Thursday, January 31, 2008

My best friend's parents are like my own. Whenever things were bad at home, I went there. It was my safe haven. They call me their other daughter and I call them mom and dad.

Yesterday morning, Dad was in a bad car accident. He was outside of town driving to NM for work like he did all the time.
A semi truck had overturned in the road. Another semi had stopped to aide him. Dad didn't see either. He hit one, rolled, then hit the other.

Now he's in ICU with a shattered ankle, two broken legs, a broken pelvis, a broken hip, a broken sternum, all of his ribs are broken, the ones on the right obliterated, a collapsed lung, an arm broken in two places, and a broken hand. We aren't sure about his spine yet, but he can move his fingers and toes.

His heart is good and his head is good. His head is REALLY good. Today he was aware, writing questions, holding our hands, even making a joke about needing his granddaughter's boo boo buddy.

He is just so so so broken.

His first surgery was this morning and it went well. They are worried they may have to amputate his foot if the ankle isn't repairable. They are worried about pneumonia. They are worried about a lot of things.

So whatever higher power you find yourself turning to for advisement, ask for a little help here. I don't think we would survive without him.

Friday, January 25, 2008

where's the motivation?

I appreciate every one's words of wisdom and comfort. It prompted me to take some action. Well, that and a conversation with the case aide that transports the boy to and from his visits~

Last week I asked her to check with the MGM what she still needed for the baby. I received a clothing allowance and although it's more then spent over the last 6 months, I would purchase an exersaucer if she didn't have one. He loves his and I figured it could be considered a non-necessity. Plus, they have tons of them as the used store for so cheap and I have time to shop....
Case aide comes back from the visit and informs me MGM has nothing. NOTHING. She commented MGM said she wasn't sure when or if he was coming so she hadn't invested yet.

This stemmed two thoughts. One, she's not particularly motivated. Two, the case manager isn't being forthright with anyone.
She told me he was going as soon as MGM got back on her feet after the fire. She now has her rental home and according to the kids (her other kids living with her whom I speak with at the visits and ask small questions) said they have replaced pretty much everything.
So what's the deal???

I sent an e-mail to the GAL asking her to call. I told her what I knew and that there hasn't been any real increase in visitation. There wasn't even a visit this week.
I asked if the possibility of an 'open' adoption had even been discussed. Has anyone thought to ask MGM if she would like to be a grandma and not a new mom?? GAL heard me out, agreed with my concerns, and plans to call not only the CM, but the MGM's atty.
Oh, yeah, she has an attorney because SHE had an open case with the baby's mom. You know, because her boyfriend was admittedly molesting her. Don't even get me started down this path.

Now I'm waiting to see what the GAL has to say after talking to the other parties. This will probably not happen for a week with all the phone tag, but she's on it. Having co-workers who worked with her before, I know she will follow-up.

At the end of the day, no matter how much I want to keep my little boy, if he's going to MGM I want it to be as smooth a transition as possible. Let's do SOMETHING. There is no reason this case is not moving in some direction.

Oh, and to add to the irritation, I called the case aide this morning to see if I forgot to write down a visit for today or something. She informed me she was out of the office Monday and Tuesday but has asked MGM to call her to schedule. She did not. Is there any motivation here or is the stupid CM pushing her to take him???

Let's hope the GAL gets somewhere. Anywhere.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

the starving child

You'd think we never fed him.........

Monday, January 21, 2008


There has been some chatter on other blogs about foster care issues, including motivation, kinship care, severance, and the rules. Although I have probably commented on each of these, I have been struggling with my own family and friends on some of these issues. Now I will rant about them a little bit here~

My parents are unable to understand that the boy will go to his grandmother. My father is the more vocal in his resistance, and frequently points out MGM already has a lot of her plate. Her home just burned down, she has three kids with her (baby's mom is her fourth but AWOL), she is a single parent, she is illegal, and the list would go on and on.

This is not at all uncommon; I heard this all before as a case manager.

It is hard to tell people that MGM should get him because she's family. Yes, she's struggling. Yes, he will take a monetary step down as she is a single parent. Yes, we could provide so much more to him in so many areas. Yes, she is his family and we are not.

All of this is so reasonable in my head. It's my heart that cries out BULLSHIT HE's MINE!!!

I also feel this enormous weight and there isn't even an ETA for him leaving yet. I am questioning more and more if I can continue this path of fostering. We are hoping to adopt here, so it is so difficult to fall in love with this little boy and then have him leave seven or so months later.
And yes, I knew this going into it. We took this route because I knew the system.
But as with everything, it's just not the same once you're all the way in it...
We talk about the next kids, but what if it's the same thing all over again. How many cracks can you make in a heart before it breaks?

