Monday, December 28, 2009

I’m On A Big Ol’ Latin Kick

Latin? OK........

Well it is the language of the Church, but still. I’ve been to one Latin Mass, and it was OK, but I’m not in a big hurry to go again, so I can’t really splain the Latin kick, but learning the prayers of the rosary in Latin has come to consume my every available moment of free time.

I’ve got the Ave Maria down, but it took me a while.

So now I can pray with any other Catholic in the world who knows The Angelic Salutation in Latin.

Cool, but I’m still a bit baffled by the urgency I’m feeling to learn the basic Catholic prayers in Latin. I mean it’s not like we have to celebrate the Mass in secret, in our basements, under cover, or need to pray secretly with others who may not speak English. Yet.

So I found this really cool site with Pope JP II praying the rosary in Latin. For your consideration should anyone also become seized with the overwhelming urge to learn the rosary in Latin.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Detroit – 40+ Years of Entitlement Leadership – A Legacy of Pain

Crowder on Detroit
Newt on Detroit
(must learn to embed videos!)

I grew up in a Detroit suburb. Most of my family still lives in Grosse Pointe; my Father lives in downtown Detroit. I know this city, and it’s not pretty. As a kid the phrase on everyone's lips, “the last one out of Detroit, turn off the lights,” defined conditions in the decades that followed the 67’ riots.

Newt & Crowder capture the ruin and destruction that flows in the wake of entitlement leadership. Detroit is in shambles, and has been all of my life. To be in Detroit is to feel the corruption, hopelessness, and desolation, truly the evil that permeates the city.

We can’t let this happen to our Nation. We simply can’t. There isn’t any place on the planet left to go.

Bl. Solanis Casey, Ora Pro Nobis

Friday, December 11, 2009

Who Ya Gonna Reflect: Jesus or the IRS?

Several weeks ago I felt called to increase my devotion to the Chaplet of Devine Mercy. I’ve been playing my CD in the afternoons as the boy and I go about our daily tasks. We haven’t stopped to pray it so much as have the prayer sung as the backdrop to our lives.

These last few days I believe I’ve come to understand this prompting of the Holy Spirit to draw closer to this devotion.

As Christmas Eve approaches, and along with it the second anniversary of the attack against our son that changed his life forever, an attack so violent it landed our son in the hospital for a week and his birth father in prison for several years, his behavior has been a bit challenging. He’s been acting out and we’ve seen some regression in areas that had been going well. Bottom line as anyone who’s every had a child that’s acting out can attest, it’s a pain in the backside to set boundaries, and keep them intact as a kid continues to push up against them in various and often sneaky ways. We all have an extra year under our collective belts as a family and that it helping, but I’m also leaning heavily on the message of Devine Mercy.

As we are meting out consequences for his behavior, I have worked very hard at tempering those consequences with a heavy dose of mercy. I’ve worked very hard at collecting myself and containing my anger as I discover his transgressions, prior to even discussing the matter with him or my husband. I’ve reminded myself often of the unmerited mercy I’ve received and it’s a big help in shaping my interactions with our son.

Believe me, this is not in any way the same thing as going soft and simply ignoring or condoning bad behavior. I think of it as having steel fences in place, covered over in a soft foam cushion, wrapped in a warm fluffily fleece. The fence (behavior boundary) is still intact, but the bumping up against it is tempered with love.

In the end it seams to me the question in dealing with this erring child really is:

Who Ya Gonna Reflect: Jesus or the IRS?

For the sake of His sorrowful passion; have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

3 Day Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Oh, most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven.

Blessed Mother of the Son of God; Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity.

Oh, Star of the Sea, help me and show me you are my Mother.

Oh, Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succour me in my necessity. (Mention your request here).

There are none that can withstand your power.

Oh, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3x).

Holy Mary, I place this prayer in your hands. (3x). Amen.

Say this prayer for 3 consecutive days and then you must publish it and it will be granted to you.

Praying for guidance for our family & healing for friends.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Barnyard Revolt

We have 17 cows, 4 chickens, 3 dogs, 2 horses and 1 cat. We also have assorted bats and mice, but they are uninvited, so they don’t count.

Hubby is in Washington this weekend with the boy. I had visions of time to putter around the house, some leisurely reading and perhaps even a nap.

This weekend each and every one of our farm animals has broken out of their fences and run willy-nilly through the neighborhood. Several times.

It all began on Thursday morning with a major break out in a major fog. Bovines in the mist if you will. They were in the field across the road, in the road, in the yard. One of them knocked on the door and asked what’s for breakfast for Pete’s sake!! Hubby was still in town so he rounded them all up as the boy and I scooted off to Mass.

We decided to load up a pick up truck with hay and drive it out to the middle of the field to help keep them interested in staying put. And it worked, for the 12 hours it took them to eat up all the hay.

No worry. Hubby had loaded up the truck so I could take more out over the weekend. And that’s just what I decided to do at 6:00am Friday when one of the dog’s piercing barks jolted me out of bed alerting me to the cattle in the road. Again.

6:00am is so early and so dark and I’m so not awake and I’m not really thinking about all the rain the day before, until the truck sinks…before I make it into the fenced area as I’m trying to entice the cows back in. GERRR.

Not to worry, the neighbor will get me out after daylight so I throw a few bails into the fence and head for the yard to try to entice Lewis and Clark back inside. Takes a while, but all good in the end.

How do you know you have good neighbors? When you are heading back to the truck to turn off the lights and make sure you remembered to close the gate and low and behold there is a second pair of head lights behind the truck hooking up to pull you out, when you hadn’t even spoken to them about the situation yet. Perhaps one of the cows knocked on their door to ask about breakfast and being multi generation farmers they knew I would need help. Too, too awesome.

And on the third day apparently word had gotten around the farmyard that I could be had so they all broke out together, many of them several times. I’d get them in and out they would come, like a toddler throwing cheerios on the floor just to see if you really meant it when you told her not to throw her food. A stranger pulled into the yard to let me know they were out and at one point there were six other people helping me to get these little suckers back in, and I didn’t even know two of my newly acquired farm hands.

So they all get rounded up and I sit down to read, glance out the window and sure enough there’s a cow in the yard. The ground has firmed up from the rain so I take another crack at getting the hay to the middle of the field and all goes well this time. OK, now I can get all the cows moved into the back field and pray they stay put while the hay lasts.

So I rig up a shoot between the pastures and open the first fence. From somewhere out in the field some primal instinct farm animals apparently have when they know they can outwit the human in charge cues the horses. They see the open gate and know that their time has come.

Out bolts Mr. Cancer, the I'm not quite ready to be put down yet wonder horse, followed closely on his heel by Mr. Bossy. Neither of which have on a halter. OK, they’ve been out before, no big deal, couple of steps and they stop to eat in the yard. Grab a coffee can of sweet feed to entice them back into the pasture and I’m done.

