Saturday, May 26, 2012

Foster Diaries...Another Chapter Closes




This week has been an eventful one for our family. It has seen me reveal my OCD to our YouTube audience(something which scared the hell out of me) and we had the good fortune to reunite another family, ending a year long foster placement that was originally only meant to last 2-3 months. It sort of felt like Gilligan's Island...a three hour tour that turned into something much, much longer. However...looking back over the last year has taught me that even when things were at their most challenging and at times I really...really wanted to tear my hair out, we all were learning and growing together in ways I couldn't recognize at the time. It's only now that "H" and his little sister "D" are home with their parents that I can look back at the last year and realize the good things that we gave to each other..and sometimes the ride has been a rough one.
It was actually this same time last year when we were asked to take in "H". He was six years old and temporarily living in a group home meant for much older kids with his brother who was eight. When we first met him, he was expecting his parents and the crestfallen look he got on his face when he saw us instead I will never forget. Because we could not take all three...as well as circumstances of their case..."H's" older brother was placed in another home and "H" came home with us. He was followed a month later by his little sister "D". Both kids were cute as could be. They were blond haired, blue eyed and smart as whips. We also quickly discovered that they had never been told "no" for anything in their lives...ever...and had been given what ever they asked for rather than showed attention and given limits. They did not recognize adult authority at all. They were also traumatized by their removal from their family and did not understand why any of this was happening...the result being a very deep anger and resentment of their circumstances that came out in their actions and smoldered behind their eyes.

Being an emergency foster home, we accepted "H" and his little sister with the understanding that the county would find a home for all three siblings to be placed together...or in the custody of their father if certain conditions were met. Our three month window came and went...we entered summer...and then a new school year and it became clear that this placement was going to last for quite a while. It seemed that the county did not have a home that could take three children together. Our three hour tour just ended up lost at sea....pass me the coconut phone and get the skipper on the line because this was not going the way we planned.


Over the following months all of us struggled. The kids were angry and didn't understand why they couldn't be with their parents. As a result...and because we gave them rules and limits...we became the bad guys. They made it clear that we were not their family...or their parents and as far as they were concerned, we could take a long walk off a short pier. If we asked them to sit down, they stood up. If we asked them not to do anything, they did it more....and looked at us as if daring us to stop them. And we did. Their lives and our lives were a struggle as they had to understand that no meant no and it wasn't negotiable. Time out's and loss of privileges is all we can really do...but it made their lives very restricted and they just seemed to accept that restriction rather than not hit, kick, or throw toys at others. then "Baby Boy" came into our home in December and "D" being three did not like no longer being the baby in the house. Then everyday became about monitoring her to make sure she wasn't sneaking up and smacking Baby Boy on the head and then pretending nothing happened. These two kids were hands down the most challenging kids that we had ever taken into our home. They seemed to be died-in-the-wool rebels and they tested everyone of our parenting nerves to their limits and beyond.

As time went by at our home. Their parents were slowly working through the things they had to do to regain custody of all three of their children. Mom graduated her drug treatment program, got a job, seemed to be doing well. Dad got the home in safe condition again and never missed a visit with the kids. They both seemed anxious to get them back and committed to doing what ever it took. While it was hard for us to accept that we were now in this for the long haul, it was good to see that they were working so hard and gave us hope both for the kids sake...and our own.

Now here we are, one year later, packing up their things and remembering the good and the bad and realizing that even though it was tough...we had all gotten used to being together and their absence was going to leave a hole in our lives. Even though I was very ready to be a three kid household...and not have to give revolving time outs every five minutes...or referee some physical altercation...I found that I was still going to miss the kids. Even "H", who fought us said he wished he could bring us with him and that he would miss us. After all the struggles we had with him I didn't expect him to feel that way. I thought he just wanted to hit the ejector switch and get home as fast as possible. Somewhere along the way we had all grown together and none of us had seen it happen. Perhaps because we had all shared the adversity...or perhaps we had all given each other something we didn't know we needed and it absence would be missed....even though all of us were also happy and relieved to be in our own families again.


