Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some Prints are In

I called the Probate Court this week just to check and see exactly where the process goes from here.

My Federal prints are already back. I am not really surprised by that as my work requires some federal background checking anyway, so they have all the info they need on me anyway. Tehre is still the state results that need to come back for me, and borh have to come back for DW.

We know that DWs are going to take a little extra time as she really doesnt have very well defined prints and they are unable to submit them to the automatic system and instead have to have them done by hand.

In any event, once the Probate Court gets them back, they will call us to set up a date. It is not looking like we will make National Adoption Day ceremonies here in Maine, although we are not totally ruling that out. If DHHS had just moved a little quicker to begin with we might be done already. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about that now.

I have been looking at pictures trying to pick out what I am going to post here when the adoption is final. There are so many pictures we have from the last 3 years, that picking out a few to show everyone is proving to be difficult. I will get through it though, I am sure......

So thats about it. I have to go to Oklahoma, so I won't be around next week, but you can be sure I will be checking with the Probate Court when I get back. I will check in here from Oklahoma as well.

Monday, October 25, 2010


(S) got glasses today.

We had noticed that she was having some trouble seeing so we took her to the eye doctor, and sure enough she is far-sighted and needed to have glasses so we got them today.

She insists they make her look ugly and that couldn't be further from the truth. She actually looks quite cute in them.

We made a deal with her though.

She has to keep them with her at all times. She doesn't have to wear them, but they have to be with her. For most of thetime tonight she realized it was easier to wear them then to try and remember where they were every time she got up. Of course we didn't make it easy either as we constantly asked her where they were and reminded her that she wouldnt have this problem if she wore them.

We also were able to show her some writing that she couldn't pick out the letters unless she had her glasses on. After seeing that, she seemed a little more likely to want to put them on. Especially when she was looking at books.

I know it will take her time to get used to them, but I know she will also do better in school with them.

And she really does look cute in them..........AND IT WON'T BELONG BEFORE YOU CAN ALL SEE PICTURES OF HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are hoping that we will hear from the Probate Court in the next couple of weeks and have a date for her adoption hearing.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Progress

We got a call Wednesday morning at 9:00am from the CW who advised that she had the paperwork back from the State Capitol and we could now go to the Probate Court, fill out some paperwork and get on with the next step in adoption.

We needed to meet her at the courthouse and she wanted to know when we could do that. Now I was at work, and I thought DW was at home, but I wasn't sure. I told her we could be there whenever she could do it. What worked for her? She said she could meet us there in an hour if we could make it.

I told her we would be there. Then I called DW and told her. After all this time, we weren't going to do anything to delay things any longer. So by 10:00am we were at the courthouse. We filled out paperwok, signed papers, took an oath or two to get some of our signatures notarized and we received a fingerprint card from the clerk.

We immediately went to see our friend who works at the local city PD.

For those of you who haven't been around for a while, DW does not have very good fingerprints. It took us an extra long time to get our fostering license because of it. Every time we sent in finger prints we got a notice back that they weren't good enough. We finally had to get a letter from our friend who is a detective saying that was the best there was. Thsi meant that they had to go through a different, and longer, process to do the background check on DW. The fongerprints are so bad that our detective friend says DW could have had a very lucrative career in crime.

Anyway, we went to see him right away. He took the best prints he could and included a letter advising that was the best that was available. We are hoping to avoid the multiple trips to get fingerprints taken so that they will go right to the other process for the background check.

The call came at 9:00am and the fingerprints were in the mail at the Post Office by 12:00 noon.

So........we are another step closer. It is now in the hands of the State Police, maybe the Federal authorities, and the Probate Court. We are not real hopeful that the fingerprints will go quick enough to make for an extra thankful Thanksgiving, but maybe, and if not, we are least confident that we are moving forward.

While we already know it, the State will finally acknowledge that (S) is part of our family.......


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Table 5

So DW and I went to a PTA meeting last night at the school. The PTA provides babysitting service for those meetings, so we brought (S) along and she stayed and played with the other kids that were in the babysitting room.

When the meeting was all over, we picked her up and went to the car to start the short ride (3 miles) home. In spite of it being such a short ride, we did learn a lot.

