Archive for September, 2010

September 30, 2010

Lucky number 13.

IUI complete.  2 mature follies and another great sample.

I didn’t get it when I asked for it last year, but this year I really really want a BFP for my birthday!

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September 30, 2010

Foster Parent Confession

Obviously spurred from my last post…

I don’t think I’m above turning down a placement with a cah-razy name.  I’m not talking about ethnic names…you know the kind I’m talking about.

During training it was a huge fear of mine that we’d get our all-exciting first call and I’d find myself in some moral dilemma because the name was outrageous.  Feces smearer, fire starter, pica, and destructive to property? No problem.  But what’s his name again?

Thankfully stars aligned and names were not an issue when we turned down the first call and accepted the next.  Sprout and Rosebud have names we never would have considered, but suit them well.  I’ve kind of grown to love them – common enough, but they are likely to be the only kids in their class with their name.  Also, Rosebud shares a middle name with a city we honeymooned in (fate!).

But for the next call? I can’t make any promises…

September 29, 2010

So much more than a nickname

For the purpose of this post, let’s pretend Sprout’s name is Steven.  It’s not actually anything like Steven, but the name works well for this story…

When we first got the match, we were told that his name was Steven, but he liked to go by Steve.  So that’s what we called him the first few weeks until he was comfortable enough to be vocal and he told us he only wanted to be called Steven and he doesn’t like Steve.   Up until days ago this was his motto and he would quickly correct anyone who called him Steve.  It didn’t bother us in the slightest – if he wants to be called Steven, or Rhinosaurus, that’s fine by us.

Well, the tides must have shifted because on a random drive home from school, Sprout (Steven?) announced that “its okay if you call me Steve.  You can call me Steve and Stevie.” 

That’s big.  Stevie is a nickname reserved only for bio mom.  And the gift that this little boy just bestowed upon me swallowed my heart.  I had to pull the car over and look into his face.

“I realize how special that name is sweetie.  Thank you for trusting me with it.”

” I love you Mommy.”

“I love you too.”

“But I still miss her.”

“Of course you do baby.  I hold her in my heart too.”

I want to be elated by this gift, but there is no denying the sadness it accompanies.  The strange push and pull of two different worlds Sprout is forced to split himself between is wearing on him. 

Its maddening that he has a pain I can not fix.  A pain that my love will occasionally worsen.  It’s so hard to know what to say when there is no right thing to say.

For now I won’t be using the nickname – his mom needs no replacing and lines don’t need to be blurred any more than they already are, but I took his gift and tucked it close to my heart.

September 28, 2010

So its CD15 and a follie check this morning revealed 2 leading at 16.9 and 18.6.  I don’t think it’s quite what they hoped for with the increased dose of clomid this month, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if the stress of the events of last week were delaying things a bit.

Waiting on blood work results to confirm, but IUI is looking like Wednesday or Thursday.  I’m hoping I haven’t begun to surge yet and we can push it to Thursday to give those follies a little extra time to grow.

It’s so strange to be gearing up for this cycle when I’m still mourning the last, but as we’ve come to say quite frequently around our house, it is what it is!

September 27, 2010

Forgiveness

I recently had the joy of witnessing a baptism.  While the ritual isn’t one I’d choose, I recognize what a special event it is and felt honored to be a part of it. 

The minister conducting the baptism said something that has really stuck with me.  He charged the parents with the task of creating a family which speaks the language of forgiveness.  He asked them to forgive, and forgive, and forgive their children so they, too, would learn to forgive.

What a beautiful sentiment and one that I hope to hold at the forefront of my parenting.  It seems so simple, but when you are caught up in the world of discipline, behavior modification, correction and control, forgiveness is a word rarely spoken. 

The next time I’m faced with misbehavior, I hope I remember that it’s an opportunity to teach how to forgive, not how to punish.  Because surely there will be a day when I will need to ask my children for forgiveness and if they had none to give, then I’d only have my lack of teaching to blame.

September 25, 2010

Some Answers

First of all, I appreciate the shared outrage and constant support from my amazing readership more than I can begin to express in my drained state.  Second, here are some quick responses/answers to your questions and comments…

1) I live in one of the very worst states for foster parents’ rights.  In fact, until you’ve had placements for longer than 12 months, you essentially have no rights at all.  Just recently a law was passed bestowing upon foster parents the singular right to be notified of and invited to court hearings involving their foster children.  Great law, except there is no recourse whatsoever if the law is not adhered to, or in our case, there is a “miscommunication” regarding the details…

2) There is no de facto parent status.  Foster parents are allowed to file a motion to intervene in juvenile cases, but again, they are never upheld until more than 12 months in placement.  From everything I’ve heard, TPR is never discussed prior to 18 months – and that’s in the completely clear-cut cases.