Fostering is a funny business. Sometimes you think you can't deal with something and think it's time to give up. And then in the process of living with it you learn to adapt. Sometimes you don't see a bond happening until it has already snuck up on you. I learned a lot of things from my time with my little rebels...one important thing was really understanding what my social worker meant when she told me how common some of the behaviors that kids express really is. When a child first comes into our home, there is always a few weeks in which they are doing their best to fit in and not cause any waves. And then, when they feel safe with you, they feel safe letting out the angers, frustrations, and trauma's....and even though the behaviors that they use to express these things can be hard to deal with...it's also totally normal and possibly the only way they can get it out since they often don't have the self awareness or vocabulary to talk it out. So we will get calls from the school...we will occasionally have a child running to us because someone, out of nowhere, threw a matchbox car at them. Their will be wet beds...and sometimes wet toy box's. I have now come to understand that it is not unusual even though my adopted son and daughter didn't do those things.

Sometimes you can see underneath those behaviors to the real child underneath and make a connection. Sometimes you just have to ride it out and then discover, much to your surprise, that a connection happened anyway. Either way, we are all now a part of each others lives and I hope that when "H" and "D" are older they will look back on their time with us as a positive memory...even though it was hard for them too. I hope they know that we did our best even though we were not perfect either. I wish the kids a happy life and a strong family for years to come.

I am relieved to be closing this chapter. It has been a complicated year and this summer vacation will really feel like a vacation for us dads too. But even though this chapter of our lives might be closing, the story is not over.

Until next time dear readers.....


31 comments:

  1. Beautiful! You both are absolute inspirations!

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  2. I know you'll miss those little tykes. They certainly left an imprint on my own heart! I will never forget our adventures together last year. You did a great job.

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  3. Loll..this reminds me of this one time in 6th grade my math teacher told me to put away my book and I gave her the most dirty-ess look every and kept reading and then she was like put it away or I'll take, so I put the book infornt of me and said here...and then she took and then we went on and I was playing with my pencil and she was like stop and listen to whats on the board and I said I don't need to listen cause I already know how to do it and then she made me go up to the board and teach the class..which I did.and then I got iss for disrespect and from then on every single day in her class I would just do things to bother her..she hated everyone in my class she called us spolied brats

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    1. Sounds like your math teacher was right.

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  4. Glad to hear your experience with “H” and “D” was ultimately successful. You must have the “Midas touch” for even “H” to say he’s going to miss you. What I’m dying to know though is the current status with Nico. Last you ever commented on it, his mother seemed to be doing better and making progress which, unfortunately for you, lessens your odds of being able to keep him for good. What’s going on with Nico’s mother now and how do your odds of ultimately being able to adopt him stand now? Also, is he starting to talk at all and is he calling you and Jay “Daa-daa” now? And are you planning to continue doing emergency foster care?

    I also commented about your OCD situation near the end of comments on last week’s blog. If you haven’t seen it already and end up going there, one word appearing in my comment is the “coach,” so an edit>find search should make the page jump right down to my remarks.

    Hope you have a great vacation and that you and Jay get the “R & R” you so badly need. I’m ready to have an absolute blast in Kansas City on Memorial Day with your film and misbehavior afterwards. :=) I’ve always been out to myself, been out to my family since age 20, and I’m PROFOUNDLY out here. But I’m not out at work, nor have I come out to my better friends from college days who have since moved away from Omaha. Back in college days late 70’s—early 80’s, coming out to them just wasn’t something I had even thought of doing. Turns out they are all fairly religious but, back in my wild college days when I wasn’t planning on telling them anyway, their religiosity was an irrelevancy for me. It was kind of like, “Whatever, dude. Pass the beer bong please.” (And, yes, I had one of those back then. Big shock, eh? :-D ) Back then, I just never contemplated how their religiosity might come to bite me someday. Anyway, this Kansas City trip will be the first time I’ve been completely out in the physical world. Hi def color? Bring it on! :-)

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    1. Bryan,

      Just back from Kansas City and, as promised, here are my experiences with The Right To Love and other activities.

      Seeing you on a full-size movie screen is infinitely better than over a computer screen. You have incredibly beautiful eyes and I discovered just how inadequate a 14” laptop screen is at doing you justice.

