Monday, March 30, 2015

We said "yes" again

Our official "yes" for Baby Boy (blog name to come) has been turned in to our agency. Rainbow has a message in to CPS. I'm sure we'll hear something tomorrow.

I'm as ready as I can be for another baby I guess.

I'll let y'all know what happens as soon as I hear anything.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Baby Boy

I got a notification Thursday about a baby boy that needs a home. He was removed because his mother took him to the doctor and the doctor immediately suspected abuse. He had a fractured arm and was very malnourished. I believe he came in to Care February 6 and was hospitalized for six days. Then, because a home couldn't be found, he was transferred to a shelter in Central Texas.

He's 18 months old and has Down syndrome. When he was taken into Care, he weighed somewhere between 9 and 11 pounds. (I have conflicting information.) He has fractures to multiple parts of his body in various stages of healing.

After much prayer Mr. Amazing and I are considering taking this boy as a placement. I've only got a few more questions for Rainbow to answer before I give a definite yes or no.

  • What is the reunification/permanency plan? (If possible I’d like both the answer that is “on paper” and the REAL gut feelings of the case worker.)
  • Speaking of, who is the case worker?
  • Will Baby’s speech therapy be in English?
  • What size clothes is he in?
  • What size diapers does he wear?
  • What is his temperament? Does he fuss a lot? Is he easily soothed or does he need held a lot?
  • How does he handle the middle of the night feedings? Does he cry a lot? How long does it take him to take his bottle at night? Does he settle down easily afterward?
  • Does he need special bottles?
  • Does he have any feeding problems? (poor suck, aspiration concerns, etc.)
  • Where do you get the Pediasure? Is is an Rx? Is it covered by Medicaid or would it go through WIC? (If it’s what I think it is, it’s VERY expensive!!) If it’s just the easy-to-find OTC Pediasure shakes, can he be switched to toddler formula?
Rainbow was unable to make contact with Baby's worker on Friday so only a few of my initial questions got answered. I was able to see a very detailed form that Rainbow was sent from the central database. It explained most of what I need to know. But I just sent her the list above today so she can get answers for me, hopefully, on Monday for the rest of my questions. I'm pretty sure we're going to say "yes". But I do want honest answers to the list above. If he's a terrible sleeper or if they honestly say he cries a lot and isn't easily soothed, I might lean toward a "no". I'm prepared to not sleep much - he needs a bottle every 3-4 hours, even all night long. But if I'm going to spend all my time not sleeping and listening to crying that can't be soothed, that's not a good fit for our family. I've got other kids that need me too. Someone has to teach school.  :)

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Keeping the drama alive though, Kori sent me pictures of Daisy and Dandelion today. I asked how her girls were doing and Kori shared that they are together and local...but in a home that only speaks Spanish. I got so upset I almost started shaking. Daisy's language development is being extremely stunted as a result! System-induced abuse in my book! Makes me so mad!!!

I told Kori that my home is open and she could request that the girls be moved here. This time around though she has a relative that she's comfortable sending the girls to - and one that is comfortable taking the girls. (Not sure where this relative was the first time around.)

Kori has court this week. They've changed the schedule some though so she's not exactly sure when. I asked her if she wants me to keep my home "open" in case the move to the relative doesn't go through. She says CPS is talking like it's going to happen so she's pretty confident that it will.

I'm sure CPS is wanting to get the girls moved to the relative. Then the girls will stay there forever. I bet this case drags on and on and on and on. They wanted Daisy to be moved permanently to a relative the last time around...only no relative surfaced. Kori still has no idea how bad of a situation she put those girls in by staying involved with the Bio Dad (abuser).

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On the home front, Herman is recovering from his auto accident quite well. For those of you not on Facebook, Herman got hit by a car last week...while walking to school. He skirted danger for sure! Not a single broken bone! No internal bleeding. Only a bunch of road rash, bruises and a huge (really, really gross) gash on his left thigh. (One of my EMT friends saw the picture and said it's an "impact crack".) He got a bunch of stitches and spent the night in the hospital for observation. He's home now though and even went to school on Thursday. (Stayed home Friday to go to the surgeon's for a follow-up.)

My house is clean. Laundry is done. I feel like I've been nesting this weekend.

Looks like we're probably going to hop back on the roller coaster to go for another ride.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

We're back home

We're back in Texas and we're regrouping as a core family of five. There are still so many swirling emotions. I know we won't accept any placements immediately.

For one reason, I've been sick. I traveled all the way from Central Iowa to Deep South Texas with a nasty stomach bug. I still need to get caught up on housecleaning, laundry and whatnot before I could even consider adding more family members.

We also all need to adjust to the Neverland Kids being gone.

And last, we still need to process losing my dad.