Ah, not this time. No, this time it’s down the road full speed to visit with Mr. Older than Methuselah who’s penned up at the neighbor’s farm. So silly me I’m half way down the road, coffee can in hand, horses with no halters blazing ahead of me thinking, “Oh great, now what, it’s not like they’re dogs where I can go back to the house, get the car and load them up once I get caught up to them”.

They get to Methuselah, offer up equine greetings, get as fired up as antique horses one of whom has cancer can get and pretty much strut around the neighbor’s yard a bit. I find a string of bailing twine in the barn, manage to get Mr. Bossy “haltered” up with it, back him up from Mr. Methuselah, turn to head back to our house knowing Mr. Cancer will follow only to see that Mr. Methuselah has somehow been sprung from his pasture and is following us too!!

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING.

Let Mr. Bossy loose to get Mr. Methuselah back in his pasture, get Mr. Bossy back, again, and head down the road, thinking that maybe suburban living might have been the way to go after all.

All of which is topped off by the last loose cow meandering into the yard and glory be to God heading into the pasture when the gate was opened for him without the herd stampeding to trample me to top off the day.

So how was your weekend?

St. Isidore, Pray for Me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Bully at the Christian School

My stomach is turning. Literally. I’m having a physical reaction, a very deep, almost primal reaction to one of my son’s classmates harassing him. Not sure it that’s a typical Mom reaction, or if it’s more a reflection of a tendency I have toward a hot temper.

This kid is the pest of his grade and one of my son’s best friends was pulled out midyear last year due to this kid’s bullying.

The new year hasn’t improved the situation apparently.

We send our son to a Christian school, and frankly I don’t expect to have him taunted by a pint-sized tyrant.

Our son’s history of physical abuse at the hands of his birth father, and the effect of that abuse is something we are just beginning to work through with counseling. We are working to heal the scars on his heart, and this is not helping.

He made the most chilling comment today, saying he was glad his friend isn’t this child’s target any longer since he can take the harassment better than his friend. It breaks my heart that it doesn’t seam to occur to him that NO ONE should have to be picked on by this kid, that he thinks he needs to be a shield. It also breaks my heart that he’s been keeping this harassment to himself for the most part, he hasn’t let us know how bad it had become, but it popped out and now that we know we need to address the situation.

Nothing worked for his friend last year, so maybe home schooling is in our future too. It is the only way our son will receive a Catholic education, so perhaps this will be a blessing in disguise.

Any suggestions on dealing with bullying in school?

St. Elizabeth Anne Seaton, pray for us.

Friday, October 2, 2009

7 Quick Takes



Jen@Conversion Diary is hosting 7 Quick Takes. Thanks Jen.

1

Football

My son is not a football player, and apparently neither is any of the kids on his team. They have amassed a total of 5 first downs in the three games they have played, and have been mercyed by half time in every game. Saturdays have been painful.


He sure looks cute in the uniform though!! And he cut quite a striking figure all geared up pads, helmet and all mowing the lawn, caring for the animals, etc. etc. I think he would have slept in that uniform if he could have.

2

Football Mom

I am in possession of a football sticker on my back window, and I’ve got to say it’s affected my driving. I now find it necessary to take evasive maneuvers when confronted with those traveling the roads with a bit less urgency than that of the ubiquitous soccer mom.

For example I now make a right and then make a Uie when running tight for school rather than wait patiently in a turning lane while granny allows all traffic to clear before pulling out. Today I even passed two cars on surface streets in the rain to make it to Mass on time after dropping the boy at school.

Yes, it’s all true what they say about soccer (football) moms and their driving. I’m living proof.

3

Keepin the Winter Blues Away

The days are getting shorter and colder here in the Midwest, and I can feel myself going into hibernation mode. For me that means flirting with the winter blues, but I’ve found something that really works well to help keep my mood even keel.

Omega – 3. Specifically from wild caught salmon. They eat a lot of salmon in Alaska, and I noticed a few years ago when visiting that eating all that salmon really put me in a good mood, even with the dark cold days in Juneau.

Fresh salmon is difficult to come by in the Midwest, and expensive, but I get the same great results from the wild caught salmon in a pouch. I make dips and put it into recipes even into soup.

Excellent protein and a super mood booster can’t beat that.

4

Daily Mass

School’s in session and getting to daily Mass is so much simpler. What a blessing to receive our Lord daily.

Also and excellent mood booster.

5

ThankACapitalist.com

I want to develop a web site profiling everyday entrepreneurs from every day communities. Some large businesses, some small businesses but all men and women working to make a living, providing products and services and jobs to their communities and living the American dream and having a positive impact on those around them.

I am sick to death of seeing our way of life undermined and criticized in the public arena.

I’m trying to learn Dreamweaver to bring this idea to fruition. Any suggestions for a crash course would be appreciated. There isn’t a class locally for a while and I’ve got a lot to learn.


6

Livestrong.com

What a cool site!! I’ve wanted to get a grip on my eating habits for a very long time. Livestrong.com is super simple and makes tracking daily calories, carbs, protein etc so easy.

If you are interested in finding a site to help motivate and track food and fitness this is the place.


7

Prayer Request

Please pray for all children in foster care seeking adoptive families.

Hubby and I are in the discernment process on a second adoption. The boy is 9 years old and a grade behind our son. He has been moved three times since he came into care in May 2008 and is currently being moved because of an adoption falling out.

We are going very slowly, neither of us is convinced this is our child, but we want to leave the door open to whatever God has in store for him and our family.

St. Thomas More, Pray for Us.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001 – The day everything changed. I took a call from Hubby and wanted to believe he was telling me was one of his silly jokes, knowing in my heart he wouldn’t joke about such a thing. Watching the towers fall, checking in with our office, watching a bit more, stunned as the Pentagon was hit, stumbling out of our home into a magnificently warm, sunny, fall day looking around our little farm in disbelief, it wasn’t right, a nice warm sunny day, all so surreal, heading up to Hubby’s job site later in the day past the lines of cars at the gas stations, crying, crying all the way. Crying, crying for weeks, crying today in Mass as we sang America The Beautiful.

September 11, 2001 – The day everything changed. Watching the towers fall the scales began to fall, an instant understanding that good and evil exist. All the moral relativism spewed out all over us at the UofM and USC was crap. If evil exists, good exists. I want the good, where is the good? Moving inch by little inch closer to God, throwing off the putrid cloak of my urbane sophistication, my superiority, my aloof rejection of the simplicities of faith. Crying out to God, for myself, for my country, for those who lost their lives, for the children on the planes, for the children still at home, for us all.

