Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Momma Bear asks Whaaaat????

Unknown to me, Missy was given a developmental screening when she was first put in daycare . This is a routine procedure when a child is in the School Readiness Program.
Today I got the Assessment. 

It shows that my little angel is lacking in the following skills:

1. Communication
    Seriously? Missy "talks" all the time!  I understand her quite well. If she doesn't have the "words" she definitely cries till we figure it out.

2. Problem Solving
  I really don't understand....She seems very intelligent to me and maybe someone doesn't know what they are doing.

Isn't that just like a momma?   That's not my kid, you must be mistaken.  Momma Bear coming out....

 I can't believe I fell into that mindset.  Me, the veteran mom of 37 years. 

Upon stepping back and looking objectively at the assessment I realize how right it was, spot on actually.  Yes, Missy talks, but communication.....well, she gets what she want, it's true, but because we are at her beck and call. We don't really give her the option of TELLING us, we just get a different thing until she's happy.  This is something that we really need to work on. We need to give Missy the skills to communicate, grow and blossom in this world. 

And problem solving....
I really struggled with this one.  Ask anyone who knows her and they will tell you how smart Missy is.  I just couldn't understand but upon further thought, I realized that she solves most problems with brute force.  We will work on this too.

Sometimes you have to step back and look at the situation with the eyes of an outsider and that's what I had to do today.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My little head-banger

Missy continues to bang her head on the tile floors, kitchen cabinets, walls, etc. I have talked to our FDS, GAL and CM.  I also spoke to her mother and asked if she has ever done this before. I was told that she had "just started" before the state "took her away".  Mom is sure it has to do with being taken and that when  it happened in her custody was "just a fluke".  Either way, it's very concerning as I am afraid that she will hurt herself. It doesn't seem to phase her at all. Sometimes she even acts like it feels good.  Most time it's when she seems frustrated but at other times she seems to do it for no other reason that she WANTS to.

I got a referral from Missy's primary care doctor today to see a Neurologist.  I'm interested in seeing what he/she says about this.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Foster Speak.....or what does that MEAN?

I have had people ask me what different "foster words" mean.  Here is a list of common acronyms and words you will hear in my posts.  By no means are these universal....some are but lots are my own....
I read several other foster momma blogs and a lot are common.
In no certain order....because that's the way my brain functions:

CM......Case Manager, Care Manager, Case Management....all the same thing, it is the person, or persons who work for the state. They manager the case.....duh

GAL, Guardian Ad Litem....A person appointed to be the voice for the children.  Most are unpaid volunteers

CPI....Child Protection Investigator or Child Protection Investigation..This is the agency that ensures that children are not abused or neglected.  Typically (at least in our case) a CPI (investigator) brings a foster child to your home the first time.

Transport...short for transporter...the person to drives a child to and from visits or other functions..sometimes transport supervises visits

FP....foster parent

Group Home.....

FDS, Family Development Specialist...A person from your licensing agency who "has your back", your "go to person"....any problems at all with the children or your CM and they will help intervene.

Licensing Agency....they license you for foster care, they do your home study, provide training and continuing education. They support you through your fostering journey.

Independent Living Counselor..... ( I copied and pasted this from their website, since I have yet to deal with them--I will update when I have personal information)
Adolescents face a range of developmental issues, and as teens approach adulthood, living independently becomes a significant goal. While youth with intact families may struggle to achieve self-reliance, youth in out-of-home care face formidable obstacles. The counselor will provide resources and program to help them achieve independent  living.

FK...foster kid   or FB...foster baby

I'm sure as the time goes on, I will encounter more and I will update this page as I learn new things.  I'm new at this too, so we can learn together.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Holy Moley.. Just be nice People!..School Readiness

Deciding on sending a child off to strangers to watch is never an easy thing.  Sure I know almost all the staff at our local daycare. In fact several even go to our same church. I trust these people, as much as I'd trust anyone. And that, is the problem.  I have trust issues sometimes.  But I digress....

Determining it was in Missy's best interest to socialize with other cookie-munchers and not just hang out 24/7 with Meme, I made a trip to the School Readiness Office in Brandon.  I was told that it was "a different world" and to be prepared.  Wow... Now, I'm not uppity at all, but the side of life that was present in that office had me shaking my head.  I saw skin-tight clothing that looked painted on and more BC (my pastor husband euphemism for butt-crack) than I care to see in a life time. I heard momma's cussing at 2 year olds and overheard iphone conversations peppered with "f..." this and "f... NO!"

Not cool.....

Also I was warned to get there 6:30 am.  So I did, thinking that I would be setting there all by myself until they opened till 7:30.  Au contraire.....