      The movie itself was awesome and it drew a fairly good-sized crowd. I’d say we filled almost 2/3’s of the place. Lot of touching parts, but also parts which were funny and anger-producing. At some point in the film Maggie Galagher was on flapping her jowls with her standard-issue ignorance and drew a “fuck you” from me that might have been overheard by some. Another point some others were ranting and raving about “the gay agenda” and what kids would be taught at school including new words to spell. Being so unable to control myself in certain situations as you now know me to be, Bryan, at that point I actually made a suggestion of a new word to spell which was audible to some around me and drew laughter. It was a “f” word longer than 4 letters. Perhaps you’ve come across something like that! :-D :-D Anyway, the end of the movie drew applause. I don’t know if that happens at other screenings, but that’s what happened at ours.

      I also found some of the comments and actions of some of your family members surprising. While I’m sure your father loves your step(?)mother very much, I was taken aback by how little he thinks of marriage itself—for anyone. And while it’s understandable that your grandmother got confused in her Prop 8 vote and actually voted “yes,” your brother, who by all accounts sounds pretty supportive of you (and Jay), and likely is one who would NOT have been confused in his vote, nevertheless voted “yes” as well. WTF?! That’s a vote against YOU. I don’t even know where to begin to figure that one out.

      In terms of my personal encounters with the bear community, I went to the home bar of the Kansas City Cave Bears both before and after the film. From KCGayFilmFest.com, I printed stuff that I made into a flyer with your family picture on it together with screening information and I took 6 copies of them over to the bar before show time and they got spread all around the place. I had written on it that the DVD would be available later this summer but I explained to people that this isn’t something you can just see anywhere anytime and, if they wanted the communal vibe of seeing it together with their own, it had to be now or never.

      The bear bar itself was pretty small and was in a seedy part of town and not that many people were there. I know several people here wanted me to take pictures, but there just wasn’t anything to see even if I had gone properly equipped. And there probably would have been the issue of many not wishing to be filmed and appear on YouTube. But my experience of being 100% out was wonderful. I have never felt so free and natural in my life. I love it and I want it to be this way 24/7/365. Being around my own people in person, I felt completely at ease, at home and with NO shyness whatsoever.

      And, yes, I DID make a love connection and had a “guest” over at my hotel. Turned out to be a black guy. If you’ve read my past stuff, you know this is a major fantasy of mine fulfilled. He’s the one who came on to me and another guy beside us said that the black guy doesn’t just come on to anybody, so I should consider this a complement. At the hotel, we didn’t go quite all the way, but did most everything else. He kept saying, “Damn, you’re good…so good.” He’s an awesome deep kisser and, as it turns out, so am I. We had a lot of fun but, I discovered for myself the impact of too much alcohol on my ability to get “to the finish line.” Lesson learned…alcohol during future love connections will be GREATLY reduced if not eliminated.

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    2. lolz! awesome dave! i dont think even id have shared that much in that way, mebbe you really do have me beat on the overshare. lol (like im competing for that boobie prize) thank you for the giggle. i am glad you had fun. a little alcohol is fine, generally, its the greatest social lube ever created.

      see! i told you bryan is a hottie. and being a socially awkward nerd just makes him more so(it gives those of us who are not quite there yet hope, even if our awkward is an entirely different breed)...*sigh* gratz for jay and him.

      i have to say, though, any fantasies i have had are really about seeing them being what they already are a happily committed couple doing amazing things..just mebbe a bit different things.

      dave, definitely 'wolf' for you unless your just strongly committed to something else-otters can be gregarious, too, in the right circumstances.

      as far as appearances, if your in public generally there is no expectation of privacy, some exceptions do exist. otherwise you can ask. when i went to nola for halloween, me and a friend got filmed by the tv people doing the saints game-i want to say it may have been the superbowl (i have no idea-nor do i want one, my dad was the football head- 'they' shoved it down my throat all through school and i only know anything because of my dad and the unavoidable nature of the exposure)

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    3. Hi Steeldrago,

      I’ll accept the “wolf” label for now…. :-)

      Glad I tickled your funny bone (again). Did you figure out my recommended spelling word I used during the movie? Yes, it’s an “F” word longer than 4 letters, it isn’t an epithet and it’s an activity. NOW you understand why people around me were laughing! :-D When opportunities like that present themselves, I simply can’t resist exploiting them. Major impulse-control issues! :-D :-D

      As far as sharing / oversharing, if I’m among friends I trust, I like being able to open up. Among others I either don’t like or trust so much, even I keep my cards pretty close to my chest. So, yes, I did learn the too-much alcohol lesson the hard way. Not that I was drunk or even had a noticeable buzz. It just happened to be too much for my equipment to be at its fully responsive best. Even though I fell short of “the finish line,” I still had an incredibly wonderful time with him and I will always have fond memories of him. I even told him how wonderful he was and that my failure to “finish” was most definitely not about him but purely about having too much alcohol in me and that, without it, I would be highly orgasmic if not insatiable over him.

