Friday, May 9, 2014

Alex's Sibling Visit

This will be the second weekend that Alex was supposed to have a visit with his sister who lives with  kinship placement. The same kinship placement he was removed from.  Last time the kinship caregiver cancelled.  This time she called and said she will only come for 30 minutes since the Judge said she couldn't be in the visit.  She didn't want to wait in the lobby for 2 hours.  We will see how it goes tomorrow.

Matthew's IEP meeting

I had our annual IEP meeting for Matthew this week.  No shocking information, he is still doing really well in the therapeutic school.  They are recommending he stay there for fourth grade and the school district agreed to pay for it again.  They have a level system and he is on the highest level.  They have taken of all academic goals except writing and OT, so the only thing that remains are the emotional/social/behavioral goals.
I often feel mixed emotions when it comes to Matthew and school.  On one hand I am happy he is doing so well, glad that I get good reports and his teacher sings his praises, trust me that wasn't the case before hand.  Often times though this makes me feel like the problems we see at home are more so issues with me (my parenting or his lack of attachment to me), it makes me second guess everything.  At today's IEP meeting I felt very validated, they noted ALL of the EXACT issues that I see at home as still being a problem in school.  I feel guilty for being happy that he is having these same issues at school.  However, knowing that these same social/emotional issues are presenting themselves in the same exact ways at school really makes me feel like the attachment that I think Matthew and I have gained is real, the issues I see at home are not nearly a presentation of "Attachment Issues" between him and me, but rather some legitimate issues that are consistent across the board.  Many of these stem from the trauma he endured early on, many are from mental illness, but I feel like we have moved past most of the behaviors that were rooted in attachment insecurities or avoidance.
He will probably have a new teacher next year, I have mixed feelings about that as well.  He has been with this teacher for almost two years and one of the reasons he does SO well is because of her.  She is highly structured, aware of what is going on in the classroom, attuned to his issues, encouraging and funny.  On the other hand I think it will be good to see if he can transition the skills he has learned to a new teacher and classroom environment.  He will need to learn how to transition these skills if he is going to be successful in the regular school environment.  They all assured me that his teacher next year is wonderful and that we will keep in touch as far as the transition, so I am hopeful. 
He will get Extended School Year services over the summer, that consists of school 8-12 for about 4 weeks with the bus transporting him, that is really helpful!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Alex turns 8!

Yesterday was Alex's 8th birthday!  he totally screwed up my odd numbered children (9,7,5,3,1) now they are ages 9,8,5,3,1 and with Joel's birthday in another week it will be all kinds of messed up :)
When I asked him what he wanted he told me "A new lunch box!"  He was totally excited when I said he could pick more than a lunchbox for his birthday....sometimes I forget this is all new to him and many foster children.  He brought doughnuts in for his class treat. We went to Chuck E Cheese, came home for ice cream cake and presents.  He had a great time! Happy Birthday Alex :)

Medical Drama for Buttercup

So there have been tons of phone calls back and forth regarding Buttercup's medical issues that need to be taken care of.  First the nurse from DHS called me and told me a social worker from the hospital would be calling with more information about scheduling her needed surgery.  Yesterday I got a call while we were at Chuck E Cheese for Alex's birthday from the hospital social worker.  She gave me the name and number to the specialized clinic at the hospital that would be handling things and told me I needed to call ASAP.  The team only meets once a month and I needed to get her on the schedule quickly.  This surgery should have been done months ago but there were three no shows previously.  I called this morning and got on the teams schedule for June.  Before that she needs to get in to see the pediatrician for a physical.  Remember how DHS scheduled that for today without checking with me first, and remember how I told them I was not available, and remember how they said they would transport.....yeah that didn't happen.  I had left several messages this week with the DHS caseworker trying to find out what was going on.  No return call. This morning I called the doctor's office to let them know she was probably not coming since no one had called about scheduling transportation and asked if I could reschedule.  They told me they couldn't get her in till June and they were nasty about it.  Its not my fault, I communicated with everyone! I told the lady that would not work since the child was in need of surgery as soon as possible, I told her Id have DHS call her back to reschedule. Left another message with DHS.  DHS lady called back while I was at an IEP meeting for Matthew, BUT her message mentioned NOTHING about the doctor appointment, ugh!  When I got home I called my agency worker who told me DHS lady had called her and said she forgot to schedule the transport but would reschedule the appointment.  My agency worker is also trying to schedule a visit with Mom for next week.  Not sure how that will work since as far as I know Mom is still in the hospital. 

