Thursday, August 11, 2011

All Growed Up

I've always said that since "normal" kids grow up and move on, so my mentally and physically disabled children would also move on when they reached 18.

Well, they are "All Growed Up." Jay, the "baby" turned 18 om July 28.

We are in the process of getting all 9 of the remaining adult kids into supported living apartments. It's really cool how it's coming together. The oldest three will go into a 3 bedroom apartment probably around September 1. Then Oct 1 the next three and Nov 3 the third group of three.

All 3 apartments are in the same complex and the complex is wonderful. It's newer and the apartments surround a lake and there is a big pool, and the boys are excited about the exercise equipment room!

We've managed to get them all into first floor apartments so that the boys with spina bifida can visit everyone else. So now we've got to furnish all three apartments (with no funding for THAT PART.) The state funds only the staffing the apartments need to help the kids. When the kids are there, there is staff there also.

Everyone has a bed here, of course, but at least three of them need a new mattress. And we certainly don't have any extra/functional chairs, tables or sofas in this house. Everything has been beat to heck and is headed for the dump.

The kids will share the rent and use their SSI to do that. Some of them earn a small salary, too.

Some of the kids are sooo excited. Others haven't got a clue. I'll tell you who is excited: MY HUSBAND AND I! We haven't had any kind of freedom in 43 years. We're already planning vacations. Like to the Smithsonian, the Gettysburg Battlefield, St. Augustine...well that's as far as we've gotten. Although we've enjoyed being parents to so many kids, and would do it again (if a time clock were wound back to 1968, that is. I wouldn't now at age 64 want to start over!)

These apartments are only available because our kids got on Med Waiver. The biggest advice I can give a parent of a disabled child is GET THEM ON THE LIST FOR MED WAIVER IMMEDIATELY. Even if they are only 3 days old. It take many years to get your name to the top of the list. Don't wait until they are 18 to do that. Took our kids 15 or more years to get there. (I'm talking FL here, and I don't know how it works in other states, but find out now.)

We've applied for social security for my husband and I, and guess what? It's just as big a mess to get that done as SSI and medicaid. My husband's file got sent to Alabama for some reason, while we live in FL. Now the FL office has to get the AL office to release the file to them. Want to guess how long THAT is going to take?

We're not going to have a lot of income, but we'll survive. Having fun looking at grocery store "apartments for rent" magazines. The hard part is trashing out this big old house. So much stuff to go through. We'll have to sell the big 15 passenger van with the wheelchair lift. Jay can use Palm Tran Connections service. We recently purchased a super 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan, and that will do us fine for many years to come.

Anyone interested in a 4000 sq ft house on an 1.15 acre lot in South FL? 8 bedrooms and four baths, a 28 ft $30,000 kitchen, den, living room and playroom. Wheelchair ramp, too? Cheap because it needs repairs. Probably appraise for about $150,000-180,000.

I'm rambling on. but then again, I probably won't post again for another year or at all. Facebook has killed blogging. Only two of the large adoptive family blogs I read now post regularly.

(Thanks, Cindy and Claudia,)

School starts again on the 23rd of August, but only for a few kids. Three work at the Habilitation Center. Two will go to the Goodwill transistions academy and three will go to a regular high school. They can go until they are 22. One daughter is going thru voc rehab to get a job.

It's a very busy time, but exciting, too. Our lives are about to change in marvelous ways. One of my daughters who is almost 20 says "I am SO ready to move out." My son Matt begs me every day to let him pack for the apartment. He's 26.

I'm sure that our family is not done with drama by a longshot. But it's going to get a lot less hands on for us. It's going to take a lot of getting used to for all of us, but especially for my husband and I.

Pray for all of us. I'll pray for you, too. I'll pray that when you reach my age that things will fall into place as easily as they have for us. It's been a great ride, and a lot of work. But, whoa, what a feeling that we can be (somewhat) FREE!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From Neale Donald Walsch Today

I love Neale's daily messages:

On this day of your life, Amy, I believe God wants you to know...

.that everything you see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or

sense in any way is an aspect of Divinity.

It is when you judge it to be something else that it shows

up as something else in your life. Therefore, judge not,

and neither condemn.

For that which you judge, judges you; and that which

you condemn will condemn you. Yet that which you see

for what it really is will see you for what you really are.

And therein will be found your peace.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pro Lifers for Mass Murder

Now I went to seminary, was a Presbyterian pastor for a while, until the end of the Vietnam war and we started adopting special needs kids. I believe in a loving God. One who values all life. But I've always had some problems with the ethics of ProLifers. This article says it all. Prolifers are largely a hypocritical group.

Pro-Lifers for Mass Murder

by Laurence M. Vance

Recently by Laurence M. Vance: Am I Being Unfair to the Republican Liberty Caucus?

"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh."(James 3:10-12).

Pro-lifers are dedicated to the idea that God values all human life, they are committed to educating women about the dangers to their physical and emotional health if they undergo abortions, they are relentless in pointing out the horrors of abortion – and they are some of the most bloodthirsty warmongers on the planet.

