Monday, May 30, 2016

Russell's vocabulary

Russell had his evaluation for speech therapy today. His therapist had to go back to the office to score the test with the manual. But off the cuff, we both think he's at a developmental age of about 12 months.

Below is his vocabulary. Unless noted, the words are concepts he will repeat in sign language. He has little to none spontaneous language. However, if he hears someone using these words, he will do the sign. Some of the signs are approximations – but he does them the same every time. He does not understand all of the concepts that he signs for. (ie: he can’t identify a cat but he will do the sign if he hears the word) Anything he vocalizes is very difficult to understand or is not done with "adult" intonation. (ie: when he says "mama" he really says "mamamamamama"

Mama (vocal as well as sign)
Dada (vocal as well as sign)
Herman
TT
Bart
Russell
I love you
All done (vocal as well as sign)
More
Eat
Drink
Swallow
Water
Cookie
Grapes
Banana
Orange
Apple
Egg
Milk
Sit
Book
Play
Ball
Car
Motorcycle
Shoes
Socks
Music
School
Work
Puppy
Cat
Red (he cannot identify the color – but he knows the sign)
Blue (he cannot identify the color – but he knows the sign)
Nigh-nigh (vocal only)
Home
Yes
No
Bubbles (vocal as well as sign)
Bath
In
Out
Diaper
Shirt
Boy
Smart (vocal as well as sign)
Hi
Bye-bye
Give me
He points to these:
Head
Ears
Feet
Tummy
Nose
Mouth
Glasses
Teeth

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Daisy turned three years old

Daisy had a birthday this month. She's such a big girl. I'm not FB friends with any of her family - but I do my share of stalking. I see pictures every now and then.

Daisy's birthday will forever be burned in my memory as a horrifically sad day though.
This year, on a day that should have been filled with joy and celebration, Daisy's little sister, Dandelion, was killed.

No one has been arrested.
No one has been jailed.
The story didn't even make the local news.

Daisy and Dandelion had been placed, permanently, with one of Bio Dad's sisters. This aunt just turned and gave the girls back to their parents last year. The parents moved up to Central Texas and continued on about their lives.
I'll never forget the time Mr. CW told me,
"If Daisy goes back home to her mom, she's likely to end up dead."
I remember every nuance of that conversation.
It wasn't Daisy...but it was her sister.

I wasn't going to blog about this until it made the news. I wanted to keep my mouth shut in case we were formally contacted. I found out about the death in a very "off the record" sort of way. I was told that all our information was given to the CPS unit in Central Texas. I was told that they knew we would take Daisy back. And I was also told that it wouldn't happen because we're too far away...I guess sibling visits (with the two surviving siblings that have a different father) would be important.

I grieved hard. Cried for days. Couldn't stop crying. It was so bad!

Then, because I felt like I had to DO something, I contacted a news reporter.

Said news reporter wasn't able to get any documentation. She had asked a co-worker to go to the courthouse to get some paperwork. The co-worker didn't do it and now the reporter is buried in other projects.

Dandelion's death is probably never going to make the news.

I have messaged my original contact a couple different times. It's obvious I'm not going to get any more information from them.

I sent a rather generic email to the CASA unit that would be involved in Daisy's new foster care case. (The county she's in now has a lot of information available online. I don't know the details of the death, but I do know case details that are public.) Granted, I only sent this email yesterday. But I seriously doubt anyone is going to reply.

At this point in time all I want is to make sure that Daisy's new foster family has all her medical records and history. I'd like to tell this new foster family that after they adopt Daisy, they've got legal grounds to sue the State for a certain portion of Daisy's blindness. It's the State's fault she didn't receive the surgery on her right eye. That eye is permanently damaged as a result. I want to let this foster family know that I can send them pictures and videos if they want. I want to know that Daisy is OK.

I also want to make sure that Bio Dad (as I'm assuming he is the one that killed Dandelion) faces true justice this time. That's why I wanted the story in the news. He got off with barely more than a slap on the wrist for nearly killing Daisy. I don't want that to happen again.

-----

It's made things 10x harder with Russell and Star now that I know what happened to Dandelion. There are entirely too many similarities between their case and the Flower Girls' case.

I don't trust CPS at all. They didn't keep Daisy and Dandelion safe. And I don't trust them with Russell and Star, either...especially not after some more things that Bopper told me today.

Foster care sucks.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

what I heard about court

Bopper just sent me a text.

Everything is a mess...as she expected today. But nothing changed in the case.

The babies stay with us.

The goal is still to eventually move them to Russell's paternal grandparents' home.

The visit schedule is staying the same. The babies will visit their mother in the CPS office twice a week for three hours each visit. And they will visit their grandparents and Russell's dad on Wednesdays for two hours.

Bopper wanted to move the visits with the grandparents back to my home and set up a separate visit for Dad in the CPS office. I indicated that I'm not willing to open up my home for visits again.

Well...I posed it as a question...telling her first that I wouldn't fight it.

But Bopper immediately said that she'd keep it to just one visit for everyone on the paternal side at the CPS office. And really, that's better for the babies. They don't need ANOTHER visit thrown into the mess each week.

Weekend visits at the grandparents home will start eventually. However, no one knows when. My vote would be July. The next court hearing is August 1. I do NOT think a transition involving overnight visits should last longer than a month. It's hard on kids and even harder on babies. They don't understand and it is so challenging to their schedule. Of course...my vote in this matter doesn't count.

Ms. Remus (the babies' lawyer) asked for permission to travel in June for us. The judge said he needed to see the request. He wouldn't agree to anything yet. So I still don't know if I get to go on vacation or not.

This, along with some other unrelated crappy Foster Care Land news, has got me in a horrible funk today.