Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Me: Are you kidding?
Them: No, I'm afraid not.
Me: She was just evaluated for a behavioral intervention on Friday. They are going to be developing a behavior plan and talking to you about it. I really have to come get her?
Them: Well it sounds like you're a step ahead of us on the evaluation, we were going to have someone do that too. But yes, you do have to come get her.
Luckily I have a great school and asked if I could bring her here. They said yes. My class has it's Movie of the Month today (they earn movie and/or movie and snack by their behavior during the month). We were just starting that. She has slept from 12:20 until now at 2:40 and is still asleep! Must have been tired. I have a snack and all ready for when she wakes up. At least it's not Braeden, he would not do well here - too crazy! :) She'll be ok, but really, picking her up because she bit!? If it happened three times I really don't know how well they're watching. You know she just bit, set her aside from the others for a while or something. At least be more vigilant! Argh!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
I have heard of many who have gone to God in prayer over the "things" in their life and He has met their need. I need new transportation. BUT, I want a 12 or 15 passenger van! I want to add to our family at some point. God calls us to take care of the orphans of the world. I want to travel with my kids and not worry about my car breaking down.
I am going to God in prayer over somehow getting a passenger van. I owe too much right now to trade mine in or I would. I am still "upside down" in payments. Please pray for my car situation if you feel called to do so. It would make life a little easier. :)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I don't know what I expected for sure, but it was completely different. :)
Just the thought and preparation and time that went into this one evening was amazing. I know it was a benefit and that it's purpose was to raise money for CAAF, but being able to experience it was such a gift. I saw a number of families who were there as "guests," (as we were distinguishable by our orange "credentials"), who seemed to just take for granted all they were being given. I could tell many of them had been there previously as they brought metal "carts" to haul all their stuff, or got tables right away so that they had a place to roost when not taking in attractions and when they were eating.
I was constantly in awe. There were craft tables, huge, long craft tables for kids and beyond these, against the wall were boxes and boxes of extra craft supplies so that they would not run out. I can't imagine they used all of them, there were so many. And the trick or treat areas, little "houses" the kids went around and had their credentials punched for each one, looking inside there were piles to the ceiling of the gifts they were receiving. Amazing.
Anyway, upon entering the evening, each child was given a huge decorator pillowcase to fill with stuff, and their own halloween disposable camera for the evening. I let Olivia trick or treat first as she was so excited about it. We went to 2 of the 3 areas and she got some really neat things. A Dora wheeled luggage bag that is a yellow car with the characters in it and the lights in front light up and it beeps, a Scooby Doo scrapbook kit, hair things, an American Girl hardback book, a poster kit, a coloring book, and a necklace and bracelet set. Then we went to an area with Eli's Cheesecake! They had mini cheesecakes and these long tables at kids' height with bowls of real whip cream, choc chips, gum drops, candy corn, etc to put on top of them. We went through one side of the room on the way there that was restaurant after restaurant of food you could eat. We got Ziti and bread from Maggiano's and then ate at Eli's area because, like I said, the tables were gone. We then went to the third trick or treat area and she got a Barbie toy phone, and two other things.
The remainder of the evening we wandered from place to place. There was a large stage at the front that had rotating entertainment, which repeated once through the evening. There was the huge craft area, where Olivia made a candy bracelet with licorice rope and candy, and a magnetic bat (there were 3-4 other crafts we didn't get to). There was a retro type carnival game area (no prizes, just fun) which she loved to play. There was face painting and stick on tattoos. There were many characters, some she had no clue about: Popeye and Olive Oyl, Geoffrey, many clowns, the penguin from the surf movie, Tweety, Sylvester, Bugs Bunny, etc. There was another line down the other side of the room of other restaurants. We ate here later and had CA Pizza Kitchen. There was a beverage area. There were TONS of volunteers helping with everything. A bunch of them had the job of carrying around polaroid cameras and cardboard frames which had been decorated with halloween stickers and a sticker saying Dream Halloween 2207, etc. They would take pics and hand them out along with the frame, so cool. We got 3 of them. One of the two of us at the Eli's tables, one of Olivia and Barbie :), and one of Olivia and the penguin (name?). A silent auction took up a part of the middle. As far as entertainment, we saw part of Bitty Bear's matinee from American Girl, Barney, a couple really good dance groups, one Irish dancers, one contemporary, and the live auction. This was when Melina K from CSI NY came out and hosted. They had prizes like a trip to LA to see CSI, a trip to Shanghi, a trip to London, a new car (as the lowest of these went for $3600, I didn't bid :) ). We also were able to meet Melina and had her autograph Olivia's credentials.
