All About Ellen Cabot

Consistency redefined.

A few days ago I blogged about being the most inconsistent person in the universe.

I said I was okay with that….  but I’m reconsidering.

I think that I have always seen the word “consistent” to mean something good, but always as something that I couldn’t achieve.  I happen to be, for better or worse, a person of extremes.  I go all in, then I lose interest and drop completely out.  I have done this with fitness, with hobbies, with topics that interest me, with TV shows… you name it.  However, I have always seen consistency as meaning that once you decide to do something you just do it.  And you don’t stop.

I have a good friend whom I have always considered to be the most consistent person I have ever met.  She decides she is going to do something, and she just does it.  And I watch in awe.  I’ve seen her do this with running, with education, with photography…

Project 365, if you aren’t aware of it, is a photography project where you take a photo a day for a year.  She started this project with me a while back, I dropped out after a few months, and she’s finishing up her THIRD YEAR!!!  She took one look at that concept and said, “Project 365?  Ha!!  Try project 1095!!  Bwahahaha!!”.

I’m not kidding when I say that I am absolutely in awe of this type of consistency.  She’s amazing.

However, I think that I have always seen this as THE definition of consistency.  And I have always paled in comparison.  And since I see consistency as good, and I see this as the definition of consistency, I see my approach towards things as a failure.  I failed at Project 365, just like I fail at other things in my life.  Like I failed at fitness, because as soon as my schedule wouldn’t allow for my current level of activity, I used it as an excuse to give up altogether.  Because when I attempted to document my year by taking a photo a day, I got angry and gave up when I missed just one photo.

I’m okay with being inconsistent when consistency has such a strict definition.  That’s just not me.  It’s not how I operate.  And it’s okay to admit your weaknesses, so I’m cool with that.  But I don’t think consistency necessarily has to have such a strict definition.

Instead of just accepting that I am “inconsistent”, I think I’m going to try and redefine the word “consistent”.  I’m going to start viewing the term in a much broader context.

Instead of believing that I am a failure at photographically documenting my year by taking “a photo a day”, I’m going to accept that documenting my year might not require exactly 365 photos.  If I end the year with 200 that give a clear and honest picture of my year…  well…  that’s good enough.

I don’t normally make New Years Resolutions, but I think this year I am going to try and be more “consistent”…  just using the new definition, that’s all.

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The person you don’t call

I have had a lot of friends, and I have lost a lot of friends.  Friends come and go, it’s just a fact of life.  Someone once told me that relationships are funny things…  sometimes they just fall apart.  People change, grow in different directions, lose touch.

Sometimes relationships end in emotionally violent ways.  I’ve had my fair share of those endings…  and then some.

Some friendships just sort of drift off into nothing, with no rhyme or reason, they just disappear.  One day you find yourself wondering, “what happened to so-and-so?”  That’s happened to me as well… at least a couple times.

Through all of these friendships, though, one thing has been a constant in my life.

I am the person you don’t call.

You don’t check up on me.  You don’t pop in and post a “Hey, how are you?” on my Facebook wall.  I don’t find messages from you in my email inbox.  You don’t text me.

What little contact between us that you actually initiate…  most, if not all, of it seems pretty shallow.

A Christmas card that makes me feel like I am just a name in your address book.

A “Happy Birthday” post on my wall when we all know that Facebook reminded you.

Phone calls only when you think I might be able to do something for you.  Like you need to fly somewhere and you think I might be able to get you a cheap ticket…  that’s a pretty common one.

There are a few exceptions to this.  I have one long term relationship that consists of almost no real contact between us but is strong enough to withstand the distance, and a relatively new relationship that has grown very close very quickly and consists of regular contact.  And, of course, I have to mention my husband…  someone who contacts me multiple times a day, every day, and even though I sometimes get irritated when his phone calls constantly interrupt my reading, TV shows, and/or blog post writing…  I love him that much more for calling all the time anyway.

But for the most part, no matter how I try and build friendships, it almost always comes down to this…  I put in a lot of effort until I tire of it…  then I sit back and wait to see if you will reach out to me… and then it all just falls apart.  Because you never reach out to me.  So when I stop reaching out to you, there just isn’t anything left to keep it going.

I think that I have often put more into relationships than was necessary or appropriate, and I think that I often have much higher expectations of others than I should, and I think that, sometimes, I want more from people than they are able to give.  It has taken me a long time to realize that I shouldn’t do these things.  It’s taken me so long to figure out that I should not expect anything from anyone and I should just allow relationships to follow whatever path they are destined to follow without getting too wrapped up in them.  Without asking much.  Without expecting anything.

