Tag Archives: DES

Update Following Court

Very quick update.

Today we had a court date scheduled for LR.  This was a pre-trial conference and we were told by the DCS worker and the GAL that there would be requesting a change in the case plan.  Instead of the proposed agenda we found a new judge.  The judge continued all of the agenda items because they are retiring soon and since there would be a new judge for the remaining parts of the case they pushed all of the items to August.    So in a short statement, the update that I alluded to before actually did not occur.

On another note “LR” stands for “little roo” like “kangaroo”.  Thanks for reading and the large amounts of continued support we receive.

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Mid-July Updates

Earlier this month we updated that one of our foster kiddos was going home with a great aunt.  We have since heard from his family, letting us know he is doing well.  The family he has gone to live with will care for him and knowing that he has a simi-permanent home is satisfying even though it is still a bit heart breaking, not getting to see him grow and develop.

On to our own home, on the tenth of July we welcomed into our home a brother-sister set of foster kiddos.  The brother is two months shy of three and the sister will turn one on Saturday.  Transition and adjustment takes time.  We (Cheryl and I) are used to other kiddos.  I fun thing is getting to know new little ones.  Even in the face of struggle we get a few giggles and smiles.  The brother-sister duo has a court date two Fridays from now so possibly there will be an update coming.

The sole remaining kiddo from October is also still with us.  Yes that means we have an 11month old, 14 month old and an almost three year old.  The veteran kiddo is doing well.  We have seen her first steps, although she is not anywhere near a full time walker.  She says lots of baby talk and what I swear is “hi”.  At the end of meal time she signs “all done”.  She loves to climb things and is a big time dare devil.  She also has a court date this coming Friday so there will most likely be updates coming from that as well.

There is never a dull moment in our home.  I will try to do a better job of posting on a regular basis.  Thanks for taking your time to read and support us.

The More Things Stay The Same, The More They Change

It has been several weeks since we have posted.  Been busy keeping up with the day to day.

An update for the oldest of our foster kiddo,  as we posted on the 14th of May the plan is still for him to go live relatives in the area.  We were told he would be out of our home by the end of May.  We are now one-third of the way through June and he is still living with us.  It is unclear when he will be leaving us.

An update on our youngest.  She turned 1 on May 9th, as we have posted.  She is standing but has not started to walk.  She eats lots of different foods.  One of the brightest changes has been a development of a personality.  Today we received an email from her worker telling us that the parents have notified the state that they wish to end visits and take steps in severing their parental rights to their baby.

Lots of mixed emotions in the Covert household today.  As we understand it, the court hearing in July will still happen.  Then there will be a second hearing 30 days later.  From that point there is a whole host of other stuff that we are not sure about.  We will keep you all posted.

Two Will Become One, Most Likely?

At the end of April Cheryl and I had our monthly visit by our case workers for both of our kiddos.  The workers had agreed to both meet at the same time because they were coming from the same office and would be able to use the car pool lane in rush hour traffic.  It worked well for us also because it combined two meetings into one.

The monthly visits are for the purpose of the workers having contact with the kiddos.   They can see them in Cheryl and I’s home and also so they can ask about the progress of the kiddos.  There is a form of questions that we go through and by this point we know the questions that will be asked so things run pretty smoothly.  The worker for our younger kiddo went first.  Everything has been progressing well for her and the conversation went quickly.  Then the worker for our older kiddo’s worker went and we reported the same type of progress we had seen in past months.

At the end, the older kiddo’s worker told us that by the end of May he would be going to live with relatives.  The worker told us that she did not have more details for us, but that she would let us know as the time got closer.  It is good news for him as it is a mid-step back to his home.  As always, it is hard on Cheryl and I.

In the last two weeks, we have heard no further news about when the transfer will happen.  We understand that the logistics take a lot to hammer out and that it all does not happen overnight.  Still, it is hard to feel like we are an afterthought to the communication loop.

On a side note, our kiddo who went to live with his dad in early April will be coming over this weekend to visit.  We had hoped he could visit for his sister’s birthday, but schedules did not work out.  We are excited because our now oldest placement still asks where his playmate is and when he might see him.  Transitions are so hard for these kiddos.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great day!

