Thursday, June 21, 2018

Comfort Objects

Today is my sister's 71st birthday.

Or it would be if she hadn't been murdered at age 24, 47 years ago.

I have been near tears for a good part of the day.  I understand why Rachel Maddow broke down and could not read the story of the babies and toddlers being separated from their parents.

What got me today is learning that when the children are taken from their parents, they also have their comfort objects (blanket, stuffed animal, whatever) taken from them.  Not only that but if a child is crying and another child tries to comfort him/her, they are told "no touching."

I can't even write that paragraph without crying.  What monsters are these?

Our older three kids all had comfort objects.

Jeri had her blanket and a number of "stuffies" that she needed before she could go to sleep.

Ned had a thermal blanket with a satin ribbon binding that the "blanket" portion dropped out of one day, leaving only the tattered ribbon, which was knotted and raggedy, but he had to have it with him at all times.  One time he left it on a neighbor's lawn and the neighbor, thinking it was garbage, threw it out.  You should have seen the panic we went through trying to find it until we finally decided to look through the neighbors garbage...where we found it.  That helped, but it had to be washed first and Ned couldn't calm down until it was finally out of the dryer.

[aside:  Ned still has it!]

Ned and Jeri were so attached to their comfort objects that I decided not to let Paul get attached, so I rotated his blankets every night and at one point he also got attached to a dress that I had that I cut into swatches, so he could have one at all times.

My great plan didn't work, though.  He got attached to ALL of them.  To go to sleep he needed all three blankets and all of the dress swatches.

(Brianna had "piggie" who went everywhere with her for several years)

I don't know why Tom and David never had comfort objects...maybe because they each nursed for such a long time they didn't need comfort objects to go to sleep...they had me instead.

So when I think of these babies and toddlers unable to bring their comfort objects with them into baby jail, it hurts my heart.  One reporter who was able to tour one of the "tender care" facilities said it was "full of crying, traumatized babies."  It makes me think of reports of the orphanages in Romania and the effect the neglect of the babies had on them.  Lifelong effects that affected their later adoption.

Now many of the parents have been sent back to their home countries and the babies/children are left behind--and how are they going to find them again?  They are already talking about "immigration orphans," and talking about adoption.  These children, kidnapped by our government, have parents who love them and want them and yet people are talking about adopting them to Americans.

So yesterday our benevolent leader, who has been telling us for days/weeks that this is the Democrats' mess and that it can't be solved simply with an Executive Order, signed an Executive Order decreeing that parents and children are no longer to be separated...but not a word about the >2,000 children who are currently in kiddie prison and their parents who have had to go back to their home countries.  What is to become of them?

(Has the infamous tent city become another crown in the Trump Hotel complex?)

This is not the America I know us to be.

If you are feeling as helpless as I am, consider donating to one of the organizations that is raising money to help the immigrants.  The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a non-profit focused on "providing free and low-cost legal services to under-served immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas," according to the organization's website.

The non-profit, which currently has about 50 lawyers on staff, got a lot of attention over the past week after Charlotte and Dave Willner set up a Facebook fundraiser that they hoped would raise $1500, but raised over $12 million in just five days.

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