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Archive for February, 2009

GAH!!!

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 27, 2009

I just deleted Everett’s family party-so this will be quick. Today my baby turned 3. I warned you these were coming, so don’t die from the cuteness. He has a serious face that means he is exponentially beyond blissfully happy, that is the first face. When we sang to him he was oh so serious and then he broke out into “cha, cha, cha!” at the right moments flash back to serious, trying not to smile. Then he blew his candles out at precisely the right moment-second picture. Then he played with his toys until his mean mother put him to bed. Oh he has been paying attention, waiting, hoping for the day he could show off his mad birthday skills-bravo Everett.

And Cady and I went to order his cake for his friend party on Saturday. Cady is our party planner, I am giving her the go ahead, we’ll see how it goes. Get this, no kidding, for some reason I could not spell his name out loud. I think my brain is fried. I spelled it all out very clear- Evererett-, do not fear my fearless readers I corrected it when I saw it. Wow….I think she thought I was crazy, maybe I am. James took him out for his favorite-Pizza- for lunch, at the best NY pizza joint that there is, bar none-right here in our little town. So hopefully (crossing fingers) my mad computer skills will work and these pictures will download this time and I won’t loose EVERYTHING AGAIN. Cause I’m tired and I need me some sleep before I forget how to spell my own name.

(this is too funny, you know how I thought I lost everything, well I just had it hiding in another window-but this is the version I’m posting-I need sleep)

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Waiting…waiting…waiting…

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 26, 2009

Trying to be distracted doesn’t work when you’re really tired of the wait.  This week we are planning Everett’s third b-day party bash to be held on Saturday evening and still this is not distraction enough for me on top of all our other crazy stuff. It doesn’t help that I keep getting heads up of situations that are not ideal for us….gah! One was from another agency we contacted last year, they are looking for families for but its not a good fit for us at all. One baby would be perfect if she were AA or biracial-so yet a 3rd baby that we won’t pursue adopting. It’s harder then I thought it would be. There was the situation that was really easy for me to say “no” to but these  other situations have not been, yet  I know we’ve made the right decision.  Anyway it just sucks-I know mature word choice-I think I’ve been reading too many young adult novels.

Onto a brighter note I found an excellent editor/friend who is helping me. She is an experienced writer and lives close. She is going through my rough chapters (she calls them scenes) line by line and showing me how to hone my “craft” (that is what she calls it). She’s a grammatician and knows her stuff on POV, tense, voice and dialogue-can’t begin to explain how much she helps-this is significant for me and is distracting me at least at night. I can’ usually only write at night, so sleep has become almost non-existent. I’m taking a chance blogging right now. Everett is free and I”m not watching his every move. Tomorrow I’ll write and tell you what he did while I didn’t watch over him :).

Best get going.

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Life as I know it

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 24, 2009

This morning I woke up to several MORE inches of snow and school back in session. We are supposed to be getting even more snow, yippy! Note sarcasm. This is when I really want to move, anywhere but here, only 2 more months left of upstate NY winter. So I got depressed, Everett slept in, no idea why and I decided to go through my baby clothes. Now I had very good reason to believe we would be placed with an infant girl right away, as in back in November/December. So I do have the clothes, a lot of clothes. This morning was fun, dh getting ready for work wondering if I’ve lost my mind sitting there smiling at baby clothes for a baby we do not have. Also we are getting our car detailed AGAIN. Its a longish story….I’ll tell about it later on in the entry.

First a favorite quote from a book I read today. -A person can’t un-know the truth-From Wicked Lovely by: Melissa Marr-Isn’t that so true. When we lived in the Caribbean often other Americans would say to us “I just couldn’t do that,” referring to our family volunteering at the orphanage. Every foster mom can relate to this-every stink-en one of us. “Really, well you shouldn’t.” Is what I want to say. “Just because you can’t do it doesnt’ mean those kids don’t need you.” That is what I really said. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong but I’ve often thought it was easier not to know, to be naive, to not love those kid’s and see the need they had. Being a foster parent was one of the hardest things I think I will ever do, in fact I can’t imagine much of anything that could be that difficult, it also brought me my son. I can’t unknow that there are kids out there who need families right here in the U.S. and that is not why we adopted, not at all, but boy this sure is something that is impossible to un-know once the knowledge is there….

