Language development is one of the most intriguing things I can think of. I remember as a young child sitting in history class, maybe in sixth or seventh grade listening to my teacher teach on some ancient civilization. I remember it because of the un-thought out question that I had. The statement was made that the civilization did not have a written language. Before the teacher could explain further my hand sprung up and I was called on to ask “if they did not write things down, how did they communicate?” Yes I very un-thought out question. Being able to communicate is the the same thing as being able to write.
Read more here: http://www.oaksacorns.com/baby-puzzle/learning-language-in-toddler-time
On Friday we had our quartly inspection by our licening agency. As I had posted in a previous post, the state implemented new rules on foster parenting in February. Yesterday’s inspection was the first since the new rules were put in place. Also, yesterday’s inspection was the first done by our new worker. Needless to say, we were a little antixious with the scheduled visit.
Before the worker arrived we had a few tiding up items on our to-do list. We ran around like ants getting everything in place. We double checked our new first-aid kit and took down the garden lights, checked our fire extinguisher and smoke detectors ahead so if there was an issue we could fix it. We both inspected the window above the toilet and agreed it had to be ok (otherwise we are going to have to put another fence around our pool).
About five minutes before the scheduled inspection their was a ding-dong at our front door (ahead of schedule my type of person) It was a new face, our new licening agency worker. We exchanged greetings and went to the dining room table. Then came her first request. “I need you insurance and registration”. Simple enough request except, we have have given them that already back in January. The thought in my head was “are we going to have to duplicate everything we have all ready done because we have a new worker?” I got up and head to the cars. After getting the requested registrations I came back in and Cheryl is communicating my thought ( without me saying anything)
From there we talked about the kiddos. The things happening with their cases. The process of adoption of LR and the upcoming court date for B-Rad and Nat. We talked about services and needs. After about 10 minutes things were moving and it felt a lot less like we were going to need to repeat everything.
We got up to do the inspection. First thing on the list was the master bed. We looked at our locked bedroom window. Then we moved on to the toilet window. She agreed the window would work. YES!!! We moved to the kitchen where we checked the water temp, looked at the cabinet Grandpa Jerry had installed a lock on for us and quickly moved along. Into the play room-den. She loved some of our remodeling ideas we have. Then into the kiddos bathroom and into the kiddos rooms. We asked if she wanted to see the first aid kit and she said that she did not need to look in it.
From there she said that she would be in contact to schedule our next inspection for the next quarter. After she left Cheryl look at me and I said, “all that worrying”. We had built several mountains out of the mole hills in front of us.
Thank you for taking time to read. Coming in future weeks new YouTube videos, updates from court, and anything else that comes up. Check out our website. http://www.oaksacorns.com It is in its infancy but I plan on making it our central hub of for all things Covert family happenings. Also we have started a new Facebook page http://fb.me/msg/oakacorns which, like our other social media offerings it will be another arm our baby puzzle journey.
Today is Groundhog Day. I cannot go a single Groundhog Day without thinking about Bill Murrey and his desperate to escape living through a day that repeats it’s self without end. He tried so very hard to get it right, then he tried so very hard to get it wrong and still he would wake to hear Sonny and Cher sing their love ballad.
Well if you didn’t hear on the news, the groundhog did not see his shadow which tradition and lore tells us it will be an early spring. Why is that tradition? Why do we except it as fact? How in the world does one relate to the other? I have heard and read sever different explanation, but at the end I still wonder why? Why except things as fact just because that is how they have been?
As we posted, LR’s bio-parent’s rights were severed. Cheryl and I have contacted our licensing agency and an adoption attorney. From the best we can tell it will be about 4 weeks (so around the beginning of March) before our home is an “approved” adoptive home. It will then be about sixty to ninety days before the adoption date can be set (so somewhere in the start to mid May).
I can say with certainty that I am naive about the process that we were to go to for the adoption. It feels like the more paperwork we fill out the more we are asked to fill out. It feels like the closer to the end we walk the further away the date gets. I don’t believe that my own genius is anywhere close to the comic genius of Mr. Murray, but at the same time it feels a little like I imagined as a young adult that the character it Groundhog Day was experiencing.
Today we recived an email from our licensing agency with changed to the licensing requirements. Lots of changes have been happening to AZ foster care system ever since we have been involved. With the changes we see at least two areas that will most likely need to change to maintain our licenses. For me the safety and well being of the children is the most important thing. However the changes seem less about a practical application and more about changing things just so it is different. Why continue to throw hoops and hurdles. We are trying our hardest. The changes were supposed to give more support to the families and the children. The largest change I have seen has been a change it leadership reporting, very little to assist the children. Why do we settle for things to stay the same just because they are tradition or lore? Why can’t improvements be made at the practical level? We don’t need more hoops, we needs more supports.
Thank you for reading. I will post an update as we hear back from our adoptive lawyer and when we meet our new case worker. Happy Groundhog Day.
Today was LR’s next court date. We arrived to court about 30 minutes early. You never know how long traffic will take so we left a little early. Walking into the court house we go through a metal protector and make our way down to the court room. It is a long hallway and there are other court rooms on the way. Lots of people and families trying to make their own ways through the system. Finally we make it to outside our court room and find two seats together.
We sat and waited, people watching. I wondered to myself the many stories that brought them here. About twenty minutes of waiting we finally see a fimiliar face, the bio mom’s attorney. She stops and asks us if we have seen the bio mom, we had not. She merges back into the crowd looking for her client. A few minutes later we see the GAL. Before making her way over to us, the GAL stops and talks with the the mom’s attorney.