Groundhog Day and Other Updates

It has been a while.  Life is busy with three children, which I am sure more than one of you could have told anyone so I am sharing nothing new.

It is Groundhogs Day.  The groundhog saw his shadow which means there will be six more weeks of winter which in Arizona means sixties, seventies and maybe some low eighties.  It is going to be a rough end to winter.

Growing up I loved the Groundhog Day movie.  Being a foster parent it seems like some situations are much like Bill Murray experienced.  We see many of the same things happen and no matter what we do to try to “correct” something it still happens just as it would have if we had done nothing.  If I wake up to “I Got You Babe” tomorrow morning I will certainly check my phone calendar to make sure it says February 3rd.  Anyways… on to the updates.

A few weeks back all three of the little ones came down with a respiratory bug.  Having three kiddos all sick is no fun.  On that Saturday morning we went to an urgent care.  Cheryl went inside and did the paper work things.  I stayed in the car and had the kiddos watch “Frozen”.  Surprisingly this worked like a charm.  Cheryl came out and got us after about a half hour wait.  We went straight back and all three kiddos were set up with meds to put them on the mend.  For a solid week we were gave the kiddos those meds, it was like an assembly line.  I think, in retrospect, it would have been much more complicated if one kiddo had gotten sick at a different time than the others.

Over the last week and a half we have gone from a third non crawler to a full time crawler.  The little lady can go from one side of the front room to the other in less than a minute.  I think that she is going to have a career in search and rescue.  At the very least, she is pretty good at searching out and finding small pieces of things and cords and other things that she should not be grabbing. Pulling, eating or otherwise interacting with.    She is still not super great at sitting up, but we are working hard on getting that down.  It will not be too long before she is standing on her own and walking, which will be a whole different ball game.

Cheryl and I are still trying to get our schedule completely straight.  Three different visit times a week that seem to happen on different days and times each week I guess will really do that to you.  I think after this week all three will have parent aids.  In comparing the time timing of obtaining a parent aid with our last placement all three now took about half the amount of time as it did before.   Not really sure what that means other than it was quicker this time around.  I think maybe in part because of changes in the overall process and possibly also because of when our first placement came into care.

We will do better with the updates in the coming weeks.  Thanks for taking the time to read and the many kind comments we so regularly receive.

Home Visits

Last Wednesday I was sitting in front with the kiddos.  The two boys were playing with their blocks.  Ones had the bag slung over his shoulder the other had two in hand chasing the first.  The youngest was on the floor practicing her new skill, rolling.  Rolling is the best because it gets you places.  Every once in a while we throw in a pivot and half body turn.  None of these things are crawling, but we have started hold up our body and rock just like we need to in order to rock.  I looked at my phone 5:24, just about time to start the broccoli.  I walk into the kitchen and punch in 350 to start pre-heating the oven.

KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK I hear at the door.

Who could that be?  Well it is Girl Scout cookie season, might be one of the neighborhood kids trying to sell their share of cookies.  Or maybe another piece of mail sent to the neighbors address.  Or maybe Century link trying to sell us on a tv subscription.  I get to the door and open it.  Aw, it is one of the kiddos workers.  (But wait we are scheduled for next Monday)

“Come in”.  I look around at the piles of toys that had been played with for a short minute and then cast aside for another toy.  Dog toys everywhere.  Front room blankets in disarray.  “Please come in and sit at our dinning room table”.  Oh goodness breakfast dishes in the sink.  More dog toys on the ground.  “please sit, Cheryl isn’t home yet but will be soon, “ (well maybe not, she didn’t know about this visit either) “but we can get started.”

The worker and I sit and talk after a few minutes of me getting the kiddos set in their high chairs with a pre-dinner snack.  CPS workers had a page full of questions that they ask on their visits and in the middle of trying to get the kiddos set, put the veggies in the oven and answer questions I feverishly text Cheryl to see if she was on her way.  Twenty minutes or so of talking and answering questions Cheryl makes it home early (that’s right she was at worker super early).  Cheryl finishes up answering the workers questions while I cook our protein.  The worker leaves right as the protein is ready to be served.  Home visit successful.

