Okay, I'm just going to dive right in to some questions from http://itstakingavillage.blogspot.com/
btw, send positive thoughts for their tww.
1. What do you love about Utah? Why?
I love a thousand things about Utah but mostly I love that my family is here. & when I say "family", I mean every last relative that I have lives within about 10 miles from me. (and we love it!) I only have one living sibling and two cousins so, while it's not a large family, we are all very close. I was born in CA and I've often wondered what would've been different if we had never moved back here. I'm certain I'd have a star on a sidewalk by now but living here was worth the sacrifice. :)
We also have stunning scenery. We have very distinct seasons - all four of them - and each are breathtaking. There is reason to be outdoors year around but spring - right this minute - is my favorite.
Also, our LGBT community is very large for the size of our city and is very active and organized. I have a passion for grassroots politics and we're never left without reason to fight, as you can imagine.
2. Do you have plans to start the foundation you once referenced in your blog? If so, how? If not, why not?
I do have plans - many of them. The first thing I'd like to do is create a referral packet. It sounds simple but when I first began this life, there was only one other lesbian we knew of who had gone through something similar and I had no way to get a hold of her or hear her story. (she's still fighting and winning - xo VT) Now there are so many of us willing to share our knowledge and experience in hopes of finding easier ways to fight and, obviously, in hopes of change and happy endings. We are working on a referral system for attorneys, mediators, counselors and then, of course, we'll get into finding funding. I have heard far too many times from mother's who lost their children because they couldn't pay a retainer fee. It's disgusting.
Also, on the pro-active front, we'll have other information available on how to protect your family before something goes wrong. Pre-marital/pre-child counseling. We'll have specific training for therapists to ask the questions we don't want to ask each other. Who talks about breaking up when they're madly in love? We'll have a checklist of documents - a to-do list! So many people try to take care of that after they break up and it ends up being too late.
It's been a bit harder getting all this going since the ruling. I have to say that I removed myself for a while but there are others willing to help. In fact, we have referrals building as we speak! But I'm very passionate about it. If nothing else, imagine Gracie knowing that other children were saved from such disaster because of what she was made to go through. It's a partial band aid for me, at least.
3. If you could jet away to anywhere in the world with Cristy, where would you go? Why?
Wow. There are just so many places I would love to go with her. I suppose Italy would be my first choice. We are planning a trip there about seven l-o-n-g years from now but if we could meet on a jet today, I'd take her now! The thought of walking through stone paved streets, holding her hand...it just feels perfect. Plus - the shoes! All those amazing shoes to choose from! But back to holding hands - I imagine everything to be filled with romance and beauty and she is so those things to me.
4. How do you deal with anger and frustration created by others in your life? The system has failed you, your ex failed you and this country has failed you. How do you manage to bottle that emotion into a proactive mentality?
I get asked this question a lot. It's half funny because I don't feel I have the choice to not "deal". Whether or not I'm present, life moves along. There are days when I feel like no one has it worse than me; no one has been treated so poorly but that's not true. History has painful pages of hurt equal & worse to mine.
I could rebel against the system or rebel against relationships but Gracie and I lose just the same. & I suppose that fighting, rather than lying down, is my rebellion. Being pro-active keeps me busy and knowing I'm doing something that helps other little Gracie's, brings me peace.
In many ways, I failed Gracie's other mother too so choosing to create a life with Cristy is proving to myself that love can be real and right and lasting so, again, I rebel against walking away from finding it.
I also have great faith in God & my family has supported me intensely. I have been completely surrounded and protected since the beginning of the court case. When we were having trial after trial and I was testifying against a thousand lies, I felt very held and that strength hasn't left me yet. I suppose it will linger until I can hold my own but that's not today and I don't feel rushed.
5. If you were able to make sure Gracie knew five things, what would they be?
Holy cow, Erin. You are creating something for the journal for Sure!
I would want her to know, first, that I never left her. That I loved her before she was born and never, ever stopped. That she was created from real love, not mistakes. That I tried my very hardest to keep her. And that I will be coming for her the very minute I can.