I’m going to try and keep my book obsessions to quotes. I hope it works….oh and we started our book club. Not only that one of the women in our book club is a writer and she is helping me, and do I need help-she is helping me in a big way. I would be surprised if anyone thought I could write reading my blogs, the truth is, I can’t. I’m learning. I write incredibly fast, like in nano-seconds per word and it does come out a bit like throw-up on a page, even in my blogging. But here is my problem I can’t freaking help it. My mind moves a million words a minute.

So my car, well we purchased our car last spring and then a few weeks later I ran into a pole, the one and only time I have done this, yes, at McDonalds getting my kid some healthy happy meals for dinner. I was watching the new DVD player and got distracted, this is a bad idea, do not watch movies and drive even in the drive-thru. This cost our insurance company $2000 apparently when you damage an entire side of a mini-van its not easy to fix. So we are at the book store a few Saturday’s ago and I come out to find the same side of my car smashed in almost exactly where it had been damaged before. Wow! Really? No note, nothing. I called our insurance company convinced they were not gonna believe it was a hit and run, I still have to wonder if they do. Anyway filed a claim, all was well they told me to call the police and make an incident report. So we did that police officer laughed at me because a. I did not have my driver’s license, it was still in my airplane carryon bag-I told you I have issues-it was only in there for a month and I hadn’t noticed. and b. apparently our insurance card was expired and I had CALLED HIM. Thankfully he looked up my driver’s license and didn’t issue me a ticket for insurance. Then we get home and there is a message, our insurance company “cancelled us”!? We never received notification. So after days and days of harassing them I finally get to somebody who figures out they never sent us any notification, I still think they were trying to weasel out of it, but hey, what do I know? Anyway so tomorrow we are taking our van in to have the same exact body work done and they are also going to detail it while it is in the shop. I do not understand how our van can look so dirty so fast. It is totally depressing……I do NOT like the new “stain resistant” fabric at all! It stinks. I do like just about everything else-but this fabric was not tested by real mother’s with kids just wasn’t. This will bring our baby, right? Body work and a clean car, I went through her clothes, everything is ready.  RING baby RING!!! I’m waiting.

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My daughter just said….

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 21, 2009

“By the time I’m done reading this book I will never laugh at a special person again.”-Cady

Now rather then being disappointed that she did laugh/or thought of laughing at  special needs people I am happy that this book is teaching her to be more empathetic-even though I thought that was my job-drat.  The book is called “So B. It” by Sarah Weeks and she picked it out all by herself. Just started it today.  It’s about a girl and her mother, who is mentally disabled.  Gotta love books.

Oh another simply amazing book is “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. Excellent in every way, it is YA but it could be for anyone. The words are powerful, not a drop of ink was wasted.

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We were told about a situation…

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 20, 2009

I wasn’t going to post this but since it is adoption news I will. If you are following on your own adoption journey, you may have to make tough choices. For me this wasn’t a hard decision, but sometimes it is-I am grateful for what I have learned as a foster parent. I was told about an infant baby girl. I was told she has a known health problem. Not drug/alcohol exposed. Then I was told she is Caucasion. Which was an automatic “no” from us. Because Everett is African American we will only consider AA or biracial infants.

But we would have said “no” regardless. Her needs were too much for our family. This baby girl may grow to be a 100% normal healthy adult.  But we have already decided that this is not a special need we can comfortably take on without affecting almost every aspect of our day to day life. If we had no other children or a less complicated schedule we would have considered her-assuming she was AA or biracial.

I’m sure there is a wonderful family out there for this baby girl.  -Throwing this out there but if you are homestudy ready and interested. Please either comment with your email or email me and I will let you know privately who this agency is, they take couples who are homestudy ready from other agencies.

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spoke with social worker

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 17, 2009

So today I called (harassed) our social worker and nothing….blah. Emma Ruth can you please tell whoever is in charge of your arrival that I am tired of waiting?

If you have time I recapped our story of Everett’s adoption below, its long, I know, but its full of the story of our miracle adoption. Its been 2 years-almost exactly since we first met Everett!!!

