Monday, February 27, 2012

Weird.

Well, back in July our last two foster kids were moved to another home.

Since then I have gotten phone calls, but nothing that would work. I think that is a good thing.

It is weird to have no kids visiting parents (by weird I mean WONDERFUL).

I don't see us taking any foster/reunification cases anytime soon.

I do think God may have something bigger planned than that.

I guess we shall see.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Behavior.

Since becoming a foster parent I have started noticing things that, seem to me, to be " foster kid" stuff. But, in all fairness, I don't want to lable these things as such until I see if this is a trend.

For example, to make a long story short, Lizzy was in her room playing and wasn't allowed to watch her favorite show because she had screamed at me about it the day before. When she came out of her room I found that she had pooped her pants...which she hasn't done in weeks.

I personally think she did it because she was mad at me.


Later that day, I made her sit on the potty for a little while because she peed in her diaper. She in turn sat there and blew a bunch of snot out of her nose on to her top lip...and left it there. This from the kid who loves to wipe her nose and had tissue right next to her. When I asked her why she did that she said " because I have to sit on the potty".

I personally think she did it because she was mad at me...which she pretty much said it was.

Them today, my husband told her to go to her room because she did something wrong and when I got her out I saw that she had picked her nose so much it was bleeding.

I am sure you can guess what I think about this.

I also have noticed this weird stuff with my other foster kids. Peeing their pants out of no where? Throwing things into my light fixtures. Vomiting for no reason. Ruining things. Ect.

The reason I find all of this interesting is because my bio son never did stuff like that. He would Cry or throw fits, but never the stuff these kids think up to do.


So, I am curious....do any of you have bio kids that do things like this ?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Puppy.

I got another text from Lizzy's mom:


"This is a puppy I get for baby can she have it"


I told her that no, she could not have it at my house.

Seriously?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Text.

From Lizzy's bio mom: when can I see Lizzy?

Me: when the court quits telling me they will throw me in jail if I let you see her

Lizzy's bio mom: ok





That may have been the weirdest text message I have ever sent to anyone. Maybe.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Baby's Baby Shower










My best friend from high school, my sister, my sister-in-law and my Mother-in-law threw me the prettiest baby shower that I have ever seen. I was blown away by how over and above they went to make it so nice.

If you can't tell, this new little one will be totally spoiled.



I hate to add this to this post, but I am going to. Remember back when you first got licensed and you waited for your first call telling you your very first foster child was on their way? Well, back when that was me, there was no baby shower. There was no toddler shower. There was no diaper shower. There was no party. There was no get together.

When I found out we were officially getting my first foster daughter my sister went out and bought us a very nice car seat for her. One of my sis-in-laws sent me a package that had a few toys, an outfit, a few sippy cups, ect.

That was it.

I really hope that those two know that I still remember that THEY were the only two that did anything like that and it meant the world to me. When our first little girl came home, I didn't see my first foster baby. I saw my daughter. She meant just as much to me at the time as the little girl we just celebrated a few days ago. I still love her a lot, but have had to let some of that go because if I kept loving her like I did I would go steal her back and bring her home. Just kidding...kind of.

A few people did other nice things. My other sis-in-law gave me TONS of her daughter nice clothes that she had out grown and that was very appreciated too. My Grandma would pick up toys and clothes for her at garage sales (just like she did for the other grandkids) and at Christmas time everyone bought her gifts just like they did for the rest of the kids. Everyone accepted her as one of our kids and was very kind to her...but, no party.

Then there was foster child #2, #3 (Lizzy), #4, #5, #6 and #7. Obviously no parties...plus, when you see that in those two years we had 7 children walk through the door it is easy to see that a party or a shower would have been over kill...I guess even for the first one.

I have seen on one foster mama's blog that when she gets a new placement (from what I have seen she has only taken 2 kids in the past 4 years) her friends did have a baby shower for each child. I guess hers were a little different though because the situations was highly adoptable. Still, I thought that it was just so awesome that she got a shower for them. Having people acknowledge that these kids are worth celebrating makes my heart so happy.

I really wish we all lived closer to each other so that those of us who "get it" could throw showers, diaper showers, toddler showers, sip and see's or WHATEVER for each other.

When you all get new kids I am so excited for you.

