Saturday, August 9

When Is It Too Much?

I found out more about the interpreter that will be present at our court hearing. He is a CASA volunteer. He is certified, but not up to a level 3. I had several conversations with our attorney about this and CPS. I have told them Rebecca's rights and what we expect. I almost lost our attorney because she is so frustrated with our case, partly me and partly my private agency. They don't know if they can find someone by the 15th who is level 3 (or higher) or court certified before the 15th or if that person can make it on the 15th. At several points, I felt like I was fighting a losing battle and that we were going to lose our attorney and/or lose our court date.

When does advocating become not worth it and should I just accept the CASA volunteer. He is probably very good, he has a full time job and his wife is a Deaf Ed teacher. He has been in the Deaf community for over 15 years. I started to feel like I was just pushing too hard and they were going to have to put off the court date for another month, which would be after school starts which is what we have been trying to avoid all summer. It would also be heartbreaking to Rebecca if we lost the court date. We have a countdown in our house and she is really looking forward to next Friday. How important is it that we have a "legally correct" interpreter?


Cate said...

"Systems of inadequacy" ...

So was the foster system of another country described, and I have come to believe it applies to all "systems" in which "individuals" live.

What is Rebecca happy with? And what are you happy with? I am an interpreter of 8 years experience in Australia, and have been called upon to interpret in court; but it is one of the hardest things to do.

More than qualification, experience and flexibility is probably important. Are you able to meet the interpreter prior to the occasion - and if you could, and you were not happy with him, would you ask for the case to be deferred again?

In a perfect world you would stand on your soapbox, demand your rights and receive them. In a perfect world we advocate not only for the immediate but the long term. But each of us has an emotional tank that is drained by constantly fighting for the bare neccessities, and so you have to pick your battles.

Do what you can feel content with. Do what you can with a happy heart if you can't, then don't.

Anonymous said...

Oh honey, there really is no right answer. It's up to each individual, and you need to decide for yourself. My heart aches for you and Rebecca. I just want to go up to your family and give you all a big group hug.

"Qualified" doesn't always mean certified. One can be very qualified for a specific job even without certifications. One could also be very certified and not qualified for a specific job. Is it possible for you to meet with the interpreter in advance to judge his skills?


Mother of Bilingual Deaf and Hearing Children said...

You should be proud of your advocacy efforts that have resulted in the provision of interpreter services. Really well done. I also understand your desire to ensure that the interpreter is able to interpret effectively in this context. Considering what you have shared on your blog, I think it would be "too much" in this case if you lose your court date and it needs to be rescheduled.

mishkazena said...

That is a tough dilemma : /

Do you have the support of the local Deaf resource center? It's hard doing this advocacy alone. Rebecca is lucky to have her mom advocating for her rights. You may want to contact NAD Law Center Director, Crawford? She may be able to give you some suggestions. She is a great person.

I won't want to accept a level 3 interpreter, not in the legal system. They are usually not qualified as this kind of judicial system calls for the best interpreters, not 'adequate' interpreters. As a safeguard, you may want to video-record both the interpreter and your daughter.. to ensure that there is no breakdown in communication. This has been done in many courts, including mine.

The unfortunate problem is that we are facing a severe shortage of interpreters. The shortage have been worsened due to the increasing popularity of VRS.

Good luck with your decision.

Anonymous said...

Accept this interpreter and get this adoption over with. Once it is over, you can fight more battles - and believe me, there will be more!

Ashley's Mom said...

I would accept the CASA interpreter, but I would go on record, by putting something in writing to the court and your social service agency, that you are doing this to expedite the adoption process - not because you feel it is appropriate.

Keep us posted,

Valerie said...

When is it too much?

The answer is when you heart hurts. You know that pain that deep down hurt.

I hope the adoption is completed and your family can celebrate. Enjoy that day!

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate you wishing for top notch certified interpreters but you should know by now that they are hard to come by. You should also know by now that many, many qualified interpreters are not certified and that sometimes certified interpreters are not qualified or just don't fit for that particular type of situation and/or that particular client.

The point is you didn't make the opportunty to meet the interpreter to evaluate yourself his abilities.(if it was possible) For all you know, he could have been the best!

So yes, in my opinion, you pushed it too hard and could have unncessarily jeopardized your position relating to your lawyer and agency.

Candice said... of inadequacy is an understatement, but true to so many systems in our government and in our lives. Many of you asked if I could meet the interpreter ahead of time and that would be really nice, but they are in East Texas and I am in North Texas. They are about 5/6 hours away. I will see him at the courthouse the morning of the adoption.

Mother...I agree and thank you for your much needed kind words.

Misha, I have contacted our local Deaf Advocacy center and they did not contact me back until today. I called them back, but had to leave another message. Recording is an excellent idea and I will definately do that.

Deborah, thanks - as you will read in my new post, that is pretty much what I did. As always, great advice!

Valerie, thanks! My heart aches all the time for how the Deaf are treated and how unfair most people first react. It did get to a point where I just broke down crying because I thought that I was going to lose it all and make it worse - that is when my heart ached the worse, when I thought I would let down my little girl.