Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

This weekend we had the great opportunity to attend The Connected Child Seminar.
We learned so much from Dr. Karon Purvis and will try very hard to put into practice what we learned. The seminar was geared to raising kids "from hard places", ie. foster, adopted etc. I am sure that a lot of the information that we learned would be very helpful for kids from "normal places".  Don't we all have some issues to deal with?  Anyway, I would highly recommend Dr. Purvis's book The Connected Child.

We actually picked up several books at the seminar that so far seem to have very
helpful information in them.  Currently I am reading "The Out of Sync Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz and it seemed geared specifically to our 2 year old! Sure glad we picked it up.

On the second day of the conference just as we were settling into our seats right after lunch I get a call from our FDS, Amber.  She asked if we would be willing to take a newborn boy......tonight....

A quick conversation with the hubby and we said yes.  We were told that he would be brought to us straight from the hospital around 7:00.  Since we were close to 2 hours from our home and the conference wasn't over till 5:00, we knew it would be close but we agreed.  We were told that the CPI would be waiting at the hospital for our call when we were about 30 minutes from home.

We made it home at about 6:45 and the wait began......

You see, I have learned that there is "real time" and "DCF time".  Apparently, there was a "incident" at the hospital involving "mom" and her not wanting the child to be removed.  When I hear this I was so glad that the CPI brought him and I didn't pick him up myself.  (I had done this with our first foster baby).  Baby C arrived at approximately 9:30 that night....and boy was he worth the wait!  Such a cutie...Dark brown full hair and big blue eyes.  Such a handsome little guy!

The next morning I turned 58.....and what 58 year old doesn't want a newborn for her birthday. haha!
We are blessed........

Monday, February 11, 2013

Another Staffing

I heard from our FDS last night. She had gotten the email I sent her regarding the information that I posted yesterday...the notes from phone conversation with "mom".  Apparently she took the information to say that mom was suicidal.  I guess when I look back at my notes, it could be taken that way.  She contacted the facility and spoke to the nurse in charge and asked her to check in on mom.  She told me that the nurse really didn't seem interested in the information.  Sometimes I wonder if places like that put so much emphasis on being successful at "rehabbing" the client that they don't want to hear anything negative.  I may be totally off here, this is just my opinion and thoughts.  She also contacted the Care Manager.

Anyway, today I get an email from the Care Manager who said that she was meeting with her supervisor and that it would be "staffed" right away.  I'm still not totally sure what that means in each situation.  I know that there is what's called a permanency staffing and that just goes over the current permanency recommendation,  like TPR or reunification and if it should stay the same. The staffing that they had today......well, I just don't know...yet.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

It's a crazy world in which we live...

I just got off the phone with the kid's mom and I wanted to put down into words what was said before they fade away in my mind. So much shared today.....

She told me that mom and her brother are picking her up from graduation on the 20th. She still can't understand why I cant bring the kids.  She said she allowed them to go on TWO vacations with us and yet, I can't bring them to see her 2 hours away??? She has, in a way, a point I guess.  Anyway she went on to say the the apartment through VOA had not come through yet and even if it had she would have no furniture, no TV, no phone and that she couldn't live like that..."She would be alone"...

She said that her brother had offered to come let her live with her mom, him and his girlfriend in (I think) Jacksonville. Or somewhere up there on that side of the coast. Anyway, several hours away.  She thought it was a good idea because she could then join his gym and "get her mind and body into shape".  He is a MMA someone and he would help her, according to our conversation. She was concerned however that she might not see her kids very often unless her mom would bring her down to see them.  She then bemoaned the fact that she wouldn't have a car and that she still didn't have her license. (Her license has been revoke due to lack of making child support payments to her x-hubby-at least that is what she told me).

She spoke to the kids and started crying, saying that she couldn't live without them. I had Maddi sing some songs to her and she cried more.  I told her that the kids were doing well, Ty was starting to say some words and she abruptly changed the subject to Ty never having been circumcised.  Weird segue.... 

I told her that we had talked about seeing what it would take to get it done. (We actually would like it done if we end up keeping the kids).  I told her that the cost would be prohibitive and that since the kids are in state care it probably wouldn't happen anyway.  She kept on talking about how important it would be. She asked if I had any way to contact (dad's) mom. She said, and I QUOTE, " They bought our drugs all the time, I'm sure she would pay to get him circumcised."  Okaaay......

Continuing in the conversation she went to the fact that all the girls hate her there.  She got in trouble for being "friendly" (not sure how that played out) with the boys and the girls got jealous. Now she said she stays to herself.

She started again saying how she just couldn't "do this". How she had to get her kids back.  She asked if I thought she was doing the right thing, going to stay with her brother. I told her that I didn't know, but it sounded like she would be taking care of herself and that sounded like a smart thing to do. She said that she wasn't sure what she would do if they took her kids away.  I told her that even if that would happen that she would still be part of their lives.  That I would make sure that they knew who their mommy was and that she could still see and talk to them.  She said, and again I QUOTE, "I couldn't do it, I would make sure I OD'd. I just wouldn't live through that again".

I still am concerned of her stability. I pray for her and try to encourage her but I just don't know....