When you are going through the adjustment period of getting used to each other I smile and remember all the times I have done that.

When bio parents are doing well I try to be happy for them with you while you "try" to be happy for them too.

When cases go towards termination I get really excited for you all (even though I guess I'm not supposed to).

It is hard to do something that is SO different from what everyone else in your life is doing. You don't expect anything from anyone, but when someone does do something really nice for you it means so much and it makes you think about how the child in your home just doesn't quite get celebrated the way other biological children do, and it bugs me.

So, to all of you that are waiting for your first placement, I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!

To any of you that are taking care of your first placement, THAT CHILD IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND I AM SO GLAD YOU GET TO BE THEIR MAMA!

And for those of you on numbers 2-202, THOSE KIDS OF YOURS ARE GORGEOUS! I BET THEY ARE A LOT OF WORK AND I BET THEY ARE WORTH EVERY BIT OF IT. KEEP GOING, THEY NEED YOU...

....and maybe we need them just as much too.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Are you my Mommy?

http://hishandshisfeettoday.blogspot.com/2012/02/pa-or-nj-family-needed-asap.html

A baby boy with Down Syndrom needs a home.

Urgent.

Or not....

I got a weird text that said "Lizzy's bio mom's name" and was from a weird number. And looked liked she had some how marked the text as urgent? I don't even know how to do that.

Anyway. I called her old number and got no answer and so I called this odd number to see what was going on...apparently I didn't have anything better to occupy my time.

She answered the new number, but it didn't even sound like her. It was around 10:45 am and she had been sleeping because she "had been at the casino all night for her birthday". I just looked at my phone to see when she sent that text. She sent it at 11:28 pm last night. Nice of her to keep texting me late at night.

She told me that this was her new number and was just desperate for me to send pictures of Lizzy to her new phone number because she can't figure out how to send them from her old phone to her new phone. She asked how Lizzy was and I said she had been sick all weekend. Mom just went on the the next subject.

I told her I would send her some pics if I had time and blurted out "Happy Birthday" and got off the phone. This is where my curiosity gets the best of me. I shouldn't have called her (not that I am not allowed to), but just for my own sake. I shouldn't keep entertaining these people when...well, it's over.

They made such a horrible showing in court that the judge said they are not allowed anywhere near Lizzy. No "open adoption" "could you let her bio family see her once a year" talk during her termination trial...it was more "lets get this kid adopted" "and if you need a restraining order call me" talk.

I honestly do not regret getting to know them. Because I did I have LOTS of pictures of Lizzy as a newborn (off of mom's myspace) and I know lots of her family and lots about the Lizzy before I knew her. BUT, this is the not fun part, where I have to start admitting that the court is right. It probably is detrimental to her to be anywhere near them...and it makes me feel like I am keeping their kid from them...but, she isn't theirs anymore.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

life.

I try not to talk about my pregnancy on here because this is my foster blog...not my look at me I am pregnant blog, BUT...


in less than 4 weeks I am going to have a baby girl in my arms...that I am not worried about loosing or sharing with anyone I don't want to.

My baby shower is tomorrow. I never had a baby shower for my first son because I went into labor the day before the shower. Awesome. :)

Lizzy is sick. Very sick poor kid. I got her to the Dr. and she is on antibiotics now and is working on doing better. On the plus side she has been very good while being sick...hasn't cried or anything. She also has started snuggling with me (which she never really did before because, seriously, she never stopped moving long enough to do it) and I have been enjoying that. Even if I don't want what she has I love it that she is starting to treat me the way my son always treated me...like their MOM!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saved.

"Lizzy is something else."

I often say that when someone compliments me on Lizzy or they make just about any comment about her.

I shake my head and laugh because, well, "She is something else." Trust me.

Every time she sees pictures of me or my husband she gets really excited and says "That's Mommy!" or "That's Daddy!" She just loves my husband. My husband said that he thinks Lizzy is way more attached to me...and I tend to think she likes him more than me. Who knows. I think we may finally be to the point where she sees us as her parents.

Lizzy has taken up wiggling into my lap and laying there like a baby. Her head laying on one of my arms and her legs swung over my other arm.

When she does this she always says the same thing:

"Mommy! You saved me!!"