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Winter break reflections of Everett

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 17, 2009

The kids are home for winter break, currently Mikayla,.Everett, and “A” are playing High School Musical Wii. (A is a 4th grader I babysit, and have babysat since he was in diapers. We moved away for several years and when we came back his mom found me and we’ve been watching him ever since. I don’t write much about him for privacy reasons but his family has become like my second family.) Everett thinks he’s a rock star, its too cute he is screaming the songs at the top of his lungs into the microphone and it’s blasting through the house. Cady is at the clinic with James playing vet assistant. I think we’ll take the crew to Chuck-E-Cheese for lunch/afternoon. Yesterday the girls and I took Everett for his OT/PT and they were jealous they couldn’t get in the swing with him, but they did have a good time. Then we got his haircut-he got a fade for the first time and has an awesome edge, even has some down the side-its super cute, little manish cute. Then we went out for lunch and last night out to the movies as a family.

He’s going to be 3 in almost one week!!! Hard to believe he has been my son for 2 years, it feels like yesterday I drove to the foster home to meet him. I was so nervous-just to meet him and Lorie can tell you, it almost didn’t happen. We were homestudy ready through a private agency and planned on closing our home as foster parents. The worker who told me about Everett told me about him as I was buckling two babies into their carseats and trying not to break while I whispered my goodbyes. When she explained “I have this baby boy who’s plan is going to be changed to adoption, would you be interested?” I told her “no, absolutely not, done with foster care.” She smiled and said “give me a call and I”ll tell you more about him.” I had no intention of calling her. ZERO. Then this nagging voice kept telling me, “give her a call…” I ignored Miss Intuition as long as I could, eventually relenting to her incessant nagging. I was then given the name and phone number of the foster family he had been with since 3 months old. The foster mom kindly discouraged me from pursing Everett as our son. She told me she did not feel that this would turn into an adoption situation-because until that month-his birth mother had been trying to work her parenting plan, she told me about his behaviors and food issues, she told me that he has breathing issues, she told me that if I met him I would fall in love because he was quite possibly the most adorable baby she had ever seen…..she told me how funny he could be, about his dimples and eyelashes, and finally she told me that she didn’t think we knew what we were getting into as a white family wanting to adopt an AA boy. I explained to her that she was most likely correct in this assumption but that we had thought on this for several years before deciding to be open to all races, we’d already had several AA and biracial children come through our house and leave impressions on our hearts along with lessons well learned about how people view our family. This was not something we chose to do fly by the seat of our pants. So we talked about the race issue long and hard and I got the distinct impression that this foster mom would not let him go unless she felt good about it. We also spoke of the trials and loss we experienced as foster families. We spoke of the fact that Everett’s worker was quite possibly the best social worker either have had the privilege to work with, one of those angles walking around as a human being. And knowing the worker  the way I did I knew she would go along with what this foster family wanted, because this foster family-while very different from our parenting styles-is one of the best out there. Her husband is well known, they are a pillar of the AA community in our area. If they chose to parent Everett ,despite the foster mother’s feelings that he belonged to another family, the worker would be more then happy to go along with this. On top of all that. I had the spiritual feeling that I had a son out there, one of African heritage and I wanted to find that child, the one I felt, the one I knew was there. I didn’t want to make the wrong choice. James has never helped much with this, he’s always like “whatever you feel, I trust your judgement” so it was all on my shoulders. On top of that I didn’t think I could survive another goodbye, specifically one in which I was told it would be adoption and let myself feel that all the way, and then have a child ripped away AGAIN. I couldn’t do it, I told myself over and over again. Private adoption was the safest choice but that nagging Miss Intuition wouldn’t let me let this go. So we arranged to meet.

