Thursday, May 28, 2009

ICWA steals adoption option from Young Mother

My teenager is pregnant. Freshly graduated from high school, she had planned to go on to college in the fall. There is no argument, from her or me, that she made plenty of foolish decisions over the winter. But here we are, and what do we do now.

We love children, and we love this child. We won't allow it to be hurt in any way. Abortion isn't even a consideration. It's not gonna happen.

But neither is adoption an option. The Indian Child Welfare Act would kick in if we tried it. But it would be over my dead body, literally, that I sit back and allow the tribe to have anything to do with the care and custody of my grandchild.

Too many childen on the reservation, under the "care" of tribal governments, are being raised amid poverty, violence, and alcohol, drug & sexual abuse. Tribal leaders claim that this is the best interest of the child. Bull.

The only ones benefiting from this set up are the tribal leaders themselves - and the money and power they have aquired by having a certain number of tribal members under their thumbs.

Quit blaming rotten reservation life on what happened 150 years ago, 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even 5 days ago to this or that tribe or tribal member. It has to do with adults making rotten choices, same as my daughter (and I) have done. Plain and simple, everyone needs to grow up and take responsiblity for their lousy lives. And quit subjecting innocent children to the garbage they're being subjected to.

We are faced then with only one choice - my daughter keeps custody and lets go of many the plans she had for the future, or at the very least, greatly adjusts those plans.

I will do all that I can to help her get through some type of schooling and care for her child. If I have to take physical care of my grandchild, I will do it without going to court for legal custody. I've seen too many grandparents robbed of their grandchildren by the tribe to want to mess with it.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tribe pretends to care about buried little boy

Make me sick. A stupid, selfish mother suffocated her baby, not once, but twice, because she didn't want to take care of him. Forget any of the excuses she or the tribe tries to give for what happened. This horrible woman purposeflully suffocated her baby - twice.

Coincidentally, her little baby has the same name as my 2-year old grandson; Ty.

Now the tribal government is standing up and using this poor baby for another propoganda opportunity. Tribal Gov. Ivan Pino said the tribe wants baby Ty's body to be returned to the pueblo for burial. People living near the park raised about $4,000 for a funeral for the boy, but he says, "Let the Pueblo of Zia go through its healing process right now. Give us the respect to go through our mourning at this point."

Now I'm going to throw up. The people living near the park cared enough to raise $4000 from their own pockets, and were interested in mourning the little boy as a community - which would include everyone and anyone that cared to show up. The tribe, on the other hand, will use government money for the burial, and are trying to exclude people that care. Why does Gov. Ivan Pino not want anyone else around to mourn the baby? What's up with that? I've been to plenty of tribal funerals. I've never heard of people being excluded before.

And give them respect to bury the baby? Why? Where were they when the little boy was homeless? What are they currently doing about any of the other homeless children enrollable with their tribe? Do they even keep track of them? What about the ones that are being abused? Or the children that are left alone all night while their parents are partying?

I once chased a guy off a ten-year old girl while I was visiting on one rez. I've found many children in many horrible situations. What do I see the tribe doing about it? Nothing. Why should tribes that turn their backs on enrollable children be given any kind of respect?

Claiming to want "respect to go through our mourning" is just another tribal government power push, and it has nothing at all to do with actually mourning this little guy. It's all about showing who's the boss - who's in control again. They are in control, but that doesn't mean that they are doing anything with that control to actually help their membership.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Another Win Against ICWA

A child and his family won in court at 2 pm Friday May 8, 2009. The child won the right to be adopted by the family his birth parents had chosen. The tribe lost. Praise God.

The child's grandmother by birth wrote, "Thanks to everyone for all the prayers and support during the past two years. It has been quite the battle and I know this is but one small victory over ICWA. Thanks again."

This may seem like a small victory to this humble grandmother, but for the child, it is a huge victory. Again, Praise God.