November 5, 2011

Time flies but not all fun

A lot has happened in the last year. Probably the biggest one was Little Prince and Princess have our last name now. Although Little Prince doesn't know that he ever had a different last name and Princess wouldn't comprehend it. We kept their original first names but changed their middle names. In fact, Little Prince picked his own middle name from his favorite movie. I'm still nervous about posting true names and pictures. At least until we are not doing foster care anymore.

Now for updates with foster children. Kaykay "left" our house three hours before she turned 18 (beginning of 2011). It was a big mistake on her part. Because she left foster care before 18, she lost her medicaid and any college money she would have had. But she also lost the support she was getting by staying with us. I will always hope it wasn't planned on her part but I will never be sure of it.

October 2010 we took in two familiar faces. The placement was two little girls that we had for respit when we first got our license. For the blog, I named them "Cuddly" and "Curly". They were two years older then when we first met them and had way different personalities from each other. Cuddly wasn't very huggable anymore. She had picked up bad habits such as lying. Curly was better in some aspects but we could tell she was going to need a lot of therapy (which I'm sure she has not received). The girls stayed with us for about four months. They had been in foster care for almost two years before they were returned to their parents. I know you are probably thinking happy thoughts but believe me their parental rights should have been terminated along time ago. The parents didn't do one thing that the court had ordered them to do to be able to get those girls back. I just don't understand what happened with that case. I often wonder how the girls are doing.

It was a few months later before we got anymore calls. The next placements we took in were two sisters. The oldest turned four with days of coming to us. She was super smart and knew it. Her and Little Prince got along like "peas in a pod". She could be a little stinker but we very much enjoyed her. She really missed her parents and that's what made it harder on her than the other kids we had. For privacy reasons we will call her Queenie. Luckily for Queenie, and us, we were able to call her mother every night so she could say "good-night". Queenie was a beautiful little girl with long blond hair and blue eyes. She acted a lot older than she was because I think she was the one who took care of her mother instead of the other way around. Queenie's little sister was the first medically fragile, physically handicapped child we have ever had. We'll call her Anne.

Anne was two years younger than Queenie and had Cerebral Palsy. Anne also had a feeding tube and had to be fed every four hours. This next bit of information is something that could discourage future foster parents, but please don't let it. Everything works out. The afternoon I got the call I picked the girls up from DCS mid-afternoon. They told me that Anne needed to be fed through her feeding tube and they had formula from her home. The mother was in no shape to explain how to feed her. Including how much or how often. I figured it was no big deal, I would call the doctor when I got home. Well, I could not get a hold of "her" doctor or anyone else to tell me how to take care of her. I called everyone I knew from nurses to friends. No one had an answer. I even talked to a doctor on call for her doctor, he "couldn't" tell me because he didn't have the chart in front of him. Finally, I found a number on the an invoice that came with the feeding bags. The answering service got a hold of the person on call and she walked me threw it. All I can say is "don't give up". Anne did not have any body weight to lose and she hadn't eaten since 3pm that afternoon. Everything turned out OK.

Shortly after Queenie and Anne came to us we left for a family vacation. We couldn't take them because there wasn't time to get a court approval and we wouldn't have been able to care for Anne the way she need to be cared for. Thank goodness, our good friend was able to take the girls in and care for them while we were gone. It didn't go off without a hitch though. Hours after we left, Anne got sick and ended up at the hospital. It wasn't a good situation for our friend. The foster agency wasn't a big help either. Everything turned out fine within two days. I was very thankful for having a friend I could count on (I still count on her). After we returned from vacation I had to set up therapy for Anne. She received Speech, Physical and Occupational therapy every week. Each therapy was done by a different person, on a different day. I am glad for the experience but it was not an experience I would want to repeat. Queenie and Anne were with us for a little over a month but looking back, it seemed like longer. They made quite an impact on our lives. We are very thankful we have healthy children. The girls went back to their parents for about two weeks and last I heard they were with their grandma.

Two weeks after the girls left we received a call about three sisters. The youngest was six and the oldest sixteen. The middle girl was barely a teenager. The two youngest ones were removed from the home because of an issue the oldest one had with one of the parents. So needless to say, the middle child, "Tiara", did not speak to her older sister, "JoLo" unless it was necessary. In fact, Tiara only talked to anyone when it was necessary. However, she was very good at taking care of "the little one". It was apparent that she was used to getting her sister up and ready for school every morning. Tiara and the little one were only with us for about two weeks before they were returned to their mother. JoLo stayed.