But, on the other hand, if everyone took this stand offish approach, how would any relationship ever progress anywhere??

A couple years ago I just dropped the expectations.  Sometimes I still get offended or upset.  Then I remind myself that I am judging unfairly.  That this person meant no harm to me.  And I should accept people for who they are and for where they are in their life and in their relationships.  And I let it go…

If you are reading this and you actually know me, please don’t take this as a guilt trip.  Don’t take this as a cue to call me…  I am generally a quiet person who likes to spend time alone; sudden phone calls from everyone would just piss me off, quite frankly.  And I have to wonder if maybe…  just maybe… the fact that I like to just be alone sometimes is a vibe I am subconsciously giving off to others.  Maybe… just maybe…  I only want others to reach out to me because I am lacking self-esteem in certain areas and I am hoping for some sort of validation…  validation that needs to come from me, not you, anyway.

I’ll leave you with this…

Freeing myself from worrying about what other people are thinking in terms of my relationship to them has freed up some space in my mind to focus on other things… like where I am at with myself.

In the list of qualities that I am okay with vs. ones that I need to change?

I’m okay with being the person you don’t call.

Categories: All About Ellen Cabot | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The most inconsistent person in the universe.

It has been over a year since I have posted on this blog.

It has been a year and a half since I mentioned that others expected me to give up on blogging, and I vowed to continue.  Though, to my credit, I did end the blog by clarifying that there was no guarantee that I actually would…

It has also been a year and a half since I posted about how determined I was to work my way through the “Simple Living Manifesto”.  The 72 steps to a simpler life.  I completed step one: Create a list of the 4-5 things that are most important to you.  Not only have I made no progress on the rest of the manifesto’s 72 steps, but I have actually moved backwards on a few of the 4-5 important things I listed.

My health and fitness goals have resulted in a sixty pound weight gain.

I have taken less pictures of my family, a lot less, even though I stated I would be taking more.

Blogging??  I said that I would keep up with this blog?!?!  Ha!

Lately I have been struggling with the conflict between the person I am and the person I want to be.  Figuring out which qualities are ones that can be lived with vs. ones that really need to be changed isn’t easy.  I’ll probably have more on that later, but for now I have decided that being the most inconsistent person in the universe…

I’m okay with that.

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Up Yours, Romney.

I am an American citizen.  Born and raised here.  My feet have never even touched foreign soil.

I have always believed in the American Dream.  Work hard and you will be successful.  I have also always believed that when you reach success you should turn around and give back to those behind you.

I have never accepted government help, and only rarely have I relied on charity.

Even as a single pregnant teenager I worked two jobs to pay for my medical care.  I purchased much of what I needed for my baby at garage sales, and, be it furniture or clothing, I have never rejected a hand-me-down.

I met my husband when my baby was 3 months old.  I moved in with him after two weeks, and 18 years later we are still together.

We didn’t have much when we started our lives together, and two children later we realized that something needed to change.  I came to the conclusion that working at a Walmart snack bar just wasn’t going to cut it, so I registered for classes at the local community college.

That was in 1996.  For the next 8 years we were barely scraping by, worrying each week about how we were going to put food on the table, juggling the bills, trying to decide which one had to be paid in order to avoid being disconnected vs. which ones could wait until the next paycheck.  My husband was working as much as 70 hours a week to help put me through school, and at times I was working a second part-time job in addition to my full time job and full time course load.

I remember well the days of looking out the window when a van came down the street worried that it might be the local utilities coming to shut off our water.  I remember when we would be watching a movie and the TV would suddenly shut off because the electric company was tired of waiting for us to decide to give that last little bit of money to them instead of paying our children’s school fees or buying them new shoes.

I remember well the times when going to McDonald’s was a rare treat, and one to feel guilty about later when the next bill came due or the next catastrophe struck… a broken down car or leaky pipe wasn’t just an inconvenience back then, it was a genuine tragedy.

I also remember very well the days of carting textbooks with me everywhere I went in case I found myself with an opportunity to sneak in some study time… sitting in a doctor’s waiting room… during breaks at work…  Everyone I worked with knew to leave me alone at lunch.  I didn’t have time to socialize, I had to write that paper.

I am also painfully aware, especially now, that I was a part of that 47% who Did.Not.Owe.Taxes.