And there, thru the dust and tears, through the twisted metal and rubble, thru the haze and confusion that comes with a world view changed in an instant stood Jesus. Patient, loving, kind, and good, there is the Good. Jesus Christ, true God and true man ready to take me back, to love me, to teach me, to feed me his body, blood soul and divinity, ready to guide me as I journey this side of the veil. O King of Kings, Lord of Lords, I offer my life to you and thank you, for in your mercy you have called me, a sinner, by name and I will live to praise you forevermore.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Visiting with Papa

I never had a Grandpa, both of them died the year I was born, but I have a Grandfather-in-Law and he is quite a man. My husband and he share the same name and our son is the fourth, although we changed up the middle name, Eugene was a name hubby wasn’t willing to pass along.

I’ve loved Papa from the beginning. He and Nana have always been our biggest fans and I owe all of the domestic training I’ve received to Nana’s guidance. She’s gone almost 10 years now and Papa has moved in with his youngest daughter.

Hubby and I have been pestering him to visit for years and this summer he finally came. He’s 89 so we are concerned this may be the last time and we are so very grateful that our son got a chance to meet his Great Grandpa. They got along famously, playing cards and taking care of the cattle and chickens together.

Papa tends to tell the same stories over and over again when he’s feeling a bit stressed and I’ve always teased him by finishing his stories for him, like the one about being a tail gunner in the war or the one about taking his Mother-in-Law on his honeymoon with him. Never have the same old worn out stories sounded so good as they do coming from him. They are the stories of a man of integrity, a man who loves his wife and worked hard to provide for his family, and defended his country in time of need.

We’ve got him thinking about splitting his time 50/50 between the Midwest and the West Coast, and much as we would love it, we’re not sure it will actually come to pass. He keeps commenting on how much more the people smile here than in California. I tell him it’s because we love people here, we don’t really embrace the whole “Death with Dignity” philosophy of putting our old folks down when they become an inconvenience to our lifestyle.

Hubby and I are both concerned that this visit may be our last and I keep hearing the strains of Jimmy Buffett’s Captian and the Kid floating through my head.

I never used to miss the chance to climb up on his knee
And listen to the many tales of life upon the sea
We'd go sailing back on Barkentines we'd talk of things he did
Tomorrow just a day away for the Captain and the kid

His world had gone from sailing ships to raking mom's backyard
He never could adjust to land although he tried so hard
We both were growing older then and wiser with the years
That's when I came to understand the course his heart still steers

He died about a month ago while winter filled the air
And though I cried I was so proud to love a man so rare
He's somewhere on the ocean now that's where he oughta be
With one hand on the starboard rail he's wavin' back at me



I am proud to love a man so rare.


Thank you Jesus for Papa, have mercy on him and in your kindness guide him home to you. Amen.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On Small Business Running For Cover Under the Obama Regime

My Husband and I are small business people. Being in the construction trade we are particularly hard hit by the current economic conditions. God continues to bless us, but it’s still unclear if our business will survive, and we are very actively exploring other means of livelihood.

Victor Davis Hanson at NRO writes on the physiological impact of the Obama presidency.

For the wheat farmer, electrical contractor, and 20-person law firm, the strategic calculus now goes something like this: “I think I just lost about 20 percent of next year’s income to pay for more income, health-care, state, sales, and payroll taxes, so I won’t be buying that tractor, doing any more Saturday jobs, or hiring that new litigator.” Worse still, many may add, “I will begin reducing or hiding income, avoiding taxes, and dealing in barter to save my business — rather than paying for vast new dubious entitlements for someone else.”

Worse still, businesses see long trends ahead that in their reckoning are disturbing. They realize that even though they will soon be paying whopping new taxes, these contributions will neither balance the budget (given the new spending) nor win them any psychosocial satisfaction from “paying their fair share.”

Thank you Victor for giving voice to the small businessperson’s plight.

Read the rest here.

Jesus, I put my trust in you.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Honest Scrap Award




I received an Honest Scrap award from Katie at Just Another Catholic Mom

Here’s the poop:

There are 4 steps that need to be taken in order to fully accept this award.

1 Say thanks to the presenter and give a link back to their site.
2 Share "TEN HONEST THINGS" about yourself.
3 Pass this award on to 7 people whose blogs you find brilliant in blog design and/or content. Or pass it on to someone that you find inspirational.
4 Let your chosen award winners know that they have been awarded with THE HONEST SCRAP AWARD.


10 Honest Things About Me

I have a history of fairly serious depression. Since my conversion I don’t get depressed but lately I’ve been very sorrowful over the disintegration of our country, culture, morality, families, government etc. I feel a few posts coming on about this topic.

I cooked my first homegrown chicken dinner recently. It was a bit disappointing. Kind of dry and tough. We got 6 meat birds this year and 4 egg layers. I hope the egg layers are a better bet. I’m going for the crock-pot for the other meat birds and hoping for the best.



I’m left handed, so is my dad, niece and son.

We are trying our hand at raising steer this year. Hubby is really into it and is planning for a heard of 40 or so including possibly heifers for breeding. Rarely do we do anything small scale in this family, suddenly the couple of steer we got to help graze down the horses turn out field has become an endeavor to help support our household.


Hubby and I have been married 19 years in December, and he’s not yet 40. They said it would never last, silly parents, siblings, aunts, uncles etc.

I’ve lived in a Detroit suburb, the city of Los Angeles, and rural Michigan. I like rural living best, followed by urban living. The suburbs don’t really work for me, to plastic and stiflingly cloned.

I’m an introvert. I find it more relaxing to read a book than hang out with a group.

I graduated high school with a 1.8 GPA, and it took me 4 ½ years. Not what you would call stellar.

I have a BA in History and English from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. I’ve come to believe that skipping high school didn’t hurt me none.

Hubby and I have been entrepreneurs for 17 of the 19 years we’ve been married. In that time we have had a paralegal service specializing in evictions, we’ve had a debt collection agency at one time specializing in phone sex debt, we’ve rehabbed distressed property to flip or rent, and we’ve designed, manufactured and installed timber frames, and apparently we are now going into raising beef. I’ve been everywhere man, been from here to there man.


I’m going to forward the award on to anyone who wants to participate!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

God Bless America, Land That I Love

Lately I feel like a woman waking from a long coma looking around to find that everything changed and I hardly recognize the landscape. I’ve been researching the underpinnings of the credit market freeze that crippled our company , and that has been the jumping off point into my education about the current American political landscape.

Some background about me as my frame of reference for my review of American politics 2009.

My father’s family came to America from England in 1639 a full 137 years before our first civil war, the American Revolution. My family was active in the American Revolution, one of my ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence for Maryland. Something I’ve always been aware of, peeking for his name when I pass the Declaration on display.

My mother’s family is more recent immigrants, coming to America in the wave of Polish immigration between 1795 and 1918 as Poland was endlessly divided and occupied by it's neighbors.

