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To whom it may concern,

Based on your line of questioning in court the other day I find myself at odds and wondering just what kind of parents you’re looking for; for this young girl. I have to ask myself what criteria you consider to be a good parent and what criteria do you consider to be a person making reasonable and rational decisions.

You question my decisions to give up my son for adoption and I’d like to clarify your point for you.

At 14 years old I was raped and shortly before my 15th birthday I became a mother, I chose the life of that baby because I value life that much. If that doesn’t say something for my moral and personal character; as well as my decision making ability I don’t know what would. And what was my next choice?

I’m glad you asked. I chose to give my son up because I knew at 14 years old I couldn’t give him what he deserved. I knew after I had him there’s a strong chance I wouldn’t be able to love him; and for a time perhaps that was true. For a time I saw only pain when I look at him. But that is perfectly normal given the method of conception and every psychiatrist will tell you the same.

I remembered my own pain and that’s true. But as time went on saw something different. I saw love, I saw the love of this little boy looking back at me. I also saw my heart melt for this little boy that I carry and I felt the love grow. I’ve been involved in this life all along. He is a fine, well adjusted, strong, confident and compassionate young man. The type any mother would be proud of.

I still don’t find my decision to be irrational or one that was light and easy to make. No! My decision was one of the hardest ones I’ve ever had to make and deal with in my life. Is it true I gave my son up for adoption? Yes, yes it is. Is it true that at 14 years old I was ill equipped as a person to care for this child which I just gave birth to? Yes, yes it was true then and remains true today.

I believe if you ask the question really that “Is any 14 year old child equipped properly to be a mother in today’s day and age” the answer would have undoubtedly be NO. How would a 14 year old who was raped pay for the child? How would they with NO marketable skills careful, cloth and feed the child? Is it fair to demand a rape victim not only have the child but then give up her education and her life to raise this baby? As you can see the reasonable and honest answers are no.

I gave him to a home I knew was filled with love. A home I had known as my own and to parents I knew as my own. I carefully considered his home and in the end I made the right choices. Your opinion may vary on these choices and it’d still be wrong.

I believe anybody who would tell you differently is living in alternate reality.

So if choosing what is/was best for my baby will disqualify me from the fostering process then I will respectfully withdraw my application.

If becoming a mother because I value life so much that I choose to have a baby conceived in rape disqualifies me from the fostering program then I respectfully withdraw my application.

If because I choose life even over or even under those circumstances would disqualify me from the fostering program than I respectfully withdraw my application.

I cannot change the person that I have been but I can tell you the person that I am today.

I’m the type of person who has so much love to give.

I’m the type of person who loves her son.

I’m the type of person who knows where she’s been and knows where she wants to go.

I’m the type of person who’s been to hell and back and who could actually understand the position this little girl is coming from. It would make me love her all the more.

I’m the type of person that I feel this little girl needs right now and if we’re done with the foolish questioning at all the games I’m ready to be her mother. I know my partner Sarah is ready to be her mother and I know my son Josef is looking forward to being a big brother.

I’ve never harmed another. Feelings of self harm and self hatred is common in rape victims. I don’t feel like that today and I’ve moved to a better place in my life. The doctors already confirmed all this.

Was I angry in court? Yes because the single most important decision I ever made was the right one and you were unfairly categorizing it and me as bad and wrong. I stand my my decision so firmly I’d fight to protect it. Why? Because it gave my my most precious gift in my son Josef.

Why would we be the right home? First we all signed naturally and we’ve been doing it for decades. My parents, siblings and friends sign. There would be no learning curve with this little girl to join our family. If the time comes that she considers cochlear implants; I’ve been down that road too. I’ve been abused horribly and understand the pain she has and the isolation being deaf. Finding help as a deaf person has many challenges, challenges I and my family are all too familiar with. Sarah and I understand her needs in school and life because we’ve lived these same trials. We’d both advocate for her from a position of understanding first.

Next point is that I know the Deaf culture. I know the limitations and I know how to work around them and if the state is willing to discuss seriously my real qualifications I would be happy to come back to the table. Until that time I would respectfully withdraw my application to be her foster mother and this decision isn’t made lightly. Honestly this decision while necessary for my own well being is the hardest decision I’ve ever made.

It’s made and based upon what you’ve shown me in court and that is that you’re looking for an ideal hearing parent but that certainly isn’t me in your opinion. It’s quite obvious by the abuse this young lady has suffered at the hands of the parents you have put her in, that you’re either on a witch hunt and being overly protective suddenly or you have somebody else in mind already who you intend to give her too.

I do believe my wife and I could be the perfect foster parents for this little girl. It’s painfully obvious to me what you consider mistakes and irrational and these same well thought out decisions preclude me from being involved in your fostering system. So be it. But I’d make those same choices all over again today under the same circumstances with the same situation. Because I believe most people don’t see my choices as irrational or mistakes. Certainly my son sees them differently than you do.

If you want the best possible foster parent this little girl could have. I mean truly the best possible parents she could have. I believe we are those parents. I know you do not believe the same. It seems to be the state’s contention that I am a bad, evil and unfit mother. I bet if you had your way you take away the son Josef. It’s sad you would preclude a home that has so much love to give this child. A home with no learning curve and above all a home that understands her because they have lived in, with and navigated deaf culture themselves.

I don’t see your objection but you have your wish. I won’t relive my rape and pain because you’re so narrow minded and prejudiced. I with draw my application formerly until such time as the state is willing to discuss this in a rational and responsible manner that adults conduct themselves in normally from day to day.

I’d ask you to consider a moment the choices we’ve each made involving the children in question. I choose life and adoption for my child who is well adjusted, happy and healthy. You choose three homes where this little girl has been abused and made a fourth choice to exclude my wife and I from the fostering process because of my afore mentioned decisions. Which has a better track record may I ask?

With respect,

Michelle