Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Taking a trip home

My 15 year old son is gainfully employed for the summer. It's a full-time 8 week job in the field he wants to pursue upon graduation. Unfortunately, when they set the start and end dates for this job, it complicated our original summer travel plans. And now, because we still have all the little ones, it really complicates things because I do HAVE to be back for the first day of school. (My legal family is being homeschooled so all I have to have for them to start is a computer.)

I really want to go home this summer. Every year my amazing mom and dad hold Cousins' Camp. Every year all the potty trained cousins age two and older come to Granny and Papa's house for a week of camp. They have picnics, go swimming and do all sorts of amazing camp activities. They cook. They take field trips. They play games. It is sooooo much fun!

If we couldn't go north, my kids would miss out on camp.

So my mom and my genius sister started plotting. They decided if I couldn't go north, they would come south. All the cousins wouldn't be here – but it'd be better than nothing.

I sent a text to Mr. Amazing this morning to get his opinion on this idea. He resigned that no, we probably couldn't go north this summer. Then he said, "As soon as Herman got that job, I knew I would be staying here this summer. We'll just have to go home over Christmas."

So I started plotting. If he was OK with having to stay on the face of the sun all summer, maybe I could go north.

I sent Mr. Amazing another text asking how he felt about that.

He said as long as I had arrangements for all the little ones he's totally OK with it.

This is where I need your help. How do I go about getting permission to take Dude and Dolly out of state?

Sure, they tell us that we get to treat this kids like family. We're supposed to include them in our activities. But here, it doesn't work that way. Shoot – we have to have permission from a judge to take the kids out of the county overnight. It's a huge pain in the neck.

So...who do I ask first?

The chain of command means that technically I'm supposed to ask Miss Supervisor for permission. She is then supposed to ask the lawyer. Who is then supposed to ask the judge.

But Miss Supervisor doesn't like me so much. She thinks I'm too attached to the cherubs. And the cherubs no longer have a lawyer. And I can't exactly go to the judge myself – besides, there's a new judge effective Friday and I have no idea who it is.

My Genius Sister had the idea that I could tie in a visit to Grandma in Dallas on our way up to Iowa. Maybe Miss Supervisor would be more game with things if I offered that up.

But do I really want to do that?!

I welcome any thoughts on this subject. I'm starting with y'all before I ask anyone involved in this case. I haven't even said anything to my mom yet. (Hi Mom!! I'm seeing what I can figure out here.) I'd love to hear how y'all think I should work The System with this request. I would have to get respite for Pumpkin because she can't miss her weekly visits. I don't think that would end up being a problem. All I have to do is figure out how to get approval for Dude and Dolly to visit my family for a couple weeks. My parents have passed a full background check (including FBI fingerprints). This shouldn't be that big of a deal. But I know if I don't work it just right, Miss Supervisor will tell me "no" and I'll be forced to put Dude and Dolly in respite if I want to go.

Tell me what you think...


Mie said...

Whenever I've had an inkling of opposition I've framed it this way - "I'm going out of town to XX on XX and we'd love to take the children with us. We'll be doing XX and it will be a great experience for them. Can we have your permission to take them with us? If not, I will need respite care for that time. I'd hate to put them with a stranger, especially since they are so young, so if you could get us permission that would be wonderful!"

I also am proactive in telling them that I know they will miss a visit (if they will) and that I will be happy to make it up at their leisure.

Meg0422 said...

I have trouble accepting "no" so I usually go around the person wanting to say it! However, in your situation, how about sending the same letter to Ms. Supervisor, the judge, and the as-yet unknown lawyer? Make sure they both/all know they're getting the same copy. Set out all of your logical reasons why they should say yes and address possible reasons they may come up with a "no."

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I have regularly taken my foster son halfway across the country to visit my family -- the first time was after he'd only lived with us for 4 months. I think the key (for us) has been to frame it as Mie said: "We are doing ___ on ___ date, and we think it would be beneficial for the kids to accompany us for the following reasons..."

In addition, if you say you are going no matter what, they would have to find respite for Dude and Dolly. I don't know about in your area, but here, respite for "regular" kids is basically non-existent. So once you say you are going, it's usually much easier for the dept to just let them go with you.

If you think you are going to get opposition from Miss Supervisor, can you CC her supervisor on the email? Or as suggested above, CC her supervisor and the judge, and add a note that you copied everyone since the children no longer have a lawyer and you were uncertain who could make this decision. I would work around Miss Supervisor if at all possible, but in a very polite and playing nice kind of way.

I would not offer the visit to Dallas unless you actually want to do that.