Category: Parenting

I’m sure you all by now have heard of the bizarre story of staff sergeant Terry Achane, 31, whose daughter was secretly given up for adoption by his estranged wife, Tira Bland, 27, without his consent while he was while he was stationed in South Carolina. For days, we heard the events of what lead up to the controversy; all parties have told their sides of the story, interviews have been booked, and I’m sure t.v. shows will be in the works if they’re not already. I’m sure the first thought that comes to many people’s mind is “How can something of this nature occur?” “How does someone get away with doing something like this? I know I’ve asked myself those exact same questions, along with many others as the initial story unfolded, and more as new details were being brought to light.

In late 2010,  Achane accepted a position as a drill instructor at South Carolina’s Fort Jackson and was ordered to report for duty no later than Feb. 1, 2011. Achane and the girl’s mother, Tira Bland, soon began having marital problems shortly thereafter and she grew concerned that she would become a single mother with two children; Bland then suggested the couple either pursue an adoption or an abortion, both of which Achane rejected. After considering a move to South Carolina, Bland later told Achane she wished to stay in Texas with her relatives for the birth of their daughter. Achane had planned to return for the birth, with the new family joining him in South Carolina afterward.

Birth mother Tira Bland

Bland would later proceed with an adoption, according to the judge’s ruling, contacting the Adoption Center of Choice, which brought Bland to Utah to give birth. According to experts, Utah’s adoption laws are less strict than other states. Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute said:

“For whatever reasons, Utah’s laws appeal to people who want to get it done quick, rather than people who want to get it done right.”

Two weeks ago a judge ordered Jared and Kristi Freis to return the toddler, who turns two in March, to her birth father within 60 days. The Freis’ appear ready to fight for custody of the little girl they have raised since birth. In a statement to ABC News, their attorneys say:

“They [Jared and Kristi] believe the district court made some fundamental errors in its decision and they will raise those with the appropriate appellate court.”

Achane says he will do “what it takes” to keep his daughter. The next hearing is set for Jan. 16, 2013 to discuss the transition of the child.

ABC News reached out to the birth mother Tira Bland, but she did not respond.

Birth father, Terry Achane with daughter Teleah

Now, I have SEVERAL questions about this story, and I’m going to vent them out, so I suggest those whom have an aversion to rants divert your vision now, it’s okay, I’ll wait….

We’re good? Okay so, as I’ve said I’ve questions and concerns about this whole thing:

1. Why did Bland feel the need to secretly proceed with the adoption? Was Achane abusive? Did he display any ill will towards her and her other child? What was the history between the two of them? Something’s just not sitting right with me, and as they say in the south “That dog don’t hunt”. I’m not passing judgment; I’m just going off of what Ms. Bland has stated (in her own words), and nowhere in any of her statements did she give any indications as to the father’s inability to provide for his child. If that were the case, that should have been the first thing she should have addressed, and proven in a court of law. The whole thing reeks of shadiness.

2. Where was the adoption agency’s discretion in allowing this to happen? Even if the mother was creditable, for legal protection, they should have investigated her claims. Basically, crossing their T’s and dotting their I’s essentially.

3. How come the adopting parents didn’t double-check?! I would’ve covered my ass in a heartbeat if that were me, and immediately asked about the father! No one asked for documented evidence of ANY of this!!!! o_O

Uh…I’m gonna need to see some proof.

4. Tira Bland claims that Terry Achane wasn’t providing any income for her and her child, accusing Achane of abandonment. Uhh…okay, so if he did abandon you, why did he ask for you to come to South Carolina with him????? Hmmm…sure does sound like someone who wants to get rid of you.

5. Again, this is for the adoptive parents, why would you prevent a parent who’s obviously showing desire to raise his child, the chance to do so? I understand you’ve had this wonderful baby for months, and have grown to love her as your own, but unless you have irrefutable proof of neglect and mistreatment from said parent! Step aside, and give him the opportunity to do be what he is, her father; with many black children being raised without their fathers, don’t add one more to the list.

6. Did no one in Ms. Bland’s family advise her as to how much trouble she could face if she proceeded with such a plan? Where was the sense of reason in all of this????????? Are we (black people) going back to the barter system? I’ll give you my child if you give me etc? It kills me to see ish like this amongst my people. Ms. Bland’s claiming that she” wanted a better life for her daughter”  and that “she would rather see her struggling with her, than to see her with him” But you were willing to abort the very same child you now claim to love through tears on national tv? Parenting starts at the moment of conception…and we saw just how motherly you were. Again, not judging, just stating facts….hmm.