Agency Caseworker Visit for Buttercup

Buttercup's caseworker with my Agency came out to visit on Monday.  It was pretty uneventful as there isn't any new news.  I told her what DHS had told me regarding court and the doctor appointment that was scheduled. She brought out the placement paperwork and medical information, did a quick check of where Buttercup was sleeping.  She then had me fill out two "Ages & Stages" questionnaires which are basically to get an idea of where the child is developmentally.  She went ahead and scored them and everything was on track for Buttercup developmentally.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Monthly Caseworker visit for Alex

Alex's caseworker was out today for her monthly visit...yes you read that right a caseworker came on the first of the month for the monthly visit rather than the last day, LOL!  She told me that she is really glad he is here and he is doing really well here.  She has scheduled another visit with Mom in a few weeks and we will try the sibling visit again next weekend and see if Grandma will bring his sister.

On a side note, Alex has been calling me "Mom" all week....not YO or HEY YOU!  I think he might not hate me anymore :)

Update on Court for Buttercup

Court was this morning for Buttercup at 9:00.  At 4:30 I got a call from my agency worker, I assumed it would be about court, but she just wanted to know if I had scheduled the physical yet. Which NO I have not scheduled since no one has given me any medical or insurance information yet, nor do I even have the official placement paper yet that I would need to take her to the doctor.  After we sorted that all out I asked about Court.  My agency worker didn't even know there was court?! I explained that there was a hearing this morning and she may be leaving to go to a kinship placement.  I then told her that the child advocate had told me she was not recommending the placement due to an extensive criminal background on one of the adults in the home as well as an issue with some teenage relatives that were living in the house.  The agency worker was going to try and call the child advocate.  After I got off the phone with her I decided to call myself and left messages with the county case worker and the child advocate. 
Around 6 the county case worker called me back.  She says that she is waiting on getting the criminal records back on the kinship placement, apparently the child advocate had run her own reports and DHS had not run any reports?  How do you go to a court hearing about placing a child with a relative and NOT run the report beforehand?  Ugh.  Anyway she should have those back in the morning.  She said the child advocate wanted clarification about a child endangerment charge that had been dropped on one of the adults to make sure it "wasn't anything crazy".  Once she had that info she would present it to the child advocate and see if she will approve the move or not.
The DHS worker then tells me some medical information she learned and that they scheduled her for a physical on Thursday....um, well I cant di this Thursday cause I already have two appointments.  Whatever, I told her we'd worry about it next week once we see if she is staying.  She will also need a cardiology appointment before the surgery she needs can be scheduled.  So we are back to the waiting game.
It is utterly irritating how there are SO many people involved in these cases but nobody is on the same page or knows what is going on.  I decided to go ahead and schedule some portraits to be taken tomorrow morning, which will be Buttercup's 1 year old birthday!  Who knows what will happen, but she deserves those and I deserve to dress her up in pretty dresses :)

Buttercup's Child Advocate

Buttercup's Child Advocate came by yesterday morning.  She seemed really on it and let me know she is NOT recommending Buttercup be moved to the kinship placement at court tomorrow.  She told me she is uncomfortable with the length of the kinship relatives criminal record, even though none of the things on it are prohibitive offenses.  She also let me know that the kinship placement has two teenagers who they are guardians of from other family members and one is already in an out of home placement due to behaviors.  She and her supervisor do not feel comfortable placing a baby in that situation.  Court was this morning, haven't heard anything yet.
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