3) We are licensed directly through our state.  Agencies are only used for teens and therapeutic foster care – had we known more at the time, we would have seriously considered going through an agency…and the irony is that Sprout would have qualified as a therapeutic placement due to his multiple displacements…

4) Kids do have visitation.  1 hour a week with bio mom. When she can make it.  Just sayin’.

5) We do have a network of support around us.  We have a support social worker, foster parent “big buddies” who have been doing this much longer than we have, and we’ve been in touch with our state’s foster parent advocacy group.  That’s the good news.  The bad new is not one person (in state) was surprised by our story.  Of course they shared our frustration and were sympathetic, but not surprised.  Ridiculously long court dockets? normal.  Years to implement permanency? normal. Foster parents kept entirely in the dark? normal. 

6) A glimmer of hope exists once we make it to December (12 month placement).  At that point, we can submit our case to the advocacy group and there is a decent chance they would offer us an attorney to represent us and fight for faster permanency for the children, especially since they are so young.   Great news, and we will be crossing the days off on our calendar until we can explore that further.

Did that cover them all?  Any other questions out there?

September 24, 2010

There are no words, but here are a few

There have been a flurry of phone calls and emails the results of which are wholly unsatisfactory, but you can’t get blood from a stone.   This is what we’ve pieced together as the outcome of yesterday’s missed hearing:

– the kids stay with us

– the state continues efforts to reunify with bio mom

– the next trial date is set for September 2011

They plan for us to continue status quo for another YEAR.  Rosebud will be almost 2 years old.  My head won’t stop spinning since hearing that news.

We will continue fighting, we will continue pushing.  But for today, I am done.

September 23, 2010

Court

Today was the long-awaited day of the first court hearing that we were actually invited to attend.  Of all the different ways I imagined this day to go, it turned out to be nothing as I expected. 

In fact, it turned out to be nothing at all.

A and I hemmed and hawed over what to wear and showed up to the juvenile court with butterflies in our stomach exactly 15 minutes before the hearing was to occur.  I was so nervous I checked and rechecked that notice a million times to make sure we had the date and time correct.  One last check before we entered the building and yup, we’ve got it right. This is it.

I knew something was up by the look of the security guard’s face when we entered.  He called someone else over to deliver the bad news.  The time had been changed – the hearing had already been held 2 hours earlier.  What? Are you sure?? Can you check the name again?  We looked over his shoulder at the schedule and sure enough, there were our children’s names, crossed off…completed.  No calls, no emails, no notice of the change whatsoever.

Livid isn’t even a strong enough word to describe how we felt.  9 long months we had been anticipating this day. So hopeful that we’d finally get any shred of information…and just like that, it was taken.

September 22, 2010

Daycare Gone Right

There are far too many daycare horror stories out there – unfortunately, we lived one of our own.  But, there are good ones out there and their praises need to be sung.

I picked up Rosebud early from daycare yesterday.  She’s teething and cranky and I figured I’d spare her teachers a couple of hours of Miss Clingypants.  Well, when I walked in, she was completely comfortable and content, sleeping peacefully all snuggled into her teacher who was rocking away in the rocking chair.  It was one of those moments that was so sweet it nearly broke my heart.  The tender way she was being held and rocked,  and the look of complete relaxation on her face…I wanted to kiss them both.

I asked the teacher how long she had been sleeping and she confessed that it was just over an hour! Which meant that the sweet teacher had given up her lunch break to rock my baby.  I struggled to find the words to both apologize and thank her, but she shook her head and said, “You know how she gets when she’s teething.  The poor thing was so exhausted I couldn’t stand it.  I’m glad she finally got some rest – it was the nicest lunch break I’ve had in a while.”

I’ve known since the first day that she’d be well cared-for in her new daycare, but today I learned that she’s also loved.

September 21, 2010

Turn off the tube

Over the last month I’ve been noticing an interesting pattern developing in my house.  Days that Sprout watched TV, he would almost certainly get in trouble, be put in time-out, or have a tantrum.  It took me a while to realize it because we already had a very strict TV schedule (we went through hell and back with TV detox last winter) and it’s not as though he was watching anything that would necessarily trigger bad behavior (his shows are limited to Clif.ford, Sesame.Street and PB.S Kids).  But, something clicked last Sunday and we implemented a no tv plan. 

It wasn’t a punishment.  There was no discussion with Sprout about how he lost tv for bad behavior.  Instead we just decided not to offer it and keep him busy with other activities when he would typically ask for it.  In the past 9 days, he has watched exactly 20 minutes of television and he hasn’t even noticed.   But we have! Happy, clam, agreeable, and an absolute joy to be around is difficult not to notice.  Coincidence? Who cares? This no-tv thing has been like a big breath of fresh air!

Do you have crabby argumentative children in your house? Try turning off the tv and be sure to report back on your findings!