I often think if we had our own children it would be easier because we wouldn't be looking so desperately for that family completion. When the boy leaves, the house is empty. And yet I know this is not the case as so many of the families I worked with grieved at the loss of their foster kids - right along side their biological children.

Needless to say I am feeling quite glum. I am working on this scrapbook for him to take, doing mental inventory of his things, sorting out what we will send and what we will keep for the next child/ren to come along. Trying to figure out how to convey all the things they will need to know so he is as understood as he is here. Where to tickle him. When to stop tickling. What that cry means, or that facial expression. The face I make when he's crying to make him laugh. The song I hum as I rock him when he's so sleepy he can't settle down.

There are no answers, really. I think that's what frustrates me the most. There is no right answer, no solution, no real words of comfort that will ease my pain. It just is what it is.

* I love accessories. Matching earrings, necklace, bracelet, purse, shoes. Of course, not so much at the moment as I am home all the time and the boy would try to eat any jewelry, but 'normally' I can't get enough.

Friday, January 18, 2008

to drug or not to drug....

I am happy to see some new peeps checking me out (haha). I am also happy to see some 'old' peeps still sticking around to see what happens next~

I took the boy in for his 6 month shots; yes, we were very late getting these as he is now 8 months, but oh well.
Anyhoo, he's been on a no eating kick for a bit. First there was the issue I wrote about talking with his mouth full and spraying food everywhere. Then the tide changed. He started straightening out his little body stiff as a board when I tried to put him in the high chair, followed by whining and crying, though not always with tears. Then he would open his mouth for food only to spit it right back out 2 seconds after I got it in there. This was a test in patience.

After the third go of this, I decided to hell with it. He still gets his bottles so he's not starving to death by any means. I figured we'd ride it out and see what happened.

Back to the pediatrician....... She checks and says he MIGHT have an ear infection, it's too hard to tell. This could be the reasoning behind his not wanting to eat.

This brings up two things for me.
ONE - it's not as though he lost his appetite. He was chugging formula like no body's business. It appeared to me to be the desire for instant gratification. I am hungry now so I want a bottle now, not this food crap that takes awhile and doesn't satisfy me in thirty seconds or less.
TWO - she wrote a prescription for antibiotics. Antibiotics for a maybe ear infection. hmmmm. Not a fan.

After discussion with hubs, vote was no meds. Instead, will monitor his behavior and see how he does, and even then look for a homeopathic solution before heading down the drug highway.

Day after the appointment, AND four shots, he's fine. Eating like a pig again.

What are your thoughts on meds for wee ones? Or anyone for that matter? I myself am asthmatic and have major allergies. I was on steroids for years and years as a child, resulting in discolored teeth and an adult infatuation with all things natural. I still pop aspirin and use an inhaler, but ran into this mental block when it came to getting this prescription filled for the baby.

I have decided to put a small thing about myself at the bottom of each post. I urge you to do this as well as we talk about what's happening, but it would be nice to get to know some of you, even if a little at a time.

* I took cake decorating courses. I can make flowers and things to make a cake pretty BUT I suck at baking and frosting. Makes it a little complicated.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I've had some questions 'on the side' from some fellow bloggers. I think it stems from some of my long-ass comments on these blogs, and maybe it's a who the f are you based question, maybe a I hadn't thought of that so how come you did based question. Either way, I figured I may as well throw some of the answers out there for anyone interested.

1. I worked for Child Protective Services in AZ for almost 7 years as a case manager. I have no idea how many families and/or children were on my case load overall, but I can tell you 90% of my cases went to severance (parental rights terminated). Majority of the cases were substance abuse and/or mental health. I only had two physical abuse cases, and a spattering of other issues. I loved a lot of 'my kids' and still keep in touch with some of them through their placements to this day, which I'm not supposed to but don't give a shit, they're MY KIDS.

2. I am adopted. From birth through a private agency. My brother is also adopted.

3. I had an abusive parent. Previously, my mom checked in on my blog from time to time so I could not put anything up about this. Even now I pause over the delete button. I worry someone will read this that speaks with her and say something about it and I don't want to deal with that. It's in the past. So if you are that person, maybe skip #3 and go directly to #4~
It was mostly emotional abuse, but physical as well, by my mother.
At one point in my life, I had to set new boundaries with her. Anyone seen the movie Mommy Dearest? That's my childhood. Took me quite a few tries to get through it - the movie. Anyhoo, I had to make a decision to either let go of what happened and get on with it, or cut her out of my life completely. With some strength of will and a few classes, I was able to re-set our relationship and now she's my biggest supporter. Instead, she treats my father like shit. However, when he complains, I remind him that he picked her. I suffered the same crap and didn't even have the option! He shuts up.

