Remember this?

I last shared, prior to getting my placements, that my interest was piqued in regards to a 12 year old girl that was seeking a large family and that I had been contacted regarding to placement and adoption. Well, that was complete crap. It it a pretty shady ordeal, they can only disclose very small pieces of the case during the inquiry while letting you get emotionally involved. During a 6-8 week process they can pick you apart as the family who wishes to adopt but you get minimal information… but not medical or behavorial stuff.

I indicated to the the CSR specialist to call my licensing worker and disclose all of the information to him as there is a loophole in the process. Although he isn’t allowed to disclose any information to me, he can get the nitty gritty. I trust him to make the call for me, he knows my family dynamic and what I’m willing to have in my home in regards to placement. The CSR specialist called my licensing worker, disclosed all the things, he knew it wasn’t a good fit and it was closed down. I hope that anyone who is looking into a CSR child can find this information helpful and time saving, not to mention avoiding yet another emotional rollercoaster.

It was a CSR ordeal which pretty much equates to kids that are EXTREMELY hard to place due to behaviors, multiple placements, etc.

I’ve learned enough about photolistings, CSR’s, and adoptive searches in general. The masses are correct; it is a waste of time and pointless. Despite my initial feelings about everyone else failures being a personality flaw or getting emotionally attached to a picture of a child, everyone was right. It is complete garbage. I’m objective, even during my emotional bit during this journey.

I don’t like being this pessimistic but the proof is in the pudding.

TL;DR

Don’t bother looking at photolistings ot CSR’s. It’s a lost cause or a trap.

Whirlwind!

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that we have been on the quest to find another family member, someone looking for an adoptive home. You’ll also know that the search has been an emotional, and fruitless, adventure. I’ve sent out more than 20 homestudies and I figured my door would be beaten down by all of the responses. But…no. Recently, I dealt with the disappointment by fooling myself into thinking the ‘1st and 15th’ rule (homestudies are typically reviewed the 1st ans 15th of each month, not as they trickle in to the DCS caseworkers hands) applied to us. The 15th came and went, in the last week I had only received 2 calls, both in Arizona. WTF. The first child was not a match per my criteria and the second one was a courtesy call letting me know the the child would only be placed in the Phoenix Metro area. Oh, and shortly after this disappointment I was notified that my agency would begin charging me a flat rate or or per word rate, depending on which option I chose, to send out my homestudy to other states. Fabulous. Now I’m being penalized for attempting to find a child a forever home. This whole adoption search is a pain in the ass.

I am no longer seeking out a child via adoption listings or CSR’s. I feel like it is emotionally drained me, changed my outlook on adoption via foster care, and made me more of a pessimist that I’ve ever been in my adult life. In fact, I feel a lot of negative feelings regarding the foster care system and how the adoption sector is managed in general. I found myself saying, for the first time since I’ve become a foster parent, some things negative about foster care. That’s unheard of! I’m a huge advocate for children, how the foster system works, etc. And there I was, bad mouthing something I truly believed in.

I believe that a successful foster parent will always let the child in their care know that they are supported, care about their feelings, and truly want them to go home. A successful foster parent will fight for what the child wants (older children) or what is in their best interest (younger child.) A successful foster parent will never badmouth the system, the immediate working staff, nor the parents of the child…despite how much we dislike their parents choices or treatment of the child in our care.

Foster care works, reunification happens. Oftentimes parents don’t do the things required to regain custody of their children; adoption via foster care works too. Family is family, blood or bond. I need to remind myself of these things because I feel sad and let down about this adoption photolisting ordeal. Maybe this is part of my plan, God is pushing me elsewhere because it’s where I’m supposed to be. Maybe I’m not to be adopting via photolistings and God has called me to only provide temporary care for children in need. I hate to be a pessimist, but I should have heeded warnings about photolistings and other people’s personal experiences. For some reason I thought I’d do better… I was wrong. I didn’t do better, I am not better.

Onto a brighter note! My licensing agency forwards me CSR’s (adoption flyers from in state and in house) I have struck out there too. I’ve inquired and gotten responses fairly quickly BUT often times the children in these CSR’s have severe behaviors or are sexualized in some way/shape/form. I’m not equipped to deal with that, or a plethora of other things that our household had deemed unacceptable. Anyway, our homestudy had been dropped onto a desk, a desk of a coworker within our agency in the Phoenix office, and we received a call about a child. A child that has not been listed yet on any adoption sites, that currently lives in a group home nearby. I had played phone tag for a week or so with a stranger, unfamiliar number = no answer. There was never a voicemail left, I never thought twice about it. That is until Husband had called me and let me know that this adoption recruiter was looking to communicate with us regarding placement.

