Sunday, January 31, 2010


I am back in New Hampshire. I really hate leaving DW and (S), but in the long run it will be the best thing for all of us. It is just difficult to leave and come here alone. I really do miss them while I am here.

Anyway, we have completed all our training, signed all our forms, and DW will bring them to the licensing worker tomorrow. We just have to wait for our new water test. The first one had a minor problem and we are hoping we have it corrected. DW will send another sample tomorrow afternoon. Our license runs out soon, so it is important that we get it reissued.

Yesterday we got a 1099 tax form in the mail from the state for the money they send for us to foster (S). It included the medical bills they paid for her as well. The form said we also had to pay social security and medicare on this amount, and it looked like they were considering it income. We have never received one of these before, and I did not think it was taxable income. I am at a loss on this one. DW is going to check things out tomorrow with the DHHS people, but right now it is not seeming right.

TPR Appeal is still in process. We have no idea where it is, and there is no way to find out. When the court makes a decision and sends it back, we will find out. Waiting is a real pain. We know the rest of the process can move relatively quick if we keep on people to move it along, but we have to get through this step first.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to (S) and DW coming to be with me from Thursday through Monday. The plan includes a trip to Check E Cheese's and a photograph taken with the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. We have plenty of other time to use up, but as yet, have not made any real plans. Of course there is the big game on Sunday. Maybe we will just have our very own party here in my suite.

Well, there is certiainly more to follow, and if anyone has any ideas about this 1099, please pass them along. It is really wierd....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Cool" Uncle

As if I hadn't had enough travelling in my life with working 4 hours from home, I had to drive to New Jersey yesterday and then back today.

My uncle passed away and I had to go to the funeral. That didn't sound right. I don't mean that "had to" as in "I didn't want to go but someone made me". I meant "had to" in that he was such a wonderful person and fantastic Uncle, there was no way I wasn't going to be there.

He was the "cool" uncle partly because he was the closest to my age, being only 18 years older than me. He was also cool in that he never talked to me like I was a child or treated me like a child. He was the kind of guy who treated everyone with equal respect. It didn't matter if you were a relative, a friend, or someone on the street. It didn't matter if you were a millionaire or a pauper, a lawyer or street sweeper. He was just that kind of a guy.

While I never got to spend a whole lot of time with him, when I did spend time with him, he always taught me something. I don't think he knew that. I don't even think he tried to do that, but the way he acted was a lesson in itself. He was the kind of guy you wanted to be like. It was just the way he was.

Whenever we talked, we had to discuss baseball. He was a lifelong Yankee fan, and I have been a lifelong Red Sox fan. Usually that is like oil and water, but in our case it was cool too and we had fun with it. It had been a dry spell for the Yankees for a while, and while I will never admit to anyone who doesn't read this blog, I am glad he got to see them win the World Series one more time.

I will miss him.

A lot of people get to have a "cool" aunt or uncle. When (A) was born her uncle was only 6 years old. He is a cool uncle. When (K) has her baby going to have a "cool" aunt. It is going to be (S). That's right, she will be an aunt this summer. Is that fantastic or what! I know she will be a "cool" aunt.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


This last week we met with our licensing worker and our case worker. It was the first time we had met with the licensing worker and the first time I had met the caseworker.

First was our licensing worker. He seemed like a nice enough guy and asked a number of questions for renewal of our foster care license. He was a little too serious for me, but that was ok, he is in a serious business I guess. It's just that he could have had a little more of a sense of humor. There are only two things we had left to do. First is to complete our required trianing. I have and I believe DW has as well.

The other problem we seem to have is with our water. We had a bad test on our well, so we had to pour cholorox into it to try to clean it out and then run water forever in order to make sure the water was potable. Now we have to retest it. I hope it is ok. If not we will probably try those pool tablets that have also been recommended.

Anyway, we have a couple of more weeks to compelte those things before our old license runs out, and the worker did say he could give us an extension if needed.

The new case worker showed up shortly after the licensing worker left. DW had met her last month but I wasn't there. I had purposely stayed home to do these meetings since I have to be away all the time now except most weekends.

The new case worker was ok. She said nothing that impressed nor anything that I thought was inappropriate. I think she is just as anxious to get the paperwork done as soon as the court process is complete as we are. Since all the kids are going to be staying with their foster parents as a permanency plan, the sooner she can get that done, the sooner she can get 5 more children off of her case load. As overworked as caseworkers are, getting rid of 5 children is something she will be very motivated to complete, I hope.