Change is hard. Loss is hard. (And TT is taking this hard!)

I know we'll just try to get our feet under us over the next two weeks. Then we're going to volunteer as a family at an event we've gone to before called The Texas Mile.

Before we were prospects for the motorcycle group B.A.C.A., Mr. Amazing and I joined a group called Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA). We're not super active (though Mr. Amazing is the Vice President). Twice a year CMA volunteers to help run The Texas Mile. We get to work in multiple areas including taking entrance fees, parking, the hospitality tent, and handing out the tickets to drivers at the finish line. In fact, Mr. Amazing, TT, Bart, and I were working the finish line in October 2013 when the track record of 278.2MPH was set! We saw the Ford GT up close immediately following the run. It was impressive!

The Texas Mile has been very healing for us. The first one we all five went to was in October 2013 immediately after losing Dude and Dolly. All five of us made it to the October 2014 Texas Mile right after Daisy left. It seems fitting that we regroup at The Texas Mile in March 2015. We'll work hard and have fun watching all the fast bikes and cars!

We also have to wait and hear on a job that Mr. Amazing interviewed for last week. We'd never knowingly take a placement if a move looks eminent in our future. So, we'll wait to hear on that job prospect before anything else changes.

If the job goes through though, I already picked out some houses in the area that look perfect! My favorite has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a huge kitchen. It's just the right size for us and a few more cherubs.

We'll be waiting to see what happens next.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Emergency trip to Iowa

I imagine that most of you know what's going on due to my Facebook posts. In the event that you don't follow Cherub Mamma on FB, here's a super quick update...

My daddy hasn't been well for many years. He has suffered multiple heart attacks and strokes. The last four and a half years have been very challenging as he didn't recover well from his last stroke at all.

On Monday of this week he fell. My mom took him to the ER and he got six staples in his head. His condition deteriorated rapidly this week.

Because his behaviors were EXACTLY like what happens when he gets in a depressive state, it didn't seem necessary to go back to the doctor right away.

However, on Friday it got worse. Much worse. He was admitted to the hospital. The wound on his head was very infected.

I started communicating with my agency on this Saturday as my dad continued to get worse. I wanted them to make preparations for my Neverland Kids to go to respite care. Initially they told me this wouldn't be a problem.

My sister called me early this morning to tell me that my daddy was being moved to hospice. I knew I had one day, today, to get all my affairs in order.

Over breakfast I told Pirate and Captain that they were going to respite care...a babysitter...for a few days with, but that they would come back to my home as soon as I was done seeing my daddy, mommy and the rest of my family. I showed them on a map how far away Iowa is. I told them I wanted them to come with me but that the social workers and the judge said, "no". I told them they were coming back to me though and that we'd be together again.

Rainbow let me know in the middle of the day that we were going to have to disrupt instead. They had no luck finding respite that CPS would approve. Again, I don't know all the details. I was just told this is the way it is.

Rainbow told me to go to the school and sign the paperwork to un-enroll Captain.

I went to Captain's kindergarten room and talked to him. Through tears I told him that he was going to have to say goodbye to this school. He cried too. I told him that I wanted him. I told him that this wasn't my idea. I told him I was so very sorry but I wanted to give him a chance to say goodbye to his friends.

I spent the day trying to tie up all the loose ends. I've filled out paperwork, finished filing paperwork from February. Freelanced. And folded all the laundry I did over the weekend.

I also packed everything the Neverland Kids own up for them.

Captain got off the bus at 3:40pm. We went and picked up Pirate from daycare. They came home, ate a snack and watched TV. I couldn't muster up anything else. Pirate clung to me a lot. I could tell he was scared. I told him I loved him and I loved being his "Mamma L***".

Rainbow came at 5:00pm to pick up Captain and Pirate. Another worker came at the same time to get Tinkerbell. The kids are going to emergency respite tonight with homes in our agency. These homes can do respite for the kids for a night or two. I don't know why they can't keep them the whole time I'm gone.

The last thing I said to the boys was, "I love you, even when I can't see you."

And then, they were gone.

I believe that CPS is going to move all three kids from the emergency respite homes tomorrow to place them together in a home licensed through a different agency. They won't be coming back to my home.

I messaged Kori today and found out that her girls are no longer in a shelter home. They won't be coming back to The Crazy House either.

I will be leaving for Iowa first thing in the morning tomorrow (Tuesday). I don't know if I'll get there in time to say goodbye to my daddy or not. My family has told him I'm coming but I told them to tell him not to wait for me.

Mr. Amazing and Herman will drive up separately. They can't leave tomorrow due to work and school but they'll be in Iowa soon.

This is particularly hard. On so many levels. Losing four people you love all at once isn't easy.

I have no idea what we're going to do next.