Archive for June, 2009

Day 3…

Posted by KK on Wednesday, 24 June, 2009

With a large cup of coffee in hand I am diving head first into day 3 of working on my autobiography. One of our requirements to foster parent is writing an autobiography of ourselves. This to me is the biggest mountain I have to climb throughout this entire process. Check, please! I would easily take 10 more weeks of classes to avoid this task. And why on earth I am even rushing to get it completed I don’t know because getting Jason to sit down and devote time to his own will take me no less than a year. We are just so close. We were handed our certificates a little more than a week ago for completing PATH = Parents as Tender Healers. It was a nice 10 week course chock full of discipline talks (mostly about what we are NOT allowed to perform) and sexual abuse in children and separation and loss…you name it, we discussed it. Very, very sad tales and all very true. All we lack is a med administration/First Aid class this Monday followed by a CPR course next Monday. I already know this to be true, but they must be in grave need of foster parents at the present moment because the emails between our course instructor and our FPSW (Foster Parent Support Worker) have already been flying to get our home study scheduled. This cannot take place until we have finished PATH, which we have, and we also must provide proof of the Med & CPR courses but they are going forward with scheduling our home study anyway in an effort to speed things along. For the last 10 or so weeks we have spent no less than three hours a week with 8 other couples. Out of the nine of us, only two of us were there to become foster parents. The rest were there for kinship purposes meaning they already have custody of children of family members in their home and the state requires they go through all the same training as a couple wanting to foster parent. So for all the hard work and hours put in by the two instructors to teach this class and certify all these folks, all they are really gaining to benefit are two homes for children and only as many spaces in each of our homes to fullfil the 6 child max per house. This is only 3 open spots for us, 2 open spots for the other family (they have 4 children already). The kinship families are not looking to foster, they already have children in their home that they didn’t ask for and most are grudgingly doing it because they feel they don’t have a choice and do not have a heart to foster parent even though they now have all the necessary training. This saddens me that this ratio exists and this is only one class. There is a class which takes place nearly every night of the week at other locations and what if only 2 out of 9 of those were becoming open homes for needy children. I have heard the statistic many times throughout this process about how there are at all times in our state alone several hundred children needing to be placed in foster care but there aren’t enough homes. Hence my push to get my autobiography complete. I have not come close to finishing all the other necessary paperwork to complete our four inch binder such as providing necessary vaccination records for all our pets in the home and financial forms to prove we are financially stable and not desiring to “foster for the money”. Really, who could make a living off of what the state pays you anyway? About $20 a day? Seriously. I welcome that money to help buy formula as I dread that cost. We thank God we did not have to buy formula for any of our boys with the exception of only a few months for River before he turned 1. What an expense. The rest of the necessary paperwork I could compile in a days time. It’s all here….somewhere. So why am I blogging instead of working on my autobiography? Well….I love to write but SO needed a break. I don’t like to spill my emotions and this is forcing to me while puting it all on paper at the same time. I don’t like the idea of having all this on paper, either. I am trying not to write very tangentally and always focusing on staying on subject but they really do ask questions that make you want to pour your heart out. Example:

3. Description of your family

Father –

  • Describe your father in his role as a parent:
  1.   What is his age, his health at present, and his present occupation?
  2. Which qualities stand out?
  3. Was he available to you as a child?
  4. What was his personality like?
  5. Has that personality changed?
  6. What about emotionally?
  • Describe your relationship with your father.
  • How did he most often discipline you? How did you react? Has this affected your goals regarding discipline?
  • How did he handle sex education?
  • Describe ad evaluate your father in his role as a husband.
  • What do you remember most about him while you were growing up?
  • If anything could be changed about your relationship with your father, what would it be?
  • What challenges did your family face?
  • How does he feel about fostering or adoption?

Wow. And that is just all about my father and those questions only take up half of one of the six pages of questions provided. Man. If you are reading this and you really know me and you mildly know my father, then you know how hard all of this is for me. How does he feel about fostering? Well, who knows. He never shares his true feelings about anything, he never has. His “love language” is – “Pester the crap out of your kids and always say and do the opposite of what you know to be the right thing to do and that will tell them that you love them or that you are sorry without actually having to say those three little words”…all he has said to me about us fostering has been “How come you want more kids, don’t you have enough mouths to feed? Ain’t you got enough bills to pay? Ain’t you got enough kids to take care of already?” It’s alright, dad. I know that YOU know we are doing the right thing….finding a need and offering help…you just can’t mutter the right words. So, obviously, I am not being completely truthful in my autobiography because DCS would not take those comments spoken by my dad to mean what I know they mean. I can read through them…I have had 32 years to practice that. And I wouldn’t want to mislead DCS and make them think we are not “fit” enough parents to bring someone else’s baby who was likely born addicted to crack into our home. Oh the irony of it all.

carb/carbon/carbonated…poor kids!

