Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On Topic and Off Topic

On topic

(S)'s caseworker came by today for her monthly visit to see how (S) is doing. Most of the conversation centered around these potential visits with her bio-parents. I told her that while I disagreed with the judge about the potential of these visits, I was willing to defer to the experts/therapists as far as visits with bio-mom was concerned, but after what happened on Monday there was no way I could allow (S) to spend any time, supervised or not, with her bio dad. (not that I have a lot to day about it)

Of course he had a case adjudicated yesterday that may have put him behind bars for a few months. If that is the case, then we won't have to worry too much. In the meantime, the meeting with the new judge is still on in two weeks. I plan on talking to the guardian ad litem to make sure he is well aware of our position. Of course I know that his position is no different, it is just a matter of making sure the new judge knows what a mistake this would be and we can convince her that there needs to be a change here.

So where does that leave us now? Nothing has changed. We are still not happy with the speed at which the judicial system is moving, but as long as there are no more visits taking place now, I guess I can't really complain.

Off Topic

........I never wanted to bring politics into this blog and that is not my intent. Most of us involved in foster care are people who care deeply about those who may not be as lucky as us or have as much as us. In particular the children we take into our homes. Unfortunately, these children and adults in similar situations have lost a great advocate with the death of Ted Kennedy. While a lot of people may have questioned some of his actions in the past, no one can question his consistent care and concern for the underprivaledged in our I just want to say "May he rest in peace"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Today's Meeting

Today was a family team meeting to talk about the kids. Bio-Dad was there. Bio-dad is still unable to control himself. He is back to accusing the state of kidnapping his children and it got to the point where they had to call the police to get him out of the building.

Mom on the other hand insists she is getting a divorce and that her lawyer has the papers and is gong to file them for her......She has been saying they are not going to be together since last March and yet the papers still haven't been filed.

Bio-dad says that his mother is coming up here and wants custody of the kids. Bio-mom says she doesn't like bio-mother and she isn't coming up here. She also said she will have nothing to do with bio-dads mother. Of course when she was on the stand she said that bio-dads mother was a part of her support group to help take care of the kids.

Everytime either one of them open their mouth they say something contrary to what they have said previously. Now they wonder why no one believes that they will do anything they say they will........It looks like there will be a court date in a couple of weeks that will just be to set a hearing date which is looking like November for the TPR. In the meatnime, two of the older kids are going to have a visit with mom. When (S) may have a visit with mom is a long way off. It will be up to her counselor who is going to meet mom next week to get some information from her. Like the title to this blog says....Life goes on and on and changes......kiddos up in the air.....all going through difficult times because of their bio-parents.

I just hope that whatever happens (S) comes out of this ok. She is such a cutie and deserves to have a wonderul life whoever that is with.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things are Happening

There is a lot happening, yet nothing is moving. The family team meeting scheduled for the end of next week has been moved to Monday. Not sure why, but all that will happen there is discussion about the needs of the children. Both DW and I will try to make it.

We also received a call from the fire marshall who wants to come out to check out the house. It is time for license renewal so we have to do those things. In the meantime since it is time to do that anyway, we decided to have our license changed.......just in case......we are going to change from a "foster home" to a foster and adoptive resource home.

What that means is that if and when (S) becomes available for adoption and we decide to do that, the paperwork will be all taken care of on our end. Apparently we need to have another home study. I am not sure what questions they could ask us that they didn't ask before. Maybe they want to know what my favorite breakfast was when I was a child (Corn Flakes and bananas), or what I liked to eat for lunch (Velveeta Cheese sandwich). There certainly can't be much left of any relelvence that they didn't ask the first time.

Anyway, we got the forms to fill out in the mail today. We also have to set up an appointment for that home study. I dont' anticipate this as being any kind of a problem, just more red tape to go through.

We still haven;t heard from (S)'s therapist yet about when her next appointment will be. That will have to happen before any visits may occur. I am not sure what the situation is with (S)'s brothers but I guess we will find out more about that on Monday. Mayb e we will get more information then about the TPR hearings. If not, we have the monthly visit from the caseworker on Wednesday and that will be another opportunity to get some information.

In the meantime, we are still up in the air. We can handle that. It is (S) who is going to have the problems if permanency can't be achieved in a relatively short amount of time. This case needs to be heard decided and completed on the kids time, not on the courts, caseworkers, judges, or even the foster parents time. The problem is that the justice system that says it does things it believes are in the "best interest" of the children doesn't seem to really accomplish that with any degree of regularity It really is a shame.

Monday, August 17, 2009

There has to be a better way


Well I just got off the phone with the case worker for (S). She had just filed another TPR. I thought I was beginning to understand the system, but I am getting more and more confused. She still has to plan on visits for (S) with bio mom and dad even though they do a number on her. Those visits will be done when and how the therapist working with (S) decides they should be. In the meantime, the therapist just had surgery and I don't know when she will be back. If she calls, I guess there won't be any hurry calling her back.

I don't know what impact the filing of a TPR has on that. I guess until the next judge hears something the visits will be as ordered by the last judge. At some point though youhave to wonder how many times can they file for a TPR? Apparently there are certain circumstancs under which they can be filed, and if things change, which indeed they have, then they can refile. Like I said, Idon't understand this system, but I fel like th GAL and DA had a chance and they were so sure they had this case in the bag that they let up and that is what caused them to lose. On the other hand, they apparently left themselves an opening for refiling. Who knows? I certainly don't.