Why did these two families pick up their belongings and their family members and float across the pond to a foreign land? What continues to bring immigrants to our country today? Short answer: Freedom, but what does that mean? What is it that makes the American experiment unique in all the world? The answer lies in the opportunity for self-determination down to the level of each individual family. None of our ancestors came to America in search of a hand out, they came in search of the opportunity to sink or swim on their own merits. Our nation’s Constitution affords us this right and this opportunity to live our lives free from undue interference and restriction by our government.

This opportunity for self-determination, the opportunity to make independent decisions about education, profession, religion, family life, etc., this is the American dream, but it is in grave danger of slipping away.

We stand today at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. Our government has been overstepping its constitutional bounds for many years. For my part I’ve been so busy building our business that I’ve not had the time to look around and see what’s been going on, but the slow down we’ve experienced has given me the time and new eyes to see.

I will stand today as my ancestors stood in generations past to ensure our rights of self-determination. I will oppose as I am able my government’s attempts to enslave me to an agenda which seeks to rob me of the fruits of my labor as our ancestor’s did so long ago in that Boston harbor. I will work to teach our children of the bravery of their ancestors in this fight against tyranny, but above all I will seek first God and his Kingdom and ask him to guide us in our struggle.

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

God Bless America!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

7 Quick Takes - A Tour of My World Edition

1

BATS – THIS IS WAR.

You know what makes me bat-shit-crazy? Bat shit. I have it all over my family room. Jen has her scorpions, and I have bats. They are simply disgusting with their little beady eyes; fur covered bodies and tiny little hands. And what’s with the way they fly? It’s just creepy. Darting and weaving all over the place with no rhyme or reason they swoop out after dark as we are peacefully winding down the day with Glen Beck. Yuck.

2

Glen Beck for president!!!

I doubt he would take the pay cut, but I think he could win. According to the 20/20 story his program is more popular than any other talking head program on the air and this gives me great hope for our nation. The man has really hit a nerve in particular with those of us in the “fly over” states. His take, politicians are out of touch and represent special interests above their constituencies and we foot the bill. Yea, I’m pretty fed up with that.


3

Hip Hip Hurray for Glen Beck’s Wife.

Apparently, according to Glen on the 20/20 interview, she’s hot. Before anyone get a different kind of hot and blow a gasket let me continue. She’s hot and SHE WOULD NOT HAVE SEX WITH HIM UNTILL THEY WERE MARRIED AND THEY WERE PRACTICING A RELIGION! So they joined the Mormon church. Well I’m not going to quibble about theology, the point is cultural.

What’s the point? The “sexual revolution” of the last 40 years has deteriorated our culture to near destruction, pelvic problems as our pastor calls it. What is the underpinning of the disconnect? Artificial birth control and its fall out sex with all comers (really sorry about that one). What’s the solution? Ask Mrs. Beck, she’s on to something here.

4

Lawlessness.

It’s permeating our culture and is shockingly blatant at the top levels of our nation’s leadership, as GMs bondholders know all to well. AmEx is in on the game in a big way. They have turned off our employee’s personal AmEx cards because our company card is behind. Understand that no employee has signed any sort of agreement to assume the company’s indebtedness for a card issued in their name, and AmEx has yet to produce any documentation supporting their action.

It gets better. AmEx has gone so far as to send a demand letter to each employee’s home. It gets even better than that. They made a demand in writing for the entire amount of the company’s outstanding balance not simply for the amount outstanding on an employee’s individual company card. I wonder what would happen if each of the ten employees actually sent in the full company balance, would they donate the overage to charity? I’m not holding my breath.

5

“We don’t have an economic crisis, we have a morality crisis.”

I’ve been chewing on this concept for weeks. It’s a comment made to be by a family friend I called for advice on investing in gold. When I see the lawlessness in our nations leadership as well as private institutions, the blatant disregard for any sort of standards or little things like our laws I have to say I agree with his assessment.


6

“You Said Everyone Was Taking a Pay Cut,...But They Didn’t”

I try really hard to be meek as instructed in the Gospel and as lived out in the lives of Saints like Therese of Liseiux, but my confessor keeps directing me to St. Jerome a man who was banned to the crying room during Mass because he got in his Bishop’s grill about something or other.

Why the parallel with St. Jerome and his hot temper? Well I think it has something to do with situations like these.

Our shop guys, the three that are left, banded together this week and came into HR, what’s left of it, demanding to know why they took a pay cut and the two guys out in Washington… who are closing up our Washington shop…permanently….didn’t take pay cuts.

Good news…these boys are still alive. Bad news… I hurt their feelings.


7

Google is a Godsend for those of us who can barely spell our own names.

My 10-year-old son spells better than I do. Thank goodness he’s around to ask most of the time, but for those times when he’s not, and Word just is not picking up what I’m laying down, there’s my faithful companion Google. He always gets me. And he asks so politely, “did you mean parallel” when I’ve typed perrell. “Oh, yes, yes, thanks, that’s what I meant, my fingers are just a bit clumsy”. My fingers and apparently the spelling part of my brain. Ain’t technology grand?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Note to Warm a Mom’s Heart

Adopting an older child from foster care brings with it a unique set of challenges. A child with a past is often a hurt child, a child who hasn’t been able to count on anyone in his life often behaves in challenging ways. With my son schoolwork is one of his major battlegrounds. Sometimes at the end of an afternoon wrestling with my son over his assignments I feel like I’ve been going toe to toe with a ten-ton gorilla. His dad comes home from work and all I want to do is toss the baton of parenthood to him and flop in a soft chair to remain motionless for the balance of the day.

Toward the end of this school year I’ve been backing away from forcing him to study well for exams, or be as complete as possible with assignments and have allowed him a bit more leeway to let the chips fall where they may with his grades. He needs to have an 80% or better average to play sports, and he knows the standard, so when he’s in the mood to do a slacker job on his work I’ve told him what I would like to see done but that I will let him make his own decision about how much effort he will put forth. It’s been kind of challenging, and as we are nearing the end of the year and his efforts aren’t as diligent as I’d like to see I’ve begun to wonder if I’ve helped him this year at all.

And then as I’m going through his papers I find this…

My teacher Mr. Jones asked us students to write about who is a good influence in our life and so that is what I will write about for our journal topic today. The person that influences my life is not my dad or uncle or cousins, they make influences to me. But the real person in my life is a person I see every day of the year who lives in my house would be no other than my mom! The way she influences me is by caring about me. She helps with my homework and expressing my feelings. She is my favorite person in the world! Other than God! She loves and cares about me with all her heart! She encourages me to do my best with everything in school like math because I’m not good at that subject.