Placement is the operative word. This child is not legally free for adoption but the state and case team anticipate rights to be terminated. I was given very little information regarding the child and then a host of proceedings, including a 2 hour phone interview set up for Monday evening.

The information I was given is as follows: female, 12, wants a large family. My interest was piqued, I like kids and I have a large family.

Once the phone interview is completed and they feel we could be a potential match they will disclose all the information regarding the child during the same phone call. I wonder if they’ll let me see a picture of her? Not that it matters much, I’m merely curious. After the interview and information exchange my homestudy and interviewers opinion will all be presented to a board of people who decided if it’s a good match. If it is a good match we can facetime/phone chat with the child then move onto meeting her in person shortly after. If things go well transition to our home happens.

I also received a placement call around 1am regarding a sibling set. Naturally, I was sleeping at 1am! I returned the call this morning and the on call placement person referred me to the DCYS, I’ll likely hear from them tomorrow unless they’ve found placement already.

What a ride it has been.

Creeping…creeping…

Christmas is creeping up on us; we are NOT prepared. Presents…uh, yeah. We have a few under the tree but trying to do vacation and Christmas at the same time, we are on a tight budget. What the hell was I thinking panning this trip?! We are leaving for our trip on Friday for the dreaded Disneyland and other kid type stuff. It’s not fun for adults but the kids eat it up!

Next Thursday is our last class, can you believe it?! I am excited. We had guest speakers at our class last night, a CPS worker and a foster parent. It was nice to get some insight and learn a little from a parent who lives it… the parent who we had met also adopted via foster care. In any case we are having a pot luck next week to celebrate ourselves as we have completed class!

Yay.

Homestudy

NOT SCARY!

I cannot believe how worked up I had had been. A close friend of mine suggested that I not worry as she had completed her home study several years earlier prior to her adoption… as hard as I had tried I was STRESSED OUT. La, our worker, had even said not to fret; it would be simple. I was still afraid of EVERYTHING. I was such an idiot. It was super easy and not anything to get worked up about.

La came in and we showed her around, she sketched out the floor plan of our home as she went. She didn’t comment about the dishes in the sink, the dirty socks that were on the stairs, the fake pine needles all over the floor in the living room that I had failed to vacuum, or even the mess outside in the sand area where the kids play. She didn’t look in or cabinets, closets, or pantry. I thought she would have. After she had a tour we sat down and talked, we had finished our application and have all of our ducks in a row, although she did mention that I screwed up my autobiography. Apparently they want to know what it was like growing up as a gypsy, my dads free spirited parenting, and more details about how Husband and I met. La was interested in Husband and his life, as he had not yet completed his autobiography. She wants to know stuff I hadn’t even thought about like when Husband was in juvenile hall, random crap he had done in college, and funny stories.

We have a few more visits before we are complete with our home study, it has to be 4 hours total. La told us that next time it will be much more personal and she will ask questions that might make us uncomfortable. Pfft, make US uncomfortable? Please. She also told us that we could be licenses for only boys, only girls, or both. Naturally we agreed on both as we don’t want to rule anyone out. La knows we are interested in adopting and she helped us understand that fragment of the ordeal. I had asked her how we get licensed to adopt, she says that we don’t until a child is legally free (parental rights severed) and then we get our foster license converted to an adoption license at that time. I am still unclear if we can continue to foster after having our license converted.

La asked me a question today, she asked “You look like you have it all together…do you?” I was proud to answer yes. I do have it all together; I am a mama…it’s my nature. Yes, I have struggles but I also have systems and I ROCK MOTHERHOOD. I have bad days, I have good days and I yell sometimes. I make mistakes but I always apologize. I used to say I wasn’t good at anything, I sucked at sports, I am a poor writer, and hobbies are out of the question. Now that I am older…I know I am a good mother! That is what I am good at.

Also, La expressed that she wanted to make sure we got licensed first. Does this me we are the star students? Hahah. I’m not going to lie; it felt good to know that she wanted to license us first. I truly believe we are model parents and that we have a very strange family dynamic but we work it better than runway models work their bodies.

Next on my agenda? I need a bigger dining room table. I currently  have a table for 8…it;s obvious that I need a table for 10.

