|Monkeys Throw Poo||12 April, 2015|
|Back to MT Adoption Reform 2015|
Monkeys Throw Poo -
This is a rough-around-the edges-post that may give you a good laugh or maybe it'll make you cry a tear. Either way - I think it is good to share the truth.
The MT OBC law is a classic example in understanding the messy political process combined with the terribly flawed and damaged adoption community. We are a people who cannot function effectively together. But we don't have laws and hundreds of years of standards like these state governments so I actually think we're doing pretty well given the circumstances. The MT state legislature meets every other year for four months. It is full of people not getting paid much to leave their homes and live in a sleepy little town with not much going on except politics. They are all trying to do "good" work. Think of that poor fool who tried to up the game on laws regarding indecent exposure because of a crazy naked bike ride that gloriously rode through the streets of Missoula last summer. Rather than protecting the state from the crazy hippies, he ended up being on national news as the "MT legislator proposing a law that bans yoga pants." Politics are MESSY. Adoption is messier. Monkeys throw poo.
The counseling part and lots of little things in this new law are actually very old lines in legacy law. The bill drafter, Representative Sponsor, and the state legal review committee would not support my attempts to write fresh legislation. An adoptive father in the legislature who vehemently opposes laws with retroactive effects, a male adoptee who refuses to believe the original birth certificate matters, a female adoptee who was rejected by her birthmother and thinks sealed records should stay sealed, and a closet birthmother are all in positions of power in the state government. They are a strong bi-partisan crew of politicians and government staff keeping me from ever having a "clean" bill.
I had to work with the legacy law in a very specific way. Keep in mind I live 90 miles over a mountain pass away from the state capitol where most of the action happens. In my chaotic life raising three kids and running a business that requires a ton of my time and energy (think employees and lots of clients with website, software, and computer problems) and my health (- have to take care of me -) I have made choices I regret (like getting involved in the first place!). I do not have the benefit of an organized group of people helping me change a law. Keep in mind the AAC removed me from my position as state representative because they didn't like my outspoken ways and my willingness to call a spade a spade. I had no interest in asking for their help this year so not many eyes were on my bill. There are changes happening in AAC so maybe next session I can work with them then. CUB is very focused on support and like AAC, it is an all volunteer run organization. There's just so much we can do as a diverse group with conflicting "issues". Your buttons push his buttons and his buttons push mine and I push yours. Around and around the mulberry bush we go.
In the end I have me, myself, and I working on this. I had to pick my battles wisely. Sometimes a friend listens and replies to an email or phone call. Lots and lots of people don't return my communications or show up to my meetings that we plan together. This year, I managed to make a blog with a sign up form. I have 42 people on that list. Thanks to social media and the Internet, the word gets out, but that has it costs. Some simply shoot off mean comments in emails or facebook posts to me without understanding my point of view or reading my blog where I have the information laid out in the best way I can with the time and resources I have.
I have to keep plowing through and doing what I can do and sometimes I have to trust others in positions of power. This pushes my birthmother buttons in a very big way. Think regret and second guessing oneself at all turns. Imagine Painful Clouded Confusion as the driver as I go over my mountain pass with icy roads and snowy conditions. I am not perfect or even remotely fabulous. I am a fool with a bill that was officially signed into law on April Fool's day. Like my promised open adoption which was actually legally closed, the new MT bill has legal language that upsets me and isn't what I think it should say. I have my issues too and frankly I'm tired of being in a community I can't leave because like the Hotel California, you can never leave. And adoption is like herpes, once you get it, you always have it. In this itchy cursed hotel there are more monkeys throwing poo than in your average barrel of monkeys!
I really wish everyone would stop working through their issues in relation to my little but seriously arduous attempt to make the world a better place. If you don't like my bill, fix it yourself! I'm going to go do some yoga in my favorite yoga pants and try to calm the heck down. Then I'm going to my son's hockey game and then I'm going on a long drive to have dinner at my friend's 300 acre educational farm complete with fuzzy baby animals. It will be gluten free, dairy free, organic-or-better, omnivore food. And after that I'll come home and have some cheap bacon with a beer and a shot of whiskey. Then I will sleep well and face tomorrow if/when it comes.