We don't have any more meetings scheduled at this time, and it is likely I wont be there for the next meeting anyway. I really hate not being there with DW and (S), but that is another post. Maybe the next one. In the meantime, I will just keep praying that the courts get done quickly so we can finally adopt (S).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Although Sometimes It Doesn't


I just want to warn you that this post does not have to do with foster care or adoption. It also is not about the horrible events that have been going on in Haiti. While adoption and foster care have been at the forefront for me over the past 2 years, tonight there is something else on my mind, so please indulge me.

When I was around 8 years old I went on a hike with my 3 best friends at the time. We had been growing up together and the 4 of us were inseperable. 2 were brothers. The thirda one and I lived next door to each other. The hike was not unlike the one undertaken in the movie "Stand By Me" although it didn't last overnight. As a matter of fact it lasted for just a few hours but it was our first real trip away from our little block of suburbia that was home.

We climbed the hill behind the brother's house and went into the woods there. When we got to the next street, we climbed another hill and just kept going into the woods. We ended up in an area that was totally unfamiliar to us. It was another world. It was a new civilization. We had gone back in time and seen places where "indians" (I know that term may not be politically correct, but in 1963 it was where we were) lived and walked through civil war battlefields. (by the way, there was not a civil war battle within 1000 miles of where we lived). In our minds we had "Seen the world". In Truth...

We were never more than a mile or so from our homes, but it was an important mile for us and especially for the two brothers. They were never allowed to go very far from home, but on this occasion their parents were away and they had a babysitter who let them do things that they normally wouldn't have been allowed to do.

The story of that hike could be a book, but I tell you that just to give you an idea of how important we were to each other. As is common as we grew up we went our seperate ways. The odler brother went into the Coast Guard and didn't return home for 30 years. The younger brother got as far away form his parents as possible and never looked back. I went into the Army, then got married and had a wonderful family. The kid next door had some difficult times and might not be with us today if not for AA.

The older brother was the "leader" of our little pack. He was the oldest, although all of us were within 2 years of age of each other.

My friend from next door and I "found" each other about 8 months ago. We have seen each other a few times and have had dinner together and enjoyed reminiscing. Today for the first time three of us were together. We went to see the older brother in the nursing home he is in. I hadn't seen him for almost 40 years. He had a major heart problem and suffered from events that would have killed most people. He survived, but is not well. He suffered severe brain damage and is unable to speak or acknowledge anything. He can not eat and has been on a feeding tube for the last 2 years. He has a wonderful woman for a wife who is constantly by his side.

While you are never sure what he is thinking or even if he is thinking, he appears to be somewhat aware of his surroundings. We were all telling stories about life growing up and he would start to move his mouth as if he was trying to tell his side of the story and put his own two cents in. We talked about that day we went hiking and he had a change of expression as if he remembered it. He probably didn't, but it is nice to think that maybe he did.

At one point when we were talking about the old street there was a tear running down his cheek.

It was very difficult seeing him like that and while it is unlikely that he will ever be able to speak with us again we agreed we would go visit him together again. When it was time to leave, his wife took a picture of the three of us together. I have to get a copy of that picture.

I was worried about this visit for a while, but knew I had to do it. I am so glad I did. As I said, he was the leader of the pack. He was the strong one. If the earthquake in Haiti hasn't been enough of a reminder, he certainly is a reminder of how fragile life is; how important it is to enjoy what we have for as long as we can; and how important it is that we never forget those who are close to us.

Thank you for your indulgence. My next post wil be about our visit with our licensing worker and case worker this week.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Did I Mention

It has been a long time since I have written. Life has been moving way too fast. I spend most of my time 4 hours away where I am working for the next few months. Last week however I had to go to New York City for business. I did get to see my wonderful niece who loves there though. Had dinner at a great little Mexican Restaurant called Rosa Mexicano.

I have been hone for the last few days and tomorrow I am back in New Hampshire. I will be there for 9 days before coming home again. I have had a lot of fun with (S) this trip. we have gone sledding every day and we laugh and ave a lot of fun. There was more snow today so the sledding is only getting better.

DW and (S) came to visit me in NH? last weekend. We went on a tour of the Budweiser Plant. That was very interesting. We ate at some nice places and we enjoyed spending our time together. The next time they come, will be the first weekend in Feb. The first Saturday of the month you can get pictures taken with the Clydesdales. I don't know if (S) will go for that or not, but we are going to try.