Beginning in 1984, the Sunday in January closest to January 22 has been designed by many pro-life and religious organizations as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This is designed to coincide with the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. WadeSupreme Court decision in 1973 that overrode most state abortion statutes and effectively made abortion a fundamental constitutional right.

Every year on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday churches of all denominations observe this day with special sermons, prayers, and presentations, testimonies from former abortionists, recognition of pro-life organizations, denunciations of pro-choice politicians, Planned Parenthood, and the Roe v. Wade decision, calls for legislation to restrict abortion, and distribution of anti-abortion literature.

As both a Christian and a steadfast opponent of abortion (see my articles "For Whom Would Jesus Vote?" and "Is Ron Paul Wrong on Abortion?" and "The Pro-Life Assault on Ron Paul and the Constitution"), I sympathize with the pro-life cause. But I go much further than the typical pro-lifer. I don’t think abortion is okay after the third trimester; that is, I believe in the right to life for everyone – including adults and foreigners.

How many churches on the recent Sanctity of Human Life Sunday mentioned the right to life of countless numbers of Iraqis and Afghans who have been killed by American bombs and bullets in unjust wars instigated by the United States? How many churches mentioned the right to life of U.S. soldiers who have died in vain and for a lie in senseless foreign wars? If the pro-lifers in churches that observed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday care about innocent children then surely they mentioned children in Iraq and Afghanistan who have lost their parents because of the U.S. waging war on their countries, children born with birth defects due to the U.S. military using depleted uranium, and children in Iraq killed by brutal U.S. sanctions? Surely they mentioned the orphaned and emotionally scarred children of dead and injured U.S. soldiers?

Although some churches may have mentioned these things, I suspect that the number is rather small or, in the case of most evangelical churches, very insignificant. And if it be argued that the churches that observed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday should be excused because the day is just about abortion then what about the rest of the year? Do not adults have the same right to life as unborn children? Do not foreigners who are not a threat to this country have the same right to life as American babies? Do not U.S. soldiers have the same right to life that other Americans have?

But in some churches it is even worse. Not only is no mention ever made of these things, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are defended and celebrated. Although they may call themselves evangelical churches, they are warvangelical churches. They are churches that worship God and venerate the institution of the military; they are churches that preach Christ and promote warmongering Republican politicians. They are pro-lifers for mass murder.

It is only natural that most pro-lifers love Republican politicians. At the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit held in Washington DC this past September, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) was the top choice of conservative activists. This same group named abortion as the top issue they were concerned about. Pence was also the top pick for vice president.

The German Nazis fought for the fatherland. The Soviet Red Army fought for the motherland. Mike Pencewants Americans to fight for the homeland. He "supported creation of the new Department of Homeland Security, the largest reorganization of the government since the beginning of the Cold War." Because of the Department of Homeland Security, "our ability to defend the homeland is more effective, efficient and organized." Pence is a committed supporter of the bogus war on terror. He even repeats the ridiculous canard that "we must take the fight to the terrorists overseas so we don’t have to face them here at home."

The runner up to Pence in the Values Voters straw poll was the former preacher Mike Huckabee, who won the top spot last year. Huckabee not only supported the sending of more troops to their death in Iraq, he actually maintained that we should not withdraw from Iraq because "we are winning." This advocate of perpetual war in the Middle East had only one criticism for Bush regarding his handling of the war in Iraq: he was too timid and not sufficiently bloodthirsty.

Pence and Huckabee are no different from DeMint, Romney, Gingrich, Giuliani, McCain, Graham, Palin, and Santourm – they are all ardent supporters of war, empire, and police statism. Yet, any one of these individuals would get the support of most evangelicals as long as they played the pro-life card. Once a Republican candidate passes a pro-life litmus test (applied to just American babies), nothing else about them seems to matter. They could call for bombing Iran, Pakistan, or Yemen back to the Stone Age and it wouldn’t change anything.

Why are pro-lifers so indifferent to, and in some cases so defensive of, war, militarism, and nationalism? I think the main reason is ignorance. Ignorance of the Republican Party. Ignorance of U.S. foreign policy. Ignorance of history. Ignorance of the military. Ignorance of the Bible they profess to believe. This is especially true if all one does is listen to SRN News on radio, watch Fox News on television, and read news by the American Family Association on the Internet. The importance of must here be mentioned. I have lost count of the number of Christians that have written me about how LRC has been instrumental in changing their thinking.

Pro-lifers should be just as concerned about their government sanctioning the killing of foreigners on the battlefield in an unjust war as they are about their government sanctioning the killing of babies in the womb in an abortion.

It is hypocrisy in the highest degree to talk about the sanctity of life and the evils of abortion and then turn around and show contempt for, or indifference to, the lives of adults and foreigners.

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. Pro-lifers, these things ought not so to be.

January 24, 2011

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State and The Revolution that Wasn't. His newest book is Rethinking the Good War. Visit his website.

Copyright © 2011 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.