I find myself 13th in line behind people who have obviously been there before! They have lawn chairs, coolers of food (seriously) and the ever-present iPhones streaming cartoons... or something, to their little people.  Oh my goodness!

Seven-twenty-nine (and a half).  The blinds are raised and the countdown is on......30 seconds, 29, 28, 27.... Seriously they were watching the hands tick to the 7:30 mark.

We filed in, signed in and took a number. ... and sat and waited.
It was like they took pleasure in making you wait.  Not a nice person in the bunch, they were all short tempered and grouchy. Not the way I wanted to start my day, especially since I had been up since 5:00am!  

It's right here that I need to stop and ask God to help me with my patience.  Really....right here...
and this is what I found:

Ephesians 4:2-3
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

I stopped to pray for the employees here. They have lives outside of here and maybe they need extra prayer.  The work they do is underappreciated by the sound of all of the disgruntled patron assembled.  It was a loud work enviornment and everytime they called a name they had to do it over someones loud voice or screaming kids.  I wouldn't have wanted to work there.  
I ask the Lord for patience and he gives me all kinds of opportunities to hone that personality trait.  Maybe I shouldn't ask for it so much.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Garage Sale Fiasco OR Memorial Hospital

It's been a long day. It started out fine. Mom and dad had driven up from Fort Myers Thursday night to have a yard sale at our house.  The day woke sunny and with a cool breeze...perfect to set up the yard sale. The kiddos were enjoying the outdoors and playing in the leaves and running here and there. Right after a picnic lunch of ham sandwiches and "tato ships" Oogie crawled up on grammy's lap and snuggled close.  Mom called me over and said that she was concerned that Oogie was getting a cold....and it came up really quick.  Her eyes looked puffy and her nose was pouring.  She started coughing and sounded like a seal. Wheezing started soon after and then a fever..... I decided that I needed to get her to the doctor....right away.  I called our FDS* and let them know that I was headed to an after hours clinic.  After stopping at two different ones that wouldn't take her form of medicaid I decided to head to the hospital.
Three hours, an x-ray and breathing treatment later, we headed home with the diagnosis of an upper respiratory infection.  This is becoming a reoccurring problem that might need to be addressed with her primary care doctor.

Monday, February 13, 2012

COME ON People....

I know that there is a big controversy over vacinations and flu shots... but at the risk of adding to the fray.....
This is just irresponsible!  If you want to be a parent, be a parent. I am a bit frustrated right now.  I just took Baby M. to the doctor and this is what I found out!

Notice all the pink!  OVERDUE! What have you been doing? Obviously not caring for your child as a responsible mother. If you take the stand of being "for" vacinations, then do it! If you don't, on ethical, religious or other reasons, that's fine too. But the fact that you "started", but not followed through....well that just makes me plum crazy.

Ok, off the rant right now....stepping off the soapbox...

In other news, the babies are doing very well.  They are adjusting.  Baby M. is definately a "daddy's girl" and I'm content to snuggle the "little man".

Why does everything take so L.O.N.G.

I am still waiting for our Case Manager to change Baby M's primary care doctor so I can take her to the doctor and catch up on the shots that she is so far behind on. It seems like everytime I contact the CM she has another excuse. I understand that a lot of work goes into being a Case Manager but there is a "baby" connected to all of these files!! It's been over a month since we took in Baby M and STILL NO PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR....

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
                                                                                                    Isaiah 40:31

 I try to be patient, I really do, but sometimes I think God called me to this life so He could TEACH me patience! Every day it's something else.  I get so aggrevated in my mind. Self-talk tells me that maybe I shouldn't do this...I'm not cut out for it. But then I look at these sweet innocent souls and realize if not me, who?  I'm not perfect but my heart is in the right place.  God can use this and I can find his strength in my weakness.

On another note, I had a great photo session with a family at the Beach.  (yes, I have another life - as a photographer)  If you want to see some of my work visit  New Hope Photography

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Toothie Tales....Or Baby's first dentist appointment

Baby M went to her first dentist appointment today! Thanks to Dr. Mike at Mcilwain DentistryCheck them out! Great dentist, wonderful staff!!

Good cavities!      Registered Friends

Friday, January 27, 2012

Welcome home Baby Boy

I got an unexpected call yesterday from placement.  Our baby boy was ready to be released and they wanted to know if we could be prepared to pick him up today.  Last night I scurried around to prepare to bring Baby Boy home.  I had been told that it would probably be 2-6 weeks before he would be ready so we were totally unprepared. I pulled up CraigsList on the computer and did a search for baby cribs. Every one I called was "sold". Finally someone called me back that had an available crib. Baazing!...yes I love BBT

Of course it was 9:00 at night and she wouldn't be home the next morning.  She said that she was driving home from Sarasota and wouldn't be home till around 10:00.  Desperate I told her if she was willing, I would come and see it then.  So, at 10:15 last night I loaded up a crib in the back of my van. The lady was so nice. She had been a foster parent and when I told her that was why I wanted the crib, she gave me sheets and some preemie clothing that she had.

