Here's how it all shook out......
I prayed and prayed and prayed all day long. I prayed for my agency worker. I prayed for my CPS worker. I prayed for our agency regional director. (I forgot to pray for the CPS supervisor.)
About 2:45 I couldn't take it anymore so I called our agency to find out what the status was. Our SW (let's call her Sarah) took a deep breath and said that she was just going to call me.
"It doesn't sound good," I said.
She replied, "No."
I said, "Pumpkin has to go to respite doesn't she."
She muttered out a yes.
This is difficult to explain...bear with me. I asked what had happened and Sarah told me that she had talked to our CPS worker (let's call her Amy). Amy was OK with Pumpkin staying at my house. However, when she presented things to her supervisor it was knocked down. It seemed hopeless. Sarah told me that she was going to call and find a respite provider. I offered to do all of the necessary school and visit transportation if they could find a home close enough to where we live. I even said the Pumpkin could stay with me all day and I would just need a bed for her to sleep in. (We are on Spring Break next week so she won't have school. I really want Pumpkin to stay in our house as much time as possible.)
I hung up with Sarah and decided to call Amy.
Amy's version of the story was slightly different. She said that CPS doesn't have a problem with it per se. They default to our agency's minimum standards in this case. So I said, "You mean if our agency says it's OK, CPS will say it's OK?!" Amy indicated that this was true. Only she would have to get a supervisor to sign off on it.
So I called Sarah back. (Confusing as hell. I know. I guess I'm just spelling out all of this obnoxious conversation as a way to shed light on what "the system" can look and act like.) Sarah seemed slightly confused. So she said that she would call Amy again.
I could be wrong. But it seemed that we got caught in a circle and no one would bend. Our agency said we could "break the background check rule" if CPS would send them a letter saying it's OK. CPS said they could break the rule if our agency said it was OK. Neither organization would put it in writing giving approval for my parents to stay. Neither organization wanted to take responsibility. Both parties claimed they understand and it really isn't a problem. Neither organization sees my parents as a threat. But MINIMUM STANDARDS aren't being met so their hands are tied. So, Pumpkin can be at our house all day long. She just can't sleep in our house if my parents are here.
Sarah managed to find a respite home for Pumpkin about 20 minutes away from my house. I agreed to handle all the transportation for school and family visits. I take Pumpkin to this house and tuck her in to bed. Then, in the morning the respite provider gets Pumpkin dressed and I come pick her up and take her to school. (Good deal for the respite provider. She gets full compensation and we will not be receiving any per diam for the days Pumpkin is officially on respite. But it's important to me that Pumpkin's life stay as close to normal as possible. Proof I guess that I'm not in this for the money. And, according to some, that I'm certifiable. LOL)
I've been pleasantly surprised. This change in routine hasn't really phased Pumpkin at all. (Maybe her mom used to do things like this so she could "go out". I have no idea!!) Things are going so smooth in fact, Pumpkin smiled and played with me tonight as I was tucking her in. When I asked for a kiss goodnight -- I actually got one! This my friends is huge! Pumpkin is showing a wider range of emotions. It's awesome!
The respite mom is wonderful!! I've been very blessed. At no time did she make me feel bad for doing this. She has been quite reassuring. And none of Pumpkin's delays even phase her.
I'm still praying that the paperwork from the FBI will show up at our agency soon. If my parents are still here the day the day the paperwork comes in (IF it comes in) Pumpkin will not have to go to respite anymore. Until then, I have to obey THE SYSTEM. <<sigh>>