In fact, there was one year during that time when we qualified for the earned income credit and the government actually paid us.

Was I proud of that?  No.  I have made some bad decisions in my life, and I have no problem admitting that.  But I was part of that 47% who owed absolutely no federal income tax for a number of years.

Am I lazy?  No.

Was I dependent on government?  No.

Did I take personal responsibility for my life?

You tell me.

Interestingly, I am not a Democrat.  Nor am I a Republican.  I am registered to vote with “No Party Affiliation”.  In the past I have identified as more Republican than Democrat, currently I lean strongly towards Libertarian, but… technically… I am a part of the group that Romney feels he should be convincing.

Yet I am so horrified by what he said, and I am so personally offended by the way he views almosts a full half of the American population, including me, I’m almost disgusted that anyone would vote for him at this point.

Romney, you missed the mark with me.  And I’m sure I’m not alone.

Categories: All About Ellen Cabot, Government & Politics | 1 Comment

Just don’t know what to say…

I know that it’s oddly ironic that I haven’t blogged since I wrote the blog about whether or not I should continue blogging…

Fact is, I just don’t know what to say right now.

Sometimes I feel like I have too much to say and I’m able to put it all into words.  Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to say.  And sometimes, like right now, I have so much to say that I just don’t know where to start.

A lot has happened since I last posted.

  • My 17th anniversary passed right on by.
  • The child we have been visiting with was officially placed with us… meaning: our new daughter moved in.
  • I had a major project at work partially approved…
  • The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “ObamaCare”.
  • I skipped a party last weekend that I had already agreed to attend, and I now feel horribly guilty about it.
  • I was confronted with just one more obstacle in my attempts to become a Guardian ad Litem.
  • Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise…  I generally don’t care about celebrity relationships, but this one involves Scientology!!
  • We bought a new freezer.

I just don’t know what to say about all that.  I have a lot to say, but at the same time I just don’t know what to say.  It’s a lot, and yet…  it’s rather insignificant.  In the grand scheme of things, at least.

Maybe I’ll start picking my way through that list and I’ll write about each one…  soon.

Just not tonight.

Categories: Adoption, All About Ellen Cabot, Government & Politics, Love ♥ Marriage | Leave a comment

Think before you speak.

I almost deleted my blog today.

I was sitting here last night, in my normal spot at the dining room table, with my oldest kid sitting right across from me, and I was considering the possibility of writing for a small local online news source.  They’re just starting up, they don’t have a lot of contributors, they are trying to keep things interesting and active on the site.  If I could manage to get on board as an approved contributor, well, I could use the extra money!  Plus, writing is something I enjoy doing.  Never hurts to make a bit of money off of something you enjoy doing as a hobby, right?  I got paid to write for a little while…  For families.com.  It lasted a few months, then I stopped.  I was expected to write all the time about specific topics, and I couldn’t keep it up.  So I gave up, I walked away from it.  But, if I got paid to write before it doesn’t seem too crazy to think that maybe I could get paid to write again…  right?

So I was trying to come  up with topics to write about, and I had a couple ideas, but the one I was focusing on late last night was one I decided I wouldn’t be able to keep up with.  I don’t want to get myself into the same situation I found myself in with families.com, feeling required to write about a specific topic and being unable to continue writing about that one topic and getting frustrated and giving up.  So I decided against that.

My wonderful child, whom I love with all my heart, actually says to me that I’m right…  that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it, that I would do it for a few months and then quit…  like I did with the blogging…  like I’m, apparently, expected to do with this blogging too.

I appreciate honesty, but…

Since those words were spoken I’ve been thinking about them.  I’ve been thinking about things I have given up on vs. things I have followed through with.  It’s true that lately I have been giving up more than following through… I gave up on the paid blogging gig, healthy eating and my exercise routine (multiple times on that one, actually), promises to watch various TV shows and movies regularly with all of my kids… I gave up on running, biking, photography, starting my own neighborhood watch program…

Lately I do give up a lot.  It’s true.

But there have been quite a few things I have followed through with.  I finished school, I’ve consistently stuck with my career choice (for better or worse).  I ran an Internet debate forum for almost two years and when I finally left that group it was not my own decision to do so, I stuck with them until the very (nasty) end.  When I was 17 and pregnant, I stuck with two jobs long enough to pay my medical bills on my own.  When my marriage was in trouble, I stuck with my husband and endured much pain and heartache to keep my family together.

