South Dakota

South Dakota recently passed legislation that allows adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQIA couples. It passed, 43-20-7.

I know there are people in the world today who have very different opinions about the community than I do, but that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to share with you my feelings and opinions about the bill that SD has passed.


 

I talked with my sister about this and she said, “I wish this was something no one had to feel any way about because I wish it wasn’t a thing that happened.” And that’s how I feel about it too. But as a birthmom, maybe I have stronger feelings than someone who doesn’t know the adoption process or have any connection to it.

I feel that adoption should be available to anyone who wants to expand their family that way, LGBTQIA couples included. I honestly don’t understand why people would say that they’re not worthy of being able to adopt. It pains me to think that. LGBTQIA couples can be amazing parents, just like heterosexual couples.

Why are they different? To me, they’re not.

When I chose the family to place my daughter, I felt it that they were right. It wouldn’t have happened with the agency we used, but if the family I fell for had been part of the LGBTQIA community, it wouldn’t have mattered. At all. I knew they were right because I just felt it in my heart and my gut.

But South Dakota passing this bill that legally allows discrimination against these couples is preventing prospective birthmoms from having that same moment when looking through profiles as they just connect and know they’re right. It’s forcing couples to go through lawyers, which can be more expensive and take more time and effort.

I have a good friend, Courtney of Living Queer, who is part of the LGBTQIA community, so I asked them a few questions.

Q: As part of the LGBTQIA community, would you and your partner consider adoption?
       A: Yes we would

Q: Because you can technically pass as female, would you make it known to the agency that you are an LGBTQIA couple or would you fear discrimination and not tell?
       A: I honestly would probably fear discrimination and not tell unless I had continued my transition and couldn’t pass anymore


 

In doing more research, I’ve discovered that other states (Michigan, North Dakota, and Virginia) have similar bills that allow discrimination without fear of retribution. I wasn’t aware of this, and it bothers me. I live in one of those states.

It will also allow agencies to discriminate against single and divorced people, couples who engage in premarital sex, interfaith couples, and anyone else whose behavior or identity violates an agency’s “religious belief or moral conviction.”

Sen. Alan Solano is a Republican from Rapid City. He wrote the bill with help from a staff member of Catholic Social Services. They are an agency who will only place infants with couples who are opposite sex, married at least two years, and unable to conceive children on their own, among other requirements.


 

I don’t know why I thought that this was something new, or that similar things hadn’t already happened in other states, but even days/weeks later, it makes me upset. I hate the idea that there are couples out there who are being denied the chance to adopt. There are so many couples (straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, of differing faiths, it doesn’t matter) who are wanting to adopt, but there are these rules that are preventing them from doing so with certain agencies.

And yes, I understand that there are other ways to adopt than private agencies. But that could require going through the state foster system, and that can cause more stress than necessary.

Yes, every child deserves a loving home, but some couples just don’t have it in them to handle the foster system. Especially if the child is older and can go back to their case worker and say they don’t like the family they’re with. That may be something the couple isn’t emotionally ready to face.

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A Month In…

So, I’ve been taking these medications for a month now. I just upped the Zoloft dosage from 25mg to 50mg this past Thursday. Honestly, it may be too soon, but I think the 50 is better than the 25. Even my grandmother has noticed that I seem to be more myself than I was before I started the medication.

Which I suppose is the goal of being on medication.

It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it’s definitely not one that I regret starting.

I didn’t think I wanted to be on medication, but I’m realizing that it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes it’s a necessity, and it’s not something that should be looked down on.

I was afraid of judgement and feared the shame I would feel when people found out I was on anti-depressants. However it’s been the opposite. Everyone I’ve told has been supportive and encouraging regarding taking meds again.

When you go three or four weeks between appointments, it can be difficult to remember how you were feeling and what side effects you noticed in the beginning. My solution to this was setting up a notebook with medications and dosages in the back, side effects and emotional stuff in the front. It’s not something I write in everyday. Only when I can be bothered, or when it seems like there’s something worth recording.

There’s not much to record when you’re home alone most days and don’t interact with people. But sometimes that’s when you realize that things need to be changing.