And did I mention that he’s been alter serving at every Mass we’ve attended since he received the sacraments of initiation at Easter Vigil, and all the little old ladies of our parish have co-adopted him and are praying for a vocation to the priesthood for him? I guess the gorilla wrangling is paying off after all.

Thank you Lord for this child and the gift of motherhood.

Friday, May 8, 2009

They Say It’s a Recession Not a Depression

Depression Definition Per Wiki: A depression is characterized by abnormal increases in unemployment, restriction of credit, shrinking output and investment, numerous bankruptcies, reduced amounts of trade and commerce, as well as highly volatile relative currency value fluctuations, mostly devaluations. Price deflation or hyperinflation are also common elements of a depression.

Well I suppose for Warren Buffet it is a recession that's "almost over".

But in the construction industry it’s a depression. I pray that my industry isn’t the leading edge of what’s coming down the pike for the rest of the economy, but if it is hold on to your hats ladies, it’s going to get very, very bumpy.

Construction Industry Stats:

Unemployment Check: Nationwide 23%, in my State 30%

Shrinking Output Check: New Housing Starts Down 50% over March 2008 (per US Dept of Housing & Urban Development press release dated April 16, 2009)

Restriction of Credit Check: No National Banks Writing New Construction Loans – Not One

Devaluations Check: Everyone is familiar with the foreclosure rates and the housing market value free fall & it isn’t pretty.

My industry is in a depression and it shows no signs of letting up any time soon despite all the rhetoric.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner:: This afternoon, the Federal Reserve and the national banking agencies released the results of the stress tests... These tests will help ensure that banks have a sufficient capital cushion to continue lending in a more adverse economic scenario.

Who are they fooling the banks aren’t lending at all let alone continuing to lend if it gets worse. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

So What’s the Upside?

For our business, absolutely nothing that’s visible to the human eye.

Personal upside…

I’ve always known in my heart of hearts that my husband and I aren’t in business for the money. Being an entrepreneur isn’t at all what folks tend to perceive and occasionally people react with jealousy or malice to financial success.

I’ve always known that my ego wasn’t tied up with the money, and facing professional and possibly personal bankruptcy confirms this. I don’t feel the least bit differently about myself facing the possibility of going broke. It hurts to let people go one by one, it’s a heavy burden on our hearts, but being broke doesn’t hurt at all, it just requires adjustments which we are happy to make and we both continue to be grateful for what we have.

I wasn’t looking to have my detachment from money confirmed, but there is peace in the knowledge.

Thanks you Lord for all the blessings in my life. I will continue to keep my eyes on you, continue to rely on my daily Manna, continue secure in the knowledge that I will not perish but live, steadfast in the assurance that you are resting peacefully in the back of the boat as these waves crash over the bow. Jesus, I Trust In You. Amen.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Georgetown University - President Obama & A Piece of My Mind

I’ve been on a letter-writing tear of late must be the Lenten blogging break. I haven’t heard quite as much furor over Georgetown’s hosting of Obama, but when I read that the school covered Jesus' name at the request of the White House I just had to speak up. Will my little letter have an impact? Well I’ll just leave that in God’s hands.

April 17, 2009

John J. DeGioia, President
Georgetown University
204 Healy Hall
37th & O Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20057


Dear Mr. DeGioia:

I am concerned that Georgetown University, a Jesuit institution has hosted President Obama the most outspoken opponent of Jesus ever to lead the United States. That Georgetown University cooperated by association with this man's agenda of undermining Christian values is horrific. That Georgetown University elected to join with Judas and Peter in denying Christ by associating with an administration that stands very vocally opposed to the Church's teaching is outrageous and a scandal to all Christians. That Georgetown University elected to cover over the name of Jesus in an attempt to hide the Lord, to subjugate the Creator, the King of Kings, the Lord of Hosts to the whims of mere mortals is to horrifying to contemplate.

The question at this point is, will Georgetown University and those in administrative positions continue to collude with Judas or will you repent of this most egregious offence to the Lord as did Peter. St. Peter or Judas the Iscariot whom will you emulate? You Mr. DeGioia stand at the exact same crossroads these two men stood those many years ago. You can continue the offences of Judas and those he led to Christ, or you can repent of this denial of Christ and join with St. Peter and those of us whom he has led to Christ.


You are faced with a very important choice one that could bear eternal consequences. Something of this magnitude deserves careful reflection, and I hope you will find time in your busy schedule to spend time in Adoration of the Lord to discuss the matter with him directly.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lenten Silence & The Credit Market Freeze

For the last twelve to eighteen months I have had a nagging sensation that I should make our family as self sufficient as possible. That I should work to take us off the grid as much as possible, that we should bring food animals onto our little farm, that we should jettison as much of the flotsam and jetsam of our lives as possible. I’ve never felt myself in the Chicken Little camp, but for some time I’ve just had a nagging feeling that the world may get very ugly very shortly.

Our world is wobbling. When I say our world I’m speaking collectively of the world we all share, and I’m speaking of the micro world of my family. We all know that economic times are challenging just now, but I’ve recently become aware of a trend that frankly has me very concerned.

It’s all about the banks. We have business acquaintances that’ve had their banks call in loans that are not currently due, we have ridiculously qualified clients that can’t get financing, we get nothing but smoke and mirrors from the banks we deal with. “Oh, yes, we have money to loan,” they say, but the money never materializes for these client’s loans.

They don’t have any money to loan.

They are calling in loans that aren’t due.

It is all smoke and mirrors.

As I was discussing my concerns with Hubby last night and we were game planning ways to do right by our clients and not lose our shirt he stopped in mid sentence and said, “What you are describing is a total collapse of our system, if the banking system collapses our entire financial infrastructure collapses, should we pull out some cash and keep it in the safe?”

“Maybe, yea honey, I know it’s extreme, but something’s not right.” “I’ve been dealing with five different banks, Chase, Key, First Federal, Huntington, and Level One Bank, and they all claim to have money to lend and then duck and cover when it’s time to close the loans.” “Something is not right.”

I’m not a trained economist; I’m a small business person with an absurdly qualified clientele. If these people can’t get loans to build, no one can, it’s a simple as that. If no capital is available to those who are extremely qualified whole segments of the economy cease to exist. If whole segments of the economy cease to exist the whole economic infrastructure implodes.

Images of the cold war build up between the US and the USSR keep coming to mind. We were able to outspend them and they collapsed, pretty much ran out of money and imploded. Have we outspent ourselves in our trinkets and trash gorging on material goods? Will our nation’s material gluttony cause us to collapse? Are we out of money?

I pray that what I’m seeing is short term, temporary, that capital will free up and that with a short period of bare bones operation, and a few self financing clients our little company will be well positioned to move forward when the recovery comes, but I’m concerned, I’m very concerned that we as Americans may have binged ourselves into a very deep, dark hole.

