Fosterhood in NYC

Jul 27

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Sandy’s hit that language explosion where she wants to know the name of everything. It’s so much fun. She knows words that Asia and I haven’t taught her like “rainbow”, “kangaroo” and “basket”.

Jul 26

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Antoinette and I took Sandy and Clementine to Prospect Park Zoo. It’s a little zoo that’s perfect for little kids.  Sandy sang Old MacDonald to every animal she met.  Clementine French kissed every animal she met.

Antoinette and I took Sandy and Clementine to Prospect Park Zoo. It’s a little zoo that’s perfect for little kids. Sandy sang Old MacDonald to every animal she met. Clementine French kissed every animal she met.

Antoinette spent the night, Clementine projectile vomited all over her at 4:30am (probably because of some vaccinations she got yesterday). On her phone, filled her shoes, soaked pillows. Bathing Clementine at 5am, doing laundry, cleaning the rug… it’s a reminder why it was so hard when they were younger and it’s so much easier now.

Everyone’s back asleep and I’m buying donuts to make-up for it.

Jul 25

Pier 6 with Blitzen, Carrie and Andrew.  The girls love Blitzen.

Pier 6 with Blitzen, Carrie and Andrew. The girls love Blitzen.

Play date with Lauren and Emmett.  Sweetest little boy ever.

Play date with Lauren and Emmett. Sweetest little boy ever.

Jul 24

ACS Responds to Our Story on LGBTQ Foster Care - City Conversations - CityLimits.org -

Good changes happening. Anyone want to identify agencies that are the friendliest for LGBT foster parents? Years ago my LGTB foster parent friends named only one agency that was accepting but I don’t remember which.

New beds, same sleeping habits.

New beds, same sleeping habits.

I just realized, should I have waited to put Clementine in a toddler bed until she can walk?  I think I might have jumped the gun.  She did just fine last night though.

Jul 23

Sandy has taken to filling Clementine’s crib with crap in the middle of the night.  It’s bye-bye crib and hello big-girl bed for them both this week.

Sandy has taken to filling Clementine’s crib with crap in the middle of the night. It’s bye-bye crib and hello big-girl bed for them both this week.

Jul 22

About the connection between Jacket’s mom’s attorney and my licensing exam

I thought I had posted about this before, but maybe not as a lot of long-time readers have asked.  I was probably trying to avoid scaring professional foster parents away lest they fear having a similar occurrence.  I’m confident my experience is rare.  If you haven’t read about Jacket, her mom’s attorney and the insanity that ensued several years ago, you might want to skip this- it’s old news.

When Jacket hit the 17 month mark in foster care, her mom’s attorney went into overdrive- and directly after me.  It was effective.  I strongly believe that Jacket was returned so abruptly because the ACS attorney was trying to protect me.  Here’s what Jacket’s mom’s attorney did:

1. subpoenaed all of my emails with the law guardian’s social worker assigned to the case (I always knew this was a possibility but it’s extremely rare)

2. after reading the emails she filed a complaint with the ny licensing board (the one attached to my LMHC) arguing that my work email signature falsely indicated I was a psychologist.  Actually, she filed 4 pages of complaints, but this was the only one the licensing board accepted and questioned me on.

3.  The next day she told the court (I wasn’t there) something about my testimony not being reliable because my clinical license “was under investigation”- an investigation she started.  So smart and so shady!  I was effectively bullied out of testifying.  I guess that makes her a good attorney for Jacket’s mom. 

In the end, my LMHC wasn’t affected at all and it was an open and shut case that left me with a clean record.  My work signature was correctly written as

"Rebecca ________, PhD, LMHC

Facility Psychologist”

"LMHC" is a master’s level license of "licensed mental health counselor".  "Psychologist" was my actually job title- as it was the job title given for everyone with my job across the state of NY in OPWDD contracted agencies.  The licensed psychologist had the title "Licensed Psychologist" and the extra salary to go with it.  I didn’t make up my job title so I was in the clear.  I was also in the clear because not all psychologists are clinical psychologists, I was/am a cognitive psychologist.  There are developmental psychologists, school psychologists, social psychologists, industrial psychologists, and so on.  Lastly, I found out I was in the super-duper clear because my place of employment fell under the state’s “Exempt status” of needing me to be a licensed psychologist in order to have the title psychologist.  This only expired this year as the state and Medicaid restructure things.

So, when I was called in by the licensing board I handed them a copy of my job description with the title “Psychologist” and that was that.  They said it was the shortest interview they’ve ever done.  Nonetheless, I was completely freaked-out by the experience and in constant communication with my clinical supervisors about it at work.  They were fantastic and out of the experience they suggested that I get licensed specifically as a clinical psychologist.  At the time, I didn’t realize that I qualified but it turned out that I had all of the classes, clinical hours, etc.  I just had to take the exam.

As you can see, I can quite literally thank Jacket’s mom’s attorney for motivating me to get licensed at the doctoral level.  :)

Also, lesson learned- I don’t use my work email anymore to communicate with foster care players.

Again, don’t be scared off.  Jacket’s mom’s attorney is infamous in her family courthouse for being wacko.  I was told she does this kind of thing on all of her cases and to not take it personally (impossible for me).  I could almost guarantee that this would never happen to you as a foster parent.

My Daughters Took Co-Sleeping Into Their Own Hands (or Cribs, Rather) -

my most recent babble.com post.

Jul 21

And regarding those plums

which were $7 a carton, I got them using the WIC Farmer’s Market checks. I LOVE the farmer’s market WIC checks. We get around $60 worth for the season. I posted about them years ago with Jacket and how the program has a really hard time getting participants to use them. They were so desperate to get folks to try them out that they were telling us we could use the checks to get a pumpkin for Halloween. I’m glad the program has lasted.

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