The last three/four days I’ve been feeling weird, but I have my psychiatrist appointment on Friday. So I guess that I should be putting this in my notebook so that I can bring it up with the nurse.

Ugh.. I suppose I should post this since I’ve been working on it for a week now..

Hopefully there will be another update soon after my appointment.

Starting a New Journey

Yesterday I went to a new psychiatrist for the first time in like 11+ months.

There was a lot of anxiety leading up to the appointment. I knew it was what I needed and it was a good thing in the long run, I was still nervous and scared.

But the appointment went well. I was immediately more comfortable with the psych nurse I saw than I ever was with the psychiatrists I’ve seen in the past. I felt like she was much more thorough than the others had been.

There were lots of questions, which is typical with a new psychiatrist. I didn’t feel judged or like I said things she didn’t really care about or think relevant. We even got off topic a couple times, but we quickly re-focused.

She doesn’t agree that I have Bipolar Disorder II like I was told several years ago. She thinks it’s depression with manic elements. I’ve started taking Zoloft and Seroquel.

New medications side effects always suck. The Zoloft is what’s making me feel like crap right now though. I’m got an upset stomach, and I’m not sleepy but I’m tired and I’ve got a pretty low energy level.


If I look at the paper from the pharmacy when I picked it up, typical side effects can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Nervous or excitable
  • Upset stomach
  • Loose stools (diarrhea)
  • Dry mouth
  • Hard stools (constipation)
  • Not able to sleep

However, the side effects that require immediately notifying your doctor include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Signs of low sodium levels like headache, trouble focusing, memory problems, feeling confused, weakness, seizures, or changes in balance
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blooding the urine; red, black, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason that get bigger, or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop
  • Change in how you act
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Not able to control bladder
  • Very bad headache
  • A big weight gain or loss
  • Lowered interest in sex
  • Change in sex ability

Now, I read these things and highlight all the side effects, so that if something does happen I can see if it’s something minor that should go away or if it’s something serious.

NaBloPoMo – Day 26

free write 


I have been on a birth control adventure recently, and it’s definitely been an interesting one to say the least…

I was on the pill for about 11 months, then I had to stop because it was elevating my blood pressure. However it did regulate my periods and make them lighter than they had been before.

So I switched to an IUD – I got Mirena. I had that for 15 months. Then it started causing me absurd amounts of pain and I had it removed. But before the pain, I absolutely loved it! I had no periods at all.

That left me trying another pill with a lower dose of estrogen in hopes that it wouldn’t mess with my blood pressure. I don’t know if it messed with my blood pressure or not – I was only on it for about 3 weeks. Then Trump became out President-Elect and the nation went crazy about birth control.

And I decided to go ahead and switch to an implant  – I got Nexplanon last Wednesday. (This might seem a bit of a hasty or rash decision, but I had been considering the implant before the election.)

The insertion was a lot easier than I originally anticipated it being. I don’t know where I’d gotten the idea that they would cut your arm to put it in, but that’s not what my ob/gyn did. She numbed my arm with lidocaine and injected the implant into my arm. Then she put a bandaid on the injection site, and put a pressure bandage around my arm.

After 24 hours, I took it off and changed the bandaid. At that point there were no issues that I could see. I was bruised a little, but that was to be expected and didn’t concern me at all.

Last week on Friday, I was sitting and watching Netflix on the tv. I had my elbow on the arm of the chair and leaned on it to adjust myself – my arm hurt. So I decided to take a look – after pulling my arm out of my sleeve, I noticed liquid at the edge of the bandaid. I removed it and discovered that I had blisters where the adhesive had been… Apparently, it seems as though I’ve discovered an allergy to adhesives. This could prove to be quite an issue in life..

So, as I’m writing this it’s Tuesday, and the blisters are getting better. They definitely do still hurt (not shocking) but I can wear long sleeves without gauze and an ace wrap on my arm. And I can touch them to apply Neosporin (and now a prescription ointment) without cringing in pain.

The implant itself doesn’t seem to be causing any major issues though.