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Becca said...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I am amazed at the irrational train of thought the post (fury) and the subsequent comments contained. Of course, some topics are more sensitive
for some children than others, but to immediately fly off the handle is not helping anything. Part of being different is learning how to cope with that
difference. -- Becca

-----------------------------
Emotions.
That's where it comes from.
Emotions and fear.
You've heard of fight or flight.
This was flight or blog.
A friend of mine recently reminded me of a conversation we had where I told her blogging was my "drug of choice".
I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs.
I eat chocolate...and I blog.
And sometimes when emotions, chocolate, fear and blogging collide, you end up with a pretty honest, gut-checking post.
And that's what 'Fury' was.
Honest.
Gut-checking.
Raw.
The way it was meant to be.
Thankfully, I do have self-control. I would NEVER respond to someone like that face to face. My conversation with Anya's teacher was respectful, engaging and productive. We came to a compromise and an understanding.
But my blog is just that...my blog. And when I write, I lay it all out. Emotions, fear and all. I supposed I could have chosen another title for the blog, which would have toned down the apparent emotions. And I probably could have waited until I calmed down to sit down and type, but it would have just watered down my initial, guttural response to the assignment. And it wouldn't have been honest.
Part of blogging for me is the cathartic exercise of writing. It helps me think things through. As you can tell from the very next post, I was able to come to a more rational place within the next few hours.
No one but my husband and my readers, saw my initial response.
The way I meant it to be.
I admit. I have a tendency to get emotionally charged about issues that I care deeply about. I guess it comes from the temper that I inherited from my father.
I would call it an Irish temper...but we're German.
But...
While I may be emotionally charged inside...I try to keep a pretty even keel on the outside. What you were hearing was the internal battle I was facing.
Another reason I blog is to educate those around me.
Becca...I agree. Part of being different is learning how to cope with being different. We deal with that daily with Maddie. Her ears are not considered 'normal'...they look different...and people notice. Her speech is hard to understand...people make comments. Part of the job God has given Shad and I as parents is to teach our children there is no such thing as normal...and that we are all beautiful in God's eyes. This is how He created us...and we embrace it. We are teaching Maddie and our other three children, how to respond to those who can't look past her 'disability.'
But I don't think my children's adoption story makes them 'different.' That's not what this was all about.
We share their adoption stories with them all of the time. Its a part of our normal, daily conversations. Just the other day on the way home from school (on Anya's birthday) we talked about what the weather must have been like in Russia on the day she was born.
HOWEVER, there is a huge difference between sharing the story within the family and sharing the story with 20 of her peers...and their families. The school district shouldn't be in the business of forcing children to share something so incredibly personal.
AND there are SERIOUS extenuating circumstances in Anya's history that make this assignment difficult. Circumstances I will not go into on this blog, I won't share with her teacher and we won't be discussing with Anya until we feel she is emotionally ready to handle it.
But the assignment, as it was written, would have forced the discussion...unless of course we wanted to lie to our daughter or teach her it is okay to lie - which is unconscionable.
This discussion doesn't even begin to touch the subject of why the unit is being done in the first place. It seems to me her teacher is using the excuse of 'creativity' to delve into some serious social issues that have no place in the educational system. It is the parent's job to teach their children about these kinds of things...within the safe confines of their home, in line with their religious beliefs, in the timing of their choosing.
Just because other parents aren't doing their jobs, doesn't mean I should be stripped of the right to do mine.
Becca, I do want to thank you for signing your name, and for phrasing your comments in a honest, but respectful manner.
(At least I am choosing to interpret them that way.) I hope I am returning the favor in this post. But I have to say...I have read and re-read 'Fury' mulling it over to see if I would change anything.
And I wouldn't.
I don't think it was irrational.
It was honest.
It was emotional.
And yes, it was raw.
But it was also well thought out and real.
I don't tend to be an irrational person.
Except in my love of chocolate.

9 salty messages:

Missy November 12, 2008 at 12:48 PM  

I have to agree with you! Your post was raw but was very honest. Maybe it's my Irish temper that understands. :) Sometimes it takes a lot to anger me...then there are those times that I fly off and lose it and feel totally right in that anger. You have every right to post your anger because it is YOUR BLOG!! You know my opinion on that subject.