I assume she associates that hold as maybe like a superman hold...you know, when superman scoops someone up into his arms and flies off with them in his arms...thus saving them.

At least that is what I assume she means.

But, there are those times, like this morning, when she crawls into my lap and looks at me in the eyes and declares "Mommy! You saved me!" that I can't help but think "Yes, little girl, you HAVE been saved."

I didn't do the saving.

God did that.

But, I got to be part of it.

I get to be the "Mommy!" who Lizzy tells "You saved me!!"

What a gift.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stupid.

So....taxes. Taxes. Taxes. Taxes.


I called the financial dept. of my agency and yes, I have every right to "write off" a child who has been in my home for over 6 months.

OK.

Then I called my worker to get Lizzy's social security number. She's new, she said she would talk to her supervisor.

She called me back and said that the supervisor said they don't give those out.

I said that I have been given several of my other foster children's social security numbers, why can't I have Lizzy's? She didn't understand it either and said she would talk to her supervisor again.


Her supervisor called me back. She told me, basically, that the people above her had told everyone to not give any social security numbers out during this time of year because they don't want people writing the kids off on their taxes because it could cause an issue (like a bio family falsely writing the child off thus causing the foster family a problem with their taxes) and the agency doesn't want to have to help any of us sort it out.

This is such crap.

I am so tempted to try to go up the chain to get it...but I decided to just wait until she is adopted and when I have all her info I will amend my taxes from this year.

Everything in me is screaming "Fight these people"...but, I am just not up for it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Texts from my baby's mama....

Lizzy's "mom" texted me starting around 11:30 pm last night....


"Im really sorry to send u this txt but i feel i can no longer go on. Ive lost everything. dont for get to tell "lizzy" i love her. dont worry my family."


It is late...I was sleeping...i know she is looking for atttention...i ignore it.


next text:


"Dont care what happend to me. I dont need "Lizzy" to know i was a f***up. Well ive let everyone down. No need to keep goin."



It is late...I was sleeping...i know she is looking for atttention...i ignore it.

next text:


"I was told u would never keep "Lizzy" from me but like everyone else i was lie to. I hope the court r happy and ur family happy."


I didn't respond. She was looking for attention and when I didn't give it to her she started attacking me. I am not responding to it because I know she was probably high when she texted me and won't even remember she did it in a few days.

BUT, here is what I would say to her if I was to address this:


"Are you kidding me right now??? The court told me I CANNOT let you see her. If I do, it would be considered endangerment and they would remove Lizzy from my home and you would NEVER SEE HER again or even be able to call to see how she is doing. I also have a 9 year old and a soon to be born newborn to worry about. I will NEVER do anything that would make my parenting look questionable enough to bring CPS into my life.

You refused to do what the court said and look where it got you. I WILL NOT BE REPEATING YOUR MISTAKES SO THAT YOU CAN SEE HER!!! You COULD have come to see her...half the reason they terminated your rights is because you NEVER CAME TO SEE HER!!!! Yes, you messed up! That doesn't mean you should have to pay for it forever, but don't expect me to do things to get myself in trouble."


See, a rational person would be able to understand at least some of that. Poor Lizzy's mom just wouldn't understand this or see that she did anything wrong. That is why she is in the spot she is in.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Foster Parents and Taxes

I wanted to put this info in it's own post incase some foster parent was trying to google it.

So, after reading all of this I called my agency. I told them the info they sent out basically made it sound like we could not write of our foster children who had been with us over 6 months out of the tax year and that that was incorrect.

You should have heard how fast this lady back pedaled. She said, "Oh, I will have to look at that because it is supposed to say you can."

It does not say that at ALL.

I am not unable to read. I have gotten the same paper for the last three years and it says the same thing "that there may be special circumstances when a foster parent can write off their child". They make it sound like it is a rare thing.

She assured me that yes, we are totally allowed to write off the kids on our taxes for all the reasons listed above.

Seriously, I think they just don't want to deal with foster parents claiming the kids AND bio parents claiming the kids that SHOULD NOT BE CLAIMING the kids and the paper work that they would need to find to help the foster parent prove their case.

These people are just so helpful :/

In other news...I am now trying to hunt down Lizzy's birth certificate and social security number. I know I at least need the birth certificate for pre school. I can't believe that I have had her this long and still don't have that stuff.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Taxes.