4. I have met my biological parents. Well, kind of. It's a long story for another post as it will take time to plot out in order, but the jist is I met my bio-dad (BD) first. We have nothing in common, but made a go of it none the less. Then I found out bio-mom (BM) and he were still in touch. Met her, she's a wacko. Didn't have anything to say to me. Nothing. We talked about weather and sports. I think I've had more personal discussions with people on the bus.
When infertility issues arose, I requested my one bio-cousin (the only good thing to come out of the maternal side, and she's wonderful) to check in to issues. BM told her not to butt it, that I chose to be on my own, that I should ask BD about such issues, but not before getting DNA testing (this is soooooo paraphrased). Questioned BD, who confirmed he may not be BD after all. Could get DNA testing, but it's expensive. On top of that, say he's not, then what? I have a relationship with his sister and brother and cousins and his son, my half-brother. These aren't close relationships, but they exist and I'm thankful for them.

5. I used to say that I couldn't adopt. There is still this little blackness inside me that feels it's continuing some kind of disease or cycle. I felt so detached as a child, wishing I had a 'real' family. It felt disconnected. To not have those bonds, then adopt myself, somehow felt like stretching things even more. OBVIOUSLY I have gotten past this as we are trying to adopt through foster care, but I'd be lying if I said the feeling didn't pass now and again.

We'll leave it at that for now. I hope that answers the questions (you know who you are), but if not I'm a pretty open book. Part of the purpose of this blog is the hopes I can help someone else. If there are any questions about foster care or adoption or anything, feel free to toss them my way. But beware, I am a bit of a cynic (understatement) and may be opinionated. If you're looking for a specific answer, don't ask as I may not provide what you're looking for. If you want honesty, knock yourself out!

And because it is a pretty good story if I do say so myself - which I obviously do - I will write another post on the how I found the egg and sperm donor (BM & BD).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Don't talk with your mouth full

I never in my wildest dreams imagined those words coming out of my mouth. Much less aimed at a seven month old. However, our eating habits have been taking on new hurdles as of late, the most recent, talking with his mouth full.
I believe he may have discovered normal sounds are much more interesting with a mouth full of, say green bean puree. And really, who cares if making these new funkified noises causes said beans to spray all over the chair, table, clothes, and more importantly, the mamma.
Thank god for oxyclean.

Other milestones include the cutting of a second tooth on the bottom, right next to the first. On a side note regarding this tooth cutting business, those suckers are ridiculously sharp! I have been bitten by children before, but nothing prepared me for the bite from Mr. 3/4 and 1/2 teeth. Razors I tell you! One bite lasting maybe two seconds almost broke the skin on my finger..... but back to the other developments (literally)~
He is scooting all over the place, most often through the kitchen. I believe I mentioned it before but I will again because of it's high importance, you do not feel any dirtier then you do after looking at the front side of a baby who has been crawling around on your tile floor. Add a dog with tons of black hair, unfinished landscaping outside, and general laziness of one stay at home mom to go through the motions of mopping all that floor, and you've got yourself one nasty looking kid.....
He is sitting up on his own, although frequently falls over usually face first.
The dog has grown tired of this thing that takes up all of our attention as acts up. He will lay on you, or in front of you, to block you from that drooling thing who has taken his place as the most important member of the family. He will paw at the baby wanting to play. I mean, it's only fair since he grabbed my tail first and tried to bite my leg, isn't it??
He will crawl to you if you motion and say 'come here', which we both laugh at because we sound like we're calling the dog. Here again, we fully realize much of the dog's anxiety can be linked directly back to us and our verbiage. Key words like 'come here', 'out', and 'food', used to be aimed at four legged. Now they are used to get baby to crawl, see if he wants out of the exersaucer, or invite him to breakfast or lunch.

Poor puppy.

I have completed two scrapbook pages for him, both taking wayyyyyyyy too much time. I need to be a little less anal when it comes to the projects, especially those I will never see again like the boy's scrapbook.
He continues to visit with his grandmother at the CPS offfice while she gets herself back together at the rental home her insurance company reportedly set her up in. The CM needs to check out the home so visits can take place there, but by that time I think the visits will be mute and the boy will move for good.
In all honesty, I try to talk about him leaving as much as possible to others as a way to continually remind myself the great loss I am about to suffer. We are about to suffer. My husband will be just as upset, ok, maybe not equally as devastated as me because I am with him all the time but this is just my opinion..... My parents are attached and even our friend's kids. It will be hard. But it's been wonderful, too, having this beautiful boy in our lives. There are days I wish he'd been ugly, or a cry baby, or never smiled. Then it might be easier.