Lately I have been uncertain.  I’ve been feeling lost, and I’ve been in need of an outlet of some sort.  I’ve been in need of something to occupy my time and keep my focus.  I have been searching for that something, trying this and that, and, for now at least, I have chosen blogging.  And possibly writing for this local site.  And because of those few words, those few very inconsiderate and not well thought out words, I actually considered giving that up.

Because clearly, right now, I’m expected to fail.

So I have a few things to say about that…

  1. It’s normally not a good idea to make assumptions without having all the facts.
  2. Never assume you have all the facts.
  3. Stop believing that your narrow little view of the world, as seen through your limited experiences, defines the whole world and everyone in it.
  4. Always remember that while it is possible to over-think things, it’s also possible to under-think things.  Find a healthy balance between speaking your mind and pissing off or offending others.

I think I’m going to continue blogging.

No guarantees, though.

Categories: All About Ellen Cabot, Children & Parenting | 5 Comments

Simple Living Manifesto: The List

I found this great article about simplifying your life.

My life is in need of serious simplification.  I’ve been so stressed and overwhelmed lately.  Too much to do and not enough hours in the day to get it all done.  Lately I have felt a need to get rid of the clutter, learn to be more organized, eliminate the unnecessary, and somehow find time in every single one of my ridiculously busy days to stop and smell the roses.

Nobody says, on their death bed, “I wish I had dusted more often…”

I want to make the most of my time and live the best life I can so that when it’s my time to go I can leave this world with no regrets.

To that end, I’m going to work my way through this list of “72 ideas to simplify your life”, and post about each of the steps I take.  My hope is that many of these efforts will become life-long habits and lead to a more efficient, more fulfilling life.  Every now and then I will come across an item that I can’t, or won’t, do… and I’ll post it with an explanation of why that item makes no sense for me.

Jumping right in:  It only seems logical to start at #1:

  1. Make a list of your top 4-5 important things. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.

Right now, the most important things in my life are:

  1. My Family. Spending time with them, going places and doing things with them, taking pictures to hold on to those memories.  I really only have a few more years with my children before they are all adults and off on their own, it’s important for me to enjoy this time and make an effort to continue to be a part of their lives even after they have left my home.
  2. Blogging.  Writing is my release.  It’s how I organize my thoughts, it’s how I vent, it’s how I de-stress.  Keeping up with my blog will have a positive effect on my overall mental health and attitude.
  3. Health & Fitness.  I am not a fitness fanatic, but I do like being in reasonably good shape.  I like being able to keep up with my kids when we go places and do things together.  I like feeling confident and comfortable in my clothes, and I get frustrated and, frankly, miserable when I don’t.  And I want for my family to be healthy as well.
  4. Finances.  I want to be able to buy a house in the near future, but with our credit the way it is it will take a lot of work.  I want to focus on cleaning up our old debt and building good credit so that we can get the credit we need to build a solid future for ourselves, even into retirement.
  5. Efficiency.  I want to learn to be more organized and efficient in how I take care of those things I have to do so that I can be free to enjoy as much free time as possible without feeling guilty.
Categories: All About Ellen Cabot | 1 Comment

Wishing for bankruptcy

I talked to a bankruptcy attorney tonight.

I was raised to believe that the right thing to do is to pay off your debts.  That it’s wrong to just declare bankruptcy.  But after 18 years of struggle, I’ve about had enough.

For the past 18 years I have done everything I am supposed to do.  I’ve done the *right* thing.  I’ve worked multiple jobs, I’ve gone to school for an education that I chose specifically because it paid well and had long-term career potential.  I used to carry school books around with me so that I could study any opportunity I found, on lunch breaks, while riding in a car… sitting in a doctor’s waiting room…

For about 15 of the past 18 years I have struggled.  I have had to choose between putting food on the table for my three children or paying the electric bill.  I have sat at home wondering when the utility company was going to show up to turn off my water, and have done everything possible to avoid the calls from creditors.  I have endured the harassment of constant phone calls and threats, while taking my children to Goodwill for clothes and refusing to sign them up for dance lessons when they asked.

When I found myself pregnant at 17 years old I decided I would not go on welfare.  I decided that I would make my own way.  For 15 years I always felt that the cards were stacked against me.  Every time I would find an opportunity that would help us out we would find that we didn’t qualify…  that we were just barely above their income threshold.

