Thursday, September 06, 2007

distractions galore

I'm very very good at avoidance people. I know I owe some emails, but I needed to not think about pregnancy etc. for a few days. And next week, my meeting with my RE. So let's all stick our fingers in our ears, and sing lalalalalalala til tomorrow okay? Cause tomorrow IS another day, and yes, I do have a slight Scarlett O'Hara complex.

I've spent the last 48 hours desperately shopping for clothes, shoes, uniforms, school supplies, etc. etc. then sorting and ironing name labels on everything, and after finally getting them off to school, dealing with the contractors and painters, and electricians who are descending on my house this week.

And during all this, Mr.Cotta picked up his new car, which as a second car I still contend is an unneeded expense. But, he wanted it, and we could afford it, so he got it. It's a Honda Fit. Tiny little car, 6 inches off the ground, no space for us & 2 kids with hockey bags and bikes, etc. If he was going to get something we couldn't use for a family car, he should've gone for the midlife crisis car and gotten a 2 seater sports car off lease a few years.

He was trying to be all frugal and budgety or something. Silly man, he'll just end up getting it stuck in our driveway this winter. Oh well.

Speaking of budgets, have you seen Bitch Ph.D.'s blog the last few days? She's broken the taboo again, and has written about her finances, with numbers!!! I mean, really, think about it, we all blog about our vaginas like it's no big deal, but she actually told everyone how much money they make, and how she's having trouble affording a house now that the subprime market in the U.S. is in meltdown, and how much of their budget goes on what, etc. etc. Comments are fascinating.

I'm still amazed that they net out so low after deductions. For years Canadians have heard that we pay such outrageous taxes, blah blah blah, and various academic studies all said it was bullshit, and that really Americans pay the same as we do, they just put it on property taxes, or pay user fees. Which makes sense, because you have to compare the same basket of services to the same basket of goods right? And I don't care if you call it a tax or a fee or a premium, it's still dollars coming out of my pocket, and what the fuck am I getting for it in exchange?

Speaking of the exchange of money for stuff....

This bit about adoption in the U.K. has me floored, and I've been reading about it at RT's blog and other places. Then I found this horror story at Amy Adoptee's blog, and it sealed the deal. I've really become quite concerned about the money involved in adoption and CAS, but the Telegraph series on adoption in the UK & the Times stuff really did me in.

And please don't think that Canada is an exception. Since the Mike Harris years when welfare rates were slashed, social housing was gutted, and single mothers were targeted as if they were the precursor to Al-Quaeda, Ontario CAS has increased the numbers of kids taken into care astronomically. It is unreasonable to believe that previously good parents "suddenly" started abusing kids, or that social workers "suddenly" noticed, especially when they only seemed to pay attention to the fate of healthy white infants who were wanted for adoption.

As I said explained to others, "They need healthy white infants to fill adoption quotas that their budgets are based on. They get X dollars per adoption completed at each CAS in the UK. The goal was to encourage the adoption of kids over 5, or non-white or disabled as these are the kids who languish in foster care and are classified as unadoptable.

Unfortunately, adoptive parents are only interested in healthy white infants period. The refuse to take a child who isn't perfect. So it's a standoff, and if the social workers don't fill their quotas, they are unemployed because the government won't give them the money. And they only get a flat budget for taking older or non-white kids into care, instead those kids just cost money for foster care and court time.

They are a drain. Cheaper for CAS to ignore the problem and cross their fingers unless a headline hits or a parent is being extremely abusive.

Which frankly is why running government like private business is bad. Instead of morality we get avarice.

Of course, the best solution is pretty simple, just pay for fertility treatment for infertile couples and do better research on why infertility is rising. And maybe give CAS the money it needs to operate properly."

Anyway, read the Telegraph story & the Times one about private equity firms getting into the business of running foster care; if I was from the U.K. I'd be nervous about adopting considering the implications. As an adoptee, I feel sick about a price tag on my compadre's heads. No thanks.

I'm also noticing the provincial election heating up here. For some interesting blogs on that, including todays hilarity about John Tory asserting that creationism could be taught in provincially funded schools check out Liblogs and Progressive Bloggers. (for my American buddies, this is a dead debate up here, so everyone is making fun of him. Between this and his attempt to fund religious schools with tax dollars, methinks someone has hired a right wing U.S. campaign consultant to determine strategy. Bad idea IMO, based on what happened the last time he did that.....)

Have to go call an architect now, and maybe finally read some personal blogs this afternoon!


  1. Man Aurelia! It's going to take me days to get through what you've linked to, but I will. Thanks for all the non-pregnancy stuff to read - I want to escape it for awhile too, but I suppose at the moment that's kind of like running in circles trying to get away.

