Why yes, I *am* an expert. Thanks for asking.

Why yes, I *am* an expert. Thanks for asking.

One rule that bloggers are supposed to follow is that your blog should only address one area of expertise.

I don’t plan to follow that rule.

I have seven children– six officially adopted, one ours but without the paperwork. None of them are white.  My husband and I are about as white as white people get. With our children, we have dealt with issues of all kinds of abuse, mental illness, birth family connections, counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, social workers, and well-intentioned strangers.  We have dealt with suicidal ideation, cutting, reactive attachment disorder (RAD), ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and panic, borderline personality disorder, most of the medications used for mental illness, and being physically harmed by our children. We have dealt with short-term and long-term psychiatric hospitalizations, the homeless shelter, juvenile court, and probation officers.  IEPs, 504s, and very difficult parent conferences.

Our four oldest children are mixed:  Mexican/white, and black/Hispanic/white. Our three youngest children are black.  If you aren’t a hair or culture expert when black children are placed with you, you will become one, or you will fail as a parent.

I don’t have a degree in parenting or psychology, but I have 14 years of hardcore on-the-job training.  What I don’t know off the top of my head, I can research and point you in the right direction.   I have long been a quiet activist for foster and adopted children, mostly focusing my efforts on the kids themselves, and not the politics behind what landed children in the system in the first place. This changes with this blog.  There are huge socio-political issues in the foster/adoption worlds that need to be opened up, aired out, disinfected, and healed.  My voice is going to help do that.

As a teacher, I have more than 15 years experience. I have taught the rich and privileged, and the poor and frustrated.  I have taught high school English, elementary personal body safety (what most people call “good touch/bad touch”), STD and HIV prevention, and interpersonal communication.  I have watched students succeed and fail, publicly and privately, in both big and small ways. I have hugged parents at their child’s funeral, and I have written letters to former students serving life sentences.  I have a degree in professional writing and in secondary English education, but I have learned from actual classroom experience than I ever did in a classroom.

Because of all the testing being dumped on public education, I am leaving my comfort zone and becoming an activist for both teachers and students.   The common-core based testing does nothing except spend a ton of money that could be better spent in thousands of other ways.  More on that in another blog.

I share all this with you because I don’t believe blogs should be limited to one subject, one area of expertise.  No person, no writer, is just one kind of expert.  We all have lots of things we’re good at; as I said before, “My blog.  My rules.”

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