Diana November 12, 2008 at 2:45 PM  

I thought your "Fury" post was just fine - and quite frankly, I'd feel the same way about an assingment such as this. Very few people actually get how deeply adoption affects our children. While it might make for "interesting conversation" for other people, it is deeply personal and often very hurtful to our kids. There is is nothing wrong with stepping in and protecting your kids. Way to go, mom!

I also feel the same way about the school even delving into such an assignment. It's not their business. It's not their perogative, and quite frankly, not every kid in school even HAS a family to call their own! Teaching about the family and family values - including the definition of "family" - and what makes families work is is the responsibility of the parents and should be taught in the home. Society and especially the schools has no right to trump that, even in the name of "diversity".

So sorry if that stance offends some of you. I absolutely agree that we need to be kind and respectful to all people. I also agree that there are "differences" in this world should and need to be tolerated. But there are also other factions of society that don't. Our society, especially the adult society, is full of behaviors and practices that hurt families (especially children) and don't need to be condoned. They most certainly don't need to be preached, especially at school, as "normal" and "acceptable." If we as parents don't take a stand and protect our kids from this kind of influence, who will?

Troy and Rachel November 12, 2008 at 2:54 PM  

Tami - I read your post (fury) the other day and I didn't get a chance to comment. I did want to say that I appreciated the honesty because I had never even thought about how I would feel if something like that came up with us. Fortunately Daniel is young enough that we may not face that just yet, but I have a feeling it's coming, whether it's baby pictures etc. I have often wondered how I would react and to see you react let's me and others know that it's okay to vent and it's okay to have those types of emotions. Thanks for your honest writing.

Anonymous,  November 12, 2008 at 5:36 PM  

I read the 'Fury' post and totally understood where you were coming from, as a mother of children adopted from Ukraine. It was easy to sympathize with your anger and response. As I read it, I reflected back on the many times I've been in a blind fury about something, and how later I can rationally process the problem. However, at the time I NEED to be angry.

Funny thing is, I also felt sorry for the teacher, being one myself. I absolutely agree with you when you state parents should be teaching their children about these things at home. And, you're right, it's not your fault when some (many) parents don't do their job.

The problem is schools are often held accountable when children turn out poorly. I teach first grade, but I hear about former students all the time. Funny thing is, I never hear that a good student from my class turned out 'bad'. The media screams about how schools aren't teaching kids what they need to know. But we are now responsible to teach the three Rs, friendship making, health, history, science, responsible choice making and character traits without bringing God into the classroom.

Schools' hands are tied. Unfortunately so many people think schools are the problem when schools actually are a reflection of society, not the other way around.

I feel your pain and have had some of the same problems with school assignments myself. It's hard to remember each child's background and how their family will react to each assignment when there are so many other things to do. We're supposed to be there for the children, but we are turning into data collecting, character trait teaching, driven by the curriculum robots.
Catherine

Drew, Michelle, Luke and Tetyana November 12, 2008 at 7:54 PM  

I have often wanted to start another blog but do it anonymously in order to post some of the real stuff, reach out for help without being judged.

I agree, it is your blog and your right to post your deepest feelings. I applaud your honesty!

adoptedthree November 13, 2008 at 11:13 AM  

Hey Tami
Blog the way you feel. If I read into every comment or responded to every blog post others wrote that I didn't agree with I would never be off the computer!!!!

Keep it up and just keeping blogging away....

Mike & Tara November 13, 2008 at 12:03 PM  

I wonder if Nicholas will get this type of assignment as he's in second grade this year too. I had read a magazine article about these types of assignments - this and in later years the making of Family Trees and similar tasks. I think you handled it just the way I would have - raging to friends and family but very civil to the teacher until it's resolved! :o) Good job!

Anonymous,  November 13, 2008 at 1:28 PM  

Hey Tami

Yes, "Fury" was very emotional but it was real and it was you. It's blogs like that one that help you think things through and keep you from punching teachers in the face (ha! ha!). I know you would never do that. You just need a way to vent and you blog is the way you choose to do so! Keep blogging! Lynda

SG November 14, 2008 at 10:47 AM  

I mean you had a disclaimer and all... Good Greif! But maybe Becca's comment was her venting a bit too and was a bit emotional so and we have to give her that. I don't know. It's your blog Tami. Say what you want.

I used to blog. Now I just post occasionally. I miss real blogging. But I had too many comments on and off the blog that made me think I could no longer really seriously blog about things. And that is sad because I really miss it!

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