JoLo is very different than KayKay. JoLo talks a lot and isn't afraid to share her feelings. She spends time in her room but also spends time with the family. She treats Princess and Little Prince as if they are her little sister and brother. She is responsible but it's also apparent she has been sheltered from others. It is alleged that one of her parents did unspeakable things to her for the last four years so keeping her sheltered kept her from talking about it and telling others. I say "alleged" because the parent has not been charged with any crime. I believe JoLo with be with us until she ages out or she is moved to a relatives home. Either way she will be happy.

Another foster parent aggravation; JoLo did not start therapy for over four months after she was removed. In this parents opinion, she will need therapy for years.

August 28, 2010

Our first teenager

Kaykay has been with us for a month now. It's going a lot better than I was worried about. She spent a lot of time in her room the first week, which made me worry about getting to know her. If you can't talk to someone and they don't talk to you, how do you know what their needs are.

Kaykay really opened up after the first week. We talk a lot now. I actually think we are becoming pretty close. She told me about her family and I told her a little about mine. She has only been in foster care since she was fifteen, so about two years. For only being seventeen and what she's been through, she has pretty good goals. She wants to go the college and knows what she wants to do.

I told her I would do everything an adult has to do to get her into college but she has to do her part. I'm talking to the social worker about Kaykay staying in the foster program until she's twenty-one so she can go to college and not worry about a place to live, transportation and a job.

The only problem that we are having is her using her cell phone a lot and staying up too late. She gets up on her own in the morning for school, but is pretty tired when she gets home, but she still stays up. It hasn't really been a problem but I want to see her grades at the end of this session. We may have to restrict the time of the cell phone usage.

She has a boyfriend but that hasn't really been a problem either. Although I wish he would call before he shows up. I actually told Kaykay to suggest that to him so we can have the option of saying yes or no to his visit. He doesn't drive so he has to arrange someone to pick him up and I think he waits until he needs that ride before he thinks about it. Seems like a good kid though.

July 30, 2010

Gone but not Forgotten.

The "three" left in early July. Right before Ike's birthday. We knew it was going to happen soon but when I got the phone call from the caseworker it really hit me that they were leaving. I had become pretty attached to Ike and Flower. I actually got most of the kids stuff together the night before in preparation for the court decision. The Aunt called about a half hour later and we arranged for her and her husband to pick the kids up. They picked the kids up within 3 hours of us getting the call. I didn't tell the two little ones they were leaving but I did tell Ike. He was okay with it but I think he wanted to stay. He did however, decide to leave his bike and scooter here so he could have it when he visits. I think he just wanted to leave roots.

Their Aunt brought them back for a visit, the next week, and so we could give him his presents. DH gave him a race track and I gave him a Teddy bear I made at Build-a-Bear with a special voice recording just for him. He really liked both his gifts.

I've kept in contact with the Aunt. In fact, I talked with her the other day. She told me that Sugar Ray is having problems. He's not talking as clearly, he looks right through you, he won't or can't follow simple instructions, and he cries or whines when asked to do something. Anyone that has experience with Autism might recognize these signs. She is having him evaluated for Autism after speaking with a relative who's child has Autism. Even though Sugar Ray got on my nerves, it still breaks my heart to think of him as having Autism. There is no way that the mother will ever be able to take care of him, if that's the case. She has her own problems.

The mother is in rehab and may possibly get the kids back afterwards. Ike is not happy about that decision at all. I don't really blame him but maybe she will be okay after she gets help.

We have not seen the kids since that first visit. I wondering if we will ever see them again. We can only pray and hope for the best for those children. We both miss them and I think of them every day. I wonder if that's the way it's going to be with every child?

July 4, 2010

Soon to be three less

Some of you might think after the lice thing, I gave up. It's just that we've been so busy since the kids are out of school. We still have all five kids, for now.

We think the Ike, Sugar Ray and Flower will be leaving us soon. They are going to live with their great Aunt and Uncle. They are nice people and we think they will be happy there. The kids have been seeing their mom during the weekends that they are with their Aunt. Mom hasn't shown up for her visits during the week, for the past three weeks. I have a feeling they won't be going back with her. I'm hoping the mom will give the Aunt guardianship or even give up her parental rights.