1. There are 5 tables in her classroom. (kids sit at all 5)

2. There is a boy in her class that is obviously the class clown, and he
makes her laugh with his antics

3. The boy in question sits at Table 2.

4. (S) used to sit at Table 2

5. Apparently (S) did a lot of talking and laughing at Table 2 and wasn't
getting her work done

6. (S) now sits at Table 5 with some different children

(S) assures us that at Table 5 she doesn't do any talking and she is able to get all her work done. She also assures us that the little boy at Table 2 still makes her laugh. I can't wait to hear more at teacher conferences next month. It should be very interesting

Friday, October 15, 2010

Good News / Bad News

So a lot has been happening, but I have been sick and not really in a mood to write. So let me try to get you all caught up.....There is good news and bad news. The good news first.

Good News.....We are expecting to get our signed papers back from the State Comissioner of Health and Human Services some time next week. At that point we can take our paperwork to the courthouse and get the fingerprint stuff as well as get a court date set up. We are getting more and more excited about that. We should be done with our adoption process sometime in november. Adoptions are done every Wednesday so we are keeping our fingers crossed that our Wednesday will be soon.

Good News.....Wednesday was (S)'s 5th birthday. (would have been nice if it was her adoption day huh?) She has been with us for close to 3 years now and this was another great milestone for her. She so much likes being the center of attention and thinks she is just "all that" whenever there is something special happening for her. This Sunday when we have her friends over for a kids party I am sure she will be the same way. We will be playing "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" and we have pumpkins for all the kids to decorate. Cake and ice Cream too of course.

Not So Good News.....DW got a call from the CW. She wanted to inform us that (S)s bio-dad was on the "hunt" again. There was a time this summer he and bio-mom were supposedly trying to grab the two older boys, but they weren't around so nothing happened. The police couldn't arrest them because they were nowhere near the boys, even though bio-mom said that was what they were doing there. So now we have to keep our eyes open and stay more alert again.

DW went to school to make sure they were aware of the situaiton that was brewing and to give them a picture of bio-mom and dad. The school has been fairly helpful in the past and they assured her that only DW or I will be allowed anywhere near her. That is good.

On the other hand, since that day, (S) has been impossible to get to bed at night. she has been saying she is scared of the dark and wanting any doors to any dark rooms closed. She has been insisting to sleep with the light on and wanting either me or DW to sleep next to her in bed. We make sure that we don't have the conversations about her bio-parents or what is happening around her, but she must have this instinct or some sense that these things are happening.

Last night when she wouldn't go to bed I got her on my lap and asked her exactly what was bothering her. She said she was scared of the dark and I asked her why. She said she was afraid that something bad would happen, and I asked her like what. She then said she was afraid that someone was going to take her away. I assured her that mommy and daddy would never let that happen.

I let her fall asleep in my lap and then when I put her into bed I stayed there with her for a few minutes to make sure she stayed asleep. Unfortunately she keeps getting up during the night. I know that the "ritual" that will take place in court is going to make things better for her. She knows that will make us her "forever" family, and she needs that now more than ever.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Home Days

DW had to work today, but it was a "home day" for (S) and I. (S) refers to days when there isn't work as "home days". WE used to call them the weekend, but we like the sound of home day much better so in our family, that is what they are called.

(S) and I put tatoos on our arms. I got Pluto and (S) got Daisy Duck. Unfortunately I have a little too much hair for this type of tatoo and mine is just about gone. (S) still has hers though. I think next time I will have to put it on the bottom of my arm where there isn't as much hair.

Then we got a visit from (A). She was out running errands and had to stop by to pick up the last of her items from the wedding. She had some jars here and a bridesmaids bouquet that my bonus granddaughter (T) carried during the ceremony.

After that we played Candyland a couple of times. (S) was happy when she won, but gets very upset when she loses. That is something we have to work on. She is at the age where she needs to learn how to lose. I think she will get better as time goes on. And I learn how to play Candyland better. I really am not very good at it.

After that, we had some popcorn together. We watched some TV and relaxed for a while and then it was time to go to the store to get a veggie for dinner. (S) chose green beans. She lvoes them. We also stopped at the donut shop and each of us got a donut.

When we got home it was about time to start making dinner so it would be ready when DW got home from work.

