Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘RAD’

RAD and the law

Posted by newlawmom on April 9, 2009

Well, I still don’t have it all figured out. But I do find myself continuing to peruse message boards and blogs that relate to attachment disorder, foster care and adoption. Less so boards that relate to childhood mental health problems in the absence of trauma. I think of my son nearly every day. I wish I could picture him living happily and successfully, just as though nothing bad ever happened to him at all. I think every mother would wish that for her child, just to be able to fix all the problems. I couldn’t fix them so now I just like to dream that the problems just magically disappeared for him once I stepped out of the picture. But in my heart I know that is an illusion. Last night I almost signed up on a message board for people who have experienced disrupted adoptions. But I stopped because I figure most of those people had infants who they wanted and never got rather than mothers like me who voluntarily (and necessarily) gave up a child and returned him to the custody of the state. It nearly killed me. But the damage done to him, to me, and particularly to my other children would have been much more substantial if I had continued down an impossible path. I was way out of my league. Sadly, I don’t think there is a league that is prepared to deal with the serious disturbances that can result when a human being is tortured for the first few years of life. If there was, I surely would have found it. The struggle now is to figure out how the law can benefit these children, or better yet, how it can be applied to protect them in the first place. I think the basis for this needs to be found in the constitution.  I will be working with a professor over the summer on establishing a network within the school for training to be a court appointed special advocate (CASA) and guardian ad litem (GAL) for children in state placement. That is good. But it is not the solution to the underlying problem, which is my focus and ultimate goal. The children in this country must have certain rights, and when those rights are violated, they must have access to justice and appropriate restitution, including appropriate physical, mental, and emotional health care. And I need to either locate or perform research that will establish that these children DO NOT recover from their substantial injury. I suspect that is the case more often than not, despite the happy face people want to put on the situation. It is not enough to promote foster care and adoption. That does not put these children into a position where they are made whole.  I am not anti-foster care. I am Pro-child. Every child, including the invisible ones. So…at the end of my first year of law school, I remain committed to the children, even if I have needed to devote my energy to legal subjects that seem to have nothing to do with child welfare at all.


Posted in 1L, child welfare, Child Welfare Issues, ethics, foster care, law school, Parenthood, Purpose, trauma | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by newlawmom on February 9, 2009

Hurt children, adoption, mental health, law school, and sanity? It occurs to me that I am attempting to blend things that do not go well together and I have yet to figure out how I’m going to make it all work. Today’s search terms for the blog:  Threatening adopted child with foster care.  Attachment Disorder Single Mom. Law school scholarships. Older Law Student.  How to make it work – that is the question. To all you parents out there who are finding my blog, welcome.  To other law students, I’m probably not your average student and you may want to disregard most of what I say. I am a woman on a mission. I just don’t know exactly how to go about it. For today, I am applying for some paid internships that have more to do with public health than they do with the law. Did I choose the wrong degree? I don’t think so. I stopped into career services and they are supportive of the internship and gave helpful advice. Beyond that, I am clueless.  I don’t want to just volunteer my time over the summer to causes that I care about but that do not help me achieve my goals. I want to make progress. I want to see how it all fits together. And as usual, everything will happen exactly as God intends it to happen regardless of my well laid plans. As though I have any of those, right? Children are being harmed, families are suffering, mental health systems are contributing to the problem, educators fail to understand, and most of the world is ignorant. And I am arrogant enough to suppose I might be able to help? Yeah. The other half of the time I want to go blind, lose my memory, feign ignorance and go earn some money. The real problem is I do need to earn money because without that I can’t do anything for anyone, including myself. All the knowledge in the world does not pay my bills. But I will thank you parents of kids with RAD for reminding me that I got here from a place, and that place still exists for too many. Not only that, my son with RAD is only 15 and needs to live in this world despite his life. Not only does he need to live here, but all of society needs to share the world with him and live with the consequences. So….law school. Con Law, Property, Civ Pro, Contracts, and Legal Writing and Research call me now. I will master these subjects, make no mistake about it.

Posted in 1L, child welfare, foster care, law school, Parenthood, Purpose | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »