While We Were Gone…

I had no service in Canada so my phone was off. While we were gone I received several important calls, of course. Even though the parties that called knew that we would be out of the country!

Our county case worker called and scheduled the evaluation for in-home therapy for Friday at 9:00 am, despite my child being out for several days on vacation. I called and asked for it to be moved until after school. I emailed and asked for it to be moved until after school. I received no return call or email so I’m just taking him to the dang appointment at 9:00 am because he needs therapy and it’s already been six weeks!

The “mental health professional” called from our oldest daughter’s behavioral services to schedule an “ISPT” meeting to get her approved. Pretty sure we had an evaluation two weeks ago and they approved her for 11 hours each week so I am not sure what this meeting is/how it is different from the first evaluation. I called to schedule whatever it is and the “mental health professional” was out of the building for the day. Go figure.

So we are six weeks in and we’ve had one evaluation for one kid and one scheduled for another. Does anyone else think this is crazy? These kids need help before they’ve been in a new home for two months!

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We’re Back!

We had a great trip to Canada for my mother in law’s wedding. We got to swim, fish, hike, kayak, boat, etc. all outdoor things which the kids love! We made it over the border and back without a big hassle. Coming back in the US took a little time and the border patrol looked over the birth certificates, court orders placing the kids in our home, and the travel permission signed by the agency. It was not really that bad. Enjoy these pictures!

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Latest and Greatest?

Monday we had our bi-weekly meeting with our case manager from our agency. We went over all of the things I found out last week from our county case worker and checked in on a couple new things.

-We talked about bio dad being on disability and potentially having Hepatitis C. She said that we will never know and the easiest thing is to have all the kids tested. They have upcoming physicals so I will ask the doctor at that point. I am not really worried but it would be nice to know for sure that they do not have it.

-Adoption on National Adoption Day… she said it most likely will not happen until January. She said that the adoption home study takes three to four months to complete and it’s only three months away until the National Adoption Day without having a referral yet for the adoption home study.

-New baby. Bio mom is due in October with sibling #4. As much as we would love to keep the siblings together, it just isn’t in the cards. We don’t want to pull these three back into the foster care cycle with the baby being here and going back home with the bio parents. We also were not looking for a baby, as we know the lists for healthy white babies are long no matter where you live. We are not worried about the agency finding a good home. We also are trying to keep birth order as much as possible and adding a new baby would negatively impact the younger two girls the most. We are committed to keeping a relationship no matter where we are/where the sibling is. It will probably be at least a few months before he goes into care and the kids will be adopted by then (hopefully). Our case manager said that since the kids will most likely be adopted, there will be no legal obligation and she would not push to have visits between the baby and the siblings. She had a couple reasons for this distance but I tuned them out. I’m sure that she would not agree with my views on keeping an open adoption (as safe and healthy) from foster care let alone keeping siblings connected. I just don’t agree with not keeping familial connections if at all possible/safe/healthy. 

-We are still waiting on the evaluation for in-home family services, which I think might end up as wrap around services with a TSS (Therapeutic support staff) worker for our son. We are still waiting to hear from the program our oldest daughter has been cleared for eleven hours a week of intensive counseling regarding her schedule. We are still waiting to get official clearance for emergency clothing allowances for all three kids so we can do some serious back to school shopping.

Hope you have a great week and I’ll be back next week to update on our trip!

Birth Certificates: Update

We leave tomorrow for Canada, right after the kids get home from school, around 3:00. We’ve been waiting five weeks to get a hold of their birth certificates so that they didn’t have to stay in respite. We wanted them to come along with us from the beginning and so did their case worker. Yesterday I made a back up plan with my mom just in case, I would fly her in tomorrow while the kids were in school. Today I called our case worker, as did the case manager at our agency. I emailed on Monday and called on Tuesday and hadn’t heard anything back from her. Then I texted our case manager and told her I was over it and I was calling the county case worker’s supervisor. Our case manager offered to call and find out what was going on. Which probably should have happened a week ago. So the county supervisor said that all birth certificates come through her and she hadn’t seen them yet. Sigh. It didn’t sound optimistic.

Well then not even an hour later our county case worker called, and imagine, the birth certificates just ended up on her desk! Sounds awfully like the supervisor had someone check the mail pile or something and they’ve probably been in there for a week. Either way, we have them and now the kids can come with us to Canada for my mother in law’s wedding! They are so excited, none of them have really taken a vacation before so they just don’t even know what to expect with hotel rooms, etc. Little man asked if he could decorate the hotel room with soccer wall decals. I tried to explain to him that it’s just temporary but he wasn’t getting it! I won’t have access to the internet and we will be doing fun family things, but I’ll make sure to update when we get home at the end of next week!