The evening wrapped up with all the characters on stage and dancing with the kids. Olivia just walked around them, a little intimidated, but not wanting to get off the stage. :) She had SUCH a great time!!! And everywhere we went people were telling her how beautiful her costume was. I am glad I got it for her. :) As we were leaving, there was a big table full of "adult" gift bags. Someone stopped me and said, "Wait, you didn't get your gift bag. I just need your credentials." Mine was turned over to the back, I really assumed these were for sponsors, etc., not guests. I said, "But I just have an orange tag." She said that was ok, everyone gets one! I was awed again. Inside my gift bag was a Dream Halloween Tshirt, men's cologne, a limited ed Barbie of the girl from Titanic, an American Girl book and craft kit Molly's Halloween, and two I guess specially made for this, matchbox cars in plastic display cases that say Dream Halloween 2007. The cars are special in that they have Halloween themes and say CAAF, Dream Halloween, etc. How fun!!!
Here are a few pics from the evening:
Melina K from CSI: NY
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Why is it that the agency who place children in our homes feel that they can announce appointments, visits, etc at the last minute? Why do they think that if the child/children are in day care and they need to reschedule a visit that they do not have to tell you because the child is at day care anyway, it's no big deal?
Last week I was called at 11:47am on Tuesday, Little One's visit is always on Wednesday from 10-11, only to be "told" that they moved his visit to Tuesday and were currently at his day care to pick him up for his 12-2 visit. What? Unbelievable. Yes, I have no need nor desire to know where "my" child is when they're not with me, you're right. Not to mention that I know they knew about this for at least a week because my friend's visit was rescheduled for Little One's time and I had wondered what they were going to do since both were at the office as supervised visits. In addition, Tuesdays are our long days, and LO had a doctor appt after I picked him up. So, he had no nap, a dr appt at 4:15, dinner in the car, and then we took Olivia to cheerleading from 6-7. What a day, poor guy.
This week, Girlie's cw called Monday night to tell me her mom was in treatment about an hour away and they were moving her visit to Tuesday, the next day. (Hers is usually Wed also.) So she would be picked up at 12:30pm, and brought back at 3:30pm. I usually get her at 3:50 on Tuesdays so we can get the boys and go home for dinner before cheerleading (no dr appts this week). I called at 3:45 to see if she was back yet and she wasn't! I had no idea where she was or how much longer it would be. I decided to run some errands and even found a new outfit for myself for Dream Halloween tonight. (I never splurge on myself!) At 4:41pm the case aid who had taken her to her visit called and asked where to take her as they were just getting into town. I asked why they were so late. He laughed and said that the visit had been moved back an hour and that it was the cw job to tell me, sorry. I picked her up at 5 right after she had been dropped off. So another Tues with dinner in the car on the way to cheerleading. I called and emailed the cw and the supervisor about this. The cw NEVER responded. I did get an email from the supervisor who said that the visit had been moved back a half hour and the cw didn't think it would be a big deal. He then said the case aid got lost on the way there and stopped for food for them on the way back. (Would explain why the healthy snacks I packed weren't eaten.) Well, if all that is true, why didn't he apologize on the phone when I talked to him and tell me he had gotten lost, etc? That would have made sense. The case aid has been "caught" telling lies about my friend who is a foster parent and I'm not about to join that bandwagon. This is ridiculous. He has my cell, he could've called and explained he was going to be late. But no. We foster parents just sit around and have no life except for our foster kids and their schedule.
Why is it also that we who are with, see, take care of 24/7 the child/children in our care can't make a simple decision such as getting their hair cut!!???
Little One has not had his hair cut since last MAY, when I had finally hounded them enough that they got mom to say she would get the money for it. She wanted to take him, and not let me. But on it dragged until I finally gave the cw the money and said to tell her it was from the agency. So she got it cut (after about 3 more weeks). About $8. I have again been hounding them for the last couple months. Mom was going to have the money the first of this month, then had to spend it on something else. If she can't even afford $8 to get his hair cut, when she has no other expenses for him right now, no bday gifts, nothing, how can she afford to care for him full time??? So I emailed the cw and supervisor as to what is the solution??? The cw called mom to see if I could take him, no. The supervisor emailed to say that five months was a lot of time and maybe mom could meet me at a hair place to get it done? She has been one to say a lot about me without ever meeting me, one reason he has a CASA worker. I said that would be fine if the cw or aid were there also. He talked to her Wed at her visit and got it ok'd for me to take him and then keep it up. It was cut last night. Looks much better, but I had to get it cut like how she did it last time. Not the way I would do it, but at least it's short again! :)
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Today we carved the pumpkins. They have never before wanted to even touch the insides, but today did a lot of the de-gooping. Olivia drew her pumpkin face herself and even carved the large eye alone. (I helped with the rest as she was taking a while and the others were more intricate. We have non-sharp cutting tools.)
All 4 little ones got into the act for a little while.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
"But Olivia, I have a cough too!"
First day of new day care she ended up with double ear infections and 103.5 fever.
