Invisibility without a voice

In my lifetime America has grown as a country in many areas to be proud of. But within these advancements are indicators that the struggle is far from over. Making any and all gains relative to the eyes and perspectives of those doing the examining.

For example, Afro-Americans now have opportunities which were unfathomable before the civil rights era. Though the other side of this coin points to numerous communities facing dauntingly bleak situations which couldn’t have been imagined before. Woman on the other hand have clawed their way to respectability as a voice and powerhouse within society. Though if one looks at the nations workforce, cultural attitudes, and future trends, their fight seems far from over. Leading me to the focus of this blog, the voiceless and invisible, those emerging from foster care and adoption!

I will take a moment to interject that I’m sure there are many successful adoptions which benefit both the child and host family. And to those I applaud and congratulate your success. But being adopted myself, and having had numerous interactions with similar backgrounds as my own, I take a disheartening view to the system at large.

What seems to be missing from a governmental point of view is a lifelong commitment to these disadvantaged children. For those who dispute my assumption, just look to America’s prison population and inquire as to the number of inmates who were adopted or experienced foster care during youth. This acknowledgement alone should be enough to examine, revamp, and overhaul the nations approach to these children. Emerging with a renewed approach and strategy strengthening all areas involved.

I remember being a biracial child in the 1970’s, put up for adoption by a white mother and black father. Only to end up being adopted be a white German lady with two other adopted mixed children. None of us looked alike, which at the time was quite the sight and story to all who took notice and inquired. By the time I was able to grasp the concept of our family’s uniqueness, I quickly grew to resent my home life, while being constantly reminded how fortunate I had been to be “rescued”. Then when the teenage growing pains of junior high school kicked in, I was all but an angry confused bottle of combustion.

It wasn’t so much the why, as my adopted mother always painted the situation in the fairest most positive light. But the who I was? What my biological parents looked like? And what my extended family was like? As a boy this translated into no father to emulate. No biological mother to measure true love against. And the misunderstanding of what was meant by my family. Which later catapulted into a misunderstanding of what constituted unconditional love, it’s differences from romanticism, and the inability to self-love.

I searched for an identity of myself until I was well into my 40’s. And I truly feel lucky to have ever found the real me considering my starting point. My self discovery was due to decades of trial and error, with many avoidable tears, given the proper guidance. This is not a dig at my adopted mother, as she offered me all she had and then some. But it is a cry to the outside world to demand a new set of rights for adopted and children of foster care, for their future prospects are often gloomy. A good start would be as follows:

  1. Free counseling – through the age of 30 for adopted and foster care children. With mandatory counseling being provided until the age of 18. (One of the things I feel would have benefitted me in my childhood was a safe, consistent, nonjudgmental, and caring voice to confide in. Not from my immediate family but an outside source). One of the sad realities of foster care is when a child turns 18, they “age-out”, being forced to leave with a pittance of money to fend for themselves. Owning to the homelessness, incarceration, and high drug abuse rates of those emerging from these scenarios.
  2. Free college tuition  – Granted that in todays society anything short of a college education is a recipe for underemployment. For those individuals born into disadvantage it would only seem fair that our nation ensures they have every opportunity to compete in society.
  3. Full disclosure of adoption records –  In past generations the stigma of having an out of wedlock or biracial child was too much to bare for many. With foster care and adoption providing a reasonable solution for the child and parents anonymity. Well, just like America moved to require “dead-beat-dads” to own their financial responsibility. So must we acknowledge that children of the foster care system be privy to their birth parents identities at 18, requiring the responsible adults to take ownership.
  4. Adoptee Preference – Just like we offer veterans and disabled personnel applying for job positions a leg up. So must we do so for the children of foster care and adoption.

What worries me the most is that with the rise of private prisons, the path of least resistance is to allow foster kids and adoptees to keep filling them up. Allowing corporations to get richer, and letting the government off the responsibility hook as to this segment of society.

 

 

Advertisements

I kissed my share of lips, and although they kissed me back, the feeling I was after, never stayed intact, I put it on their eyes, though they were not to blame, as the fantasy I chased, could never be maintained, as time moved on, I learned to question love, not at its core, but what it really was, love is a teacher, filled with smiles and pain, absent of bliss, but experiences gained!

Azimuth

Blending into time

Embracing every breath

My after-thoughts are gone

Along with what comes next

I’m where I need to be

A mix of pride and shame

Devoid of judging eyes

Those “why’s” are rarely tamed

Each day I rise anew

And shed my skins of old

Then Tango into doubt

Where music equals gold

If I could kiss your ears

I’d whisper, “find yourself”!

This compass won’t be seen

It’s needle must be felt

We’ve created a society

Where many slip and fall

Into debt or bad decisions

As the orders rain too tall

Freedom heads It’s title

But read between those lines

This rat-race, unforgiving

While praying on the blind

If you focus on yourself

You”ll test the closest ties

But put your neighbor first

And tears will lead that ride

When tugging on it’s curtain

Most seek the right and wrong

But the tightrope known as life

Sings a different song

My New Years Resolution!

I promise to accept people

With all their strengths and angst

Embracing what their made of

So my judgment draws a blank

In the past I was to selfish

For I wanted all my way

Like puppets on a string

In my never ending play

The smiles people bring me

Must be balanced by some tears

So words can’t be tapered

Or filtered for my ears

This is nature’s genius

And a logo for the mind

Our differences are name-brands

In the garments known as time

The Hand of Change

You must focus on the moment

Shunning whats to come

The past will call out

But that bells already rung

Please embrace the notion

That we die every night

Reborn to the sun

And a slate that’s been wiped

When the hands from your past

Reach out to pull you back

Don’t let that curtain rise

Or dignify the act

Change won’t marry you

So don’t even ask

Every trick has been tried

To navigate this task

Just Go!

I think everyone should move

At some point in their lives

Where no-one knows their name

Or has ever seen their stripes

This place must call the spirit

So it can change the mold

Releasing what’s inside

Now ready to unfold

You can keep your friends

But leave all else behind

The chance to start anew

Enjoy this cup of wine

I know it sounds risky

Reaching for this bait

But he who dares wins

Don’t leave it up to fate

Only the Lonely

Don’t embrace loneliness

It appears as a friend

Proposing on the first night

In a union that never ends

It only has one recourse

is to threaten you with divorce

Abuse and controlling

For those who stay the course

If you step into this trap

The clamps will dig down deep

So extend an olive-branch

To hobbies and people you meet

In time it dissipates

While stalking you from afar

Threatening to reappear

If you don’t guard this scare

My Calling

I never studied poetry

Or even read a book

Couldn’t tell you other authors

Or jthe ourney’s that they took

But I do know a calling

And this is one of mine

One I must adhere

While ontinuing my climb

I don’t care about the grammar

Or how it should come out

For these are my words

And in them I have no doubts

If I stay away from critics

They’ll remain raw in form

Pleasing to the ear

While challenging the norm

If there are no takers

And people shun these words

It matters very little

To the purpose that they serve

They’re just part of my journey

En-route to a goal

A trail of breadcrumbs

For balancing the soul

My Discovery

I searched for happiness

In the form of a kiss

But the rollercoasters fickle

And stingy with its bliss

Turning to employment

I lost all sense of time

For this temptress is too greedy

And doesn’t share her wine

Jaded and dejected

I was forced to glance within

To see passions I neglected

Blowing in the wind

Tending them with caution

I began to understand

The owner of one’s focus

Has them in their hand