Written On Our Hearts: God, Love, Family

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

my thoughts on Newtown.

 As more facts come out, it seems that Adam Lanza was about to be involuntarily committed by his mother, she believed him to be a danger. He targeted the school because his mother volunteered there and he thought she loved the kids more than him. To me, this speaks of needing better mental health procedures.

I have a few friends who have troubled kids and have to fight tooth and nail for any help. This seems to be a mental health/health care system issue more than a gun issue. Lanza broke multiple laws, so if there were more laws, why would he obey them? And the argument that the guns shouldn’t be there, people shouldn’t be allowed to buy them…not sure that would work in reality. You are not "allowed" to buy heroin, but people do. Same with many other things. I think saying that gun laws and laws ALONE will stop mentally ill or evil people from doing evil things is ignoring human nature and what’s already going on.

Angry, troubled people will get what they want, be it drugs, guns or anything else. I’m afraid that focusing on gun laws ALONE will just allow things like this to happen again in the future because it ignores the underlying mental health issues. Our health care system is broken in many ways, especially in mental health. I know from experience with friends and family that these issues are often swept under the rug or looked at with rose colored glasses with a naive hope that things will get better on their own.

You hear of women trying to get protection from abusive husbands only to be told that nothing can be done until "something happens." Then something happens: they kill their wives. 

You hear of women suffering from post partum depression and fathers desperately trying to get help only to be told that "it’s just a phase" and then something happens: the women hurt or kill their children. 

You hear of mothers begging the health care system and courts for help with their troubled kids only to be told that nothing can be done until "something happens." Then "something" happens. Like Newton. 

Mental illness is NOT a stigma or something families should have to be ashamed of. A family member would not have to fight in the court system to get a loved one help for cancer or diabetes. 

Why so with mental illness? 

It’s time for mental health issues and health care issues to be brought into the spotlight. 

With that said, does this mean I think any and all guns should be allowed to be bought and sold? Of course not. Just as you can’t go out and buy a military grade vehicle, you shouldn’t be allowed to buy military grade semi automatic long guns. Handguns are another story. Hunting guns as well. 

Think about it. We can pass as many laws as we want to but a troubled person WILL find their way around them. If Lanza’s mother didn’t have guns in the home, would he have built a pipe bomb or a truck bomb like McVeigh in OK City? 

I also agree that there should be strict background checks for all gun ownership. If people had to go through the background checks and process that I went through to adopt a child in order to buy a gun….that might work! 

Should they be licensed? Of course. Should the owner have to demonstrate competence? Yes, just as you do before getting a drivers license. 

But, the sad truth is, even with all these safeguards evil people and troubled people will find ways around them. 

Yes, let’s talk about gun control. 

But let’s also talk about the underlying stigma and ignorance of mental illness. 


Catching Up

 I really want to write more. I do. 

But I don’t/forget. 

So, now I have to play "catch-up."

**Art and I agreed to keep Christmas modest to keep the focus on Jesus. In the future, I’d like to try and stick with this motto for presents for Lexi, "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read and something for others to follow Jesus’ lead." By "something for others" I plan to have Lexi choose a toy to "sell" (we’ll donate it ) to raise money and then use that money to give through an organization or charity. 

But this year here’s what she’s getting from us (Grandma and Grandpa are another story!): 

Strawberry Shortcake Play do set 

National Geographic Big Book of Why

Tell Me About Heaven (book)

Strawberry Shortcake Doll Set

Melissa and Doug Horse Set (we got this at a consignment sale for $8)

Fisher Price Camping set for her doll house dolls (also a consignment sale find)

One of those magnetic note pad thingy’s where you draw with a magnet pen, then swipe a lever across to erase, Strawberry Shortcake themed. 

And then stocking stuffers: a cute travel cup with her name, wind-ups which she’s loved since she was 2, a plastic candy cane of skittles (her favorite candy), two little dolls for her doll house, a pez dispenser (tradition, every year she gets one) that is a replica of the truck for the grocery store where we shop-and YES, she actually asked for that! 

**In the adoption world, you are not told every time your profile goes out. You are only told when the agency wants to show you to a situation that is outside your stated preferences. Right now, we are being shown to two of those. 1. A baby girl due in March and 2. A three and a half year old girl in South Carolina. There’s a whole story to that one that I’ll tell in another entry IF we are chosen. 

And now I see why they don’t tell us whenever we are shown. It’s VERY hard knowing a birth mom is considering you to raise her child RIGHT NOW and waiting for the phone call or email. When we don’t know we are being shown, we kind of "forget" in a way and go about our daily life. Phone calls and emails are just run of the mill. But when we know we are being shown and waiting to hear…whew….every time I check email or the phone rings I get butterflies. 

**I’ve begun substitute teaching in the same district and school where I worked before Lexi. They asked me to come back that way and I get the courtesy of them calling me when a teacher is out before putting it out to all the other district subs. Also, if/when a position opens up in that building, I’ll be the first to know. If we are not placed with a child by next September I hope to go back to work full time so we can make some money. 

**Art’s been working a second job (in addition to his ebay business) doing roadside assistance and police towing. He likes the work, the hours? Not so much. He’s on call from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. next morning. He can be at home, sleep, whatever, but if he gets a call, he’s gotta go. Some nights its crazy and he’s out on calls the whole night, some nights he only gets one or two calls. He’s hoping, after he works for this company for awhile, he can get on a day shift. 

Right now he works on his ebay business during the day, comes home, and is on call. He is usually getting calls in the late afternoon. Which means he doesn’t really see Lexi except for the mornings. It’s been hard, but we know its just a season. Lexi says, "I miss daddy," so sweet! 

I guess that’s all for now!

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