She was home with me the next day, and then a friend watched her the next. She went back to day care the following day, 2nd day there, and bit THREE times!!! Within an HOUR!!! Hello! Are you not paying attention!? She's been there two more days since and no aggression, so maybe we're heading into better territory?
She ended up with no bio mom visit last week, long story, but that is the day she bit. Tomorrow is her visit day, we'll see what happens. Supposedly the last visit she had Girlie reacted "differently" toward mom. Whatever that means. Cw said she acted very differently toward her and that mom was acting really paranoid. Who knows. Cw also told me that the regional director said that they should start toward termination, that mom isn't doing much and probably won't as she has had four not returned in the past ( high school aged now). Even though she said that, and I thought it would head that way myself, doesn't mean we're looking at an adoption any time soon. IF it goes toward termination, it will still be a long process... (but I am thinking of girl names!!) :)
Saturday, October 06, 2007
They had a "Fall Festival" in the farm area of the zoo. Lots of very neat, free activities. The kids got to ride John Deere mini gators (like Power Wheels), and had their faces painted by what have to be the best face painters I've EVER seen! They were so quick and the faces were AMAZING! Only problem was that Girlie was scared to pieces and cried whenever they came near her, especially Braeden! lol :)
If we get to go to Dream Halloween (I am in the lottery for tickets, no set slots as I hoped) I wish these people could do Olivia's face again, how beautiful!!! :) (It's hard to really see in the picture, but it was so great up close and personal. Even sparkles, she was in heaven!)
Friday, October 05, 2007
Olivia as you know will be Pippi Longstocking, her new found favorite movie.
Braeden since day one of discussing it, has wanted to be an elephant. But not the cute Dumbo Disney one I saw, because that one uses the child's face for the elephant's face. No, he wanted a trunk! So I found one where the elephant's face is on top of the child's face, including trunk. It's plush and will be nice and toasty if we have a chilly Halloween.
I got an adorable hand-made Raggedy Ann for Girlie.
I looked and looked for a Raggedy Andy for Little One, but couldn't find one his size that would look right with hers. So, I found a very cute hand-made scarecrow for him. So, we are ready.
Hopefully we will get good pictures. I love hanging a big 11x14 on the wall of their Halloween picture, they always look so cute. And I have a Halloween mini scrapbook with one page/picture for each year (just 3 so far). :) Love it!
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I bought Olivia a Halloween costume on ebay tonight. She will be Pippi for trick-or-treating and school, and use the new one if we go to Dream Halloween and/or to dress up for some special pictures at this awesome place in FL when we go at Christmas. It's beautiful. Purple. Lots of tulle and flowers. Wings. So adorable! I can't wait to see her in it! I hope we get to go to DH!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Now, my huge why-do-I-even-worry-about-it dilemma. I am handmaking her Pippi Longstocking costume. While it is turning out pretty cute, should I get her a new, more "spectactular" one for this? There are going to be "stars" there. The host is Melina K... from CSI. I don't know... It's just that it's probably a once in a lifetime thing. Ahh.... decisions. :)
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I hadn't. It's put on in Chicago and LA, not sure if there are any other locations. It's a benefit to raise money for CAAF (Children Affected by AIDS Foundation) for children and families living with HIV and AIDS.
I heard about it when I went to a DCFS workshop recently in Chicago. The presenter suggested I go but when I looked into it, it seemed the deadline for families to apply was past. There is a cost for most attending, as it is a benefit, but from what I'm understanding they invite families affected by HIV/AIDS to attend as well, free of charge. There are celebrities (SP?) hosting, plus there is a dinner, games, etc and some trick or treating in a major way. If she is to be believed, the presenter said that the children trick or treat and receive toys and items worth over $1,000!!! Wow! I'm sure they are all donated to help raise money at this benefit.
Anyway, I had written it off as a possibility for this year but thought maybe we could go next year. Yesterday, in the midst of it all, I received a message at home from Olivia's social worker at Univ. of Chicago Hospital. She asked if we knew about Dream Halloween and wondered if we were interested in going. She said to let her know as she needed to submit names, etc by Wednesday. Of course I called and said we would be thrilled. I would love to get a sitter for the others and just take Olivia so that it is a special thing for her. I did find out when I called her back that tickets are given out in a lottery. So although our names have been submitted, there is no guarantee that we are going yet. I would assume we would know by the end of the week. It's on Sat, Oct 20.
Monday, October 01, 2007
The agency did find a day care for Girlie to go to today. She was able to start there this morning. I stopped at lunch and she had been doing well. So far so good.
In the morning at church we had Olivia's dedication. It was really nice. Our youth pastor conducted it and knelt by Olivia. She said that Olivia had had a big day recently and asked her what it was. She said she had been adopted. The whole sermon had been on us being destined to be adopted by God. After service, many came up to tell Olivia congratulations on her adoption, that they were adopted, and that they had adopted a child themselves, it was so nice. Many I recognized but didn't know. It was great.