On a cold February morning, after record snowfalls, I timidly drove through the neighborhood I had left my first foster son in. Emotions were triggered as I drove past the place I spent so many hours with Denny and his mom during and after the reunification process. Prickling memories of my little Denny love and missing them. They’d recently relocated to NYC (not planned-never got to tell them goodbye) and we were no longer in contact. I’d received one phone call late one night letting me know they were okay but after that I couldn’t find them, they were and are gone from my life. I was already wiping away the tears and I almost didn’t leave my car. I almost picked up my cell phone. I almost called and told the nice foster mom “sorry, but we decided not to do this.” But I didn’t. I turned the car off and I walked across the street with the snow so cold it squeaked beneath my feet. I knocked on the door and nobody answered. I rang the bell and nobody answered. I turned to walk away and began walking back to my car thinking, “okay, this was a sign.” Then I heard a voice call my name as the door opened. Apologizing, she had been tied up with the kids. I remember talking off my boots. A healthy mess of toys and baby items spraled around the house. And I walked in the room and that was it, one look. It was like we always knew each other. He smiled at me with those dimples and reached up with his hands from his walker-nothing else mattered. The foster mom went to get him a bottle, it was his scheduled feeding time, and I scooped him up. He let me hold the bottle and snuggled into my arm as I fed him, he smiled through sucking on the bottle and I cried. The foster mom cried. Everett reached his hand up to my face. There was a peacefulness during those minutes, a just rightness, a this is meant-t0-beness a silence that told me all I needed to know. I had found my son.

After that it didn’t matter that he had behavior issues or health problems.  When his angel social worker took her life-that was hard-oh that was hard, I loved her, I missed her, I grieved for her. Then the legal department tried to hold up our adoption plans, his mother had legally abandoned him, I knew our angel would have fought for us, still I knew he would be our son. Then they reassigned his case the the new worker. She began to look for family members. She found an “aunt” and by a small miracle I had already me the aunt. The week our social worker died I said “yes” to a 6 week old “AA baby boy.” Who ended up being a 6 week old AA baby girl.  The “aunt”  was the baby girls “godmother” and she knew me, not only did she know me, she (in her words) “loved me, thanked God for me, and thought Everett belonged with us.” Without Maya we may have lost Everett as this point. But like all things in life you never know how one choice will affect the bigger picture. I wish the reason I felt like Maya was to come to our family, after saying “no” to so many placements that summer and then knowing I was to say “yes” to her (thanks Miss Intuition) was for the purpose of adopting Maya-but it wasn’t.  We also were exposed to other family members through Maya, some did not support us having Everett but they were in no position to do anything about it. One of them found his “father.”

I was ambushed outside of social services building picking up baby Maya. It was the first time I had heard of this man. I was in shock, but Miss Intuition told me to give him a hug and tell him how much we loved Everett that day. He thanked me and I could tell it was genuine, he told me he felt he was Everett’s father. The door was open to the van, waiting for baby Maya, and he saw Everett. I was angry and confused and wanted to call security, but nobody was in sight. If I could describe this man, the “alleged” father in two words I would say weak and sad. He looked as if he had health problems, not old, but walked like an old man.

In 2 weeks we had an important hearing, one in which Everett’s plan was supposed to be changed to adoption. More specifically WE were to be the family that would adopt Everett. All other avenues having been pursued.  That important day this man came to court and ruined this carefully constructed plan. He was drug there by a woman I also met through Maya. She was a sister to the “aunt” best friends to Everett’s birth mom, and she wanted Everett. She had a history with CPS with her own children and was not a viable option for relative placement or she would have taken him from us. She had a vendetta against CPS, against foster families who “steal” children and she was going to take it out on us. Even though I was shaking and angry at this man something softened me. I wanted to shout “THIS IS MY SON, where have you been the last 2 years of his life!? Where were you when he entered care almost 2 years ago? Where were you on the days I spent with him in the hospital….” The angry thoughts went on and on… But Miss Intuition wouldn’t let me, instead I wouldn’t let the judge put a protection order on him prior to the paternity being settled because I knew it was the wrong thing to do. I thought it may start a fight and I didn’t want a fight. Deep down I knew the man had a kind heart. The judge did tell him to never again show up at the county building. Then the judge said something that stopped my heart. If paternity established him as Everett’s father they would begin visitation. ….VISITATION!? What!? Yes, Everett’s case would start from scratch because  if this man was his “father” he had every right to work a parenting plan. Then I really did almost loose it. This was the one time James was with me at Perm. hearing. He held my hand and I squeezed his to hang on.