      I had more than one alcohol-related lesson that night. Not only can too much impair performance, but it can make you a hypocrite too. The guy I was with was partnered—18 years—and I met his partner too earlier in the day. But their relationship is open and their rules allow for fooling around with other people, but the boundary neither one crosses is having actual full-blown sex with others. I had previously said that I’m one who doesn’t want to get involved in these kind of situations. I normally place higher value on other people’s relationships even if they open them up and, therefore, value them less—at least arguably. So alcohol made me a hypocrite in the sense that I broke my own rule for myself. I just don’t want to be the one who potentially messes up other people’s relationships. And then there’s the issue of not wanting to play “second fiddle.” I guess the difference here is that he made the first move. Even in a liquored-up state, I’m confident I wouldn’t myself hit on someone I already knew to be partnered or married.

      Not all the lessons I learned were negative ones. There was one other of a very positive nature. I discovered I really enjoy having my ears tongue-fucked! :-) A new erogenous zone I didn’t necessarily know I had…. Duly noted for future use! :-D He’s the first one who had ever done that for me. There ya go…some more “oversharing” for your reading pleasure! :-D

      As I’ve said before, I went down there with no specific intent to hook up. It just happened. I haven’t been one who thought of myself as being particularly hot but, evidently, others find me more appealing than I give myself credit for. And the guy I was with thought I looked 15 years younger than I really am, which is kind of flattering too. I see now that, if I place myself in like situations and just be self-confident, I can continue getting these hook ups. But therein lies a problem. Superficial hook ups isn’t what I’m really after even though I now know I can continue getting them without tremendous difficulty. I want to build something with someone that’s gonna last. I want something way WAY deeper than just grinding organs. I think I may need to rethink how I do things. Continuing on the same way probably won’t be the right path to get me a LTR; it’ll just get me more of what I got in Kansas City. Not that it wasn’t fun. It most certainly was. But it just isn’t enough….

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    4. Bryan,

      I just now saw your video about Jay's trip to see Talat in Turkey. Jay closed by saying at the end of the week he was going to announce some good news. My instincts tell me it has to do with Nico. And, by the mere mentioning of that, I know that you know what I have in mind. We'll just see if I was right....

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    5. hey dave! there in lies one of my biggest points, regardless of the rules of ones relationship, the ones who have the greatest impact are the ones in it. it is hubris for me or anyone else to say that a couple values their relationship less if they allow others into it, sexually or otherwise. i agree most people, possibly myself included, cannot handle an ongoing sexual relationship with someone not their primary partner or spouse. there are many issues involved there. the biggest to me is what are the individual needs of the couple; if they are happy, successful(in their relationship) and together on it then it is merely jealousy and doubt on my part to comment otherwise for them. which is fine for me to have but not fine for me to damage the couple in anyway over.

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    6. Steeldrago,

      Now that you’re back again, there’s something I wanted to ask you….

      I don’t know how much you socialize in the bear community but, if you do, I could use some advice. I had a hunch there was no coherent bear community in Omaha or anywhere else in Nebraska and my Google research confirms that is the case. Omaha does have a few gay bars, but they are the mainstream kind, which will draw everybody—fems, drag queens and all—and are probably venues where bears will very much be the minority. Not that I’m looking for superficial hookups, but my earlier comments regarding having a somewhat reasonable likelihood of success in being able to get them was in the context of being among bears where I at least have some appeal to them. While I don’t have a typical bear’s rugged HYPER-masculinity, I’m quite removed from anything remotely fem or twink looking. My look facially is kind of middle-of-the-road. I’d have the most bear appeal if I were able to grow a complete beard, but my face doesn’t grow out with enough fullness or symmetry for that to work. I CAN grow a decent goatee to add onto my mustache and went down to Kansas City with the beginnings of that and I think it may have helped me down there. Maybe adding that additional scruffiness to my underlying charm (try not to hurl…. :-D ) is what got me my love connection there. :-)

      With only drag show-intensive gay clubs to go to here in Omaha, I can’t help but be concerned over what my prospects might be in such places, where I clearly won’t measure up to finely sculpted pretty-boy standards. I have ZERO attraction to fems, twinks, pretty boys and drag queens and I wouldn’t think I’d appeal much to them either.