Ok so that pretty much gets you caught up on what has been happening. I am hoping to get to this more often now that I am settling in a little bit in NH. We will see. I can't make any promises though I will do the best I can. Tomorrow we have visits from our licensing person as our foster license is due to be renewed. We also have a visit from the new CW tomorrow. DW has met her but I haven't yet. I will have a report on how that goes tomorrow or Wednesday.

I guess that is about it.......Oh, wait......did I mention I am going to be a grandpa! (K) is due with our first grandchild in August.....omg (S) will be an aunt!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


There are a few different kinds of decisions you make in life.

The first is the decision you make on the fly. You have no time to think about it, you make it and you follow through with it because you must. Sometimes you look back and think about the decision you made. Either it was right or wrong, or you think about what might have happened if you had made a different decision. No matter what it is, you don't lose much sleep over it and move on. These are the decisions like whether or not you go left or right to avoid that car stopped in the roadway that you didn't see until it was too late. I have made this type of decision many times.

The next kind of decision is the simple one you don't think a lot about and never look back on it one way or another. These are the decisions like getting up in the morning and choosing to have Frosted Flakes for breakfast instead of Corn Flakes. Granted, not very important, but a type of decision none the less. I have made this type of decision many times.

Then there is the decision you take a long time to think about. You weigh all the options. You may even write down the pros and cons on either side of a piece of paper and you make an educated decision based on all the facts as you have them. This is the decision like whether or not you can afford to buy that new car or should wait a few months. I have made this type of decision many times.

There is also the decision that you make about something that will happen sometime in the future and since there is time to change your mind, you continually think about it. You hem and haw (where did that phrase come from anyway?) and you may change your mind numerous times before you reach the final decision sometime close to the date when you must. High School seniors are facing these types of decisions now. They get accepted to a school and decide they want to go there, but they have a few more colleges to hear from and they don't have to make a final decision until May when the deposits have to be sent in. They may change their mind and have many different decisions made between now and that magic date in May. I have made this type of decision many times.

Then there is the decision you make in advance of some future date and never look back. You are comfortable with your decision and don't even give it a second thought even though you may have months to consider it. I came to the realization today that DW and I made that type of decision for the first time I can recall this past summer.

That was the decision to adopt (S).

Ever since we made the decision that we would adopt (S) we have never looked back once. There has been absolutely no discussion except about how excited we are that it is going to happen and it can't happen soon enough for us. I don't ever remember being this comfortable with a decision. While we took a long time to make the decision and went through an extensive process to make that decision, the decision has been made and we can't wait.

So if anyone was wondering, there is no question as to this being the right decision at the right time for all the right reasons. While I never thought about it before today, having come to that realization is quite comforting.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Mystery Mansion reappears

The Mystery Mansion is striking again.

We have a new CW and she is not very reliable. We may have been spoiled by our original CW for (S), as she was with us for 2 years. Now we have one that doesnt seem to really care all that much. I am beginning to wonder if it is because the case has been through the family court, the TPR has been granted and we have decided to adopt (S).

Unfortunately I have been away and not had the opportunity to meet her. She wants to meet me, but we have called a couple of times and she never returns our calls. Monday I am going to call her supervisor and see what is going on. The supervisor happens to be the one who called us originally to take (S) 2 years ago and she has been following the ase since. I know she is happy that we are going to adopt (S) so hopefully she will give us some assistnace in taking care of these issues.

We also need to renew our foster license and the person who handles that is also impossible to get a hold of. I know we have been approved as an adoptive resource so all of that is taken care of, but no one seems to have a lot of answers for us. Additionally, mom and dad have appealed the TPR and I am not sure DHHS wants to do anything until after the appeal is decided. We have been told by numerous people that the appeal will not change anything, it will just delay things. That is too bad because we are hoping to have everything completed before (S) starts school in September. We also want tog et her a passport in case we want to go out of the cvountry, but wee can't do that until after an adoption is complete.

We have heard that the DHHS is not all that helpful when we get to this part of the process and after adoption. As a result, we are going to hire a lawyer to make sure all our bases are covered. DHHS is just looking out for the child which is as we would want it, but we need to make sure we look out for ourselves and we get the needed paperwork in a timely manner once the adoption goes through.

Right now we are just keeping our fingers crossed. Until the adoption is final and everything is settled. I think this is going to be a very stressful time.