Letters for July 17-23, 2008
We Are So Sensitive
I just wanted to compliment Michael J. Mooney's well-written, sensitive, and insightful article ("Sexual Healing," July 3) on a subject many people would like to learn more about but are afraid or embarrassed to do so. My wife and I have been married 30 years and have two daughters. I had always heard that sex gets better in your later years; I can attest that it is true. I count myself very fortunate not to need prescriptions or therapy to have a full and happy sexual relationship with my wife. I feel bad for those who have difficulties and find it reassuring that there are professionals who can help in such matters.
Thank you so much for Michael J. Mooney's excellent article. I feel honored that I was able to tell my story and it was written truthfully.
Notes on a Porcupine
To help answer some of the questions about the family in "To Hug a Porcupine" (Deirdra Funcheon, June 26): Florida's Department of Children and Families hid from the adoptive parents all of the abuse that happened to these boys while they were in state care. It was years later (and only with legal help) that boxes of information, including police abuse reports, were seen by the parents for the first time.
Years of documented abuse in Florida's foster care includes being caged, starved, beaten, gagged, and ritualistically and sexually abused. Even when the boys' last foster father was arrested for raping a child, DCF did not inform the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents were told by DCF that there may have been abuse years ago by the biological parents, but the boys had been safely in foster care since they were very, very young and had no memory of it. The records given to the parents stated that the boys had only mild to moderate behavior problems.
The decision to adopt from DCF was not a rushed one by the parents. They waited five years after adopting their first child while the adoptive mother worked as a school principal. They then spent months taking the DCF parent training class, were screened, and had background checks completed and then had a home study completed. Before the parents were given information about these boys, they turned down two other sets of children because they thought their behavior problems were too severe. After receiving information about the three brothers, records show that the adoption was rushed by DCF and not the parents. The adoptive parents had no reason at the time not to trust DCF or the information they had received.
The severe behavior (including violent and sexual behavior) did not start or was not discovered until after the adoption. Like most foster children in a new situation, there was a "honeymoon" period of better behavior. At first, the boys were relieved to be in a safe environment with plenty of food and toys to play with. The parents were told that the children just needed love, boundaries, and social skills.
No rational person would knowingly become involved with such disturbed children. Any person who decides to adopt a foster child has the right to know exactly what he could be facing. All available information about these boys should have been given to the adoptive parents before they even met the children, and long before the adoption. Instead, DCF spent years hiding information and more years refusing to help children they admit were "badly damaged in our care."
How do I know this? I am the adoptive mother.
Via the internet
Can the Tuna
Nostalgia disguises the truth: I found the story about the ultimate downfall and eventual long-term incarceration of Robert Platshorn interesting ("Smoked Tuna in a Can," Brantley Hargrove, June 19). It is a shame, however, that people in some segments of our society actually see him and others of his ilk as romantic adventurers. Their justification is that marijuana is not that bad. This is a common misconception. The active ingredient in marijuana is fat-soluble. It takes months for it to completely metabolize, be filtered out, and be excreted by the human body. Although users of marijuana do not appear to be high for months after smoking a joint, their body is still affected by its residual metabolites for many weeks after its ingestion. That is why users can have their urine test positive for marijuana months after its use.
The fact that Platshorn served such a long sentence and has fallen so far and hard strikes me as proof that karma is real. The moral of the story should be that you reap what you sow and that there is no such thing as easy money. In the end, he received nothing but the justice he deserved for facilitating the spread of poison in our community and negatively affecting the lives of the many people who used his drugs. He can keep his stories of adventure to himself. No one cares.
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