I think Ike's father will give up his rights, Sugar's father is unknown and Flower's dad is going to be spending more time incarcerated than originally thought. I don't think there is any way he will get any of the kids after he gets out.

Flower had her 1st birthday last month. I made her a pretty little birthday dress and cupcakes. I was so impress with myself for the way the dress turned out. One of the neighbors knew I was looking for a dress, but instead of a dress she found a little tshirt that said "Birthday Girl" on it. I cut the bottom off the tshirt and sewed material on to make it into a cute little dress.

Ike's birthday is next week. DH wants to get him a race track and either give it to him early or take it to him next week. The Aunt said she would like us to continue to see the kids and we think it would be a good idea, at least for Ike's sake. He has become very attached to us. He told me the other day, he wishes I was his mommy. We have been snuggling in the evening, after the little ones go to bed and before his bedtime. We usually watch something on TV that we both pick out. He told me he never knew what snuggling was until he came to our house. I think that's so sad.

I hate to say it but I will probably not miss Sugar Ray. He gives me such a hard time. I know it's his age, but he cries every time I ask him to do something or even ask him if he wants to do something, like go outside. I don't think he even thinks about what I'm saying before he starts whining.

Flower used to scream like crazy but she has gotten so much better. We have got her off formula and only give her baby food occasionally. We mostly give her table food cut into little pieces. She still gets a bottle, but we give her milk instead of formula. I'm going to miss her most of all. If I had a choice, I would keep her.

Speaking of keeping, we got the good news that Princess' dad has signed off on Little Prince. We can go ahead towards adoption! We already have a lawyer that will handle all the paper work and the kid's caseworker is thrilled and is providing us the nessessary information. Little Prince has picked out a new middle name. We are changing Princesses spelling of her first name and adding DH's mother name for her middle name. I can't give the names yet but hopefully soon. Hopefully we don't run into any snags along the way.

May 1, 2010

Wrote but forgot to post!

As anyone who has read "Notes from Mickey" lately realizes, Princess hasn't said a word in several months. Yesterday, DH called me at work to tell me that Princess was in a really good mood and came up to him, in the kitchen, and said "Mama". DH told her "no, I'm daddy", she said mama again and he said "no, I'm daddy". Then she said "Mom!", he said "daddy", she said "MOM" quite clearly and forcefully and then ran off laughing. This is exciting! I told him I didn't even think she thinks about me but then he reminded me, we don't know what she thinks. I wish I heard her say words but hopefully it will come eventually. She did say "yum" the other day after I gave her a cookie, but I thought it was more of a sound than a word.

We have been working on Ike's behavior at school. He has never acted out at home but he has rotten school days. He got suspended again last week and he had only been there for 10 minutes! I actually think it was wrong for them to send him home. He doesn't hurt anyone but he does knock thing off tables or knock chairs over. Anyway, they called me at work to tell me we need to pick him up. I had to call DH who was on his way to take Princess to school. Like I said, he had dropped Ike off about 10 minutes before that. It took him about 30 minutes to get back to pick up Ike. Ike spent most of the rest of the day in his room. I don't know why he had so much anger. He's only six. He had another bad day on Wednesday of this week but he at least was able to stay in school. They called me to let me know and I told them they could not keep sending him home. I didn't tell them but he has a right to an education and this school is suppose to specialize in behavior problems like ADHD. Right after school he had therapy. The therapist started a behavior chart which has worked for the last two days. He has to get 4 stickers in a week to get a prize. He gets a sticker for each "happy face" and each "okay face" he receives. He is graded in the morning and the afternoon. Thursday he received a one of each and Friday he received two stickers. It's only been two days and he was received four stickers already!

April 19, 2010


As you can tell by the title, one of my worst fears have come true. When we first start the foster care process, I feared having head lice come into our home. Well, it happened last Thursday.

I dropped three of the children for a parental visitation and within five minutes, the worker who was supervising the visit, called to tell me they found lice on Sugar Ray's head. GROSS! The mom wanted me to shave his head but she did it before I picked him up. I immediately checked Princess and Little Prince's heads. I didn't find anything but then I didn't know what I was looking for. I called my sister in hopes she could tell me what to do. She told me what to look for but I still didn't find anything on their heads. After I picked the kids up, we stopped at a pharmacy to get RID or something like it. I talked to the Pharmacist first and was told I shouldn't use anything like that with the younger children and that I should contact their doctor. I got lucky and was able to talk to their Pediatrician. He suggested using olive oil over night and then call if I found anything in the morning. I double checked all heads when I got home. I didn't have to worry about Sugar Ray because he no longer had hair but I checked the baby and Ike's. I didn't find anything. I rechecked the other two but noticed nothing unusual. I gave Little Prince and Ike hair cuts.