I don’t condone abortion as a means of contraception, because if you were adult enough have sex you should be adult enough to raise that child; nor do I agree with abandoning your children either. I see a gradual extermination of the black race through these means– children being sentence to a life of torment, only to become fractured adults, because they had to endure a childhood without both parents. We have to do better my people, we have to stop condoning this behavior; nipping the cycle in the bud, beginning with our children, and our choices we make as their parents, elders, and mentors!

I still have hope, I haven’t given up on us yet.


She looks to you as the first man in her life.


So, I just finished watching a re-broadcasting of BET’s “Black Girls Rock”; I must say that the experience left me feeling a little uplifted, but sad at the same time. I’m sadden, because deep down I know the message would end up lost, like some wonderfully written letter forgotten at the bottom of some dresser drawer– ignored. It got me wondering, do our black girls TRULY know that indeed they do rock? Do they know their self-worth, and the power they possess?

If you were to go by the programs sweeping the media today you wouldn’t feel so sure. In the world of Basketball wives, The Real Housewives of wherever or Love & Hip Hop and their popularity, you would think the next generation of black females are learning to hate themselves; to set their self-worth at a lower rate than that of their other female counterparts of different races. Gone are the days where Chaka Khan sang about being every woman, or Aretha, who demanded respect! Where are Donnie Hathaway songs or the sounds of James Brown who sung about their love for black women? Where are they? Do we need to put a flier out and APB? Long missing are the songs of my childhood, and the generations before which glorified women! Now, in their place, are songs which neither revere or celebrate the female, but denigrate and malign our existence. Everyday our girls listen (and see) how their sex isn’t worth anything more than just to be ogled at and lusted after. It’s a constant battle to instill value in our daughters. Unfortunately, many young girls are being forced fed the notion that they were born to a gender that has nothing to offer, expect ONE thing. Now, I can’t put the blame solely on hip-hip– in fact I used to love hip-hop as a child, but as I grew up, hip-hop and I grew apart. We went our separate ways, and I let it keep the house and the car. Interestingly enough, there have been a few trickle of songs in my day that didn’t paint a very nice picture of the lady regal; I knew it, but I’m happy to say that foolishness didn’t go down in my house. My parents wouldn’t allow it. My mother and my father made sure that their children weren’t brainwashed with garbage. However, not all girls are as fortunate as my sister and I were. However, where do our girls today go to have a strong foundation of self-esteem? In the above mentioned shows, if you ever heard an interview, the one commonality, the one strain which has an undercurrent to all of them, is the absence of having a father in their lives. In many ways the divine feminine image has been traipse through the mud, and define by the hyper-sexualized male ideology of what women SHOULD look like… The big booty girls, all shined up and shipped out for the wagging tongues of over-sexed men. I’m not saying all men are  like this, but some are, and the ones who do display this behavior are the exact same ones who are front and center for our children to see.

I for one, count myself fortunate enough to have a positive male in my life– my father, who never ceased to instill in me all of the values that I have today. It is because of how my father treated my mother, is the direct cause of why I have a HEALTHY…let me give that one to you again, a healthy perspective on how male and female interpersonal relationships should be, and I’m equipped with the necessary tools to spot the BS– the red flags if you will. The evolution of gender play has changed over the years,  women have become more independent and more self-reliant, even though I’m sitting up here and advocating the role of father in our kids lives, a lot of men out there have given us women no choice but to step up and be BOTH parents. However, our responsibility, and I’m talking to my ladies here. We need to really start being selective in who we allow to become the father of our children. As a woman, I can’t speak enough on how the father/daughter dynamic can immensely influence the life of that young lady.  When a girl grows up without that positive reinforcement she will get her cues from the world outside; incorporating those images into her psyche and using it as a guideline on how she relates to the world at large, thus defining her womanhood.

Now before, I get angry email from single mothers, let me stress the fact that I’m not saying that being a single parent will be detrimental for your child– not in the least bit. However we have to ask ourselves, why are so many of our children growing up in fractured households? When do we say enough is enough? We as women need to ensure that our choices in potential mates doesn’t result in our children having daddy issues, especially our daughters who will be future mothers one day.

When a female child is raised in a household where a (positive) male figure is actively in her life, her self-image improves greatly.

Here are some of the ways that influence is felt:

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