Fast forward to this Monday.  Similar setting but a bit later in the evening.  I already have the kiddos in the seats and have dinner started and KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK at the door.  I know this time it is not the Girl Scouts or the neighbors or Century link/ Quest it is the other CPS worker.  She comes in and sits in the same seat and asks the same questions the previous workers asked.  The only difference is she was asking about the kiddo who we did not answer about the first night.  This time however, Cheryl was there.

In the future we are going to be better prepared.  Also, because the office of both workers is about 50 miles from our house, going forward we think that the workers will be trading off months.  We actually have a third separate home visit scheduled this month on the 17th, but this time by our licensing agency and not CPS.

Thanks for reading.

Rounding Out the Week

As I round out my work week and look at 2014 I am reminded that this is a time for family.  On Wednesday, Cheryl was telling me all about the ornament exchange and pot luck, and “ugly” sweater contest (those events might have been on multiple days and been part of multiple conversations).  She told me many of the people were asking her if Thursday would be her last day to work this year.  Today at school we also had a similar feel, but unlike at Cheryl’s work, school’s last day was today.  Unfortunately for Cheryl she has to go to work a bit next week.  Many people have lots of different schedules but the work schedule seems to be winding down.

Regardless of the time we have to or don’t have to work over the next few weeks Cheryl and I feel very fortunate to be able to have time with family.  The little ones in our care will have far less time to be with their families.  We are bound and determined to give them a chance to have as many memories as we can.  They will not be with their parents or their grandparents or aunts or uncle, nieces and nephew or other siblings, but they will be in a safe place with people who will care for them in their time of need.

Cheryl and I will do our best to be present for the little ones so the little ones will have something to place in their void.  Cheryl and I are also very aware of the peoples who we will not be able to be with.  The family and the friends who will be in other places for this time which is all the more reason to make the most of the time and experiences with the people who we will be with no matter how long or short.

Here is to hoping for all of our friends and family, the ones we will be with and the ones that will be elsewhere know that they are loved.  We wish the same for you and yours as well.  Thanks for reading.

This Last Weekend

Weekends are the time when Cheryl and I get to be with each other and kiddos the most out of any other time of the week.  We get to get up with the kiddos and be with them all day long.  No rushing in the morning, no running late in the evening; we are home together.  It seems like we end up packing more into a weekend day than ever could into a week day.  I blame the perceived flexible schedule.  The days are our oyster and we can make of them as we see fit.

This last weekend actually started with the middle kiddo getting his cast off.  Because I have never had a broken bone I have always just assumed things about the healing process.  It seems that some of my misconceptions of them have been set straight.  The little guy was a champ taking it off.  The doctor showed Cheryl the bone and the outer part of the bone was healed, but still has a split in the inner (he said it could take another month to heal all the way.  Either way the cast came off.  Even though the little guy did not mind the sounds involved in cutting off the cast he now is not a fan of walking.  (looks like he is back where he was when it was put on).20141213_094650

Later, on Saturday morning we decided to get up and go to a couple of stores.  The boys needed new shoes and we had run low on a few stock items at home.   After a Cheryl made a pancake breakfast, we headed out.  On the way out of the complex I suggested we take the middle kiddo to get his hair cut (we have permission to have his hair cut, but we do not have permission for the other two kiddos).  We swung into the local quick hair cut shop (which is where I took the picture from Saturday).  The cut was a success and the kiddo did a great job.  I think both Cheryl and I envisioned melt down city, but he did great.

We continued our morning by going to a few shops in Goodyear.  First stop a lady’s shop.  I stayed outside with the kiddos since the aisles seem to be so close together and it is hard to maneuver the bus of a stroller we have.  Both boys and I played a little game of “roar hands” (the boys love to make growing sounds so I joined in one time and showed them how to make “claws”).  They loved it mostly because of how awesome “roar hands” can be.  Time flew by and before we knew it Cheryl was done and we walked to a large aisled electronic store.   We strolled around a bit and made no purchases (it was really just in between the first store and the shoe store).  On the way out Cheryl asked for the oldest kiddos’ hand at which he refused and instead went limp down to the floor to throw a little tantrum.  We took him outside and got him out of the funk.

