Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Am OH So Tired of This

Can I just say that they should not call it anything close to CHILD Protective Services. It seems that the only thing the department has protected our children from is a loving, stable, and permanent family. Thanks guys, really dodged that bullet kiddos.

Today we had a visit, and I don't know if it's the transporter's job to upset everyone, but she has a knack for it. I do a dump and run, because I don't want to be accused of hovering over Mama's time. The other foster parent stays and then gives me the run down. He pulled me aside after the visit and told me that the kids that were placed in the same town as Mama had been going on weekend visits, and they are planning on starting weekend visits with ours after the next hearing on 12/3. He told me a bunch of other things that the transporter said.

I called the ex-mother-in-law who has one of the kids in the sibling group. She confirmed that the local kids were going to unsupervised in home visits every Saturday. She also told me that mama's psychiatrist had recommended weekend visits, the department said no visits, and the judge compromised and made the visits Saturday only.

Ex-MIL told me that she has also been told, like myself and one of the other foster parents, that the department is going to ask for termination in December. What we don't understand is that if they are less than six weeks from terminating, why are they starting in home unsupervised visits? The kids have been in care for over four years, there have never been any unsupervised visits, why would they start unsupervised visits less than six weeks before they terminate rights?

I spoke to CPS this week and they told me that there were no significant changes. Wait, unsupervised visits aren't significant? Of course, I haven't even seen my CPS caseworker since July, and the only reason I saw him then was that he was forced by the judge to lay eyes on the kids before we took them on vacation.

I have long since concluded that the department is either dishonest or incompetent, or that there is a larger criminal force at work here. Remember this is the department who couldn't find a criminal record on someone who was sitting in jail on a probation violation. Why, because they forgot that one can also commit federal crimes. Oops. It frightens me that the welfare of my children are in these hands.

We have been cautioned by our attorney to not distinguish our kids from the sibling group, as that might leave the sibling group vulnerable to reunification. It is easier to reunify three than six. Yet, I am at the point that I don't care. I need to look out for my children, and my family.

I MUST remember that God is in control. I would like it most if we could sit down and speak Mommy to Mama, but it has been forbidden. So, this is something that I will have to leave to Him. I hate it, I want to be able to do something. This is not what I envisioned when I took that call four years ago. This all must stop, and soon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Great Love

And here is how to measure it - the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. John 15:13 NLT

I may be more familiar to you in the NIV

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

I had always assumed that this meant to die for someone else. Our orientation into foster care gave me a different perspective. I'm sure you probably have an idea of what your family will look like when it's complete. Well groomed, well behaved smiling cherubs on your annual Christmas card. What about the other 364 days?

What happens when your perfect scenario come up, but comes with three siblings? What happens when one sibling in the group is not right for your situation. What if you're married to the problem child's father or mother?

I will admit that I've failed many times in the department of giving up my life, so there is no condemnation here. But I being the bigger person literally, shouldn't I have been the bigger person figuratively? How would it have changed my life to love them anyway? How would it have changed theirs? It's hard to weigh, but we've always tried to go with what was best for the whole. It's only easier on paper to have to give up on a child in foster care. It's still a child that you were given to love, and it's difficult to admit that love ain't always enough. When you married into it, biblically there isn't much choice. I don't have step children, but know many step parents, and from what I hear, it ain't easy.

I had to lay down my vision of the perfect family. I know my husband laid down his. And every day, we lay down a little more of our life for them. It's not because we are better, or stronger or have it more together, we certainly don't. I would like nothing more than to wave a magic wand and finalize this adoption, and yet I have to lay that down. New opportunities, in new places we have to lay down. Our lives are not our own, and tomorrow, we will lay them down again.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Can't Wait 'Til That Frontal Lobe Gets Done

Sometimes I just don't get the teens. Last night Big Boy wanted a bottle, so he emptied an entire, new mind you, bottle of dish soap into the sink. We have a soap dispenser not 10 inches from the sink he could have easily emptied the entire contents of the bottle into, but noooooo.