When it was over we walked towards the heavy doors, I turned my head to see the middle aged AA man, object of my mamma bear anger. I wanted to rip his eyes out for a second and then I saw him, so weak and sad looking and instead I was going to grab his hand and beg and cry until he dropped this and let us adopt Everett. I had been instructed not to say anything to him, he was told not so speak to us. So I couldn’t explain why he should walk away, that we would love Everett as our son and that he didn’t need to do this out of a sense of guilt. He wouldn’t meet my eyes. He was dressed in his best clothes, hobbling with a cane. My husband had walked through the door. I was holding it, and suddenly the overwhelming urge to let the door shut in his face overcame me. It happened quickly. I knew if I let it close it would slam behind me and he wouldn’t be able to grab it because of his cane. But Miss Intuition told me to hold it open for him, and so I did. And then he looked in my eyes and smiled and said softly, “thank you.” And at that moment I felt his “thank you” was more then just for the door. I saw his eyes water, he walked past me, and even though I was scared I wondered if we would see him again. We didn’t. Everett’s “easy” adoption in total took 1 year and 9 months to make it official but I always knew he was our son.

And just like I knew Everett was going to come I know there is a baby girl. What is funny about Everett is I never had a name for him-because his birth mother gave him the perfect name. A name for this baby girl came to me. She told me she wanted to be named Emma, now I love that name, but I also would never have chosen that name. She also told me she wanted my mother’s name as her middle name. I love my mom, but that would not have been my choice either. So little Miss Emma Ruth. I know you are coming and I want you to know I believe you are my daughter, and I am impatiently waiting for you. So come home soon, okay?

Picture of Everett’s First and Second Birthday’s soon to come-his 3rd birthday pictures!

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I know I know I know…back to the books

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 12, 2009

I finished “Someone Knows my Name” by Lawrence Hill. This was a powerful fictional novel, that is full of historically accurate facts thrown in to a wonderfully written story. The protagonist is a girl who is taken into Slavery from Africa and spans her life time, written from her point of view. She is a brilliant girl, can speak several languages, is skilled in medicine and midwifery, she is taught to read-and is well read by the time she is at the end of her life. She is strong-and I love that-but above that, in my opinion, her mind is beautiful to enter. I found this compelling, and hard to put down. I LOVED every word of it. There is graphic description of what it was like as a captive, the slave ships, life on an Indigo plantation. I had no idea that Indigo was made with human urine, for instance, and how it was processed. Not only that there is a beginning history of Sierra Leone-hope that didn’t give too much away.

I also read and finished: Kissed by an Angel, The Power of Love, and Soulmates. By Elizabeth Chandler. Whew, lost my breath on that one. It was recently re-released with the 3 books together. Seriously I do not understand for the life of me how she wrote those books as stand alone because each one ends right in the middle of the climax. I would have thrown them out a window if I hadn’t had the three compiled together. You know from the beginning this is going to be very different love story. It starts out about first love and somewhat typical but then it got interesting. This is NO spoiler, it’s in the first chapter-then the author rewinds-but from the get go you know that the protagonists’ love interest is going to die and how he is going to die, or part of how. It’s somewhat predictable but you do want to know what is going to happen-how it is going to play out. There are many colorful characters, a lot of depth to the people that surprised me, crazy mad-fun suspense, and some mystical angels. There were some holes left open for a fourth book-I think. I will admit I cried and not just a little bit. But weeping dripping mascara off tears. I didn’t feel it was your typical happy Hollywood ending…..much more interesting.

I am reading the “Anybodies” By N.E. Bode (Peter Ferguson) with the kids right now. This is our 3rd time through this book, the first in a series of 3 books. I love it enough to read it over and over and so do the kids. Even Everett can get into this chapter book-a little-before he gets bored with it. I like to do voices and there are plenty of fun characters. It’s about a girl and magic and that is all I should tell *possible spoiler alert.* Slightly reminiscent of Harry Potter at the beginning but is clearly NOT  Harry Potterish after that. Fern, 11 year old, is trapped in a family and world she does not belong,  incredible mysterious things happening around her, but she has to pretend this part of her away. She lives with the Drudger’s who are the most dull people on the planet. Fern is not dull…. So yes, it’s so good. This is also about books-good books-and the magic that can be found in them, what more can this mom ask for in a series?

