Monday, April 27, 2015

3 Day Old Baby Kidnapped

tobi mcbryar
Is your kitchen floor clean enough to eat from? How large is your house? If you waited until you could afford them, would you have any kids? Have you gotten angry enough to act out? Ever been depressed? Lived with a disability? Had a child stripped from your arms before you even got to care for her?

Tobi McBryar was kidnapped by the State of Georgia when she was only 3 days old. She remains a victim of a legal system that was originally designed to protect, but is it? The opinions expressed here are mine, as an outsider, formed by past knowledge of Tobi's mom Diana, my love as a mother and my experience living with a disability. My involvement in this story is voluntary. My heart breaks for this baby and her family. They go to court May 20th, once again, to try to bring this baby home.

Read the news stories about Baby Tobi here and here from The Chattanooga Times Free Press. Should states be able to terminate parental rights due to disability? It's scary to think that social workers have the kind of power that has been exercised over Tobi. My heart is broken and my anger is stirred over this situation. What hasn't been mentioned as far as disabilities are is Diana was born with half an arm. Why is this significant?

IT ISN'T! If a social worker had seen my feet, I wouldn't have had the privilege of raising my children either. My uncomely Quasimoto-esque limp without my prosthetic limbs would surely have been grounds for state intervention. Had a social worker talked to me during postpartum, I would have been deemed mentally ill. You probably were too!  I wondered how in the world would I care for another individual...but I did, two of them! I believe prejudice played a huge role in this kidnapping. Prejudice against disabilities, prejudice against tattoos, prejudice against "non-traditional" lifestyles, etc.

Tobi's grandmother's home (Diana's Mom) was assessed to see if it's fit for Tobi to live in. I'm not sure when our government started examining cleanliness of people's homes, the sum of their pay checks or their ability to rear a child...when they have one. I think they missed some folks! It's simple injustice that Will and Diana were never given a chance. Please join me in prayer for Tobi and her family as they fight to bring her home. Thank you in advance for your gift to help in their legal battle and with expenses. Two fundraisers are setup currently. Click here to give a donation. Click here  to order The Pampered Chef by 4/29/15, up to 25% of your purchase will be donated directly to this sweet family.

Talking aloud for Tobi,
The Happy Handicap

Have you suffered the same injustice as Will and Diana? Please share your story with a comment!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Palm Reading 101

March 29, 2015 was a special day. Last Sunday was my Mom's 75th birthday but more importantly, Palm Sunday. My pastor, Mark Shaw preached from Matthew 21:1-11 about the coming of Jesus our King into Jerusalem. I learned two important symbolic things about the entrance of Jesus into the city. I can't wait to share them with you.

1. Jesus came into the city on a colt or foal, a young donkey, a young unbroken, untamed donkey. Jewish culture knew riding into town on a donkey was the sign of royalty. Jesus riding in on an "untamed, unbroken" donkey was symbolic of new, unmatched peace. Jesus was bringing a peace that had never been known before to mankind.

2. Matthew 21:8 says "And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way."  The people of the city laid down their clothes for Jesus to ride on. Other people cut palm branches from trees for him to pass on, hence the name Palm Sunday. Again, the Jewish culture knew these actions toward Jesus were praising him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our Hosanna in the Highest!

Jewish culture is full of symbolism. I thought about our own American culture and it's lack of relative symbolism. We can recognize a popular logo such as Coke or McDonald's. But the only real symbolism I could think of was "The fish" or the most popular symbol in our culture is quite possibly the different colored Awareness Ribbons for Breast Cancer, Epilepsy and other diseases. With our lack of symbolism, this sermon prompted two questions in my heart:

1. How does my life symbolize the peace of Jesus for others? and
2. How do I show my respect and praise for the King?

There aren't any palm trees in North Georgia. We are still sending out a message of some sort every day. Outside the church walls where others see us most, how do we show our respect and praise for Jesus? Do people even recognize that we hail him King of Kings? Think about it this way...can people "read your palm"?

Telling about my good fortune in Jesus,
The Happy Handicap