His reasoning? I had not spent any money out of pocket for it, therefore it didn't cost me anything. Therefore, it had no value.

I took the real cost of the soap out of his allowance. My reasoning, he hadn't yet received the money, therefore it had no value to him. I was wrong, it did have value to him. I still don't think he gets it, maybe in six years.... I won't hold my breath.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dear babies

I hope you are having fun at Hannah's house. I understand the purpose of respite is to allow us time to get caught up on things, but it's awfully quiet around here. Last night during dinner, I sat down the entire time. When bedtime rolled around, there were no blankies to find, no drinks to fetch.

I don't think that God intended mommies to sleep until 9:00, I got bored and restless, despite being sick. I could handle it no longer, I got up and cooked breakfast for the boys.

The garbage man came and went, and no one cared. The big boys did not fight for a prime window seat to watch him do his job. I noticed, but again, no one cared. I will say it's not nearly as exciting here without you.

So, we will enjoy the quiet here today, but will be so happy when we can see you again.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dear Fire Department

To whom it may concern:

A 5 lb fire extinguisher? In the kitchen? Mounted? Really? You saw my kitchen. It's gorgeous. Where in the decor would that fit? I've looked diligently for a decorative container to keep it in, there aren't any. Having just remodeled my kitchen, had I known these stupid new requirements, I would have factored that into the decor.

Also, I have had many fire inspections, this being my seventh. Why is it that each inspector has a different opinion as to the placement of smoke detectors? And aren't detectors BOTH in and out of the bedrooms a little redundant?

My last, but certainly not least issue....our dead bolts. If there is a window near the door, the police insist that we have a keyed lock, you however insist that we have a non-keyed lock. Which inspector am I supposed to listen to? Am I supposed to keep my family safe from home invasions or fire? Which is more likely? Also, if there is a fire, I will have a 5 lb extinguisher close at hand.

And for convenience, you might have your brother Joe come in right behind you selling enormous fire extinguishers and smoke detectors out of the trunk of his car.




We've got a hearing in our case coming up on December 3rd. I haven't gotten word from our paralegal as to what is going to transpire. He just tells me that it's a placement hearing and he's waiting to hear from the other attorney. If I ever got to speak to the actual attorney, I'd see if she'd try to push mediation. I HATE THIS.

Also have other friends, one is in court today, please pray for a positive outcome. There are some INSANELY BAD things going on there.

Also Hannah's attorneys were in court on Thursday filing her appeal. It could take up to a year for an answer. The prosecutor was on tv last night saying something I'll misquote here, "we offered her a deal, she wanted to go all or nothing on capital murder" no I think she didn't want to plead guilty to committing a crime that she didn't. I admire that, I probably would have pleaded to stay out of jail and with my family, but I totally get it. They probably wouldn't let her plead "nolo" which is, "I'm not saying I'm guilty, but I concede to the fact that you will probably convict me anyway."

Just keep all of these things in mind when you wish the government would do more. It's not their job and they don't do it well.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Attention Grocery Shoppers

I hope you all enjoyed our shopping experience as much as I. I would like to apologize to everyone who was annoyed by Felpsy shouting "mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom." Some of you were kind enough to point out that I should "just answer the boy." How kind of you to offer your advice, I had not thought of answering him, oh wait, I did answer him, the first time, and the 400th time, and the 2000th time. How much more annoying would the experience have been had it gone "mom, what, mom, what, mom, what, mom, what." I might even have thought to stop what I was doing and look him in the eye and ask him "what?" the first time, oh wait I did.

I apologize for trying to socialize a traumatized child, he really should be locked away until he can handle outings and disruptions to his schedule better. Or better yet, I should just realize that after three years I am unable to fix him and send him back into the system that broke him. Wouldn't it be a grand experiment to see what he'd be like in 14 years after switching homes every six weeks his entire life? I do want to apologize for parenting in public, but until the government outlaws it you will have to endure my second hand parenting. Just shut your eyes and ears and walk by quickly, and I'll try not to blow my smoke in your direction.