 

Pool Party

Yesterday we hosted my husband’s summer company picnic with all of his employees and his boss. I was very nervous of how it would go with the kids. They tend to have poor behavior on days that we have visitors and I knew they would be eating a lot of junk food/sugar so I didn’t know what to expect. The morning before our guests arrived they were all in discipline before 9:00 am so we were very concerned about how the rest of the day would go. Little man purposely did his workbook pages wrong. Like, laughably wrong. Our middle girl kept picking fights with her siblings as only she can do. It was a mess! We had so much to get done and the kids were giving us fits all morning. My husband and I went over our expectations with them prior to the day of, and laid out clear guidelines if there would be any fits or arguments. I am pleased to say that they did great all afternoon! Little man had a meltdown almost at the end of the day and Hubby pulled him aside before it become too big. There was some pouting about drinking soda/eating more than one dessert but they took my direction well and did not make it a big thing. It’s hard when the other kids get to drink four juice boxes or soda and multiple desserts! But we stood our ground and we were happy that we did because their behavior definitely reflected that. We are pretty strict on the juice/soda/sugar because we really notice a difference in their behavior afterwards. We actually started it with Little One before we accepted placement because of the negative affects of sugar and artificial food dyes. I’ve kept that up with the bigger kids and have been very happy with how it’s gone. If you are having difficult behaviors I encourage you to keep a food diary of what your kids eat as well as checking the ingredients before you purchase items at the store. It is like night and day!

Birth Certificates

We were approved almost five weeks ago when the children were placed with us to take them with us to my mother in law’s wedding in Canada. We leave next Thursday after the first day of school… that is, the children will be coming with us next Thursday after the first day of school if we get their birth certificates! We are driving and we have the letter signed by the director of the county youth services and copies of the birth certificates but not the real things. We’ve been promised them every week. Wednesday when the county worker came she said that they had been ordered and expected them to come in any day. I think my husband will give it until Tuesday before he flips his lid with her supervisor. I am hoping to hear every day and have my fingers crossed. I can’t imagine leaving the kids behind and we don’t have a respite in place. We’ve kept our agency in the loop but I just can’t imagine having to leave them while we go for five days! If anyone has any words of wisdom or has gone through this in the past, any help???

 

County Case Worker

Today we had our first visit with our county case worker since she dropped off the kids for placement. I guess it is part of her “monthly” visits. She still does not have the birth certificates for the kids. We leave next Thursday after school to head to Canada for my mother in law’s wedding. We NEED those birth certificates like yesterday. We do, however, have the signed travel permission so we are allowed to take them, we just need to be able to get back into the US with them! I can’t imagine what a nightmare that would be!

We are still waiting on the evaluation for the in-home family therapy. The lady that does the evaluations just got back from vacation so we are waiting to hear when that is scheduled.

Our case worker is fighting for us to get emergency clothing allowances for all three kids since two of them came to our home with no shoes that fit and all of them came to our home without a thread for back to school/fall/winter. I have to send her an inventory of the items that fit and that they can wear for school this fall so she can use it as leverage. 

We talked about the new baby coming in October and she asked if we would want to take him in as well. I said that we wish that we could considering our whole thing has been to keep siblings together, but there are many reasons we can’t. Our top priority is the children we have in our care and will be adopting. We do not want to pull them back into the life of whether the baby will stay in care or go home to mom and dad and leave them open to all that anxiety for another couple of years. We are trying to get them settled and have made real progress in the last month. I told our case worker that we would be glad to make visits if the baby does end up in care so that they can have a sibling bond. But considering that mom is only 27 I don’t think she’s done having babies and at least the next couple could live together too. 

I asked the case worker about the adoption. Our agency case manager said that the earliest it would occur would be six months after placement, which would put us in the middle of January. The county case worker said that our next court date is in November. Also in November is National Adoption Day. In our county they have a whole day of fun for all of the kids who were adopted this year and they do several adoptions on that day. She said she would love if our kids would be adopted on that day so that all of their previous case workers could be there. She is finding out the logistics and putting in a referral for our adoption home study. The adoption home study is similar to the one for fostering and it is good for one year. So whether we have adoption in November or January it will still be valid.

My fall nanny was supposed to start today, get a feel for the new dynamics so we could talk about her schedule. The responsible 35 year old woman that she is, she emailed me at 6:30 this morning to tell me that she was out to late last night at the “shore” and would need to come in late. So I told her we would reschedule. I was so pissed this morning. All summer we’ve had a 19 year old college student and she didn’t call out once. Before that we had an almost middle aged surrogate who was pregnant with triplets and she didn’t call out. Ugh. I foresee a problem arising with her already!