We continued on our journey down the sidewalk past a small aisle grape and potato store and past a couple other stores.  We came to the shoe store and found the aisle (yes they were small aisles) for the kiddos shoes.  The store clerk informed us of the “deals” they were having.  Later we asked the same clerk for assistance and she eventually convinced us to measure the kiddos’ feet.  It turns out that even though they mostly wear the same sized shoes the boy’s sizes a bit further apart.  We found two sets of shoes in the appropriate size (both of which light up) and went to the counter to check out.  As we were waiting, the oldest one found many interesting things at eye level that he wanted to touch.  Cheryl told him not to with which he responded by touching a different item.  I told him to stop with which he responded by going limp to the floor and having a tantrum.  I took him outside (since we had not paid yet) and by the time Cheryl had finished paying he was again out of his funk.

We decided to head back to the car since there were no more shops that we wanted to look at in this direction.  We walked past the many stores we had on the way there.  On the way back, I reminded Cheryl that we wanted to go into a store that was in the opposite direction of when we first started to find a table cloth.  We devised a plan that I would stay of the kiddos in the car while Cheryl ran in very quickly (this particular store has very small and aisles that make lots of turns).  As Cheryl went to leave the middle boy 20141206_183257figured it was his time to have a little tantrum.

Later on in the day, after the kiddos all had lunch and naps and played and several more tantrums for varying reasons we decided to go to a holiday festival in the great City of Avondale.  There was going to be amusement rides and street fair vendors and live music and snow.  We clothed all of the kiddos in sub-zero type clothing and loaded the car.  Cheryl, the master parker found a great spot right next to the barricades.  Lots of vendors and a as promised a Ferris Wheel.   We walked the length of the event and back again, but no snow.  The word on the snow (other than it was not real snow) was they had to close it down because when it was being made it came out too much like ice.  At the end of the event the kiddos got to see the jolly red suited guy in passing and both boys loved their red and white light up rods.

Sunday came and we did many of the same things that Saturday had in store for us.  An extended breakfast time followed by loading the kiddos up for a quick trip in the morning to a local store (we needed to get a few last minute things done early because we had planned a trip to see foster grandma Becky (FGB).  We ran those few errands with minimal issues and back home in time for lunch before a nap.  FGB called during that time to let us know that another weekend would be better.  After nap time we had lots of time for playing on their bikes.  The little girl even stood on her own holding onto a bike.  We watched Christmas movies with the kiddos and again dinner time and bed time came.

Cheryl and I turned in around 9:30 and I promptly fell asleep; a few minutes after midnight and I hear crying in one of the monitors.  I look over at the monitor next to me and to had quick spikes of red.  “I’ll go check him” Cheryl says to me.  A few minutes after Cheryl left I followed.  “He threw up, will you check his bed and see if any got on there?”  Nope it was contained.  Cheryl and I spent the hours between midnight and 4:45 trying to help the oldest of three feel better.  Just as he started to fall to sleep I heard the little lady reminding me it was time to eat.  Guess I am up for the morning, for the week.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!!!

First

One year ago today Cheryl and I became full time foster parents.  It feels like much, much longer than just a year.  Many of the firsts that we experienced as a parenting unit happened out of order of the tradition.

We were first time parents to two children during the holiday season to one first timer himself and a second timer to another child.  I remember sitting by the tree helping a kiddo open gifts.  The first ever birthday party we threw for a kiddo we were parenting was a second birthday party; a few months later then for her brother.  We watched the first unassisted steps taken by our two year old.  I remember the excitement we felt when we finally were able to sleep through the night; the excitement for a kiddo who could sit up by himself; the excitement for a first time roll from back to tummy (we actually experienced twice this year); the excitement for a leap frog style crawl that transformed into a speed crawler; the excitement for the first time pull to stand and then cruse the furniture.  This year we even experienced the first time of being empty nesters.  Lots and lots of first time experience that we will never forget.