      Do you think I nevertheless need to go there and take my lumps rejection-wise on the off chance that I might actually find some of my type there or do you think bear-oriented dating sites are my only viable option? Omaha isn’t big enough to have “Plan C” non-bar options such as gay bowling leagues, softball teams or biker gangs (like your bud, Jasun Mark, has and is in). I very much wish I lived in a larger city where the prospects of having viable bear communities is much better, and my dating prospects accordingly would be dramatically improved there, but uprooting my life to move there isn’t a viable possibility for me.

      Where in Texas do you live and is there much of anything going on bear-wise there or within a reasonable distance?

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    7. i live in the bible belt. what do you consider reasonable distance? we texans have no fear or shame or unwillingness in driving/flying long distances for parties and other things. all the gay organizations that i am interested in are a minimum of 5.5hrs away. i just came back from a 2hr drive overnight visit, yes play was involved. there is some bear goings on here but nothing significant, counting craigslist hookups and those are iffy at best.
      i need to get in touch with adult swim because i think its a twist off them but i am seriously looking into building my own biker group as part of my overall pagan 'church' im working on. no real success or motion so far. i want the 'apocalypse ponies'- all of them and sometimes i am even a brony. (yes these thoughts are connected though i have not said how.)

      i subscribe to the bearpodcasts on yt and belong to a number of bear sites but nothing really there so far.
      right now my only real interaction with the bear community is kendall kelly who is hot and has an amazing voice.
      shameless plugs:
      http://youtu.be/1VOeUr4yaTs

      http://youtu.be/Ax64ihr9i9I

      http://youtu.be/_RbDKn_s9Ws

      we may(still?) have a dive bar that was kind of going for it in terms of actually embracing the gay community altogether here but the feel was way off and they were giving in to the prissy queens who want everything for free.
      i am not a barfly. the spirit is desperate and hungry and off..even in the better bars (and not to say i was not myself- but that was another lifetime despite any carry over). i have been online for years, from when it was just chat rooms to now with all the different sites, and i aint got nothing from it but it has done amazing things for others. so try it the worst is more of the same-if your not being totally stupid(cause you know better).
      i say this, make real friends that you can trust and go out with them, do what you do and live your life-on your terms. a good drag show can be lots of fun. the sexiest thing you can do is be you, without regret and without doubt. many will be jealous and some may not like it but someone will. that whole lots of toads to find your prince.

      i completely understand the lack of attraction, me too. my tackle hangs between my legs not off my chest so i act like a dude, which is what i want. not some flaming queen who is an exaggerated replica of all the worst traits in women. it also is amazing fun seeing the looks i get when wearing my kilt, with everything else.

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    8. hey dave, from this care bear to a care wolf(if you dont get the reference, from one member of the care guild to another), i have a question. bear with me.

      laughter has many faces; one of joy, despair, madness, grief, pain, sorrow, pleasure, love, contentment, derision and one for when you have nothing else at all. what would be the face of the laugh for one who speaks in ignorance that the person laughing hopes they never have to come out of? i think it is similar in shading to the laugh an elder has for his junior but a bit different.

      i have a thing boiling beneath my skin trying to be expressed.

      really this question is open to anyone also.

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    9. Hi Steeldrago,

      Thanks for answering. Distance-wise, even as little 2 to 3 hours away one way can be problematic to coordinate around a work schedule which often involves part of the weekend. In the car business, Saturdays are always the most critical day of the week because most everyone else is off and best able to visit us that day. The only reason my Kansas City trip worked was I was able to tack on a holiday—Memorial Day—with a day off I had that following Tuesday. The nature of my trip necessarily was one that I needed to stay overnight and, had my schedule not worked out just perfectly as it did then—I never would have been able to go see The Right To Love and practically get laid afterwards.

