How many times is the foster agency going to call bomb me for my address? 4 staff have been to my home already.
Runfostermama (and she doesn’t even know how many times I’ve also been ‘call bombed’ for her address)

It's been 2 weeks now since the judge yelled at the foster agency

  • Text from Meghan: Give you three guesses about who *didn't* call me today.
  • Me: How about no one, nobody and not a soul.
  • Meghan: Oh, ___foster agency____ , how much of a disaster can you be?
  • Me: They have no incentive to deal with you. You're just a hassle to them. They don't actually care about Snap's brother or his mom. They're probably too busy putting out other fires.

Even though it’s Easter, I hired someone off craigslist to help me with painting because I’ve made a mess.  Needless to say, the 60 year-old lady I hired is a bit of a loon (but damn can she paint a clean line).  She’s really into astrology and asked me my sign.  I’m a Taurus, but I really don’t know what that means.  My thing is birth order, it’s my astrology.  I Identify as an only child with a rising brother at age 12.  uhm, I just made that up.  It won’t ever come out of my mouth or off my fingers again, I promise.

I asked the painting lady what the girls’ signs are and my one, always pressing question, "Will they grow-up to get along well?"  She said they will because they are both water signs. 

Sandy is a Scorpio and Clementine is Pisces.  She described a Scorpio as intense, strong and wise.  That’s sounds a lot like Sandy.  She described Pisces as “seeming like they always have a foot in another world” which made me laugh because that is very, very Clemmie.

I just realized that I may continue to get 10 minute updates from Runfostermama for the rest of our lives.

She just text that the kids were really good in church despite downing large amounts of marshmallow peeps.

Happy Easter!

My little bunnies are quarantined with pink eye and I’m trudging through a mess of a painting project I’ve made.

Clementine’s siblings’ first day with Runfostermama.

Clementine’s siblings’ first day with Runfostermama.

Runfostermama update

Something’s wrong with the kids’ Medicaid number (could have been written down wrong) and Runfostermama had to pay full price for 6 prescriptions.  Fortunately she had the money, but that could have put someone in a real jam.

The foster agency says they’ll reimburse for those kinds of things but I’m guessing it’ll take forever.  I’m still waiting for stipend money (that all goes to Asia) for the extra 2 days we kept the kids when the foster mother’s “sister died” (later retracted).  I was already at the foster agency with the kids when I was told.

Next post will be positive, I promise.  Asia has the kids today while I repaint, repair and embark on toddler-proofing project #492. Sandy is so flexible that she’ll do the splits bringing her foot all the way up to her forehead to step up on a piece of furniture and climb to the top. 

Asia is the best.

Asia is the best.

Is YOUR Home Depot this cool?

Have I mentioned that Clementine’s great- aunt, a special ed teacher upstate is ecstatic that Runfostermama has the kids? Like a million Facebook messages ecstatic. She’s already asked us several times to bring the kids up for a BBQ and to swim in the pool. I’m sure we’ll get it together soon and make our way up there.

Such a feel good situation to have her support.

Runfostermama is already in ER with the kids

Because foster parents didn’t send any of their prescribed medications. Runfostermama tried urgent care first but this one didn’t accept Medicaid.

Crappy way to sped the first night. I told her to drop a kid or two off here while she’s at the hospital with the others.

Oh, and the one incredibly awesome benefit of foster parents not having an attorney or representation in court (unless you hire one at the 1 year mark which is rare)?  You can talk to any of the attorneys.

That’s another lesson it took me too long to learn.  I can call up any attorney I want.  They may not talk to me, but I can leave voicemail.  I’ve almost always received a call back.  Calling the attorneys before court (not necessarily all of them, using discretion depending on the case) can change everything.  It seems that 2-3 days before court is the perfect time to call.  Sometimes I start with a simple “I just want to let you know that I plan to attend court unless you don’t think it’s a good idea”.  I think if I would have done that with Snap’s law guardian years ago everything would have been different.  Everything.

When Clementine’s parents said in the beginning that their attorney told them to not think about adoption and to take their time, I called mom’s attorney and left a friendly and informative message.  Something like "I totally understand why you would advise your client not to rush into anything, but I just want to share that I took Clementine only because of the parents consistent and clear request for adoption.  I can’t foster her for more than a few weeks it’s too emotional, I hope you can understand.  And also, for what it’s worth given my bias to adopt Clementine, I can testify that her mom and dad have been clear for months on the adoption.  I’m not sure if you know that mom called me the day Clementine was born, a Sunday and said "You have a daughter!"  If they want to keep her, I support that but I want it figured out as soon as possible.  Maybe you could refer them to counseling?  I definitely don’t want to take someone’s baby if they don’t want me to have him or her.  Thanks for listening and I understand if it’s not appropriate for you to call me back".

From there all I know is that mom saw her attorney and the surrender happened within a few days.

Oh, but I ALWAYS tell my case worker that I called an attorney and what I said.  I don’t get their permission necessarily but I make sure they’re informed and not blindsided by anything.  None of my case workers have ever expressed a problem with it.

All this is really about how I wish I would have handled Jacket’s case differently.  I think I could have done a lot more to help clarify for the attorneys the whole picture and patterns of concern that brought her into foster care in the first place.  In other words, guilt is a tremendous motivator.

my layman’s observation about court appointment attorneys who are with an agency verses independent

I see a big difference in quality.  Kids in foster care can either be assigned an attorney from a big agency like Legal Aid, or an attorney who is independent.  Parents also can end up with an attorney from a big agency like Bronx Defenders, or an independent.  The attorneys from the big agencies aren’t necessarily better, in fact it seems as though they are a lot younger and less experienced (any data on this?)- however, they have awesome resources.

For example, there’s an option of adding a Legal Aid social worker (the licensed kind!) to a case.  Both times I’ve worked with a Legal Aid Society social workers they were fantastic.  It can really take the pressure off me if I have a concern.  I can tell one of the attorneys and they decided to assign a social worker who then does their own, thorough ‘look’ into the case (aka surprise visits at homes, schools, foster agencies).  I haven’t seen them over nor under react. 

Independent attorneys have the social worker option, but I think it’s a much bigger process to go outside for one and my guess is they use them a lot less.