    I don't see a WORD up there about relaxation. C'mon take a day for yourself soon, okay?

  2. Ooh...the Honda Fit! Is it great? I kind of want one, because of what I've read but I've only seen one on the road, and the day I set foot in a dealership, they had none, and said that people were buying them sight unseen. Can you imagine?

    And what Beruriah said - take a little time for yourself!

  3. If I really want to get a hold of you and you are ignoring my emails, I will just pick up the phone and call you. :)

    I will go back and click through the links this evening. Thanks for the info.

    Hey - did you get your passports? We got ours.

  4. glad to see your entry today. That's just scary about adoption... so disturbing.

    When Mr. Cotta gets stuck in the driveway, can i come watch? We can drink Israeli hot chocolate and laugh at him from the warm warm house.

  5. Aurelia, I've been reading through some of your links and yes, those articles are very scary.

    I glad you're taking a little time for yourself--you need it after that horror show vacation.

    I'm glad to see your always witty and entertaining comments making the rounds! It's just not the same without you!

  6. I was a single mother trying to go to University during the Mike Harris years. he screwed me three ways from Sunday, I'll never forget his social welfare & daycare cuts. I'll hate that man's government until I die.

    oh and hello, sorry I've been absent, self medicating my depression with Dr. Pepper and sleep.

  7. You have been to hell and back this week Aurelia! Is there any part of you that is operating normally without pain? You are one busy bee! And on top of it all you still have time & energy to become pregnant :) I am impressed!

  8. I know those articles sound scary but the Telegraph has a long history of campaigning on this issue - and taking anything it can get that sounds scary. It is a very right-wing paper and will happily say anything that smears social workers.

    Most of the children who are placed for adoption in the UK are over a year old - the average age is 4. It is just not true that prospective adoptive parents won't take "anything but white babies" as there are virtually no white babies available for adoption - like I say, the average age is 4. Most adoptions are of toddlers. Even children removed at birth won't be adopted till they are nearly 2 once they are finally adopted - birth parents must have tried and failed to turn their lives around, and the decision to free a child for adoption takes some time too. It is about the welfare of the child - it is a very serious decision and despite what the Torygraph says, it's not taken lightly. Nor quickly.

    The severe lack of foster carers in the UK, the fact that very rarely do they adopt children in their own care (so potential adoptive parents don't take the foster care step) and the fact that local authorities (who traditionally oversee foster care) are underfunded and overworked means that it is not too surprising that foster care is being organised by other bodies. I'm not sure whether they should be companies, rather than charities, but I don't think it's bad if being a foster carer is seen as a profession that requires training, dedication, updating skills regularly etc., not "something to do for a bit of cash" or "volunteer work".

    It would be lovely if everyone who wanted to could have their own biological children. Not everyone will be able to even in an ideal world where fertility treatment is free and vastly advanced over where it is today. But even if they could, there would still be children who are not safe with their birth parents.

  9. Dr.Spouse,

    I know how the foster and adoptive care systems work, or rather how they are supposed to. I also know how media bias works, but if that was so in this case, then what about the Times, the Daily Mail, the BBC, or here in Canada, the Globe, the Star, and the Sun? All of those papers have very very different political stances, yet all agree that it is bizarre to believe that there was a sudden and dramatic increase in abusive birth parents at precisely the same time that Mike Harris slashed welfare rates, and ended social housing subsidies.

    There is a strange bias out there, where people assume that all adoptive parents are good and all birth parents are bad. Well guess what? In real life, I know many many adopted kids who were abused and treated like dirt by their adoptive parents. And I know lots and lots of birth parents who are simply poor or single, and who had their kids taken away. Not bloggers, but real live people.

    As for my contention that adoptive parents will only take white babies, that statement is based on my experience with social workers and adoptive parents in real life, both in Canada and abroad. They hear it every day in and out, drives them nuts, but it is what is. You may be an exception, but wanting a healthy white infant is the norm.

    And no I don't think any private company should EVER EVER be involved in the welfare of kids. Those profits could be used to take care of children, or give better help to birth parents so they can keep their children.

    I don't have a problem with funding Children's Aid or foster workers, I just wish some of the funding could go to help women keep their families together so the kids don't get seized.

  10. Sorry for the hijack, - I have a note to self to blog properly about this myself but I don't imagine you have talked to any European social workers lately - sure, lots of potential adoptive parents would like healthy white babies, but as the choice is a) adopt a child who isn't a healthy white baby or b) don't adopt at all, what potential adoptive parents want and what they get bear little relationship to each other. Many people I've chatted to have rung up their local social services to be told "there are no white children under 5" or " we aren't taking adopters on at the moment, come back in a year".