I’m logging off the internet for Lent. Off of the MSM sites, off of my favorite blogs, off all of it. I’m going to do my best to fast and pray, to call on the name of the Lord and to prepare my mind and heart for the coming of Jesus this Easter.

May God have mercy on us all.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sanctifying Grace – The Protestant v. Catholic Perspective

My son is having a heck of a time just now. He’s been in hot water for the last two weeks both at school and at home. The consequences keep tightening up and I’m praying extra hard for guidance on helping him with the challenges he is having at the moment… and keeping military academy in the deep recesses of my mind as a fall back…. Just kidding…. Sort of.

Easter Vigil is just a few weeks away and I’m really looking forward to his baptism, first communion and confirmation. I’ve been wondering if some of his challenges are related to a subtle attack of the enemy of God his efforts to disrupt the lives of those drawing closer to the Lord. Perhaps, but if that’s the deal or not, I’m counting on Jesus’ healing to come into my son’s life in a new way with the grace of the sacraments. I’m counting on Jesus to open the boy’s heart and mind to God, I’m counting on Jesus to strengthen him with his supernatural life, the very life blood of God we receive in the Eucharist.

I mentioned this recently to a co-worker, a believer, a woman baptized Catholic, but now a practicing Pentecostal. Her reaction was interesting. She cautioned me to not have my expectations to high, since his “readiness”, as I called it, to be baptized would be ineffectual if he himself weren’t reaching out to God. Her viewpoint was typical of one of the common differences I’ve found between Catholics and Protestants. When I was in a Protestant church the emphasis was always in the human effort to reach out to God. As a Catholic we place utmost importance in God’s efforts to reach out to us, daily offering us manna in the desert of our earthly existence, offering us his body and blood in the Eucharist for our sanctification. I believe it’s an important distinction. The questions is, are we the agents of our salvation, are we saved by our efforts and our invitation to “accept Jesus into our hearts”, or is Jesus’ atonement the agent of our salvation, are we saved by the blood of the sacrificial lamb? Is salvation active or passive or both?

The topic is one for greater minds than my own, and I suspect that it’s been covered by one or another of the Saints, so I will simply rest. Trusting that God loves my misbehaving little son, and that he will use every means possible to bring the little punk home to heaven, and that one of the biggies will be the sanctifying grace of the sacraments of initiation he will receive in just a few short week.

Thank you Jesus for the gift of you. Amen.

Friday, February 6, 2009

7 Quick Takes – The “is Winter EVER Going to End" Edition

It's 7 Quick Takes time again, cruse on over and check out the fun!

1

MY WATER MAIN IS FROZEN. Frozen solid, as in we have no water in my house, as in we are living in a camp site, as in it may not thaw for weeks, as in ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! I HAVE NO WATER IN MY HOUSE…Oh this is bad, really bad. We have a silly garden hose strung from the barn to see if we can get water twice a day to the house for sanitary needs. Haven’t tried this McGiver solution yet mind you, but we bought the hoses after the well guys said sorry dude your out till spring. OK, winter just sucks, that’s all there is to it.

2

We are cutting back our staff’s hours across the board. This just breaks my heart; I’m getting a dear in the headlights thing going on when I’m at work these days. I have a post written about the topic, but I cry every time I work on it so it may take a few more days to get it out.

3

The boy has become a HUGE St. Patrick fan. He’s getting movies about St. Paddy, he’s got a cute little statue, we are praying a novena, and he pops off with “gee maybe I’ll be a Bishop some day too”. It’s really cute, I must say.

4

Speaking of which, he is determined to visit Ireland. What is it about the emerald isle that brings her children home with such a passion? Irish people make it a mission to visit Ireland in ways that other native sons simply can’t match. Sons of Erin long to see the motherland, even the little ones.

5

He has invited one of his friend’s families to the Easter Vigil Mass where he will receive the sacraments of initiation. They say they are thinking about coming. His friend’s dad is the head pastor at the local Nazarene church. That should be interesting. I always though it would be interesting to evangelize the local Protestant pastors, but I didn’t see it going down like this. Ah well, God knows what he is doing.

6

Every single group of kids I inquire about on the Mare.org web site have been placed.

I inquired about these kids this week, if for no other reason than to find them a home, since I have the “these kids have been placed” golden touch.


7
I read this today on Aimee Wilburn's blog

the state of the culture is a reflection of the state of the interior of the human soul, a reflection of the measure by which Christ is truly dwelling in the soul, changing and remaking it into His image, and so working it out into the world, or not. It is what the great Catholic historian Christopher Dawson means when he says, “the great cultural changes . . . are the cumulative result of a number of spiritual decisions – the faith and insight, or the refusal and blindness, of individuals.” So the more we submit ourselves to Christ interiorly, obeying the Church in all things, developing our prayer lives daily, frequently going to confession and receiving the Eucharist, the more impact we can have on the culture – because then we really are following Christ, because it is Christ inside of us impelling us to do what He wills in the world, and filling our works with His power. It’s not just us deciding on something to do, and doing it under our own steam – a something that, if we’re not really close to Him, might not even be what He really wants!

Food for though for the whole weekend!!



God Bless and have a great week!!

Dear Birth Mom Adoption Letter

We got a call from our adoption case worker about a seventeen year old girl considering adoption for her infant. We’ve never pursued infant adoption, so I’ve never written a “Dear Birth Mom” letter. Sometimes the letters I would read seamed so desperate and sad. I don’t think God will place this child with us, it’s just a feeling I have, but I wrote a “Dear Birth Mom” letter to her if for no other reason than to affirm her decision to choose life for her child.

Here’s the letter.

To the birth family considering an adoption plan:

Thank you for choosing life for your child. Our nation’s very foundation hinges on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, yet without life no other pursuits are possible.

As you wrestle with the decisions you will be making in the next few months, some of which may be very difficult, know that the decision to allow your child the opportunity to pursue all that life has to offer is absolutely the best possible decision you could have made and all other decisions you make stand on this excellent and rock solid foundation.

My husband and I have been married eighteen years (yikes). We’ve had a difficult time of it in the fertility department. I lost our first pregnancy in 1990 and two others a few years later. We considered a number of options and pursued infertility treatment for a while, but we simply were not comfortable with some of the technologies and decided not to go any further.

Losing my pregnancies was very difficult and I was a bit more hesitant to pursue adoption than my husband. I was hesitant wondering if I would love my adopted child less since he/she wouldn’t be my own flesh and blood. I wondered, would I be less willing to endure the hard times, and make the sacrifices necessary to be a good mom for “someone else’s child”? These are difficult questions and although my husband was certain I would love to pieces any child the Lord brought to our home, I was still a bit unsure. I would watch every Adoption Story episode on TV trying to gain insight into the process and learn from the experience of others.

