Again, am I the only one who takes this seriously??

Last night, on the phone, their mom casually mentioned “they are trying to TPR us.”

I feigned ignorance, just to see what else she would say, but that was about it.  Just laughing off how they’ll have to move the court date because Dad can’t make it to the first one.

This is crazy.  Maybe that was just how she handles stress.  Maybe she didn’t want me to think she was capable of getting angry.  IT’S OKAY TO GET ANGRY WHEN YOUR CHILDREN ARE ON THE LINE.

 

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New worker, call her Mel, dropped off the kids last week after a visit, and stayed to chat – so technically, that’s her home visit.  (Still better than when the worker stays for the full hour just because she’s required to.  I don’t handle awkward silences well.)

And she just casually threw out that she’ll be filing for TPR next month.

I mean, I know this is her job, and she did just take over this case, but this is a BIG DEAL.  Please treat it as such.

She said the parents will almost definitely appeal, so that is probably why she didn’t act that concerned – this is not going to be done any time soon.

And meanwhile, I’m here with these innocent kiddos.  The kids who ask when they get to go back to their family, who cry for their mom, and who save things to take “home”.

I’m wondering if justice can be found in all this mess.

At the last court hearing, we got a new caseworker.  We knew ahead of time she was leaving for another job. Not too surprising, burnout, etc etc.

But then I found out three other members of the team also changed.  I found out from Aaron and Allie’s parents, after the hearing.  Pretty much everyone but the judge is new.  I’m still trying to find out if something weird happened, or if it is just a weird fluke.  And why didn’t anyone TELL US.

Not that I had anything positive to say about the CASA.  He never contacted me in the 10 months we had the kids.  And I didn’t have any interaction with the DJO, so no comments there.

In the meanwhile, I can’t help but wonder how that might change the direction of this case.  The old caseworker certainly didn’t have much hope in the parents.  I have no read yet on this new worker, but I think what I need to do is figure out my own feelings first.

In the beginning, I just went on what old caseworker said.  She said the case was heading to TPR eventually, so I believed her.  After all, there had been 2+ years of history that I had not been party to.

But now, almost a year into it for us, federal guidelines be darned, I just don’t think it makes any sense to tear this family apart.  The parents need work, and it’s taken a RIDICULOUSLY long time for them to get it somewhat going, but in that time, they’ve maintained their bond with their kids.  Aaron and Allie long for their parents and their home.

So we’ll see.  The court is still working on reunifying one of the siblings.  That’s the only official line so far, and so it doesn’t even make sense to conjecture whether it will work, and whether Aaron and Allie will be included in any reunification.  (Although I’m giving better than even odds they’ll still be with us next Christmas.  I may not know where they’ll end up, but I do know it will take a bureaucra-ternity to implement.)

I will continue to hope for what’s best.

 

Interesting to note, Aaron has only had one or two accidents in the past month.  And even those two were almost not worth counting.  Effect of meds???

I don’t know what the deal was today, but Junior and Aaron were just at each other – they would provoke each other, which turned into screaming, which turned into louder screaming, and Aaron was even getting physical with Junior – not outright hitting, but bumping, flailing arms at, etc.  Very unlike him.  They were both totally at fault for all of it, but the physicality from Aaron and the ridiculous screaming from Junior were really pissing me off.  It was more than just usual fighting.  Hope it doesn’t continue tomorrow.

Aaron DID do something great today.  He had to have blood drawn.  Last time that happened, he required two nurses to hold him down.  He FLIPPED OUT, kicking, yelling, squirming, crying.  It was bad, but he had no forewarning.  So today, we started talking about it first thing in the morning, we continued to talk all the way to the appt, we even did a few dry runs of how it would go, and he did great!  He cried, he tried to move his arm a few times and almost (impulsively) grabbed at the tourniquet, but it was a drastic improvement over last time.  I praised him a bunch, and hopefully he’ll remember that praise, because we’ll need to repeat these blood tests a few more times.

Finally, Allie was sickish this weekend, vomited a few times, and thank God, it didn’t spread to anyone else.  And it just so happened we didn’t manage to get a hold of Mom and Dad until she was better, so I didn’t have to listen to Mom obsess over it.  I dread having anything even slightly unusual to tell her, just because of the repetitive questions that follows.

