respect their desire to persue change from within, but I also know what that crushing pain feels like when an institution you really love betrays you.
I grew up in a "moderate" Southern Baptist Church. Moderate, at that time meant, not fundamentalist and rather flexible about letting people's personal faith decisions stay between them and God. Oh, and it meant women could be ordained there, and they were. My whole family on every side have been Southern Baptists for a long time, though one branch started out Mennonite about 100 years ago. Not all of them are of the moderate sort (most aren't in fact). Now that the Southern Baptists no longer really have any moderates, my parents are American Baptists which amounts to the same thing. (For those of you interested in American Church History the original split was over abolition versus slavery. Let's just say my parents finally got themselves on the right side of that one.)
I also went to Catholic school for 12 years. That was 8 years of parochial grade school made up mostly of Irish American Catholics (we got St. Patrick's day off because everybody's family had a float in the parade), then 9-12th grade in a very progressive girls' school run by the coolest liberation-theology-spouting, feminist hippie nuns anybody ever met. They taught us to change all the prayers and hymns around such that when it said "brothers," "men," "Father" (meaning God) or "He" (meaning same), it would come out "sisters," "people," "Mother" and "She."
Then I went to college and had my "I'm-not-religious-but-I'm-spiritual-maybe-I'm-a-Buddhist-I'll read-everything-Alan Watts-ever-wrote phase. Then, my junior year, I discovered the Anglican Communion in its absolute weirdest little corner--Pusey House Chapel in Oxford (UK--not Mississippi). The Puseyites are not moderate in the Southern Baptist sense. They are NOT into liberation theology and my "sister," "people," "Mother," "She"s rang out lonely in that teensy space with only eight others in attendance, but somehow, I knew it was the church for me. I think that's because of the community I found there and the odd toleration of me by people who knew that I was absolutely their worst nightmare come to life (what with the "sister"s et al.). It seemed to me that I could kneel when they knelt and sing when they sang and then dry the breakfast dishes they had washed after our post 8am weekday Mass toast and tea, and it didn't so much matter what anyone thought or believed. We were all in something together, even if we weren't sure exactly what. It was okay to leave that to God.
Upon my return to the States, I was disappointed to find less silent prayer spaces in Episcopal worship, but relieved to find more "She"s in the prayers and women in the pulpit and at the altar and queers not just welcomed but leading in every area of church business.
Anglicanism began as a way to reconcile Reformers with Roman Catholics in England in order to circumvent some of the bloodshed of the European Reformation. The idea was that it should look and feel Roman, but the content would remain each individual's business. There would be bishops, but their authority is largely moral or inspirational rather than dictatorial. In the late 20th century in my early 20's it was the perfect reconciliation of the Baptist idea of "priesthood of the believer" and incense, both of which had grown important to me in my weirdly paradoxical upbringing.
I have met a lot of former Baptists (and other low Protestants) and a lot of former Roman Catholics in Episcopal Churches over the years. Both find it a haven for the good parts of their traditions without some of the political nastiness those traditions have been through in recent years. After the Gene Robinson, Gay Bishop (that should SO totally be a new Fox Network reality show) bruhaha, a lot of Episcopalians fretted about alienating conservatives in the World-Wide Anglican Communion. Maybe the communion will indeed kick the North Americans out, but I doubt it. What frustrates me about that whole conversation is that it ignores the people who now feel okay NOT leaving the Church, the people who now feel welcome BACK to the Church, the people who are church shopping who will now CHOOSE the Episcopal Church when they see its witness through Gene's consecration.
And that's the spin I've decided to put on the sad, sad thing that happened to my (many, many) Roman friends yesterday. If you find that this is just the last straw, there's a via media wide enough for you.
Okay, I'll bite, but only to ask: With fans like "C" who needs trolls?
"You're welcome at my church" and "sorry for your sucky situation" are "below the belt???"
So says the doctor. That was well over what either of Nat's adoptive mothers bet each other her weight would be today. I said 8 lbs, my partner said 8.5. So by Price is Right rules, I guess she wins, but the baby takes the real prize. The doctor oohed and ahhed over her rolls of real baby fat where skinny little chicken legs used to be--and her cheeks have chubbed up to the point where she can make the most adorable little pouts. She'll be so unhappy, but all we can do is burst out laughing at the pouty faces.
She also got her first round of immunizations today. As the latest in a long, proud line of card-carrying hypochondriacs, I couldn't bring myself to investigate the arguments against immunization, however much faith I put in squid's good judgment and careful research. I was afraid I'd get all freaked out. So I held the poor baby down and squeezed my eyes shut while the nurse loaded her full of the contents of three needles and the poor little thing shrieked. We gave her the baby acetaminophen and she seems fine now. I'm sure all is for the best and all manner of things will be well. But you know.
So anyway, eight weeks old tomorrow and still light enough to have been born yesterday, but she's made an 80% gain over her birth weight, so she's doing great.