 I needed to get this down in word format so my brain didn't have to hold it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Is it real or is it Memorex

Remember the old commercial about Memorex recording tapes? It asks, "Is it real, or is it memorex", implying that it's hard to tell the difference.

I wonder sometimes if "mom's" rehab is real or is it "memorex".  I want to believe it's real, but I struggle with that. The kids have now been in our care for 13 months and each time, I hear how good she is doing (from HER mouth) and then I find out that she has been released from that current program for non-complience.  I have to admit, the first 6 month, or maybe even 9 months, I really believed her. And each time I was let down.  You see going into this I made a promise to myself that I would be supportive, be a mentor to this young lady so I would encourage her to work to get her kids back....and each time I was let down.....

I believe she really wants to do good and change, but drugs have such a hold on a person...
Currently she is in residential treatment center about 2 hours from here. She is scheduled to be released in a few weeks and when I spoke to her the other day I asked where she was going from there.  She didn't know... I asked how are you getting back to Tampa?  She didn't know....
Part of rehabilitation is learning life skills and "figuring stuff out". My inclination is to find a solution to her problem but I have to step back and let her figure it out. If she does someday get the kids back she needs to learn these skill.  Her rehabilitation has to be real, not Memorex....
and I hope her kids are not let down.....

“I believe that in the end the truth will conquer.” ~ John Wycliffe

Friday, February 1, 2013

FAQ and other stuff......or what the heck????

Foster(ing)  An obvious word to use in the Title of my Blog
Websters definition: 1.  affording, receiving, or sharing nurture or parental care though not related
by blood or legal ties
2.  to promote the growth or development of
3. to care for or cherish Absolutely!

Shenanigans Basically just a word I like the sound of AND it works perfectly to describe our little ones
Websters definition: 1. high-spirited or mischievous activity (usually plural) Yep! that's a good definition
2. silly Oh yes!!!

The naming of one's blog, it seems, is a very weighty issue.  Although I have kept record through a diary of the old fashioned way (ie. journal and pen), I hadn't taken the leap into the blogging world for one very basic problem....

What to name the blog?

The moniker used must portray the intent and content of the the words, compelling a reader to look further and explore.  (....or do I really care about that?)  After all, the blog in journal form was never meant to be shared.  

As it turns out, I do want to least for anyone interested.  The last year has been an interesting one.  There have been ups and downs for sure.  I have learned a lot about parenting (even after 38 years of being one), I have learned about the legal system, at least in regards to parental rights, and court proceedings.  I have learned all I ever thought I didn't want to know about drugs and the havoc they wreck of people and their families.  I have learned (and am still learning) the fostering system and all the language that goes along with it.  I have learned by trial and error and sometimes by BIG MISTAKES.  I have taken my journal entries and copied them to this format.

If you want to follow our story, come along, I'd love the company.  

For privacy issues I can not use the true names of the children in our care. At first I referred to the "babies" as Baby M and Baby T.  I did this as I couldn't think of any other options.  (goofy me)

Anyway from here forward I will use the pseudonyms of  Missy and Tony.  They are the current children in our care.  "Missy" is 2 years old and "Tony" is her 1 year old brother. They have been in our care for a little over a year now.  Currently their father is incarcerated and their mother is in a residential drug rehab program.

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.        Mathew 10:13-16


A little background:

Who am I?  Listen Here

I have typed and retyped this paragraph more times than I want to admit.  Who am I....really?

I'm a Child of God first and foremost.  I love Him with all of my heart.  I mess up and I fall down, but I get back up again.  I know that is where my strength comes from and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

I am a mom of three of the most lovely adult daughters that you would want to meet. I don't take much credit for that....they take after their dad.

I am grandma/mamaw/gma to NINE grandkids....7 girls and 2 boys.

I am a photographer who loves to tell a story through pictures. I "SEE" things differently and I like to capture that "vision" on film.

I am a Pastors wife and all that comes with that.  This was a late in life calling and so I periodically struggle with the calling.  I get much more irritated than I think a PW should get...sometimes downright ugly in my anger.....(I'm working on that).  I sometimes forget to have that quiet time that we know we should have.  Hecky durn...I sometimes cuss.  Not the real bad stuff but bad enough.  Like I said, I fall down and I get back up.  God's cool like that, he forgives me before I even ask.

I am a "Lupie".  That means I have Lupus.  Actually I have Lupus and Fibro-myalgia.  It stinks, I know..... but facts are facts and I deal with it. Because of this I get tired easier than most people. I get sick more often and things hit me harder.  I have to watch my diet more than most and can't/shouldn't drink my beloved Diet Coke.  There are adjustments but I'm alive...and I have a job to do.

And finally, I am a FOSTER MOM....and this is what this blog is (mostly) about.  Our journey through the foster system. My husband and I, at the ripe old age of   *ummm* 50-something, decided to START OVER. With adult children in their thirties and grandkids aging from 4-19, we decided we wanted a do-over.

Journey with me over the next HOW MANY YEARS God gives us in this ministry. I'm sure it will be filled with all kinds of roller-coaster moments. Come along for the ride!