Alright. I will tell if you will.

Who "writes off" their foster children on their taxes if they have lived with them for longer than 6 months in one year?

I do not.

It is not because I am some saint.

I have a few reasons:

1. My agency sends out this paper around tax time stapled to the checks we get saying that we can't write off our foster kids unless there are special circimstances....I am pretty sure that is untrue. (it's kinda the reason I am posting this question in the first place)

2. We have never wanted to risk someone else claiming the child as well and our taxes getting rejected because that would be a HUGE hassle.

3. We didn't know what the right answer was so we just never worried about it.

-I had a child in my home for 16 months in a row and never claimed them.

-I currently have a child that has been in my home for 20 months in a row that I will not claim until she is adopted.

-I had a foster son in my home for just under 5 1/2 months out of one year. As I said, we never have claimed any of our kids. This child lived in my house and his adoptive family's house ONLY for all of 2010...and yet someone besides one of us claimed him on their taxes!!! His adoptive family's taxes got rejected because someone else used his social security number first!

So anyway, if you are willing to share, do you claim your foster kids on your taxes AND do you claim the money you receive from your state as well?

Just curious.

Months.

20 months ago I got a phone call that would change my life.

Little did I know that it would not only change my life for the next year or so, but it is looking like it will be changed forever.

A little 18 mo. old girl and I set out on a very scary and hard road that neither of us had signed up for. Along the way we went through everything any foster family could. We had other kids come and go...her bio family members come and go...and our little family of four was the only thing that didn't change.

As we traveled this crazy road I documented just about all of it here on this blog. I didn't take notes on paper, I jotted down thoughts and events to share with you all.

And then people started talking about termination.

And our social worker kept changing.

And no one that was allowed to write the Petition for Termination had any real notes to go by. 15 months of this child's journey through foster care was only documented by lost court papers and a few notes in a file.

So, I started from the beginning and weeded through my blog to create a time line of what had gone on in this case, from Bio Mom spending 30 days in jail when Lizzy first came here to the current services that her Legal Dad was being offered but refused to use.

I made copies and gave them to each new social worker...each one asked one of two questions:

"Did you used to be a social worker?"

or

"Have you ever thought of becoming a social worker?"

to which I always answered no.

Then, SEVERAL months later, I sat in a court room and listened to all my notes being read in a court room where a woman in a black robe would decide how much more torture to put Lizy through.

The social worker who wrote the petition for termination had done a good job and I heard many of my own words rolling off the page.

For MONTHS I had felt like nothing I had to say matter...and then suddenly it was all that mattered.

And then she said the word:

Terminated.

And all 18 months of our journey, the good and the bad, was worth it.


I say all of this to tell you, some how, some way, document it all. The dates, the visits, the random issues (like fleas on your child!) - all of it.

It may not matter in the end, but one time it just might.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Loose.

I talked to Lizzy's social worker yesterday. She asked how the meeting with the adoption worker went and I mentioned that so far the adoption worker hasn't heard of legal mom or legal dad trying to appeal the termination.

The social worker then told me that she had not either...the only thing she had heard was that BIO dad (the one the court had/has said has no rights to Lizzy) called the DHS office and was trying to track down Lizzy's social worker to talk to her. DHS called the social worker's supervisor, the supervisor told the social worker and the social worker told me that her response to it was "Well, I didn't need to call him back and am not legally obligated to, correct?" to which her supervisor said, "Right, you don't need to do anything."

So, unless BIO dad gets a lawyer and goes through the court system to try to contact anyone about Lizzy no one will be getting back to him. Also, it was reiterated in court a couple times at the termination trial that he is NOT the legal father and the legal father was the only one who needed to be terminated on.

Where I live this is the way the law works. I even know of cases where bio father's have fought for years to be able to even see their kids...but, if the mom was married to someone else when she gave birth to the baby the baby is legally her husband's child, not the bio dad's child.

This is exactly what has made this such a torturous case. Lizzy was made to have visits with a stranger she was scared of (her legal dad) and the one parent that actually took care of her (her bio dad) was told he was no one to Lizzy legally in court.

