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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Urine for It

I can't find the post about pee. Jelly bean peed on the floor and threw her bed wetting alarm at the wall and I'm pretty sure I wrote about it. I was going to link to it as proof to myself we've handled all this stuff before. Oh well. That's kind of the day I've been having.

I got up early to see Simon and Sarah off to their 1st visit with their Dad in a month.   Then my Mom called. My Dad was camping and ended up in the ER. He was fine, it was an overreaction on the camp staff's part, but he was in a neighboring state and my Mom needed to drive up to get the car home and pick him up from the ER. So I spent the majority of the day driving (through the town the Fab Four live in). 

Then I got home and discovered Sarah had let go of the dog's leash and she was so scared that she peed her pants. Hubby handled it great. No yelling. Praised her for coming to get him. But she was still nervous about telling me. 

We went to lunch and as we arrived home Smiley didn't make it to the powder room in time. She peed all over the wood floor. Then I went upstairs and was helping Simon straighten up his room when I discovered a spot of dried urine on the carpet behind a chair.

He decided to pee in his room instead of knocking on the door when his sisters were in the bathroom and he couldn't hold it.   We didn't yell. We removed everything that could cover up a urine stain from his room. We showed him how to clean the carpet. He cried and was upset but at least he admitted he did it. 

Then we discovered cut elastic in the bathroom and dealt with the lying about that. Kids went to bed early. Mom and Dad said how much they loved them. 

It was par for the course. Sheila missed her visit Friday. The kids didn't want to have a call with her Saturday. They are confused. They are sad. They are scared. They are trying to control something! Therapy this week can't come soon enough.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Family

We've been talking a lot about family this week. One of the kids told me that Hubby and I being married was "a problem I have to fix". The kids haven't had too many examples of a healthy marriage. And we discovered, they don't really know what "married" means. 

And of course after a family therapy session all about families and family traditions Smiley and Sarah had total meltdowns. Sarah crying in the car and mumbling under her breath that she doesn't want is to be her family.

Poor kiddo.

And then it got worse as Sheila cancelled her visit.  I was really disappointed because I knew the kids were going to take it hard. With school starting it's already been a rough week.

Sarah took it the hardest. Crying for her Mommy. She looked like she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. Simon then asked about visits with his Dad and how come they stopped. 

How do you explain to a kid whose parents keep letting them down, that once again, they aren't going to show. 

I told him that I was sure that his parents love him and that they were trying their best. And he's a great kid and whatever keeps them I'm sure they are sorry.

But that's not enough. I'm angry for him. I want to shake these adults and scream to look. Look at these beautiful kids who are so hurt and can't trust anyone, especially those they should trust. We are a month away from a permanency hearing and they are missing visits. It's so sad. 

We ended the night doing our homework from family therapy. We watched our wedding video. It was a good reminder for us as well. I had actually forgot how happy we were. How much laughing we did. I know we had fun but I forgot all the touching moments. 

We had a rough year last year. And differently proved in good times and in bad.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Proper Documentation

So Caseworker #3's supervisor called me back. She asked what was going on and I layed it out for her. I explained we wanted to make sure we were fulfilling our role as advocates for permanency for the kids and wanted to make sure that everything was on track for a goal change next month. We were concerned because Caseworker #3's first impression was one of apathy and unpreparedness. 

I fully admit that I told her supervisor she came into my house with nothing more than her cell phone and her business card. I also told her that if the CASA worker hadn't been there I would have ended the meeting.

The supervisor assured me she would discuss proper documentation and basic social work skills with her. And apparently she isn't new and should have known better. Oh and then she have me her email.

That afternoon I got a phone call from CW3 "just checking in". Hmm. Yeah you should have just given me the email in the first place.

In any event, I did learn that the legal screening had taken place and there were some loose ends that needed to be taken care of to finalize the legal screen. At this point they don't expect any issues and the supervisor assured me she would be on top of it. I'm not going to say that CW3 lied but she definitely had no clue.

We talked a little about the process in general. I knew there may be a trial involved if she didn't do an identified surrender, but I had no idea there are three hearings. As she was talking, I saw my vacation time flying out of my bank. 

Lots of interesting things happening. 

I got a text from Sheila that said she missed her call this week because she was in the hospital. I know it's wrong that my 1st thought was: great another bill they will send me and not you.  I want to believe her but she's always ready with an excuse....


Friday, August 8, 2014

Snark

This high road thing really stinks and this week I wish I didn't have to take it. I'd much rather use snark and sarcasm. I'm more fluent in those...

I followed up with Caseworker #3 on when the legal screen for the case would be completed.  This is a step the department takes to ensure that if they go for TPR, they don't hit any snags. We were asked prior to the last status hearing to submit paperwork that was needed for the legal screen that said we were an adoptive resource. 

That was April/May. The Permanency Hearing is scheduled for September. How many months should this process take? 

So I followed up with Caseworker #3. She responded she didn't know anything but stated that it would be done before the Hearing. Umm. Ok. But that's the same thing you told me last month when you sat on my couch with no paper and pen. And because that's my 1st impression of you, you'll have to forgive me for not really believing you are on top of things. 

So naturally I asked for her supervisor's email and assistance escalating the issue. Do you know what happened?

She refused to give me the email. Telling me she needed consent to give it to me. But I could call and leave a message for her boss to return my call next week when she is back from training. (On a side note- if these people are always in training why is nothing ever getting done in foster care?) 

I explained that I was surprised at the refusal, given that all the other supervisors we've worked with have passed on the info readily. I also explained that there were delays and we wanted to ensure there were no more unnecessary delays. 

Her response? Delays are common in this field and she wasn't comfortable giving out the email but feel free to call the supervisor.

You've been in "this field" all of 10 minutes missy. I actually live "in this field". And my kids have been "in this field" on and off their entire lives. So don't tell me about delays. And while they are common, they are U.N.A.C.C.E.P.T.A.B.L.E.  Oh. No. No.No.No.

I will be contacting you daily until I get an answer. You will be sick of hearing from me. I work in the legal field. I know that those who complain the loudest get their requests back sooner.  And I will bark up the chain. You woke the Mama Bear and you will regret your flippant approach to her cubs.

But of course I can't approach it like that. That won't get me anywhere. I didn't respond to the email. I left a message expressing my concerns about a lack of communication for the supervisor. I CCd the GAL and will let her take up the fight. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sometimes Its Really Just About Chips

Simon and I were in the kitchen. I was making dinner. He was putting away the dishes. He had just finished his phone call with his Bio Mom and he says to me, "Mom? Do you think we will be here next summer?"

So I stop what I'm doing and get down to his eye level. I can sense this is an important conversation and so I wanted him to know he had my undivided attention.

"Well Simon, that is up to the judge. But I can say I'm pretty sure that you will be here next summer. How do you feel about that? Is that okay with you?"

He answered, "Okay. Do you think next summer when I have field trips you can get the chips with the green stuff on them?"

Puzzled I asked,"The sour cream and onion kind?"

"Yeah! Those. Thanks Mom."