Everett and I are reading this really amazing book Poetry For Young People-Langston Hughes Edited by:David Roesel, Arnold Rampersad, and illustrated by Benny Andrews. I wasn’t sure if he would like this, its a little “old” for him, but oh my gosh does like id-he loves it-specifically the poetry that has a “beat” to it. I think he may have some of the memorized by the end of hte month. The illustrations are perfect, so amazing full of life and colors and beautiful African American people-I want to buy a 2nd book and have some of it framed for his room. This month we are reading a lot of Eric Carle. Everett’s Fav is by far The Grouchy Ladybug because he loves to say “hey you! wanna fight!?”

I am just starting a book called “The Patron Saint of Butterflies” and can’t remember the author right now, will post later. So far I like it-about a religious extremist group and abuse-I think-I’m only in the first chapter.

How am I cramming all this reading and writing in? Its my house, my house is suffering-piles of dust, disorganized school papers, toys in disarray, dog hair on the floor. James is doing laundry for me because he is sweet enough to encourage my writing (okay so he is not sweet about doing laundry and maybe I am forcing him still its getting done). I’ve been ordering more take-out. That and I’m not sleeping much these days, it does make me a little grouchy but honestly I am feeling more fulfilled then I have in a very long time so it seems to balance out.

Oh I’m still working on writing that story. I’m going to try and post the first bit of it on a seperate blog this evening if the kids will allow. Mikayla is “stair sliding” with Everett right now but I dont’ know how much longer it’s going to last.

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Sensory Integration….Gift

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 11, 2009

I was writing a mom from adoption.com about her son’s SID diagnosis and I realized that in many ways Everett’s SID is not a “disorder”. I know, I know, it is….and I promise I”m not delusional. This has caused us a lot of grief-specifically Everett. But its a part of who he is.

A 2 (almost 3 year old) who can break dance with the best of them-you should see his head spin, can do a front flip, can maintain the most amazing off the wall hand stand split for several minutes I have ever seen, can perform a full kart-wheel…I mean this is a child who is going to do something. A 2 year old who despite his mother’s heart attacks can leap from tall places and land fluidly on his feet. Well then, that is no disorder folks. No, that’s a gift. And who cares why he has SID, okay so I do, lets just pretend it doesn’t matter for a minute. He is amazing. I think we may have a spot on Ellen DeGeneres, we can show off how absolutely astounding my son is-but we won’t-. Here is the problem, I don’t want this-his diagnosis-his behavior-to affect his mind and his learning. I do not want another person to tell me "oh he’ll be an excellent football player" as if that is ALL he can do. Because this is also a child who can spend 2 hours reading with his mom, who has most of his books memorized and can recite many of them by heart. Who knows all the Thomas the train engines by their names, even when I’ve forgotten, and I think that’s pretty amazing. Who loves to count his toys and has been singing his "A,B,C’s" earlier then any child I’ve cared for. Who loves Langston Hughes and even bee bops a little when I read poetry with rhythm to him. Who can spend an hour sitting down at the piano singing and playing in 2 year old speak. He is going to change this world-and I don’t just mean as an NFL football player wanna be-n0-his mind is more powerful then any of that. I just don’t know how school will challenge, perceive, and try to rid the best parts of him, and it scares me. I don’t want him to be a diagnosis in their eyes. I want them to see what I see and I feel in order to do that he needs, no he deserves, the best possible start. So I’m fighting for that elite pre-K for kids with special needs and kids that also includes mainstream kiddoes, that every parent in our county wants to get their child into. He deserves this.