In addition, I feel the need to document this: I have had a dream about a baby girl named Sally for three nights in a row. What does it mean?!

Check please.

Something must have really screwed up the cosmic balance in my household, this morning EVERY. SINGLE. CHILD. has decided to act out in a way that is just unbelievable. I love my babies, I do…I just wish I had a shred of sanity left this morning. I think I have the bad behavior contained…for now.

I am finishing up the winter closet clean out with my babies today, Biscuit has proven to be the hardest. She insists on keeping shorts and tank tops because ‘they’re sooooo cute!” Um, it’s winter and those shorts you decide to keep will be skanky booty shorts next summer. Not happening, kid. Biscuit is a complete pack rat, she keeps papers, ripped clothing, and every piece of schoolwork she has ever completed.Luckily for us she is a very organized pack rat…until you look in her dresser and see everything crammed in there. Dresser drawers are, clearly, her kryptonite.

Luckily all of the other kids have been a breeze, they happily welcomed me into their rooms and enjoyed me helping them clean out their clutter. Sadly, I realized Lemon has very little winter clothes. You see she must be a mutant; she is HUGE. I purchased winter clothes in the 12 month size, but they’re all too small. Lemon is 10 months old and wear 18-24 month clothing. All of the 18-24 months are summery clothes. UGH. 

Boy Child is playing with Lemon, LOUDLY, where I am attempting to blog. Lemon is screaming with glee, Boy Child is laughing.

Bunny is in the next room playing with an empty Christmas wrapping paper roll, beating it loudly on various items and singing the most ghastly and annoying song ever.

Biscuit is still upset about clothing and is trying to ‘defuse’ by watching some preteen movie on Amazon Prime and she is coming back and forth into my blogging area asking if she can purchase this or that and how to do so. Now she is huffy and crying because I said I didn’t want to purchase some teeny bopper drama.

This is my life. I am ready to add more chaos. I must be stupid. The truth is, I get anxious if I am not directing a child or if I hear silence. When my babies aren’t here I am constantly wondering what they are doing. I call, I text, I email to be in the know. My babies are my everything and I would do anything to protect them. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with adding one or two more children. I have room in my heart, in my life, in my house, and in my car. Bring it, Foster care.

 

Last nights class; PS MAPP, yo!

Husband and I attended our PSMAPP class last night, we always meet at Taco Bell 15 minutes before class and have a quick catch up session and take our dinner to class. Class was informative tonight; we were taught about Baby Court and lengths of time children will be in foster care. THIS WAS EXCITING! We have adoption on our agenda, this was very exciting news!

You see, in an ideal world… we want to adopt a little boy. By little I mean 6 or 7 years old, not an infant. We have 3 girls in our house, my son would LOVE a brother. Yes, I know it’s awfully picky. Stop judging me. I SAID IN A PERFECT WORLD. Hey, I am allowed to want things and I should not feel guilty for know what my family needs; my son couldn’t handle yet another sister running havoc on his life and ganging up on him. I want my boy to do boy stuff and get in trouble for accidentally breaking windows while playing baseball…not be yelled at for putting a dress wrong on an American Girl doll. Also, I am TOTALLY open to and infant, male or female.Now that you’re shaking your head at me for being an ass and being all picky-choosy, let’s move on to the good stuff: information.

Baby Court, children under 3 years of age fall into this category. Parents who don’t get their crap together by 6 months will have their parental rights terminated.

All other children have an 18 month time period before their parents parental rights are terminated.

WAIT. I’m not saying that we want that. Clearly we all want the kids to go back to their homes and have a normal life. Sometimes it is best for them to loose their rights, sometimes parents just can’t get their crap together in time. Also, I was told something that I felt was a little shady. If a birth parent asks you “If I sign my rights away to you, will you adopt my child(ren)? All I would want is to see them from time to time.” We are to say “YES.” Even if we do not agree to their terms, we tell them yes. Because if we were to adopt the child(ren) after it is all finalized… we are their legal parent and make choices in their best interest. So, I can say yes and agree to the birth parents request and later, after everything is said and done, I can completely screw them and do whatever I please.

There are two sides to this, I understand it to some degree and completely disagree to it on another. Yes, if a birth parent is quick and willing to sign their child over then obviously they’re in no right mind to parent. I also feel that its shady, why lie? It’s tough for me.

Anyway, I was stoked to learn the ‘time limits.”