Thursday, July 19, 2007

Good news at the County

The head of the adoption and homefinding unit in our county retired recently. She was not all bad, but she had serious interpersonal challenges. You could learn how to work her and get out from under her shoe, but she also scared off a lot of people and treated us like crap way too often. She had a hard job, granted, but she didn't have to be so hard on "her" foster parents. She also had no concept that it was more important to retain good foster parents than to recruit new ones. She had an obsession with numbers of new recruits, but didn't do a good job supporting those of us already doing it.

Anyway, her senior underling is amazing and awesome. And she just sent out a letter announcing that she got the promotion! She is now head of the unit! So exciting. I really hope she can do a good job and make some good changes in the dept. She doesn't have enough support from above or laterally (bad supervisors in other units, and clueless and politically motivated supervisors above her) but she is an amazing woman and she manages to be sane and insane in a good balance and to always be warm and supportive. I hope she manages to find good staff for under her, too (there's so much turnover, and often long vacancies). This job is a set-up for failure, but I think this woman can do it as well as anyone. And she's not going to give up. I'm just excited to have someone who is genuinely supportive of foster parents in this position. And who really seems to get it about what our lives and responsibilities and challenges are like. Yay.

Our appeal on the Joy situation is going out in the mail today. If we get cleared (please!?!?!?!) then I could see us doing this crazy thing again some day. Especially with this newest development.

Here's hoping this County can turn around and become a much better place to foster. I know she can't do it alone, but she can be a big part of good change.

Pray to 'em if you've got 'em

Today we're mailing off our letter to the office investigating the Joy Fiasco. This is for the "administrative review" portion of the journey. If you'll recall, they already found us "indicated" and decided that we either beat her, causing her bruises, or ignored her while she did them herself. Neither of which is true, obviously, but certainly both can't be. Anyway...

So this lawyer we hired (a fellow foster parent, actually) wrote this 9 page letter that is VERY VERY good. We ended up paying him more than we expected (isn't that always the way), but really, it may have been worth it. There is no way that we could have written this letter. And he also wrote a letter for our placement coordinator to sign. That one is really good, too.

Now we just have to wait for them to read it, review the case, and decide to uphold or reject the "indicated" finding.

If this letter doesn't convince them that we are FAR from the child abusers they label us as, I don't know what to do.

So, yeah, light a candle to the Blue Fairy, or whatever it is that you prefer. We need all the good thoughts we can get behind this letter.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Niblet moving away??

We have Niblet for the afternoon today. She is so super cute and very sweet, if a bit overtired and cranky cuz she didn't get much of a nap (our fault - sometimes it's really hard when we have both babies!). FosterMommy is out with her hanging out with friends right now, and I have Squeak home asleep, cuz he wouldn't nap much at all during the day today and doesn't sleep well away from home currently, so we couldn't justify keeping him out past his bedtime.

When I went to pick up Niblet today, her dad told me in passing that he was thinking of moving down to North Carolina. He has a son who lives there and rents a whole house for $250/month, and I guess dad's had a bunch of housing difficulties (they just had to leave their old apt and seem to have temporary housing at the moment). I asked if all 3 of them would be going, and he said no just him and Niblet. So he'd be taking her away from her mother. I have no idea what mom thinks of this, or if she realizes that she has a say (she never had her rights terminated, we don't think, so she could get joint custody if she has completed her drug treatment - we don't know if she has). I doubt she wants her baby taken away. I wonder if she even knows what he's thinking.

He's planning to go down there in a couple weeks to see if he likes it, and I think from what he said that if he does the move would be almost immediate.

We might lose our baby again.

I can't bear to think of it.

We have had such dreams of her growing up with us in her life, of us getting to see her grow up and be a part of it... I want that so much! We really thought we were going to have it! We knew we had no control, but we had no reason to think he was going to up and move many states away all of a sudden while she's still young enough to forget us, either. She doesn't even say our names yet. Can't ask for us. Can't talk to us on the phone. If she goes, we're really losing her.

Our friend had a foster kid (and then her brother too) for 3 years, and then the girl went to her mom. Still, our friend was God-Mother and was still practically raising the girl. Much more than us with Niblet. Mom recently sent the girl to live with her father (the boy had been sent there months ago) in a far-away state. Our friend is going to be going there to visit soon (or maybe already has). But that girl is 5 or 6, so she can write letters and everything. And our friend doesn't have other kids so it's easier for her to travel.

I don't want to lose Niblet.

I pray that he decides to stay, and finds a good housing situation here.

The temptation is strong to ask if he has Section 8 or what and then figure out if we can manage to rent him our apartment. I don't really want them to live downstairs from us (the floors are thin), and I don't really want to have that kind of involvement with someone with whom I have a monetary relationship. Not to mention that we totally can't afford to take anything less in rent than we charge currently. And that we currently have tenants we really love. I just want her to stay so badly. I'd do anything.