Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Things I learned today

Minnie called me at 2:20 this afternoon to see when the kids would be home from school. Because yes, it's the last day of the month and she needs to get her official visit in.


Initially I expressed a displeasure in her arriving with such late notice on Halloween no less. She said it would be fast. And because ultimately I need to keep Minnie on my side, I agreed for her to come at 3:30 when the kids get home.

Minnie arrived at 3:20. Thankfully I was back from picking up Dude. He was somewhat shell shocked from all the Halloween activities at school today. He was not thrilled to see Minnie but he just ignored her for the most part. Dolly wasn't home yet.

Minnie and I started chatting. Through the course of the conversation I learned several things:

  • Grandma N in Dallas still wants the kids. (Not that I thought this had changed. But she has NO contact with the children like...ever -- unless of course the State is paying her to come down or paying for the children to come to her. No phone calls. No letters. No cards. No contact.) I double check this and make CPS tell me that grandma wants them every single time we have to talk about Grandma N.
  • Grandma N doesn't want her son to be allowed over at her house anymore. She'd like to arrange his monthly visit at an office or something instead of in her home. I guess they've had a falling out of sorts.
  • Grandma N would like to cut Dolly's hair as much as I want to. Unfortunately, until Grandma N is granted PMC, it cannot be done. Bio mom insists that not a single hair be touched on her head.
And lest you think I'm out of line with wanting a hair cut – this is what Dolly looks like with her hair down. Since coming in to Care it has not stopped growing. I took this a couple months ago. It is very, very long. It has to be put up every single day. And even Dolly wants it cut. She's tired of the tangles.
  • There will be a visit to Dallas in December. Minnie has to work the date around two different mandatory (to her) CPS Christmas parties for children in Care.
  • However there are no family visits the week of Christmas. Yup. No accommodations are made for bio families and the children during the holidays. CPS basically shuts down for the week and all visits are scheduled before and after the holiday.
  • With this in mind I thought maybe we'd have a shot at getting to take the kids to Iowa over Christmas. Practically holding my breath I asked Minnie what she thought of letting us go out of state. Minnie said we'd talk to bio mom at this week's visit (which has been rescheduled for Friday because of Halloween). But Minnie doesn't think it will be a problem. I was in shock! So, we're going to submit some dates for Minnie to present to Bio Mom on Friday and if she says OK, Minnie will take things to the judge to get signed.
  • Speaking of court, Minnie made mention of the next court date in January. I looked at her and said, "So now...there shouldn't be anything stopping the kids from going to Dallas? The grandma wants them. They are having visits. They'll go...right?" Minnie said yes. Then, with some hesitation she followed that with, "Well...unless things with Bio Dad complicate things." I don't really know what that means, but this is the first time in 16 months that CPS has hesitated at all when discussing the transfer of the kids to Dallas. I'm so disgusted it's not even funny. They are languishing in Care. There is no excuse. Either this grandma is safe or she isn't. But does NOT take this long to figure this shit out! I'm beyond disgusted. I'm pissed off! There is NO excuse.

We're getting ready to go out for Halloween. The littlest cherubs are all a mess from their parties at school. They are overstimulated and could barely engage when they got home from school today. But they can't wait to go out. Dolly is an adorable fairy princess. Dude is a terrific fire fighter. Bart and TT are the cutest SWAT team members ever. (They'd kill me for calling them cute.) Herman is off helping a group of kids that made a haunted house in their back yard.

Hope all is well with you. Happy Halloween!


Karen said...

Ugh, your cherubs have so much going on, but I couldn't help commenting about one if your (more minor) points: the hair. Just another way that little ones are held hostage in foster care. If it's any consolation to Dolly, I hope she knows how beautiful it is, and I'm sure Locks of Love would LOVE to have her contribution someday (any way you could turn that into a motivation/celebration?).

Our little guy was born with a full head of hair; I finally broke down last week (he's not yet 9 months old) and trimmed it--it was a 6-inch long hispanic-curly-afro-looking thing full of baby-food tangles I just couldn't keep clean. Caseworker didn't say a word, but maybe that's because no one's been in the picture since birth, so no one but me cares. I am heartbroken to read how your littlest ones stay caught in the middle. Love to you and them.

Jessica Miller Kelley said...

Thanks for keeping it real. I've been so impressed while going through training and home study and all here in Tennessee that they focus so much on the permanency plan, reunification, etc. Hopefully they live up to this, but your story is helping prepare me for the inevitable frustrations.

And that's a great idea about Locks of Love!

Mama P said...

UGH! GET IT TOGETHER, PEOPLE! So frustrating. I pray that Dolly and Dude are able to have permanency ASAP, regardless of who it hurts or makes happy in the meantime. Languishing is such a sad word, but so true...for more than just these two sweet cherubs, unfortunately.

Karen said...

So sad that these kids are being held hostage by a system that is supposed to be acting in their "best interests". When I was little I cut my hair all by myself, and got in quite a bit of trouble. I think in Dolly's case, I'd put her hair in a ponytail and somehow encourage her (or Dude!) to cut her hair. Of course, you don't want to get in trouble. So sad for them :(