Just saw an update to a story I came across in February. Down Syndrome Daily and Wavy.com are reporting that Jenny, the 28-year-old woman who is battling her mother in court over where she will live, has gotten a new lawyer. This co-counsel is being provided by the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities.
She has a guardianship hearing next month...
Can you even stand it???!!! No discussion - just "We're not trained." Hmmm... seems to be the acceptable excuse doesn't it?
I guess so.
As far as who the combatants are, it's become painfully clear that the only real "us" in this battle are the parents, siblings, and other family members of someone who has Ds. We don't have the attention and support of those who claim to 'advocate' for us. At least not fully, and not yet. Even in this club, there seems to be a small minority who realize that this is a human rights issue, not fixable by more or better training.
As far as I can tell, the guidelines were in place. Police are trained not to put anyone face down and obstruct their breathing. But in this case, Ethan didn't qualify as 'anyone.' He was 'other.'
Unfortunately it seems that even our closest allies are starting to get tired of hearing us 'rant' about injustice and fear, and civil rights.
So how do we wrap our heads around something so big and so overwhelming that the lines aren't clear? How do we continue to fight for what we know in our hearts is right without alienating all those around us?
For me, it's simple.
I knew Ethan. I know his family. It IS personal. I know it could have easily been MY son in that theater. I CAN NOT get over the idea that he went to the movies and didn't come home.
I keep remembering how I let Josh go to an Alice Cooper concert a few years back. He had been participating in a university course and went to the concert with another student (they were all 'typical'). He absolutely loved it! He talks about it to this day. I thought it was a great opportunity for inclusion and a personal 'win.' But anything could have happened. Security guards are all over places like that.
That fear - about the things Josh has done in the past that could have gone wrong - is the problem. The fear of how to handle situations that come up in the future and how that will limit his opportunities - that is the problem. That constant, nagging, paralyzing fear and the overwhelming sadness when I think about Ethan and his family, those things will NEVER go away. Not in a matter of months, or years. Not ever.
So to all those who may be getting weary of my talking, posting, blogging, etc... I'm sorry, but this will not end. I will not go away. I will continue to voice my fears, my anger, and my sadness. Hopefully, as others join us, "we" will get louder. Hopefully so many of us will be talking and marching, and demanding justice that "they" will not be able to ignore us anymore.
Day 4 of "8 Days of Ethan" - “If you had the faith like a mustard seed, you could move mountains.”
Today's call to action focuses on the historic role of church communities in civil rights movements.
Although I'm not a big fan of organized religion, I do Believe, and I acknowledge the power of faith, be it religious, spiritual, or positive thinking in general.
I have several friends who are avid church goers, and there is one in particular who I often turn to when I feel the need for some Divine intervention.
She'll be hearing from me today! :)
TODAY’S GOAL: Increase public awareness of Ethan’s murder through a petition to the White House.
In order for the petition to be searchable by the general public - we need to get 150 signatures.
Then we need to continue to advocate, educate, and spread the word while we aim for 100,000 signatures by May 3, 2013.
We CAN do this!
Will you help?
Here's the link to the petition: http://wh.gov/LMDL
Pass it along!
Day 2 of "8 Days for Ethan". Today's mission - should you choose to accept it - and I have, is to contact the FBI.
TODAY’S GOAL: Flood the FBI with Letters asking for investigation into the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
Littlebirdsdad has done all the hard work for us. He has written letters that you can use, or make your own, and provided the addresses. All you have to do is print them out, sign them, and mail them.
He's even given a detailed list of other incidents involving the Frederick County Sheriff's office that have been...questionable. (WOW!! That's SOME list of activities!!)
My letters to the director in Washington, the field office in Baltimore, MD, and the resident agency in Frederick, are signed, sealed, and ready to go.
Will you join us?
For anyone who knows me, the idea that I have contacted local news outlets and invited them into my life will be a HUGE shock... So please make sure you're sitting down when you read this post. :)
Since I started this blog (and the one called "Daily Ramblings") I've started to reach out of my comfort zone and talk to people outside my immediate circle. I've started reading blogs from other Ds advocates and become more involved - at least online. For those who don't know me, I'm a pretty private person, and I've been dealing with some personal challenges that have kept me more or less secluded for some time. (Yeah, ok, my family says I'm a hermit. lol)
Today I took a huge step, for me, and followed the advice of a fellow blogger - littlebirdsdad.com. He has designed a campaign called "8 Days for Ethan." He challenges all of us who are interested in finding some type of "Justice for Ethan" to spend 15 minutes a day for eight days and is giving us concrete steps to take.
Step one is to make connections with local media.
TODAY’S GOAL: Greater public awareness outside the DS community; at least 1 TV Station in the US – outside Frederick Maryland – reporting on #JusticeforEthan this week.
So, I had a choice - sit back and hope other people get it done, or step up and be a part of the revolution.
I have contacted several Knoxville news outlets:
If I can do it, you can too! Please visit "8 Days for Ethan" and join in the community of concerned people everywhere trying to make a difference.
I cry every time I watch this.... A beautiful tribute from a little sister to her big brother.