What I do know is that (S) needs to have some permanency and that can't occur until all these court proceedings come to an end. Is there anything that can be more damaging to a child like (S) then not having any permanency. At least at this point she doesn't know it, but if and when the time comes, I am sure it will be very difficult. I don't know how else it can be done, but

There has to be a better way.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Its All Mumbo Jumbo To Me

I was in the process of writing an entry about my family values but that will have to wait. Right now I am trying to figure out the demise of our justice system. Apparently some judges can be so arrogant that they refuse to admit they are wrong. They continue to make their determinations based on flaed thinking and won't let anyone tell them otherwise.

You have probably figured out I am talking again about one moronic magistrate in particular. Today he denied BOTH motions the state had made. I don't know why he thinks he knows so much more than all the professionals, but apparently he does. He also apparently has no regard what so ever for what is in the best interests of the children. That is the saddest part of all. So now the saga will go one for a few more months adn the children will remain in legal limbo until all is decided.

We have one possibble saving grace.....Our moronic Magistrate is retiring in two weeks. Going out to pasture with all the other cows where he belongs.......That means when the state files again for a TPR it will be heard by a different judge. I can only hope that judge pays a little bit of attention to the professionals.

I know I am not an expert in either of these subjects. I know little or nothing about theories of child development and psychotherapy etc, and I know even less about the law. I also know that the judge knows nothing about therapy. That is why they have experts come in to testify. So why does he not listen to the experts?

When I needed my appendix removed, I went to a surgeon, not a dentist. When I need a haircut, I go to the barber, not the hardware store. When I go to the surgeon or the hardware store, I go there because they can give me the information I need. Since I am paying them, I value their knowledge and information. It would seem the judge should do the same thing. He didn't......he is a moron....but I have said that enough.

So now, we wait some more and hope that the next judge will use some common sense. In the meantime, we will continue to care for (S) and hope that whatever happens, she will come out on the other end ok. She is such a great kid, I hope the judicial system doesn't screw it up. But I have to tell you that what the lawyers said in court, and what the judge said in his decision is all just legal mumbo jumbo as far as I am concerned. I am glad that there are a few of us anyway looking out for the best interests of the children. I pray that in the end, everyone does that.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

GAL and the Roller Coaster Ride


DW spoke with the GAL this week. It seems as though bio-mom is suspected of stealing food from the women's shelter and bringing it to her husband. Yes the same husband she is supposedly being protected from at the women's shelter, and the same husband the judge thinks she is no longer with.

The GAL is very concerned about the children and not very happy with the judge. There is a date for court of August 13, but the GAL says there is no guarantee that the judge will even hear the appeal that day. We can only hope that if he does hear it, he sees the light and amends his decision to something sensible.....Like TPR.

In the meantime, the caseworker is planning to visit here and see (S) the week after next. She also said she needs to plan another visit with bio-parents. She is hopeful that something will happen on the 13th to cause those visits not to occur, but like I said, the judge may not even hear the case.

In the meantime, we have (S) signed up for pre-school starting the end of this month. That gives us 3 weeks to get the toilet training back on track. She is pretty good about number 1, but she has not gotten back to pooping in the potty. We know she knows when she has to go, but she is says she is afraid to go in the potty. Hopefully we will get that straightened out.

In the meantime, the roller coaster ride continues. Thinking back.....January - ready to have her go home to bio-mom..........March - deciding whether or not we want to adopt after the TPR.......July - Wondering whether she will be up for adoption or returned to bio-parents.......August - hoping the judge makes the right decision.......Not sure whether or not the next turn on the roller coaster leads to an up or a down, but we will be ready for whatever occurs.............I hope

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Easy To Say

So a lot of people have asked what is going on. The short answer is....there is no short answer.

There are two things happening.

First, as far as the court and TPR and DHHS are concerned. The state, through DHHS, is still appalled at the judges decision. The so-called "emergency" appeal will not be heard for another week and a half. The Guardian Ad Litem is at a loss for words. The District Attormey has never seen anything like it, and the moronic magistrate?.....well, he is apparently oblivious to any reality. In case you are forgetting, the following post will give you some idea as to what was testified to in court:

As far as (S) is concerned.

Since her visit with bio-mom a week and a half ago and her visit with bio-dad this past Friday, her behavior, attitude, life, sleeping, mood, and anything else you can think of is messed up. These were the first visits with bio-parents in almost 8 months. She was making such great progress. She was using the potty most of the time. Always for wee-wees, and almost always for poop. That is no longer the case. She was sleeping in her room for most, if not all of the night. That is no longer the case.

She has returned to the "hyper-vigilance" the therapist talked about. She will fall asleep in the den and when we try to move her she wakes up and doesn't want to be moved. Heck, we don't even have to try and move her. If we try to sneak out of the room she somehow notices that we are not there. The easiest conclusion to draw is that she is afraid she is going to lose us and therefore does not want to be out of our sight. Whether or not she thinks someone is going to take her, or if we are going to leave her somewhere and never come back, who knows? I am sure there are other conclusions that can be drawn too. The bottom line is this is not a healthy situation for her. The "permanency" case worker has been trying hard to get some permanency and stability into the lives of (S) and her brothers and it seems as though she gets thwarted at every attempt. At least we know she is trying.

I don't know if I can last another week and a half until the court appeal, or maybe longer for the decision, or what that decision might be. This is where I have to just come to the realization that I have absolutely no control over it, so I shouldn't worry about it.....Yeah Right.....easy for me to say!