That was our day. WE enjoyed our time together even though I am not feeling well. (I have a cold).
So that was our day. Not much real exciting to report. Just a normal relaxing Saturday at home together. It was nice. Days like that are always noce. Tomorrow DW does not have to work so it will be a home day for everyone. Monday will be too. That means two home days in a row with the three of us togethee.

We love home days. DW (S) and I all enjoy them. Not sure what we will do, but we will enjoy it. I guarantee it!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

We Signed Papers Today

So today we went to the Mystery Mansion and met with the CW. She had received the first package back and it was now time to complete package 2. And what did package 2 include????

The signing of the adoption agreement!


So we are that much closer. Now that adoption agreement has to be signed by the State Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services. Once that happens, we can go to the Probate Court where we get fingerprinted (AGAIN!!!) and get a court date.

So one thing I didn't know is that even though we were a foster parenting "adoptive resource" , and had been the planned adoptive parents of (S) for over a year, we were still only considered to be foster parents. Now we are an official "adoptive placement" for (S).

I didn't know that there was a distinction, but it really doesn't matter at this point. we are what we are, and we are yet another step closer to adoption and that is all that matters.

So.....on Tuesday of next week, I am going to call the woman at the State Capitol that got everything moving this quickly from last Friday and see if she can't help us. I am kind of doubtful as to whether she can actually move the Commissioner along, but I will ask nicely anyway. I certainly need to thank her for the help she provided this last week. After all, in less than a week, she accomplished what the people in the local Mystery Mansion couldn't accomplish in 2 months!

Are we happy?

You Bet!!!!!!!!

I'm thinking lobsters for the adoption party. I think we will need to have a bounce house too. And maybe a Ferris Wheel!!! (I don't think we actaully have room in our yard for a ferris wheel, but you have to admit it would be cool) How about a clown? Probably not, they can be kind of creepy. Any other ideas out there? We are getting closer. We need good suggestions.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It Even Seems to be Working


After I spoke with the woman wwho said she would help, I got a call Friday morning from our CWs supervisor. She seemed to be more concerned with protecting herself, her case worker, and the job they were doing then with helping move things along. She even told me that Packet 1 was ready to go back to the state capitol and it had been fixed. I told her that packet one had been originally sent to the capitol and was all set almost two months ago yet she insisted that things were moving along and I just had to be patient with the process.

I have done that for the last two months.

So, I called the woman back on Monday (yesterday) and told her that it was nive that the CWs supervisor called me, but what I was really looking for was for someone to help move the process along, not someone to defend how slow the process is moving. She said she would see what she could do to help.

Yesterday afternoon I got a call AND an email from someone i the office at the capitol that packet one had all been approved and signed off and was headed back to the CW.


Even though I was told 2 months ago that there was no way to move the process along, one email, and two phone calls later, we have accomplished in 2 days what wasn't done in 2 months!!!

I am going to call the CW to make sure she knows that I know the packet was signed off and sent back to her, so she can go onto the next step.

As always, I will keep you all informed as the process continues. Hey, I will probably invite everyone to an adoption party soon too!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Its All in Who You Know

and it pains me to say that.

It shouldn't be that way. People should be treated the same no matter who they know, but unfortunately, sometimes not knowing anyone gets you shuffled to the back of the line, or the bottom of the stack, or placed on hold and given the run-around because someone just can't be bothered with doing their job properly.

There are "hundreds of kids who need forever homes",. I used to think that meant a home they could live in and a family they could be with forever. It is seeming more like they call it that because when they get one it seems like it takes forever to process. So one reader suggested I write a letter and send it certified mail. I thought that idea might have merit so I went to the home page on the web of the Mystery Mansion to look for names and addresses.

Lo and behold, right there in the head honcho's office is a name of a woman I first met over 25 years ago. I didn't know if she would remember me, but I figured what the heck, I might as well give it a shot. I sent her an email.

She remembered me and within hours I got a call from the child services director's office. The woman there says she is going to help out. I am excited that maybe we will move forward. I would appreciate a baby step at this point since we have gone nowhere in over two months, but it still shouldn't be that way.

These offices suffer from bad press all the time. They need to create their own advocates from the general public. Who better to advocate for them then a foster parent like myself who is involved in the process. Instead of treating me (and I am sure many others) in a way that would help their cause and create a positive advocate for them, they just do things to make it worse.

It shouldn't be who you know that gets things done, but for this moment, I am glad it may have turned out that way......At least for (S).