Had a conversation with someone recently, someone I've known forever. Because this is the Interwebs and Google likely is indexing this as I type, identifiers have been changed to protect the innocent. We're going to file tale this under Things I Can't Believe You Didn't Know, so follow me below the
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I've known my friend LS since I was in elementary school, and she still lives in the region of New York State where we grew up. When Casa Brillig was going through the adoption process, LS was supportive and very helpful, since she'd chosen to adopt as well after having a biological child. She is the reason why, as we filled out our "I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition" form we carefully said we planned on adopting TWO children. Even though we were pretty sure we only planned to adopt one.
Why, you ask? Because when LS filled out that form she ignored the advice of her adoption counselor and put ONE, as she only was planning on adopting one child. She was eventually referred a beautiful Cambodian girl, and in 2002 traveled to bring her home. At the orphanage, LS met another girl, a little bit older and who had a disfiguring mark on her cheek (I don't know details other than that). LS wanted to help this girl, and decided to adopt her as well.
Slight problem. After LS had received her referral, allegations of corruption and infant trafficking led the United States in late 2001 to place a moratorium on adoptions from Cambodia. LS had been allowed to bring her daughter home because she'd already been approved via that I-600A form. Had she been approved for TWO children, it would have been possible - albeit with much red-tape and lawyering - to adopt this second child.
With no way to adopt her, LS did the next best thing and paid to have her brought here on a medical visa for surgery to fix her cheek. During that time, a loophole was found that allowed the girl to stay on a student visa. And so she's remained here, entering high school this year. She's around the same age as K1.
Over the years LS has tried to find a way to adopt the girl legally, to no avail. She'd had a glimmer of hope recently, and when I saw my caller ID flash her number I hoped it was in celebration. Alas, no. The lawyer she'd been working with, the one highly regarded in international adoption circles as a miracle worker, said that unless the situation changes, it's not happening. LS was in tears, finally coming to grips with the realization that when this child - who has lived with them as a daughter for 10 years, no longer speaks her first language, and who identifies in all ways as an American teenager - finishes school, she's ineligible to remain in the country.
I didn't know what to say, I don't think there ARE words. All I could say was "Remember come November to vote for politicians who support the DREAM Act, she might be eligible under that maybe."
That THUNK you heard last week was my head hitting the kitchen wall, utterly shocked that the one person I know of for whom immigration reform is wholly relevant... had never heard of it.
In the intervening days I've been wondering just how many other people don't know about relevant legislation and action on issues that concern them directly. Who listen to their half hour of "news" on TV and think they're informed. Who vote for people without knowing what they believe in, stand for, promise to and will (or will never) do.
When I'm here, I always feel slightly behind the curve, always reading to learn and catch up. Y'all are smart activist people, aware of what's going on and thereby keeping ME informed. But out there? We've got a lot of work to do educating folks on issues and making them see that their electoral choices DO affect their daily lives in a real, tangible, life or death manner.
Four weeks, people. Four weeks.
Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.
From peregrine kate:On why we're still in Afghanistan: detroitmechworks has a succinct (and I think plausible) explanation, in Bill Moyers' diary Killing the Kids that Don't Need to Die. Still too much money to be made there.
From Steveningen:In my Top Comments diary last night, cohenzee gave us this adorable comment regarding Top Comments and comments. No further comment required. (brillig comments that cohenzee may be drafted to write Top Comments after that comment)
From Bud Fields:Earicicle reminds us all that, no matter the challenges, limitations, or difficulties we experience, there IS something WE can do about it.
From Yours Truly, brillig:In Matt Bors' diary Romney takes down Sesame Street, mHainds lays out conservative priorities.
Top Mojo for yesterday, October 8th, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic!
1) Look at the numbers for by blue aardvark — 221
2) The real religious fanatics we have to worry about by Shawn Russell — 147
3) Actually, I wrote about that a few weeks ago by MinistryOfTruth — 131
4) This: by CherryTheTart — 130
5) And as Silver Tweeted today (in two posts)... by zkg — 129
6) Hey -- I TOLD everyone to chill out by Tuffie — 116
7) Not just racist but sexist and homophobic. by immigradvocate — 112
8) Breaking! New Yorker debate cover updated by CitizenOfEarth — 112
9) The only way that this dies is by kmackle — 103
10) Ya notice by regis — 89
11) Oh dear. nt by Red Sox — 89
12) CTs on the right by Dave in Northridge — 79
13) $29 ? by Rizzo — 77
14) Back when my son was a toddler by Sychotic1 — 76
15) They WILL steal Florida if it is remotely close by Vetwife — 74
16) I was a single mother with a young child. by ccmask — 72
17) The ad came out last Thursday. Playing in Ohio by Eman — 72
18) most important and true. thanks, this needs to be by beach babe in fl — 72
19) My word? BRILLIANT! by Dave in Northridge — 70
20) Nothing personal, but... by Bob Johnson — 70
21) Umm, this isn't a doomsayer diary by Gangster Octopus — 69
22) At 50% or above approval on all nat polls today by NCLurker — 69
23) Loved the guitar bit at the end. by jim in IA — 68
24) Every time one of these guys quotes "God's Law" by codairem — 67
25) Yep Grain + Beans = Complete Protein, and Our by Gooserock — 67
26) Barack Obama Himself Is Making Jokes Aboout It.... by snapples — 65
27) Both Rasmussen and Gallup by Drdemocrat — 64
28) Obviously we're getting under their skin. by Giles Goat Boy — 64
29) Who cares! It's worth seeing twice! by koosah — 64
30) Good points by Hopefruit2 — 64
Top Pictures for yesterday, October 8th. Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!