Book I read →
About a month ago a friend of mine encouraged me to read “Another Place at the Table”. While it was true that I couldn’t put it down, the whole while I read it I was thinking ‘this isn’t really a big deal’. I guess I’ve worked in social services for a fair bit of time now that I know the drill, but if you don’t, this book is a good primer to the...
I sent Eaglet’s kick-ass ACS OSI worker an email checking in, here was her response: “I was able to visit Eaglet last Monday and she seems to be doing fine. I will be making my final visit tomorrow to Ms. XXXX’s home so I can close my case. I will ask Ms. XXXXX in regards to the medical appointments Eaglet was scheduled for last week. I appreciate your follow up with the baby. I...
call from Snap's mom
I sent Snap’s Mom a copy of the email enclosed in a letter saying that I was unable to visit, she could always call me, and I would take her out to sushi when she graduated from the program. I also wished Snap a Happy 6 Month Birthday(!) and included a new Children’s book I love. Snap’s Mom received the package today and left me a voicemail message saying that I was allowed to...
Update on Snap and the baby boy
I called the foster care agency back and squeaked out a little white lie. I said that I was home in Florida for a week. That bought me the decline without being gender or adoption-bound prejudice. Regarding Snap, it turns out that I did not have him this past weekend. I never got a call back after the original approval and I wasn’t about to call given all that has happened.
Agency called- they have a baby boy for me
This is sooooooooooooooooooo terrible to say. I know, I KNOW, I know, oh, I know. But I want a girl. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
You are evil if you don't co-sleep →
Co-sleeping is the new breast-feeding. If you have haven’t heard of co-sleeping these days, then you haven’t been within a 45-mile radius of a baby. Co-sleeping is just that, plopping your baby or child into the bed with you. EVERYONE asked me if I was co-sleeping. The series of questions and comments usually went like this: Is that a baby? Boy or girl? She/he’s tiny. ...
It's official: I'll have Snap This Weekend
Whoa, someone's making some dough off of the... →
Ohhhhh Snap did she push a button
**Note- MAPP is the required training course to become a foster parent** ——-Original Message——- From: Rebecca xxxxx Sent: Wed 8/19/2009 10:59 PM To: mean lady @dfa.state.ny.us Cc: case worker under mean lady @dfa.state.ny.us; mean lady’s email@example.com; snap’s previous acs worker @dfa.state.ny.us; important firstname.lastname@example.org; more important...
How Crazy is this? →
Guess who's going to become a COA reviewer of acs? →
Every organization is accountable to someone. This one took a while to track down, but it was worth it. :)
This American Life (NPR) describes my world only... →
Prologue and Part 1- The Harlem Children’s Zone
Snap's Mom Called- Visit Shmisit
Snap’s Mom called and I explained that ACS didn’t approve for me to take Snap for the weekend. “Well then I’ll see you at the visit on Saturday”. “Actually”, I said, “your ACS supervisor raised concern over me even coming to visit you.” “Oh, Snap”. “Yeah.” I told Snap’s Mom that I wasn’t comfortable...
Placing my order
I’ve decided that having crack-babies for the first month of their life sucks. I bust my ass all day taking them to a gazillion doctors’ appointments, stay up all night as they work the crack out of their system and then when they are calm and healthy, I have to pass them back to ungrateful mothers or family members. It’s foster care, I know. And I’m glad I did it. And I...
Really? My babies are real
On Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 11:23 AM, <email@example.com> wrote: is this you? ————— Forwarded message ————— From: MySpace <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 2:35 AM Subject: Fake Babies wants to be friends on MySpace! To: email@example.com Fake Babies would like to be added to your MySpace friends list.
I guess just let me know if Eaglet is picked up or not at 5 PM. Thanks so much...– Email from Eaglet’s ACS case worker. Just to make me feel better after the smack-down I just had.
28 years might do it to me too...
I just looked up the ACS supervisor that shut me down. She’s been at ACS for TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS. I’m sooooo tempted to email her information about burn-out. In the meantime, I’ll remind myself of the crazy and rude psychologists I work with whom I easily disregard while others get their britches bunched up. Also, I’ll just keep saying to myself “Don’t take...
Called Snap's Rehab Counselor
Me: Hi Rehab Counselor. I just got off the phone with the ACS supervisor and she not only cited disapproval of taking Snap for the weekend, but she also raised concern about my visits. She said to speak to you. Is there a problem with me visiting?
Rehab Counselor: Did she pin it on me? I've never even spoken to her. I think that you have been a positive influence on Snap's Mom. She sees you as a support and none of us thought she was going to make it this far. If she invites you to visits, you should come.
Me: At this point I'm not even comfortable coming to visits. I was just following what I was taught in the MAPP classes. If I had a baby, I have friends who could help, but when she's out on her own, she won't have anyone. My understanding is that the idea is to provide the kind of support system that she's missing to prevent Snap from going back into foster care.
Rehab Counselor: Exactly.
Me: Would you mind calling this ACS supervisor? I don't want to take Snap for a weekend, at this point, I just want to feel comfortable coming for a visit.
Rehab Counselor: Yes, give me her number.
Snaps weekend visit shut-down
I received a message from Snap's ACS worker advising that I call his supervisor regarding Snap's weekend visit. Here's how the conversation went:
ACS supervisor: Maam, I don't even know who you are and this is a highly unusual case.
Me: Ok, I'm the former foster parent.