Allie called her dad a few days ago, and insisted on playing checkers, and then chess, with him, over the phone.  It was rather cute and he did a good job playing along.

I think this is the first time I’ve actually been impressed by him.

 

Allie’s nightly phone calls are confounding.  Almost every night, she refuses to talk to her dad.  Dunno why.  Many nights, maybe not quite half, she refuses to talk to mom – often after talking about her during the day.  The other nights, she manages to spend 20 – 30 minutes talking about absolutely nothing with her mom.  Not kidding here.  Allie has a ritual of demanding, and I do mean demanding, of her mom to play songs from the radio to her over the phone.  To her credit, if mom tries to discuss anything substantial, Allie usually refuses to answer and continues to demand the radio.  It’s sort of pathetic.

BUT.

Am I just being culturally biased and judgmental or something?  Can this be appropriate bonding?  Is it what a healthily attached 5-year old would do with her parents?  Is there something inherently wrong with these kinds of phone calls?  I think so, and I suppose I will mention it to the psych team involved in the case.  It feels nit-picky, but if these phone calls are symptomatic of some sort of deficit in the family’s interpersonal relationship, then they should be addressed.

Ew.  I don’t like sounding like a psychologist this late at night.

 

Every year, I hate Halloween.  One of the reasons has been blowing something like 20 or 30 bucks on pumpkins that we carve, then throw away.  STU-PID.

So this year…

they decorated squash that I will be cooking this week.  The paint comes right off, and most of the glitter.

Cheaper, easier, and less wasteful.  Epic win.

per the nurse, but the ‘beeping’ has gone away anyway. I blame residual ringing in the ear from all his Halloween escapades.

And no crying at school either.  In fact, no crying at all so far (but he hasn’t gone to bed yet.)  I think I’ll be able to work up a plan with the teachers to accommodate any emotional sensitivity without catering to it, by using the school’s sensory room.

And I got an appointment set up today with a new counselor for the kids!  The old one had some vague medical problem, so she’s not working for now.

Check, check, and check. Physical, emotional, and mental well-being ensured.

So shortly after writing my last post, I was called to pick up Aaron from school because he was inconsolably crying.  The counselor, with her knowing voice, assured me it was the Adderall, and she’s seen it happen many times with kids on the drug.  Well, I’m not that sure.  I’m also probably reeeeeally hoping it’s not.

Other factors:

he still might have an ear infection (going to doc today)

he just had a visit with bio-fam the day before

he only had the Koolaid and piece of candy in his lunch right before his outburst

and/or he was tired.

So, right, realistically, it’s all of those plus the meds.  Even before he started the med, he’d been having trouble going to sleep without crying, but he usually was easily comforted and fell asleep quickly afterwards.  Lately though (like the last two weeks, so still before the med), it’s become 30+ minutes of loud wailing, and more than an hour in bed before he falls asleep.

And I suspect, knowing how much he loves adult attention, he had no reason to stop crying, what with the nurse, the counselor and his teacher all fawning over him.  Plus he got to go to the nurse’s office and they called me at home! What excitement – I’m sure he was eating it up.  In fact, on the way home, when I told him he had to stop crying if he wanted to watch a movie at home, he stopped it right then and there.  Hmmmm.  Not to say he was faking the whole thing, but….

So if I can get the staff to semi-ignore him if it happens again, maybe just send him down to the sensory room, hopefully we can nip this in the bud.

 

 

Love the spelling!

Aaron has been on an ADD med for 6 days now.  I’ve never had a kid on meds, believe it or not.  I was nervous at first, but as we waited for the prescription, I started to become more optimistic.  He’s got so many other issues, medical and otherwise, that taking away at least a small part of his problems seemed only fair.

So, I’m trying not to read too much into it, but he has seemed calmer over the past few days.  After school, he sat at the table on his own initiative and started cutting and pasting schoolwork.  And after dinner, he sat down with me and focused on writing practice with no problems!  I won’t say he’s like a new boy, because he still has lots of annoying habits and deficiencies that no med can fix, but it almost makes me cry to see him able to work like he did last night.

(That sentence above was a fill in the blank – I had him write “I like to get” and he spelled Reese’s Pieces by himself.)