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I had to edit this to add for those who need help with your special needs kiddoes: Within 5 minutes of me completing this blog entry a worker from UCP contacted me and she asks “have you called your school district and requested (PAY ATTENTION TO THIS WORDAGE) a pre-education evaluation consent form?” Now why I was not given this verb-age until now I haven’t a clue. I mean I’ve only been taking him to the Pediatrician asking for help since he was um 12 months old. Our Pediatrician didn’t know how to ask for help, his OT/PT didn’t know how to ask for help, I didnt’ know how to ask for help, his Social workers didn’t seem to know. It’s that easy, all I did was call the school, okay so then it was 8 phone calls later to get the right person who could send me the magical mysterious form, but hey, its something. So we have a form on the way that I am hopeful will open some doors. Despite him not being technically “delayed”

Here is the thing, this was not supposed to be as hard as it was. So for you moms and dad’s out there-if you are out there-who are parenting a child with special needs this is what you need to do-fight until you get an answer, and don’t stop. If they do not qualify for E.I. you are on your own, I know this, because this has been my experience. I had to fight for an eval knowing something was off with Everett since he was placed in our home at 12 months. His previous foster home also felt something was “off” with him since the age of 3 months and never got any help-seriously I’m okay with this because I don’t think they would have let him go if they had gotten the help they needed and we wouldn’t have our son, so thank God it happened like it did, still that is wrong, and how many children will be disrupted or not get what they need because they just happen to not fit the criteria? The evaluation came through his Pediatrician. I then had to wait several weeks for this, then he was formally diagnosed with SID.  Anyway then he began OT/PT when it was clear that he would need above average help at pre-K his OT/PT told me to contact our school district. I did this, they gave me two phone numbers. One to regular Pre-K (that won’t start until he is essentially turning 5 years old and is done on a lottery basis). The other phone number was to the only other option in our school district which is Head Start. I was told by Head Start to call them when he was 4 weeks from turing 3 years old. I felt this meant he would be in that program, I was so very wrong. If he was still a foster child he would be in head start, he is not, therefore we do not qualify for this program because our income is higher then $24,000 a year for a family of 5. Then I was giving a phone number from my contact at head start, I think to get rid of me, for a program called UCP. This is the creme de la creme of pre-schools, I mean as far as Govt and even in our area non govt subsidized pre-k goes. When I contacted them I was told I would need to pay $150 a week for pre-K. Now, that may not sound like a ton of $$$ but you know, for something like this, where I don’t need or want daycare-and that is the price of daycre, its really a stretch. We make sacrifices so I can stay home and be with my kids. To top it off this price does NOT include the cost of OT/PT  he will recieve while at school which will be substantial. I thought that was ridiculous specifically when other children with similar needs are getting the same program at a subsidized rate and lets face it, I pay taxes.  In New York State- I pay an above average amount of taxes-this is tax dollers in my opinion well spent and my son deserves this program. Not only that unless Everett qualifies he may not get in this program even if we pay for it out of pocket. So……today a worker from UCP calls me and offers me a thread of REAL help. Hoping this can help somebody else. Oh and I am told he may just qualify based on SID!!! Go SID-or in our case SIE!

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More Pre-K frustrations, and a child I’ll never forget.

Posted by footstepsonmyheart on February 9, 2009

So this is what I have discovered. Unless your child qualifies for early intervention or your income is low enough you are on your own. If Everett was still a foster child we would be fine…still VERY grateful he is OUR SON. The fact that Everett is diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder does not matter because he is not behind his peers on the scale of what qualifies him for early intervention. Tell that to his Kindergarten teacher….when he is 5 and has been kicked out of all the regular pre-K programs because of his very real behaviors. Okay so I’m being dramatic. On to plan B. we will try to enroll him in a program where he can have his OT/PT at school, more then likely we will not be able to get him in and if we do this will be at a premium price but we feel this will be worth it in the end. Plan C. will be a regular pre-K and then I will bus him to and from his OT/PT….this is not ideal but this will have to do. Or we can just forget pre-K and see what happens Kindergarten starts-not the best idea in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful he is okay when it comes to the guidelines that early intervention puts out, but its frustrating because his needs are as great as those children-albeit different-ONLY nobody CARES!

So here is a picture of Mikayla and Everett being goofy together because today I need to smile. The second because I missed you today. The third picture is because no matter what happens in our family you will never be replaced, there will always be a piece missing from us where you belong.  (I don’t know why it’s to the side, sorry.)

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Today this is your song-I’ll love you forever-Maya, child of my heart-

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