      It seems then bear dating sites are the only real option, as dubious as the results may be. Going to any gay bars here in Omaha would necessarily then have to be with ZERO expectations. Bearcentral.com draws a global membership, which can be tough when you really need something more local or regional, but it’s a really cool site and has excellent blog topics. Blog-wise, they are the bear equivalent and as good as right here. You really should check it out for that reason alone.

      Yes, I know who Kendall Kelly is and agree he’s hot. I’d like to get him in the sack and see how much “shaken bear syndrome” I can give him from making his brains rattle and what not! :-D :-D Yes, I agree he has a nice voice. He did the theme song for the Youtube gay bear collab channel 5Awesomebears. You might consider checking them out too.

      Your other question in your second reply is worded like a cosmic riddle. “What would be the face of the laugh of one who speaks in ignorance….” Huh? :-D :-D We need a translator in Aisle 7—Stat! :-D :-D Forgive me if I’m not exactly the sharpest tool in the junk draw, but a more pedestrian re-write of that one would help. :-)

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    10. *sigh*......the problem with being a mystic is that one often sounds mad to others. or i am simply not addressing the right audience. it does not help when sanity(which is overrated and completely misunderstood)-of sorts- has only recently returned. cause you know, or not, sanity likes to wander his way through ones life picking the strangest, though not unpredictable times to disappear.
      i dont know how to translate that. to me it is very direct. im not saying that i understand what is brewing yet. i will attempt though, on both counts.
      i have noticed that, and it is the far healthier response, when an elder hears their junior speak ignorantly-for lack of experience not necessarily intellect- there is a laughter involved in his response. sometimes it is outright and verbalized, sometimes it merely dances in the twist of the lips and the twinkle of ones eye. as with all the faces of laughter there are subtle shades to it and it can easily be confused one for another. i am looking for the word for this laugh that includes a sense of hoping the ignorant one remains ignorant for their own lack of suffering. i was hoping that, perhaps, you knew this word.
      i dont yet know where this rabbit hole leads but im interested to find out.

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    11. also, check out peter hollens. i just bought his album and he has vids up on youtube. i am in lust over his skyrim video with lindsey stirling, i want to rip the hide right off him and bury my sword, repeatedly. which is a bit odd hes a little slim for my taste but. . meh.

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    12. Your explanation is as trippy as the original question. Maybe if I drop enough acid, I’ll get to a high enough frequency where I can understand. As a little sidebar (what else do I do here? :-D ), back in college, we had a saying of ours which was intended as a reversal of another; we’d say, “Reality is a crutch for people who cannot handle their dr***.” Getting back to your question, it’s starting to sound like you’re trying to insert the two of us into the roles of the elder (me) and the younger (you) into your hypothetical. Is that what you’re trying to do? If so, I’m not understanding the supposed ignorance from you that I am supposed to be reacting to in laughter. Most of the laughing I do around here is at myself. And what is this supposed ignorance on your part that I supposedly hope you hold onto for your own protection? Am I getting anywhere near interpreting your question correctly?

      I checked out Peter Hollins. Being so musically druggy for so many years leaves me rather musically jaded; Hollins’ music is WAY to normal for me. You actually think he’s hot? Especially without facial hair? Dude, I think you may have broken your hot meter. You really do need to take that in somewhere and get it fixed. :-D You want hot? Try on some Bruno Knight and Alex Marte on for size. Go to gaymaletube.com and do a search for “Bruno Knight.” Choose the MenATPlay video which runs 18:15. Although I’m capable of posting a direct link here, I think I better not. You still should be able to find it without difficulty. Prepare to be very VERY happy…. This one might get noisy.... :-D

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    13. lolz! see...
      no im not trying to insert you into any role with myself. despite any flirtation.
      i am trying to express something and i only know a portion of it right now.
      the ignorance to which i refer is one of a lack of experience.
      peter hollins is hott because of his talent, not because of any physical quality. he does all of that music with only his voice and mouth, which being a perve is quite exciting (imagine what else hes great at). i think he may be 'family' im not certain.

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    14. Steeldrago,

      Please PLEASE watch that video I referred you to. You'll be so glad you did!

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    15. dude. choir. seriously. but my attractions are bigger than that.

      also, peter's newest cover has him rockin' a full beard, o the tickling that does!

      taggin someone like that (bruno or alex et al) would be up there with the bryan clone being 'family' too and digging me. i have a fair idea of where i stand on the crazy/hot scale.

