Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summertime Nerves

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Well, so much for the promises to write something every day! Falling down on the job, am I. There are compelling reasons, readers -- most of which I cannot place in this forum at this time.

Last Moday's adventure speaks to my state of mind. I got up in the morning and decided to go to Asbury Park for a day at the beach -- not toting along Mr. J, or Heir (in Norway anyhow) or Spare (that place would bore her). Got to the beach, parked. pulled the beach bag from the trunk. No swimsuit. I remembered pulling it out of the chiffarobe, but it never got into the beach bag.

But here's some free advice for which I'll pay whatever you ask. If you're going to forget something that you need at the beach, a bathing suit should top the list! If you've got $$$, you can buy a fairly affordable one on the spot. I was just about to do that -- brought one up to the cash register -- and then remembered that my credit card was locked in the trunk of my car, ten blocks away.

I swam in my clothes. If New Jersey has clothing-optional beaches, Asbury Park is not one of them.

At least I had my sunscreen and my summer reading book. But I forgot my baseball cap, and the wind kept whipping my hair into my face ... because I didn't have any ponytail holders either.

Going to the beach never used to be so tricky.

All of this speaks to an agitated state of mind, which I have abundantly now. My wand is working overtime to keep me cool.

This morning a good rant will help cleanse my palate, so I take aim at a familiar target: my sister, once again reaping the rewards of rash behavior.

I knew there were such things as quickie divorces, but it appears there are also such things as quickie adoptions. Back in late May, my sister took custody of two little boys, brothers aged 5 and 7. She is 47. Her husband is 49. Apparently the adoption process is under way but not complete ... I am scanty on details because I have kept my distance through sis's rampant acquisition of things, pets, and now people. From the time she began talking about adoption until the time she got two children was a matter of months. The agency never contacted me at all. I would not have said Sis couldn't be a fit mother, but I would have alerted them to a potentially vicious dog in the mix. The dog is still there.

Day before yesterday, my sister leaves a Facebook status, berating the federal government for not granting her temporary passports for the boys so they could all go to Jamaica on vacation.

All you liberals out there, pat yourselves on the back! It is actually difficult for a couple to take two young boys who are not completely adopted and who have been living with the couple less than 12 weeks, to a Third World country on temporary passports! My sister was shocked ... SHOCKED, I tell you, that her vacation plans have been scuttled by government red tape!

In the course of our virtual shouting match on this issue, Sis told me that the two social workers assigned to her case said that there would be no problem jetting off to Jamaica with the kids, and that one of those gated, fenced-in family resorts would be a super-duper place for them to "bond as a family."

I'm no social worker, no training in that profession whatsoever. But it seems illogical to me that family bonding should occur at an exclusive resort, rather than on a day-to-day basis with, say, a picnic basket, a handful of the dogs, and a local bathing beach.

Sis said that she and her husband had booked a hiking trip in Montana last summer, for this summer. (This is the old, typical Sis and her husband.) The travel agency would not reimburse them for the trip. (More free advice? Think ten times about those vacations booked a year in advance.) Jamaica was an alternative that the agency offered. And the social workers a-okayed it and started my sister onto the process of obtaining quickie passports for two minors.

Sis's Facebook statuses continue to reflect her frustration with our vigilant government and its efforts to curb child trafficking, efforts that penalize good, Christian people who only want to go to a fenced-in resort to bond with their instant family.

If any of you out there have adopted children and can send along to me some valuable advice on how best to bond, please fling it my way. Remember that in these days of shared sacrifice, you will need to pay me to take your free advice, but I'll be pretty liberal. I'm a proud liberal. I like to see my tax dollars at work.


Pom said...

Gee, Anne, I haven't adopted lately but my step-brother and his husband did. They adopted a brother and sister (I believe their son was about 6 and their daughter was still under 1 year at the time they came to live with them).

But after hearing about their story for the past couple of years (because this is the process for regular people even in a foster care situation and perhaps especially when it's a gay couple) - I think the way these children bond with their new parents is by living day to day with parents who are there - as opposed to being in prison. See, in the world of foster care adoptions these children are often coming from really difficult circumstances. Their son, old enough to really remember and having had a relationship with his biological parents, had to testify in court against them (for what I'm not certain). Their daughter is a very young and adorable diva who entertains constantly but their son has really struggled with his past life and the process of bonding has taken a very long time. There is no magical trip or speedy way to "bond" with wounded children and, to the best of my knowledge, throwing money at these demons does little to extinguish them though well placed affection, time, and consistency in their circumstances will help.

It's not my personal experience but I can tell you that I applaud my step-brother and his husband in their work and the kids are holding up pretty well despite the struggles. In the end they are loved and they know it. That's what matters.

Intense Guy said...

I think I would turn the computer off (or quit Facebook), put on my suit (and pony tail thingys), and head back to the beach if I were you.

Your sister's "mess" is her "mess" (and it sounds like the kids are going to have their lives cut out for them if they can avoid being irreversibly mentally damaged and years of the shrink's couch).

What stinks is that you have to buy them birthday pressies or you are a "bad aunt".

Debra She Who Seeks said...

The realities of child trafficking and abduction make such stringent rules necessary. If your sister can't understand that, then too bad. The issue is bigger than her own little selfish wants.

Lavanah said...

If you don't want to do the beach again (Gods, I miss the ocean! But that is a rant of mine...) I have the hammocks up and hanging in the shade.

As for needing to buy the insta-family children gifts-books, books, books!

Oh, and hooray for government red tape. Imagine that, protecting children against dire possibilities!


I'm with Karl..go back to the beach..take some rubber bands, your bathing suit and a hat..your life is good, your sis's isn't..she's a big girl..let her figure it out for herself.

Sarita Rucker said...

Quickie adoptions? Oh wow...

I only know one person who has adopted, and it took her and her husband a few years to adopt one little boy from China (I think it was China). Once they got their new son back home they bonded by taking time off from work to...stay home! With their son.

Anonymous said...

I totally have to take your side in the whole sister battle.

Also, Asbury is one of my favorite beaches. I love Ocean Grove as well, but their bullshit political Jesus crap is on my last nerve lately.

Anne Johnson said...

DM, I make a protection sign when I have to go into Ocean Grove. The crucifixes on the beach are CREEPY.

kimc said...

I'm surrounded by adopted people, but they were all adopted as infants, so the bonding thing was pretty much like most bondings. I imagine what you are talking about is much like bonding with a step-parent, and I can't tell you how I bonded with my two step-sons as it was quite gradual.