Ike's hair was already short so I just trimmed it. Little Prince lost quite a bit along the sides and the back. I left quite a bit of length on the top. I washed all the bedding in hot water and put all the stuff animals away. I thought we were safe - until the next morning.

Before my day even began, I woke up early with a migraine. I ended up calling in to work. My day just got worse from there. First I gave everyone a bath and checked heads again. I check LP's first. I found two live ones! I immediately put Olive Oil on LP's head and wrapped it in glad wrap. I also soaked my hair with Olive Oil. I had been itching but I was hoping it was psychological. I washed all the bedding again. I left the oil on my head all day but I washed LPs out after about two hours. I then took him outside and told him I was going to cut his hair like daddy's. He liked that idea. I cut it pretty short on the sides and left about 3/4 of a inch on the top. It looks really cute, kind of like the kid on the movie "Jerry McGuire". Later, I was looking at my head in the mirror and found a slow moving "bug". I guess the oil did something but I was grossed out by it. I put more Olive Oil in my hair, wrapped it with Glad Wrap and then took out my blow dryer to heat my head up. I don't know if it did any good because after that DH ran up to the store for some Lice treatment.

He was so sweet, he did my hair for me. I didn't like the thought of using a pesticide on my head but the thought of bugs in my hair was worse. It was funny the next day at work. I got two comments about how good my hair looked. I told my friend I should "do" hot oil treatments more often! Anyway, I think they're gone now. I'm going to have DH do another treatment on me this weekend just to be sure. I still don't know where they came from. The only two that go to school didn't have them. Maybe I got them from work, from a patient? Who knows.

April 11, 2010

Princess and the pea?

Princess has been doing very well for the past several weeks. The one thing she does, that I can't figure out, is her eating habits. For instance, I gave her fresh cut strawberries with her dinner the other night. She liked them and ate everything on her plate. A few days later I did the same thing but for breakfast, she refused to eat them. When I told her to eat, she stuck one in her mouth and would not chew it or swallow it. She even drank her juice with that piece of strawberry in there! The strawberry was still in there, when I took her to school, forty-five minutes later. Finally she swallowed it before the teacher got her out of the vehicle. She has done the same thing with chicken, beans, broccoli and carrots. One day she likes them and the other she acts like we are trying to poison her. I say that because DH was reading about Autism one day and he said that their sense of smell and taste is very strong that sometimes it's too much. Maybe hers changes from day to day.

Well, she was almost potty trained a year ago but went backwards for several months. We had to start reminding her to go to the potty and most of the time her response was crying and running to the bathroom. Once she was in there and on the potty, she would be fine. Starting in March she stopped the crying but we still have to reminder. She wears big girl panties during the day and pull ups at night. She hasn't had an accident for quite some time and has woke up dry for the past four days. She has even went in on her own a couple times over the past week.

Little Prince has been doing well the past couple days with not having an accident in his big boy pants. I think it might have changed when I asked him if he was peeing in his pant because he saw Sugar Ray do it. He told me "yes" which surprised me but he hasn't had an accident since. He has, however, continued to do things that Sugar gets in trouble for. My mother told me to ignore it but how can I give him the impression that it's OK for him to do it and not Sugar. I know he's doing it to get attention but I give him a lot of attention anyway. It was funny last night, when I got home, both him and Sugar came running to the door - mommy, mommy, mommy. It feels good but on the other hand I feel bad they don't do that to DH. I sometimes wonder if I should tell Sugar to call me by my name instead of mommy. I don't mind if he calls me mommy if it makes him feel safer. Sugar and LP do a lot of things together and I know they are learning good things from each other too.

DH ordered that program to teach your babies to read. Both LP and Sugar watch it twice a day. After the DVD, we do the word cards with LP. There are ten cards and yesterday LP got every word right without any hints. We only started the program less than three weeks ago. We are so proud of him. I bet he will be able to read by the end of the year.