In the hand of the bio mom’s attorney was a piece of paper; the two attorney talked about its contents for a few minutes. Finally the bio mom’s attorney gets up and leaves. We get a chance to talk with the GAL and she says that the document was a concent letter to severe bio mom’s rights. Cheryl and I have a moment of a sigh of relief.
We go back to waiting 10:30 ( the court time comes and goes). Time creeps to 10:50 and the court room sign clicks off. A feel a lump in my throat as the court room attendant comes out and calls for a different case. Repeat 11:25 same lump same results, another case and again at 11:40 and again at 11:55. By this point the crowd has wind led down to just the people in our case.
Finally 2:15 and we are called in. The proceedings are fairly technical, but by the end the judge made the ruling that the bio mom’s rights would be severed. Now, we are onto adoptions. We have all ready contacted our lawyer. We will have to wait to be assigned a new DCS worker for adoption. From what we have heard, the process and timing takes about 3 months. However, as we have learned over the years, time may take longer. We will keep you posted. Thanks for reading
This holiday season has been another good one. Cheryl says, “I love watching the kiddos discover the Christmas season.” The kiddos get excited seeing so many things. Every time they see the out door lights we have a barrage of “wows” and “look, look”. They get excited with every Christmas tree they see. B-Rad loves to declare “ho-ho-ho”.
Christmas Eve we hopped in the car and went looking at the lights on the neighborhood homes. Christmas morning we woke up and had breakfast. The kiddos opened their stockings at their high chairs. After, the kiddos opened many of their gifts. In the afternoon time family came by for short greetings and then more for dinner. In all, it was a good day.
Some things we did we plan to make into a tradition. Giving the kiddos memories and making traditions has been good.
Thanks for reading. To come in the new year we hope to have more updates of the permanent persuasion.
Today is the anniversary of Cheryl and I accepting into our home two foster kiddos for our very first “parenting” experience. Lots has changed in that time and I know that our lives are forever changed because of it. We hope that the kiddos who have come to live with us for whatever length have had their lives enhanced from the time that they were with us. Other parents would call this a “birthday”. There was no birth. I guess to the ones we have cared for and to my loving wife, I wish you all blessed foster day.
“It’s different when they are your’s”.
Two years and a few months ago, Cheryl and I had the fortunate encounter of listening to friends talk about their own experience as foster and later adoptive parents. Long time readers might remember me writing about them. They showed us the path to fostering and took our baby puzzle blog in a whole new direction. They explained to Cheryl when she asked, “when did you feel like they were yours?” “Oh honey, they were never mine, they were gifts from God, we just got a chance to take care of them for a little while.”
On our Balck Friday we head to the stores in search of new possessions. New things that we can own. New things we can manipulate and change. New things that are ours. They can be held as a shiny new object. They can be thrown away without a second look. On this glorious discounted day we search for the deal of a life time. We search for things we can possess, things we can own.
Humans cannot be owned. “It’s different when they are your’s”. I was raised by an adopted mom. My dad was raised by adopted dad. The children who are placements in our home cannot be thrown away without a second look, therefore they are not our possession, but gifts from God.
Today, yes even on Black Friday, I am happy for things that I still long for. Many of my things are not able to be bought at a store. Today I am happy to know that God has given me many gifts. Today, I am happy to be reminded that family and friends alike, have given goods examples of the gifts I have been afforded. While others still believe “It’s different when they are your’s”, I know the things that truly matter in life are not those things that I own, they are not things I can throw away or dismiss, they are something much different then any Black Friday sale can provide
Today, remember what you were thankful for yesterday. Happy Black Friday!
We had a typical monthly visit from our worker last Friday. This was the first time she had come to our home since the kiddos have come into our care (46 days). She had to meet earlier than I could make it home for the whole meeting. By the middle of her visit, I walked into the on going conversation. By that point the worker had expressed to Cheryl that she need to know by September 8th weather we would adopt the kiddos. As I said, we have only known them for about six weeks. We have done very little in the way of discerning and have been concentrating a lot more on LR’s case. We spent a lot of time over the weekend talking about it. We know we can’t force a feeling in that short amount of time. Instead, we are going to respond that we are open to building a relationship with the kiddos and are willing to consider making adoption. We thought we had more than a year to make this decision with how the courts had been talking. Changes may be on the way for the Covert’s because if our response is not what the case worker is looking for than she may disrupt placement. Never a dull moment.
About two weeks ago our new placement kiddos were assigned a new case aid and parent aid. These workers are responsible for dropping off and picking up the placement and for monitoring parent/child interaction. They also work with the parent(s) on a slew of skills needed for parenting. They play an important role in successful re-unification.
We have had a few interactions (phone calls and texts) with the case aid. She is a bit short however we are understanding. The situation (and reason for the post’s title) lies in interactions with our daycare workers. On Monday it was reported to them that every time the kiddo’s are picked up the younger smells. Yesterday the case aid came during a meal time. The daycare worker tried to give the case aid a piece of toast (not jellied toast, just bread that had been toasted). The kiddo started to freak out because when the worker refused. She finally let him take back his food and made a comment to our daycare worker that she was just going to get him into the car and take the food away. Then this morning when dropping our two infants off we were told by our the infant worker (a third worker reporting) that the case aid is very rude to her.
We love our daycare and also believe that the kiddo’s deserve a chance to be with their parents. Cheryl and I do not want our daycare to become disillusioned of us because of poor treatment of others. We also do not want a case aid who is short with us for reporting poor, unprofessional behavior. I personally am leaning towards ignoring the reported problems until the lack of professional behavior is directed at me or Cheryl. The problem that I have with that plan is the poor treatment of hard workers. Also, my fear that the poor treatment is also present to the kiddos when we are not around.
What would you do?
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.