My favorite example of this is when we applied for Habitat for Humanity and we were told that we didn’t make enough money.  A short while later I was promoted and received a raise, and we contacted Habitat for Humanity again…  they said that with my new raise we suddenly made too much to qualify.  They said that with our income being that high we should qualify for a regular mortgage…  as if the sudden increase in pay magically erased all of our debt and added a down payment to our savings account.

We were making progress, yes…  but help, when we needed it, was always just barely out of reach.

For three years we have been doing well.  We have a new car, we’re paying my student loans, I have a credit card (it’s secured, but it counts).  We can buy food without worrying about paying our rent on time.  We can sign our children up for violin and piano and voice and acting lessons.

Our credit scores are not improving.

I’ve finished school, I have a good job, we’re paying our bills on time.

Our past will not let us move on.

I had been paying on our old debt, hoping that it would improve our credit, but when I contacted a mortgage lender to ask what we needed to do to qualify she pulled our credit and actually told me that we shouldn’t pay that debt off.  She said that a negative mark on our credit is a negative mark, it doesn’t matter if it’s a settled account, or paid in full, or still delinquent…  it’s just a negative mark.

I did what she said I should do…  I got a secured credit card, we have made sure our utilities, car payment, credit card payments, student loan payments are all being paid on time…  our credit scores are still not budging.

So I contacted a bankruptcy attorney.  I thought we just need to get rid of this old debt, we need a fresh start, we’re doing all we can and we have struggled for 18 years, so we just need to start over…  isn’t this what the bankruptcy laws are for??

The attorney informed me that we make too much money to qualify for a Chapter 7, which is the only type of bankruptcy that makes sense for us.

Again… we make just barely too much to qualify for help.

Sometimes I wish I had just gone on welfare.  I have struggled for too long.  And with the housing market the way that it is I so badly want to buy a home, and I’m in a good position to afford a home, and I am trying so hard, I’ve been trying so very hard for so many years… but I’m being reduced to a number…  a number that punishes you for living within your means and refusing to live on credit, a number that punishes you for asking a financial professional to give you advice by placing a negative mark on your record when that professional requests a copy of your credit report in order to give you said advice.

Sometimes I wish we could go back to a time when hard work and honesty actually got you somewhere.  A time when a promise and a handshake meant something.  When the local banker knew you and knew you were trustworthy and was willing to take a chance on you.

We’re worth taking a chance on.  Why doesn’t anyone see that?

Categories: All About Ellen Cabot | 2 Comments

OMG Make it STOP!

I was planning for today to be relatively relaxing.  We had to do some general cleaning (a couple loads of laundry and the usual daily stuff), we needed to go shopping but the hubby usually handles that, and that was about it.  Well, and the hour and a half of driving we had to do to get our *hopefully, if all goes well* adoptive daughter home.

Other than that, I planned to just take it easy.

It didn’t exactly work out that way.  Turns out my husband has bronchitis and I had to take him to urgent care… which blew a couple hours between waiting for service at a walk-in clinic and waiting for prescriptions to be filled.  After about an hour adventure at Sam’s Club (a store I hate with a passion), I needed to head to Aldi for our regular grocery shopping (which my husband typically takes care of).  I stopped by Taco Bell on the way home from Aldi and picked up dinner for the family, had everyone help me put the food away as quickly as possible so we could make the 45 minute drive to take our *hopefully* future adoptive daughter home.  Followed by the 45 minute drive back home, and then a stop at Walmart to finish the shopping.

The whole time I was at Walmart I was thinking, “I need this stuff… this will prevent further trips to the store…  I’ll be glad I did this later…”, all the while I was just wishing I could go home, pour myself a glass of wine and relax.

Right now I’m sitting in my dining room with my computer.  I’m thinking I’d like to write a blog, I’m worn out after a ridiculously busy day, I’m on my second (or third?!) glass of wine, and I can’t.seem.to.relax.

My dining room is in the middle of my house.  It’s the only place where I can sit with my laptop and use my mouse, an amazingly fabulous convenience.

In front of me and to the left is my living room, where the furniture has been destroyed, and covered with hair, by animals.  I am no longer comfortable in there, even though it was supposed to be *my* room… partly because I don’t want to use the furniture, but also because I can’t use my mouse.  Two strikes against the living room.

Directly behind me is the kitchen…  obviously not a good place to go with my computer.