Let me cut to today and allow me to introduce my son… (Photo Omited Since This Is The WEB)

As you can see he’s quite a cutie. We adopted him from foster care when he was nine and he is the light of my life. Don’t get me wrong he can be a little stinker, but I do love him to pieces just as my husband predicted. I can’t quite put it into words, other than to say this child is MY son. I didn’t carry him, I didn’t even get to hold him when he was little or help him learn to walk, but he is my son never the less. I love being a mom. My husband and I get asked quite often about the life changing impact of bringing a child into our family after seventeen years of marriage, and we often get well meaning compliments about helping out this child in need (our son has a difficult past and was not well taken care of by his birth family).

The truth of the matter is having a child in the house feels more “normal” than the first seventeen years of marriage without him, and even more important to me, we aren’t performing any great service to humanity by parenting this child, he brings joy and love into our lives that I can’t recall how we did without for seventeen years!

I believe this is the way when we choose the path of life. The love we have, the resources we have aren’t limited with a cap imposed that we’d best not exceed or doom and peril will befall us. No, love expands our resources, love expands our ability to love and our capacity and the resources to love grow as we stretch our hearts to make room for each other. So it is with families who ground their decisions in affirming life.

Our home and family life is pretty old fashioned. My husband and I own a business so we have some flexibility in our schedule. I work while our son is in school, but I’m with him in the afternoon, which makes me a semi stay at home mom. We work on homework or run errands in the afternoon, and I have a home made dinner ready every evening at 7:00pm when Dad comes home. We don’t watch TV during the week so that we have time for each other. We make an occasional exception for a sporting event that Dad’s interested in, but TV never comes before evening family time.

My husband and I are both college graduates and I have a masters degree. We’ve worked together in a number of businesses and have found that very rewarding, but my favorite roll, the one I consider most important is that of a home maker. It’s very important to me that our home be a gracious peaceful place, that it be a safe and soft place for us to land at the end of the day.

We are a Catholic family and we work to live Jesus’ commandment to love God and each other and practice our faith in word and deed in the very ordinary lives of a Midwestern family. We have learned to trust in God and his decisions for our family. My husband and I each have three siblings and our son comes from a family with five siblings. We love our sibs and again could not imagine life without them. We are hoping the Lord will bless us with more children, and we will accept and love whatever children he wishes to add to our family.

As you consider an adoption plan for your baby ask God’s guidance in making your decision, ask him to lead you to the right decision and to the right family. It is God that brings individuals together in marriage to make a family and God who brings children into that marriage, sometimes through birth sometimes through adoption, but always at the right time and in the best way.

If after asking God’s guidance you feel that our family is the right place for your baby we would welcome him/her as a blessing and raise him/her with love, discipline, and the same respect for life that you are demonstrating by the decisions you are making about his/her life today.

Friday, January 16, 2009

7 Quick Takes - The Baby It's Cold Outside Edition

Number one

Mayday, Mayday

Temperature At This Moment: -16
Temperature Yesterday: -8

Situation Room Reports:

Icicles from in nose immediately upon exiting the dwelling
Dogs refuse to exit the dwelling
Snow crunches unnaturally under feet
Vehicles won’t start
SCHOOLS ARE CANCLED – CHILDREN REJOICE WILDLY

Action Plan:

Contact Al Gore to discuss the merits of his opus, “An Inconvenient Truth”

Number Two

This is not a rhetorical question.

Can anyone who home schools, or has 4th graders tell me what’s typical with regards to the child taking responsibility for his own work?

My son does well in his schoolwork if I take complete direction of his studying for exams and completing course work. If I give him leeway and allow him to set the pace he tanks virtually every time.

Is this normal? When does a kid begin to make the connection about the effort required to get good marks on his tests? He enjoys getting the good grades and is upset when he does poorly, but the cause and effect factor hasn’t clicked yet.

Number Three

I’m not dieting.

However, I am working on detachment from food that Historical Christian talks about here, and Jen calls the Saint Diet (I can’t find the link). It’s going pretty well.

The overall plan is pretty simple – Don’t be a glutton, work on practicing the virtue of temperance.

That’s it.

I’m finding much greater peace with food.

Number Four

“Adult toys for $6.95 for all your needs at xxx.xxx.com”

This is what came screaming out of my son’s radio, tuned to a country station this morning.

Are you kidding me!!!! ON COUNTRY RADIO IN THE BOON DOCKS FOR MY 10 YEAR OLD TO WAKE UP TO!!! PLEASE!!!

Since my letter writing to the Social Security Administration for a new number for my son is going well so far. I believe I will begin one to the local country station today as well.

Number Five

Spiritual Direction

Since I made my Cursillo spring of 05 I’ve been looking around trying to come up with a Spiritual Director. Jen our 7 quick takes hostess posts about the topic here, and she suggested contacting my dioceses. They had no info whatsoever on finding spiritual direction. Well that does NOT help!

It turns out our parish priest does spiritual direction so I’m going to see how that goes starting next week.

Number Six

Footprints of God Pilgrimage to Israel

The date is set for next January. I can hardly wait. Several people from our parish and our priest are going. We’re still looking to fill additional slots for anyone interested.

I am second guessing taking the boy however. He can’t sit still for to long, not sure it will be a good idea to take him.

We’ll see how it goes, a year is a long way off.

Number Seven

Homestudy Update is scheduled for next week

Some days I want to add more kids to the mix. Some days the kid exhausts me and I think no way.

Still I spend a lot of time surfing around on Adoptuskids where I find kids like Kaylynne.



Kaylynne is a lively and gregarious girl with a sweet personality and wonderful sense of humor. She has a "can-do" attitude and is a lot of fun to be with. Kaylynne is a very active child involved in competitive gymnastics, ballet, and cheerleading. She enjoys playing computer and board games, shopping, and going on family outings. Kaylynne also likes to sing and dance.Kaylynne attends regular classes at school where she earns A's and B's.

Please pray for these kids.

Friday, January 9, 2009

7 Quick Takes - The Blah, Blah, Blah Edition

Another edition of 7 quick takes brought to you by Jennifer at Conversion Diary

1

The Boy has picked St. Patrick as his confirmation Saint. His reasons: First, he’s Irish, and so is St. Paddy. Second, Sponge Bob’s side kick is named Patrick. Works for me.

2

In the interests of learning a bit more about St. Patrick the boy read St. Patrick's Summer by Marigold Hunt. What a great book!!! The catechism is excellent, the story is fun, and the characters are interesting. Highly recommend it for the grade school crowd and I enjoyed reading it myself. (Had to quiz the little critter to make sure he actually read the stuff you know!!)

3

I have an appointment with the Social Security Administration on Monday to fill out the paperwork for a new SS# for The Boy. It pays to get pushy, but why in the world is it necessary?