Posted by KK on Tuesday, 9 June, 2009

River has eaten the exact same thing for breakfast every morning for no less than 18 months. He eats the least of all the boys but he eats well, just not very much whereas the other two nearly shovel their food in. Although I know what River wants to eat for breakfast, he still makes a point to tell me every single morning what he wants. It goes a little something like this (and probably exactly)… “Mom. I want a green fruit bar, yogurt and orange juice.” He calls cereal bars ‘fruit bars’ and of course this is an all natural alternative rather than some on the market full of high fructose corn syrup with no traces of actual fruit and by green he means the wrapper which is specific to the apple cinnamon flavor. Anyhoo… this morning while I was waking them for bible school they were laying in bed waking up and puting in their breakfast orders. River ordered his usual and Wheat said “Geez, River, are you on a low carbonated diet?” LOL Poor kids….so many words to learn and then they have to learn how and when is the right way to use them all! (Some of us never learn this)

Speaking of River’s diet, I recently took him to the pediatrician for his well check-up which was a combined 2, 3 & 4 year check-up since he hasn’t been to the doctor in ages. All of my boys were way past due for well visits but I see no need in taking a well child to the doctor, ever. However, DCS (Department of Children Services) is forcing us to turn over our lives for completing our foster parent requirements and one is having a full physical & well check-up for each member of the family and a three page form filled out by the doctor to prove it. This goes for all pets, too. I am praying the 11 reptiles will get to forego this. So at River’s visit after weighing (37 lbs) and measuring his height ( “), etc., the doctor came in and reported that River is in “stellar” shape and went on to say he is in the 95th percentile for height (we knew this would be high…he has always towered over all the other tikes his age) and then went on the say he is in the 75th percentile for weight. “What? Back up…75%? He is a toothpick! He weighs nothing! I worry about him having parasites all the time! He has NO butt! It is a negative butt! It dips IN instead of protruding OUT! All his pants fall off of him! What?” A little background: I have worried about River’s weight since they yanked him out of my uterus. He was the smallest of all three boys weighing in at 7 lb 2 oz but very long and skinny….no cheek fat on any of his cheeks. He then lost weight in the hospital, normal, and was a bit jaundice and laid in a mini tanning bed for a couple days after he was born. When we brought him home he screamed for 6 months, nearly non-stop, and put on hardly any weight. He was very long, yes, but wasn’t filling out at all and was colicky at the same time so everyone thought he was starving to death and wanted me to stop nursing. I admit that I do not believe he was getting enough fat from my breast milk. I struggled with milk production with him badly and was nursing him around the clock. I finally at 6 months old weaned him completely and fed him formula and he finally began to fatten up a bit only until he turned 1 and began walking and then running and lost every bit of that fat. Ever since, he’s been our little toothpick. So to hear the doctor say he is 75th in weight I knew there had to be a mistake. The doc began to explain to me that for his age he is the perfect weight but he is also abnormally tall and when you stretch out that normal weight a child can appear extremely skinny. He went on to tell me that the reason he appears so skinny is because he has a very low BMI (Body Mass Index). The kid has an extremely high metabolism and we eat very healthy meals with little fat but I did put him back on whole milk about six months ago. I believe Jason and I both have high metabolisms, that for which we are very fortunate, and Jason’s is much higher than mine still now that I have had three babes. The man eats his weight every day and never gains an ounce. His physique is incredible for a 36 year old and he hasn’t lifted a weight since I met him 12 years ago (and even then I think he was just tryin’ to impress me). So River gets his good genes from Jason. The doctor says on a scale of 1%-100%, River has a 7% BMI. Pretty low but he says it is still ok unless it drops to zero before our next well check-up. If that happens, we’ll bust out the protein shakes I assume. Meanwhile, I’ll invest in rope for his pants because I don’t see this changing anytime soon.