Directly in front of me is an *office* area.  That’s where the desktop is, and where my youngest daughter is sitting watching YouTube videos, which I can hear loud and clear from where I sit.  Behind me and to the right is the family room, where my husband is watching Groundhog Day, which I can also hear loud and clear…  clashing with the audio from the YouTube videos.

Normally I would disappear into the bedroom, but my husband has been spending his time lately coating that room in icky germs.  Going in there is NOT an option for the time being.

I’m considering the family room as my bedroom until he gets better…  so he’s currently occupying my bedroom… watching TV in there… and getting it germy as well.

And I’m surrounded by the sounds from the TV, the computer, and the normal family conversations…  “Mom, look at this… Mom can I??? Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…”  and I just want it all to go away and let me relax.

Does that make me a bad mom?  Or a bad wife?  I’m legitimately asking because I just don’t know and right now I so badly want to tell everyone to go away and it makes me feel so… selfish.

Categories: All About Ellen Cabot, Children & Parenting, Love ♥ Marriage | 2 Comments

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

I emailed the Guardian ad Litem program this morning to let them know that I was no longer interested in volunteering with their program.  I was disappointed in a way, but relieved at the same time.

A Guardian ad Litem, in case you didn’t already know, is a volunteer who works with children in foster care.  They are assigned to the child, hopefully from the moment they enter the system, and they are involved with that child through everything.  They aim to be a consistent figure in the child’s life, sticking with them through multiple placements if necessary, and they act as that child’s voice in the court system, always keeping in mind what is best for the child above all else.

But to really understand how I’m feeling at the moment, I need to start a little further back…

I can actually remember wondering about adoption all the way back in elementary school.  I used to say that I would never have my own children because there were so many children already who needed homes.  I always thought that if I ever wanted to be a mom I could just adopt instead.  Helping children is something I have wanted to do even when I was still a child myself.

Three biological children later, I have decided that I still wish to adopt.  So we started the process.  During this process I have learned a lot about how the system works, and I decided that I wanted to get more involved.  What better way to get involved with helping kids than to become a Guardian ad Litem?

So I filled out and submitted the application for the program.  The application asked whether or not I have ever been involved in a DCF investigation.

I’m honest.  I had to answer “Yes”.  And I had to fill out the explanation section.

See, a few years ago there was a misunderstanding. My oldest child wrote a story depicting an abusive situation and shared it with a friend, who then showed it to someone else, and that someone else showed a teacher.

And the investigation begins…

And the investigation was quickly closed showing no indication of any abuse.

The Guardian ad Litem program has this rule that states that if an applicant has been involved in such an investigation then they must do their own investigation into the facts of that case before they can consider approving that application.  They have to have a copy of the closed report, it can only be closed with a status showing there was no indication of abuse.  But, even that isn’t enough…  they also have to have a written statement from the applicant explaining the situation, they have to speak with the investigator who handled the investigation, and they ask if you can provide them with any additional information, documentation, references, etc. that will back up your story.

So this morning I withdrew my application.  I don’t wish to go through that all over again.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the past week or so.  I’m not sure I agree with the concept of “Mandatory Reporters.”  Or, at the very least, I think the system needs to be tweaked a bit.

This investigation was the result of a complete and total misunderstanding.  My child wrote a story and showed it to a friend, who showed a friend, who told a teacher.  The teacher is REQUIRED to report ANY suspicion of abuse to DCF.  If a report is submitted, DCF is required to investigate it.  Once we have been investigated, those records stay on file at DCF, with no way (that I can find anyway) to have them sealed, deleted, expunged (whatever word you want to use), and any time I want to do anything that involves working with children I have to defend myself and subject myself to an investigation all over again.

We are not perfect parents.  We make mistakes, just like everyone else does.  However, we have a safe and happy home, free from abuses of all kinds.  And it makes me so angry that four years later, with an approved adoptive home study in my hands showing that the state is willing to trust us to adopt a child from foster care, I am still being asked to defend myself against these false allegations.

If a family is investigated and absolutely no indication is found of abuse, that family should not be forced to reveal that to anyone.  If DCF wants to keep it on file to show that they have, in fact, been called to that house in the past, fine.  But other agencies should not have access to that data, and I should not be required to mention it.

I understand the need to protect the children, but we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in this country.  Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that if someone is falsely accused of a crime that doesn’t have to do with children they are NOT required to tell anyone and continually defend themselves against those allegations.

So, why do I have to?

Categories: Adoption, All About Ellen Cabot, Children & Parenting, Government & Politics | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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