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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.

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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.)

There has actually been a lot going on in the background of Allie and Aaron’s placement with us, but I’ve been hesitant to post too much.  I still do worry about being ‘outed’ plus I have a genuine concern for Aaron and Allie’s family’s privacy.

There has been no official change in the state’s plans, but based on some professional reports that are expected soon, the state will likely make their goal TPR.  I know this, the caseworker knows this, the parents know this, everyone knows this but the children.

The kids still see themselves going home, but they are most likely moving to a relative.

The psychiatrists involved say transitioning Aaron and Allie’s narrative as soon as possible will minimize the trauma.

We’re expecting the courts to officially allow TPR to start in June, and then we’ll begin that mental preparation.  The caseworker has promised to look into therapists – she’d better have them set up by then.  I can get these kids to come around to never going home to their parents, but I can’t do it alone.

The doc hasn’t called, so Aaron is still med-free.  The more I examine his behavior in terms of a disability or medical diagnosis, the less inclined I am to want him on medication.  I’ve also been pointedly letting his parents know that his behavior has been very good at our house – I’ve been told they were the ones pushing most for medication.

On a downer note, I’d gotten a visit approved by the caseworker for this weekend, then thought she would call the parents and the visit supervisor to inform them.   Of course, she never said she would, so the parents and supervisor never knew and the kids missed out.  I feel really bad.  And it adds more fuel to the parents’  “we’re the victims here” fire.  (They never miss a chance to tell me how lousy she is at communicating with them.   She’s not stellar, but then again, all they have to do is call.)

 

A little girl, a few days early, not named Veva, but a healthy baby and an easy delivery.

A little too easy, maybe.  She was born in the middle of the night, about 30 minutes after I woke up.  At home.

We’d been planning a home birth (our first one) but the midwife didn’t even make it that quickly.  She was born in the bathroom right across from Junior and Aaron’s room, caught by my husband.  I think the boys might’ve been woken up by all the hub bub.  Do you suppose the state will care that our 6-year old foster son possibly saw a live vaginal birth while in our home…

Anyway, everyone’s doing really well.  I have to remind myself to rest – it’s easy to forget with this many kids to take care of.  Did I mention it’s spring break too?  So EVERYONE is home.

Not too much has changed with Allie and Aaron’s case.  The next hearing might change the state’s aim to TPR, there are some out-of-state relatives that might take the kids, Aaron might start ADD meds – a lot of possibilities to be decided in the next few months.  I’ll try to blog more about all that later.

In the meanwhile, Husband and I have been redboxing some movies during the fun paternity leave time.  We just got “Dinner For Schmucks” the other night.   Hmm, is that supposed to be italicized, or is that only books?  It’s been a long time since I’ve written a bibliography.

So I’ll just say, if you’ve seen that movie, you’ve seen Aaron.  Within 5 minutes of Steve Carrell’s character being introduced, the only thing I could think of was Aaron.  His character was Aaron to a T.  A grown-up Aaron.  The exact same behaviors that Aaron exhibits.  Oh my gosh.  It was funny but also eerie and sort of sad, because laughing at the stupid things his character does is a big part of the movie.  And I’ve wondered about that a lot in the month since they’ve been here:  what will Aaron be like as a grown man?  Will he be able to maintain a job?  Will he have friends?  Will he know how different he is?  How much will he grow and change before he is on his own?

And what can we do right now to positively impact his future the most?

 

Husband and I have a funny little ritual of not revealing our chosen baby names until after the baby is born.  We just keep them to ourselves.

This time, we are having a disagreement on a girl name, and it could easily be solved by asking a few intelligent friends or family, but then, alas, we would be giving away one of our names.

So I’m turning to you, my anonymous but intelligent fellow foster parents, for your opinions!

Without revealing which one of us feels which way, consider the following name and in particular, how you would pronounce it.  Ready?

Veva.

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Once you’ve got a pronunciation, tell me what it is in the comments.

Veh-va?

Vee-va?

Vay-va?

Something else?

 

Mark’s brought home a dirty joke.  The funny part is, he couldn’t retell it the right way.  I still shut him down from telling the other kids, but since he didn’t seem to understand what liqueur was or that he got the punch line all wrong (it’s supposed to be ketchup, liqueur and rubber buns;  all he remembered was liqueur, ketchup and buns) I’m not too worried about his innocence.  Probably the kids who told him got it right, so he knew it was ‘sexy’, but didn’t understand it enough to retell.

Unfortunately, he did get the ‘hairy pickle’ joke right, knew what it was talking about and managed to tell Nikki before I noticed.

I don’t really care that much; I remember those sorts of jokes from when I was about this age, and boy, were they hilarious.  So I’ve told him I don’t care if his friends tell him jokes about private parts, but if he repeats any of them at home, he is in big trouble.

 

We’re leaving in 45 minutes.  I’m so excited to be going somewhere with my husband and no kids.  Except that the car needed four new tires (and they’re still being put on now) everything seems to be going to plan.

Back in three days!

Took Mark to see the new therapist yesterday.  She’s a lot more engaging and appears to take a more aggressive approach to therapeutic goals.  Although it would be hard to be less aggressive than Mark’s old therapist.

Bad thing is she’s a longer drive.  But she’ll see Mark on his own, so I get a bonus hour of reading every week.

I spent the full hour yesterday giving her my point of view on Mark’s state, and we identified four areas of focus:

  • dealing with anger and negative feelings, emphasis on provoking other kids
  • having someone to talk to about his feelings
  • his relationship with Eliza
  • boundaries and appropriateness with Daughter (hasn’t been too much of a problem lately, but I don’t want to take the chance of letting something happen)

Life on the homestead has been running smoothly – we biked to the library today, and the kids played in the afternoon.  Mark could probably use more attention/activity than I provide, but I try to promote independent play amongst the older kids, so I am hoping he’ll adjust.  I have visions of planning a wonderful day of enriching, stimulating, fun crafts, but those few precious hours at the end of the day are so hard to devote to more kid-thinking.  I need that adult time.

But I do want to stave off boredom, so I should work on activities.  He really likes crafts, he says, but when I suggest some, he doesn’t want to do them.  Daughter, Nikki, and Junior are all pretty good at playing on their own, but Mark is more mature, in some ways, than Daughter, so he might just need his own type of activity.  He got a “how to draw dinosaurs” book, and he’s really been enjoying that, so that’s a starting point.

Portrait of me:

Portrait of Husband (she said he was tricking her, in the picture):

And the two of us together:

This was particularly sweet, because it was our anniversary yesterday.  She didn’t know that, of course.  We were instructed in our training to model healthy adult relationships, so it seems we got that right.  We hug and kiss in front of the kids a lot, even when they yell “EWWW!” and “GROSS!”

Anyway, I’m thinking of framing those first two.  They are priceless.