4

Two weeks off work is way too much for me. Enjoyed the time with the boy and the fam, but really two weeks. Hubby and I are three days of down time and then it’s time to go kind of people. Type A I believe they call that.

I’m sure if I weren’t working I would fill the time with a host of other interesting projects, like gardening and sewing, etc., but two weeks isn’t enough time to transition to full time domestic work.

If the building trades don’t pick up I may be transitioning sooner than I think. Good thing I really like homemaking / homesteading work.

5

And along those lines, making the “what if we don’t make it” contingency plan is very scary. Hubby and I have lived all of our lives with contingency plans. Before we were entrepreneurs the plans concerned only our little family. Now our contingency planning has a much further reach.

The very, very hard part is the fall out impact of our contingency plan. People will lose their jobs, suppliers and vendors will lose a client, landlords will lose a tenant, etc., etc.

If our company closes, there will be tears and it will be very hard, but he and I will be fine. We are very able to live frugally, we’ve done it before and we can happily do it again, but we are concerned for all of the other people who make a living at our company. We feel a great burden of responsibility for those people and the pain of closing our doors, if it comes to that, will be felt for them as much as for ourselves.

6

There are a number of blogs I’ve been looking at lately that are prettier than our company’s web sites. What the heck!!!! Our hostess Jen @ Conversion Diary helpfully suggested a class at a local JC. Turns out they teach both Photoshop and Dreamweaver our here in the boon docks. Who knew!!!

7

Turns out January 1st is a Holy Day of Obligation, the feast of Mary, Mother of God. This was the debate at our New Years Eve dinner table. I knew it was but let myself go along with the crowd (my brother’s family, who are practicing Catholics) and didn’t go to Mass the next day rather than be perceived as a Miss St. Holy Smarty Pants. To my knowledge this is my first mortal sin since my conversion. Mortal since it is grave matter and I had full knowledge.

I couldn’t go to confession last Saturday, so I didn’t receive communion last Sunday, but tomorrow I’m there!!! Hubby and I are both going and we will take The Boy along with us. Sort of use this occasion of mortal sin to teach the actual practice of the faith in real time. Sacramental absolution, is this a great faith or what?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Social Security Administration, Domestic Violence & The Mama Bear

January 5, 2009

James F. Martin
Regional Commissioner
Social Security AdministrationPO Box 8280Chicago, IL 60680-8280.

VIA: Certified Return Receipt to All Parties

Dear Mr. Martin:

I was very disappointed with the Administration’s decision against issuing my adopted son, a victim of severe domestic violence, a new Social Security number so I went today to my local Social Security Administration office to secure an appointment with the director to discuss the matter.

My son was beaten by his birth father all of his life. DHS first removed him from his family of origin when he was five and his teachers brought the abuse to the attention of the authorities. After a year in foster care, DHS returned him to his birth father who continued to beat the child habitually until the violence against my 9 year old, 4’3” 58lb, son escalated to such a degree that his jaw was shattered, an event which required an implanted plate, several surgeries and a week long stay at the hospital. Of course this treatment only healed his physical injuries. I’ve included selected pages of his history for verification as well as offender tracking information about his birth father for your review.

Please keep in mind that the attacks against my son were premeditated according to his Guardian Ad Litem. I was advised that my son’s birth father made his entire family aware of his intentions to beat his son and none stepped in to protect this child. This man is sitting in prison with very little to think about day and night except the circumstances that landed him there, potentially plotting his revenge against the child.

Unfortunately, at my local Administration office, I was not allowed to make an appointment with the director; rather, I met with a man who identified himself only as Eric explaining to me that his last name would not be provided to maintain his anonymity for security purposes. I asked for the director’s name to at least correspond with her, but was told that she does not deal with the public and her security and anonymity is so important that her name would also be withheld. I noticed upon entering the lobby of my local Social Security office that a uniformed (armed?) guard is permanently posted; again I’m impressed with the security provided the employees of the Social Security office, particularly in light of the fact that I live in a rural county of around 100,000 people. The sort of area generally considered to be relatively free from the turbulence found in more urban areas.

Given the Social Security Administration’s expenditure of effort and expense to maintain the security of its staff I’m sure you will happily accommodate my request to provide my adopted son with the anonymity and protection of a new Social Security number. Additionally, I would humbly request that the Social Security administration expunge all records associating my son’s new name from his old Social Security number.

My son elected to change his entire name, first, middle and last in an effort to protect himself from the violence of his birth father, the least the federal government can do is provide him with the protection it affords other victims of domestic violence, and again, its own staff.

Reflect for a moment on the reality of being nine years old and feeling that in order to protect yourself you must change your name and will never again have any contact whatsoever with your grandparents, your four siblings, indeed with anyone in the only family you have ever known. Such is the fear generated by domestic violence. Such is the fear that results from being beaten by your father until your bones break.

As a woman who owned a debt collection agency I am well versed in the efficacy of a Social Security trace in location of an individual. Nine simple digits provide such a rich source of information. Name, addresses, dates of residence at said addresses, aliases, etc. all available in seconds. I know from personal experience, access to this information is immediate and quite unsecured.

His birth father will be out of prison shortly and I am begging you to exercise your authority to protect victims of domestic abuse by issuing my son a new Social Security number and expunging his new name and our address from his old number.

I eagerly await your cooperation in providing my son the same security of anonymity from those who could do them harm that you provide the employees of the Social Security Administration.

I'll let ya'll know if this does me any good.

Update: January 14, 2009

On Wednesday the 7th at 9:ish AM I received a voice mail from “Erik” indicating that a new social would not be issued for my son.

On Wednesday the 7th at 2:ish PM I received a call from the director of our local office to discuss the matter and an appointment was made to fill out the paper work for the new social.

I’m guessing the office receives their mail sometime after 9:00am and before 2:00pm.

On Tuesday the 13th I received a call from the regional office in Chicago assuring me that they work directly with the office in Baltimore that will be issuing the new social and will oversee the process. This person indicated that my initial verbal requests for a new social should have been processed given the documentation of the abuse against my son I presented. She claims she is in a position to insure that his new info will be removed from the old social and has asked me to not provide her info to the public. I promised not to post her name and info if she can get the job done.

I will update this post with additional info as my request is being processed.

Moral of the story:

1. If you are a victim of domestic violence seeking a new social security number for protection, make sure you have documentation from authorities such as law enforcement or hospitals or the courts.

2. Put everything to the social security administration in writing when you are requesting a new social to protect yourself. I felt that writing to the regional office was very effective since my local office was blowing me off completely.

Update - Feburary 12, 2009

My son received his new SS# in the mail yesterday. He is thrilled and I'm pleased too. I pray it will provide some comfort and help him to feel safe in his new home.