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  5. my cousin lived with us for about six months and this was, on your brief survey, a very similar situation. unfortunately, it did not end as well for us......family that i associated with as little as possible are now gone from my life and that is the only positive thing i can say for that time. my little cousins deserve better (in my own instability and as inappropriate as it was for me to be involved at that time i and my mother still provided the most stable, most nurturing home they had ever known-including for their mom). i learned a lot and i am glad for the positive close of your own 'boot camp' adventure and certainly hope that things continue to be and get better for "D" and "H" and my little cousins. blessed be.

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  6. Beautiful post, it sounds like you have done a lot of good in their life.

    Like i commented on you youtube video it was very brave of you to come out about your OCD.

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  7. I remember when we came to visit... I sat on the sofa and "D" ran up to me and sat on my lap and gave me a big hug. You could tell that she was starving for attention.
    I was thinking about those kids this week. I took a temp job in radiology at a prison. I looked at all of those inmates and thought.."those people were babies at one time..someone's children." We all are a result of how we were raised.. It is so unfair that some of us had more or less of an advantage than others. Sometimes like the saying says.."It's all in the cards.."
    I hope your influence has shaped their lives in a positive manner. Hugs! Jim

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  8. You write beautifully Bryan :)

    Thanks for sharing your stories with us.

    -Tom

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  9. Some times, the right people are at the right place and the right time. It sounds like Bryan and Jay were those people for these kids. What a profound difference you are making.

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  10. I never get tired of reading about your family. Inspiring.

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  11. Bryan,

    I can only assume that, while Jay is away in Turkey, the two of you are still communicating by cell phone and/or Skype. Are videos from there still forthcoming while Jay is still away? Or has Talat advised Jay, for both of their safeties, not to post any video until he’s left Turkey? It’s a super remote possibility to be sure, but I wonder if any of Talat’s family watches the Depfox channel a little, has learned what Jay looks like and also has learned Jay is coming to Talat’s graduation? I suppose it all boils down to how paranoid the three of you are feeling now….

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    1. Bryan,

      Never mind about my videos question. I just saw the first Turkey vid. Really cool stuff over there. The pillars I saw in the vid remind me of your pillars in your back yard. Jay may be handy home improvement-wise, but I would think pillars might be beyond him. You probably just bought them somewhere or had them custom made.

      Talat is smoking hot. Dark too, just the way I like, but you knew that already, didn't you? :-) Too bad he's really shy because, adding some self-confidence to those awesome looks, he could have anyone he wants.

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  12. Bryan!

    I just had the most brilliant idea that could benefit Tallat! If he’s going to the UK anyway and can manage to get there before August 23, it could be physically possible for him to catch the August 23rd screening of The Right To Love in Manchester! And with so many Youtubers in the London/Cambridge area practically standing in line to befriend him—who wouldn’t be in line for someone THAT hot—he’s almost guaranteed he’d actually have someone to go see it with him. And if the screening is part of Manchester Pride activities, he may be able to partake in some of those too. If you watch any of the JonathanRobinson Youtube channel, it’s evident that there’s a pretty good bear scene going on in Manchester. Not that Tallat is a bear himself, at least as far as I can tell so far, and I don’t know if he has the hots for bears the way I do or even knows what bears are, but they are a comparatively more welcoming group of people to hang with. I think the bears there would go wild for him. This COULD be the single most special, most awesome time Tallat will ever have had his entire life! And if he could just come up with a touch of self-confidence, there might be a “love connection” waiting for him too after the film. I’m not sure Tallat grasps just how gorgeous he really is. What an impossibly perfect way to start his time in the UK!

    OMG, Bryan, you need to get on your cell phone fast and pass this on to Jay so he has something more to push Tallat over!

    My Kansas City experience was probably one best times I’ve had in my life ever and I’m so glad I didn’t wimp out and not go. Tallat has an enormous opportunity here and it could end up being as special for him as it was for me.

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  13. well dave...I think he is on his way as I type this.

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    1. Perfect! Just as long as he's somehow made aware of that opportunity awaiting him. If he plays his cards right and, above all things, SMILES, he could have the time of his life seeing your film and then partaking in all the potential fun which could follow. Not that I recall seeing it specifically through videos, but I sense he has a smile that could stop traffic if ONLY he'd use it.

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