The thing that I will remember most about December 11, 2013 is that was a time that we thought we had lots of ideas of what to expect. December 12, 2013 at 2:34 am life and expectation changed. We expected to step into the lives of children we have never me and give them support while their care givers fortified the things in their own lives.  Beyond that we had a lot of misconception of what it would be like to parent children.  The time and energy that one puts into evening feedings cannot be described fully.  The emotional attachments that occur in a matter of days cannot be fully understood.  It was as if we had seen all of the outsides to a building and with each passing day (and yes I mean even into today) we discover new parts of that building.  We do not know what the future will hold for us or for the kiddos who are in our care, but we do know that we will discover whatever is ahead together.

Thanks for reading.

Parking Lot Politics

Driving into work this morning I had a quick flash back.  When we first had our first set of little ones I would go to work in the dark.  It has gotten to be that time of year again when the first lights of the horizon are barely peaking by the time I get to work.  Strange how little things can bring back a flood of memories.  I remember getting to their daycare and trying to figure out how I was going to maneuver the two little ones (remember neither of them walked in the early days) in side at the same time.  I developed a procedure.  First get the stroller ready, then the older into the stroller and with the other hand the car carrier.  I figured out that if I parked in spots with a little extra wiggle room it made my life easier regardless of how others parked.  In those early days I am sure I looked a whole lot more inefficient then I am today.

Once at work I parked in the fourth spot from the end (there is a paint smudge which helps remind me of which one is the one).  Seems like more people than not here at work have assigned parking even though we are free to park in any of the spots.  I remember a time that I overheard one of the other works upset about someone parking in their spot.  In some places, the rules of the parking lot put a unspoken rule of which spot you can park in; much of the time that I go places with the kiddos that I go regularly I find myself applying the same basic concept.

I remember back before we had kiddos at all and we were visiting dear friends in Reno.  We decided to go to Costco to pick up a few items.  The friend had just fathered his first child and explained to me that he parks further into the parking lot close to a cart return.  It seemed odd to me at the time.  I thought to myself… it has to be easier the closer you are to the front door, but the words and actions hung in the back of my mind.

Now we flash to our current situation.  Three children, one back seat.  Simple enough, we place the baby in the middle and the two toddlers go on either side.  That was certainly a puzzler.  Still, I have to drive each day after work to pick up the SUV and leave my little car for Cheryl to take home.  As I drive into our daycare (yes a different one from the earlier memory) I search.  I look for a spot that has a little more wiggle room on either side and I am willing park a bit further away if it means I am not parked next to another car; nothing against the other cars, just much easier to make the journey to center of the back seat for that baby seat.  Most times, we have the boys walk out and stand next to the car (one hand on the body) waiting for the click.  It works better than expected.  Most people at daycare follow the unspoken rules of parking… not all but most.

When we are out and about, now that is a different question.  Places like Target and Costco it is simple enough to follow the cart rule, but and the wiggle rule works itself out (if we park next to a cart return there is a little bit of wiggle).  Now going to the mall, that is a different world all together.  Even the fancy pants mall seems to squeeze the parking spots so close together.  Some time (I think Saturday) this last weekend we ventured out to “The Children’s Place”.  We pulled toward our usual small spot park garage and there were four cars waiting just to go in so we tried a different garage.  Down we drove below the shopping.  Every spot towards the front was parked in until we got almost all the way to the end of the row.  Cheryl found a “pole spot”.  These spots are more generous than other parking garage spots and allowed us to have a little, unexpected room, on one side.    We did our mall shopping came back out and as we walked to our spot we had a spot creeper.  That spot creeper sat and waited at least seven minutes while we busted it to try to get the car loaded and the kiddos set.

I know that many of these rules existed before Cheryl and I began fostering.  I also know that many of these rules are self-imposed and are not necessarily followed by some.  Much of the time they are things Cheryl and I do so that we can be productive.

Hope you all have a great day (and remember to the follow the local rules of your parking lot)

On a separate note, we have had lots of people ask for pictures of the kiddos.  Here is a link to the Baby Puzzle’s Instagram page.  http://instagram.com/baby_puzzle  Lots to upload, but it is a start.