ACS supervisor: We'd have to clear you and that's just not a priority right now. If Snap's Mom needs respite, she can get it at the program. This is highly unusual.
Actually it's not. I've met three other sets of foster parents who pick-up their former kids at this rehab center on weekends.
They are not on my case.
Ok. So, why did the ACS worker ask me to call you?
Probably because he didn't want to tell you.
So you're not allowing the visit.
Maam, we are concerned that you are even going to visit at the rehab.
Wow, really. Well, I'm just following the community, parent-to-parent model taught in our MAPP classes. Are you saying that I should no longer visit?
Maam, I don't even know who you are? You should talk to her counselor.
I'm the first person you're going to be calling if this child ever goes back into care. (yes, I started to get snarky)
I can no longer speak to you at this point.
New blurb in my "about me" post
I have discovered that the foster parent community can be broken-down into three disparate categories, 1). the stay-at-home Christian moms 2). folks who are gay, and 3). older women who live in the projects. This translates to [and I know I’m treading on dangerous and stereotypical territory] being a foster parent 1). for Jesus 2). due to limited options of parenting and 3). for the needed...
Well, my prediction was half right. The agency wasn’t able to follow through on their plan to pick Eaglet up at my apartment. They called at 6pm last night and asked me to hop in a taxi and bring her downtown. And that was it. My last moment seeing Eaglet, she was in the arms of the case worker who had scolded me about the spoiled milk. Eaglet was sucking on the case worker’s...
Snap's Mom called- enjoying the familiarity
Snap’s Mom is a crackhead, but at least she cops to it. There is a twinge of humble “I got myself into this” as opposed to Eaglet’s Mom’s sense of entitlement. Snap’s Mom’s message: “Hi Rebecca? This is Snap’s Mom. Listen, the ACS worker said to call him and you can have Snap next weekend. Here’s his number. You need to call him...
You know how some babies have a flat spot on the back of their head? Well, Eaglet has a flat spot on both sides of her head. It’s shaped sorta like a pancake. As a result, she can already roll over from front-to-back and from back-to-front. A huge feat for a infant who is not even supposed to be born yet. Her advancement is not because she’s particularly strong, it’s just...
My agency won’t be able to coordinate the pick-up of Eaglet tomorrow as planned. Something tells me I’ll still have her this weekend…. UPDATE: It’s 12:00pm on departure day and despite my two calls yesterday and a promise that someone would call me back, there is no indication that Eaglet will be picked-up this weekend. 3pm UPDATE: no word. Called ACS worker, she...
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I read your blog from the beginning? Scroll to the very bottom of the home page to where it says in white font “Page 1 of ___”. However many number of pages the blog is (it’s always growing), that is the page number you want to start with. You do this by adding /page/ and then the number, like this: http://fosterhood.tumblr.com/page/21 2. Do you have comments...
Eaglet's Great-aunt got a bassinet
Eaglet will be moved tomorrow to her third foster home in a month. The term bittersweet is cliché at this point. To be honest though, Eaglet’s departure is a hundred times easier than Snap’s was. I actually like Eaglet more- she sleeps better, has much more facial expression and is all around more fun. If I had to choose, I would want to keep Eaglet. But I’m ok with her...
The Sleep Report
Many of my friends have asked if Eaglet is sleeping through the night to which I usually hurl them a glare so piercing they need sutures. No. And you will not need to ask again. You will be receiving a frilly, pink, Kate’s Paperie Sing-praises-to-the-gods-and-unicorns-she-slept-through-the-night announcement when it happens. Until then, her schedule is pretty much eat, blink, puke and...
Eaglet's Kick-Ass ACS worker
I’ve referenced her here, here and several other places, but I have yet to tell the story of Eaglet’s ACS worker. Eaglet doesn’t just have any ACS case worker, she has an OSI ACS case worker. Think Law and Order SVU edition. OSI stands for Office of Special Investigations. As if an ACS case isn’t special enough, right? Eaglet came to have the OSI worker because there...
Eaglet’s mom doesn’t want me using the diaper rash cream prescribed by the doctor because “of the chemicals”. NEVERMIND THE CRACK.
Kinship Care More Beneficial Than Foster Care,... →
I heard a while back that Eaglet may have an great-aunt that would take all three children. If true, this is ACS’s first choice. Placement of children goes in the following priority hierachy 1.siblings placed together 2. with family 3. friends of family/neighbors 4. in same school district 5. same borough 6. same race I have asked my foster agency case worker numerous times about...
Groundhog Day at the clinic
There were several moments yesterday in which I openingly wondered if I was stuck in the film Groundhog Day. Either that or a bad Seinfeld episode. Eaglet had a retina appointment and a “walk-in” referral for a routine hearing screen at NY Eye and Ear Hospital. Oh, yeah- I just did what you think I did, I named the hospital. They’ve stolen two days of my life and a year of my...
Week 6 -Letter to Eaglet ---You grew a third lung
Dear Eaglet, I will not be writing you monthly letters of motherly love. However, I will take this opportunity to regularly record my personal groans and moans whereby I can point to documentation in the future. For example, This week you grew a third lung. At first I was proud, “Wow, what strong wind capacity my little bird has grown. It must be all of the extra feedings I’m...
Nothing good can come from this
Email from our ACS worker: ——-Original Message——- From: xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx(ACS) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 3:55 PM To: Rebecca Subject: Eaglet Hi, I’m emailing you so you can please do me a favor and write in a email what you were told by the agency about not talking to me because I am not the worker. If you can email that statement...