We were ready.....
I arrived at the hospital and waited while a car seat test was administered. This was done because Baby boy was still considered a preemie and weighed only a little over 5 pounds. The test was to determine if he could handle a ride in the car seat for the ride home.  He passed with flying colors and I got him dress to bring him home.

The nurse came in to give me discharge instructions.  All the typical stuff....after all, it had only been 32 years since I had taken a baby home from the hospital. Things couldn't have changed that much.  ;0)

As she was reading the instructions, she got to the part regarding "post-partum activities".... "Now you must wait 6 weeks for for sex" she says.....Seriously????   I asked...."You realize that I did not birth this baby"..... (remember I am in my 50's) that I THINK about it, maybe she meant I would not have TIME for sex now....

Without a pause she goes on to the next line of her form..... and I mentally shake my head...

She then calls for a wheelchair.  Again....Seriously????  I tell her that I can walk but if she needs to we can wheel the baby down to the car.  Nope!  Procedure.....  and so I get wheeled down through the hospital lobby carrying a newborn baby and people stare.  Oh boy, do they stare...
I'm sure I'm the sight... I imagine whispers of "Did you see how old that lady was...what in the world was she thinking....the nerve of some people.  Ok, maybe I need to be not so paranoid...haha!!

Well, another chapter of this fostering life has started, can't wait to see where it takes us.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

There is a BABY BROTHER?!?!?

I got a call today from Placement asking if we would be willing to take Oogie's little brother. A quick calculation made me ask, "Baby Brother...How old is he???     She's barely a year old!?"

Well....I found out that Oogie was taken into custody the night that Baby Boy was born.  He was born to a mom who was on drugs at the time of delivery and an emergency shelter was needed for Oogie, Now that the new baby was getting closer to release from the hospital they wanted to know if we would take him. We have been told that it could be another 2 - 6 weeks before he is fully weaned off the drugs. After a quick talk and prayer with hubby we decided that though we weren't "thinking" two babies, God would take care of the details and we would keep the siblings together. Now we just wait till he's well enough to "come home".


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Protected from harm...that was our prayer

Today the CPI came to pick up Oogie to take her to the doctor for a check up.

 They take them to a doctor that apparently (although I do not know this for sure) specializes in a "once over" appointment for foster children.  I guess to just get an idea of their overall health.  Baby Oogie seems very healthy and well cared for. We are not sure of the reason that she was taken out of the home.  I sure hope she wasn't abused in any way. I can't hardly bear to think that.  For the last year I have prayed that "our child" will be protected from any harm.  I know it's unreasonable to think that a child taken out of a home is unscathed, but I prayed that God would protect him or her.

Picture taken at a Cordova Park in Tampa

Registered Friends

The Call

We got "the call" last night.
Following almost 2 years of off and on preparing for this it happened last night about 10:30.  I had gone to bed early because I was feeling a bit under the weather. My lupus was acting up--not too bad but I was a little extra tired. I took a Trazadone, kissed the hubby and snuggled into my cozy bed around 8:00.

Out of a deep sleep I hear a brring, brrring... My phone.....what time was it??? Seemed like the middle of the night but as I grabbed my phone I noticed that it was only 10:30. What the heck? I didn't recognize the number and I almost didn't answer. Something told me that this might be "the call".....

"Mrs. ____, this is Margaret*. I have a one year old female for placement. Are you interested?"
Fully engergized I jump out of bed, get a really quick confirmation from the hubby and tell her YES, we are ready....

Piddling around the house, I start a load of laundry, catch up on emails and FaceBook and generally just W.A.I.T.

Two-thirty a.m., another call......
"Mrs. ______, we have taken the baby for intake and photos; we should be there in about 30 minutes....just wanted to keep you informed."  Thanks.....

Three-fifteen.... A knock on the door and it's a female CPI with a tiny, blond haired little girl hiding behind her back.  The baby peaked out behind from behind the CPI's back and smiled so big I think my heart, like the grinches, "grew three sizes that day".

Today will be the true day of adjustment.  Right now Oogie is sleeping soundly in her little crib. I watch her breath her little soft baby breaths and realize I know nothing about her, other than she needed us and we were willing.  I'm not sure what the future will hold but I do know Who holds the future. I will pour into this little life the love of Jesus and when the time comes for her to either go home to her biological family or to a new "forever family" we will know we did our part.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
                                                                     James 1:27