Over all I think this had ended up being for the best when it comes to Lizzy. Even though her bio dad does care for her, he is a drug addict just like all the other legal parents she had and is living in a shack of a house (that does not make you a bad parent) that is filthy and I am pretty sure that he is abusive to his son that still lives with him. By abusive, I mean mentally and physically-but, not enough to make the state step in. He also could have tried much hard to stay in contact with Lizzy or could have at least gotten a lawyer to try to get her back, but he literally did not want to spend the money on one.

It is a very sad situation. I do feel for him, but I am glad Lizzy is safe here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life.




So. The adoption worker came over on Tuesday. The social worker cancelled so she didn't end up doing her monthly visit. I personally do not care much about this because if I need to I can get ahold of the social worker. But, if you want to get into the fact that it is their JOB to come do the visit and that some kids are in homes that NEED to be checked on...well, obviously that is not good. Speaking of which, the adoption worker is "required" to have 2 visits with the child within 45 days of TPR. As I said, she came out on Tuesday, but then mentioned that if I wanted I could just swing by the agency later this week and that could count for the second visit. I wonder how big of a loop hole that is. I did it though, I dropped by the agency today and we had our 3 minute visit and now we are all good for the 45 days...I guess.

The adoption worker told me today that they might be expediting Lizzy's adoption because there are incentives right now for the agency (i.e. MONEY) to get a bunch of adoption done I guess. Whatever, good for Lizzy - good for us.

So, back to Tuesday. The worker comes over and gives me the same blue adoption folder that we had filled out back when we had been working on adopting a little boy named Jonah. It was actually about a year ago that we called the agency and said we would not be going forward with the adoption. That situation has always been a sore spot for me so when I saw the folder I wasn't even excited.

Regardless, I am excited about Lizzy's adoption...and I will pretend to be excited about filling all that paper work...again. I thought we wouldn't have to because we ALREADY have an adoption home study from last year, but apparently they still need me to fill all of that out for the "addendum" they have to add to that old home study.

So, adoption worker comes...adoption worker goes...I get a text from Lizzy's bio dad.

Bio dad: "Hey how's it going how's Boogie (Lizzy) doing?"

Me: "She is doing good. Watching her favorite show, Team Umi Zoomi"

Bio dad: "I sure do miss her"

Me: "I image you do. She is doing good though. She is almost potty trained."

Bio dad: "Wow good for her that is great"


I didn't text him back and he didn't text me back. I can no longer go around complaining about him not checking to see how she is doing. It is funny how over the past few months I have gotten annoyed by some of the things they still do. Like him calling Lizzy "Boogie"....no one calls her that. She has a name. You COULD have made an effort to see her before the court forbid it...but you didn't. You no longer get to call her pet names. (At least in my opinion).

Then, yesterday, the day after bio dad texts me, bio mom texts me.

Bio Mom: "Do you have any new pics of Lizzy you can send me plz"

Me: (I send her one based ONLY on the fact she said plz) with a caption of "We took the kids swimming the other day. Boy does that girl like to swim"

Bio Mom: "She is just like her mama lol. How's my little mama doing?"

Me: "She's doing good."

That was the end of the texts.

Um....yeah...she isn't your "Little Mama" anymore...for the record...she never was. The kid at 18 months old wouldn't even look at you, never acted like she liked you until I made her...yeah. She's not yours.

Now, you will notice that I got texts from mom and dad within 24 hours of each other. This has happened for months now even though they are not together. It has to be more than just a coincidence. I wonder if dad texts me and then sends a nasty text off to mom? I don't know, but I would find it interesting to see what the deal is there.

I truly wonder if mom knows/understands that her rights have been terminated??? I didn't say the literal words so maybe she doesn't know. I told dad that they were in the process of terminating so maybe he doesn't know either.

I think mom thinks that she can have me raise this kid, but she will be "mom" and I will be "Aunt L***" for the whole kid's life. I don't know. She would try to get her to call me "Aunt L***" and Lizzy would laugh and say "No, that mommy."

These people are delusional. I still will be nice to them because without them THERE IS NOT LIZZY and some day she, I assume, will want to know about them and possibly meet them so I would rather have some type of relationship with them...IF I can keep it pleasant. If she does see them I will flip out if anyone calls me "Aunt L***" I can tell you that.

(that will be discussed ahead of time though)