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
As we prepare for the holiday coming this Thursday, it leads me to be introspective about the things we have experienced and are thankful for. 2015 has been another unique year. I am thankful for many things and I am sure that if I sat listing them all it may sound like everything in my life. Here are three things for our “Turkey Tuesday”.
Since last Thanksgiving, Cheryl and I have said goodbye to two of our three placements, hello to two new kiddos and grown closer to our three current placements. I am very thankful for the many gifts that each child gives us. They all have their own personalities, but in their own unique way they show us what it means to love and be loved. They grow and discover the world around them and as they do they remind me of the simple things in our lives that are just as important as the more complicated ones. Seeing the world through a child’s eye has a certain level of innocence and can un-complicate a complicated decision without even trying. I am very thankful for our three little ones with us and the two littles back home with their families.
My second Turkey Tuesday Thanks is from back in April. I spent 16 days in the hospital and another two weeks on “couch rest”. During that time a lot of the slack I left behind had to be picked up. Some of the slack was by family, some by co-workers and a whole lot by my loving wife. Cheryl was a rock who went to work, came home and took care of our kiddos and found time to take care of her emotionally fragile husband. I am thankful for the family and friends who lent her a hand in taking care of the kiddos, of the house, the dogs, and her. Cheryl went to bat for me, making sure the doctors were on track, she slept on hard chairs and she held me up. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all of the slack pickers in my time of need.
The third Turkey Tuesday Thanks is for the many coming changes that Cheryl and I anticipate in the coming year. We feel like we will have a more clear understanding what our “baby puzzle” picture will look like. We have been working feverishly to set ourselves up for our “domestic dad” plan and we will have a more active role in forming the people our littles are becoming. Every year there is change and I know that nothing is ever static. Having a chance to live out our goals and our plans makes me thankful.
So, from the Covert’s house and my own blogging desk, I want to wish you a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving. And that you may remember to remember the many blessings in your life. Happy Thanksgiving.
Today we had LR’s brother and dad over for pool time and BBQ. Keeping the kiddo’s family unit in place is important to both Cheryl and I and brother’s dad. They are forever brother and sister. Having the chance to keep them in each other’s lives will hopefully give them identity as they grow. It is interesting because this was not a visioned family unit before we started fostering, but now seems to be the most natural idea we can think of. Happy Saturday everyone.
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As Cheryl and I entered yesterday afternoon we had the task of signing the kiddos out. Cheryl signed out on the computer screen and I went to the paper sign out. I signed out the oldest and then turned the page to LR’s page. Paper clipped to the sign out page was a notice. LR is being moved to the one year old’s room because of her advancements in walking. It is kinda sad because we love the worker in the infant room. It is also really kinda cool to see her growing.
This morning we had breakfast and all of a sudden she is much better at using utensils and not dumping her plate. After dinner she has been taking 10 and 14 steps at a time. Crawling is still faster, but she is making little advances so fast. Happy Saturday everyone.
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.
I am going to start using “nicknames” for our kiddos so I do not have to refer to them as “the kiddo from October” or the “oldest kiddo” or the “youngest kiddo”. It is a concept that another blogger her at wordpress uses and is easy enough to follow. So
“oldest kiddo brother” = “OKB”
“younest kiddo sister” = “YKS”
“kiddo from October” = “LR” (my own nickname for her)
Tonight our worker for LR will be visiting. Cheryl and I always get nerves when someone from DCS comes to our home and not for any other reason other than the unknown. We have heard lots of whispers about a case plan being changed. We may hear more about this tonight. As I said in my last post, LR’s court date is coming up this Friday.
Monday OKB and YKS had their first visit. Some times in the past we have noticed other placements would struggle after the visit, but the kiddos seemed to do well. Their case worker dropped off lots of things that belong to OKB and YKS. It is hard to see the state by which they are delivered. Maybe it is just one of my sticking points or that we have had other placements go home, but no one’s belongings should travel in a trash bag. We were fortunate to find an organization in the valley that provides new bags (along with a bunch of other things) for kiddos in the system. I think one of the largest problems people have is just not knowing about the many services that the community will step up with.
Well that is it for now. Lots of things coming in the near future. Thanks for reading.
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!
In a moment things seem to change without announcement.
As I wrote in an earlier post, our normal respite family who takes our kiddos when we need child care took on other responsibilities and is no longer available to us. Last weekend we had a chance to meet a new respite family. They can only take the baby (so we will need another family for the boys). They live in Mesa, which is on the other side of the valley from us. We drove to their home last Sunday and met with them. They are a nice couple, married around the same time as us, hospitable. They told us many of their experiences within the system. Getting to hear their accounts and stories of the goods and bads of fostering (they have actually adopted one child) was an interesting re-affirmation that at the very least Cheryl and I are not taking crazy pills and living in some other reality. In addition to getting to hear their own story we also had a chance to see where the baby will sleep and eat and all of the other things. Sometimes sudden change can lead to an unexpected surprise. We will have to a chance to meet the other respite family this coming weekend.
Just the other morning I woke up to the fussy sounds of the baby wanting her morning change and meal. Most mornings she is up before the boys and this morning was no different. I went into her room and she was still half sleeping. Because she was still half asleep I left her in her crib while I picked out her outfit for the day. Daycare always asks us to send her in “footsies” because of her protest to keeping on shoes and socks. That morning I chose a “onesie” and pants. I remember looking through the selection and the many messages on the front “Daddy’s Favorite”, “Mommy Loves me”, “Mommy’s Favorite” and so on and so forth, so many of the baby clothes that the many stores out there carry have person specific messages. On this this particular morning it had a picture of a whale a something about how Daddy loved her. So many things have changed in the kiddos lives since they have come to live with us. Keeping them focused on hitting their developmental stages is important to us. After court this last week we have to keep that in mind the most. It is not a competition to make the cute clothes ring true but about helping her learn to walk and getting the boys to learn to use the potty.
In the meantime… we will look forward to the changes that happen suddenly and sometimes without announcement. Thanks for reading.
Cheryl and I are involved in a number of things in our community both professionally and within the community at large. Much of the time we are able to be a part of these groups within the context of our day, while the kiddos are at day care or while one of us is able to be at home with them as the other is not. When the community group involves both Cheryl and I we have two options 1)’ making sure it is family friendly and we all go 2) finding care takers to take the kiddos for the time. When it is the second option it is not as easy as picking up the phone and asking this family member or that close friend because the care givers have to have a minimal amount “security clearance”.
One such event (with option two) is coming up this weekend, yes over Valentine ’s Day. Knowing of our needs Cheryl and I asked our licensing agency to help us find respite care way back at the end of December. We had all the kiddos scheduled to go to our usual home. About a week and a half ago our licensing agency emailed us telling us that the family we had scheduled with were no longer available and we were out of luck.
What did that mean for Cheryl and I? Scramble time.
With only about two weeks before a Friday evening, all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday what type of person could we ask? That short of notice over a weekend when something special is going on we will have to ask someone to re-arrange their plans. So to answer the question we could only ask people who we thought would be forgiving that we would ask on such short notice and would still be willing to help out. We reached out to our Engaged Encounter group (the community group we will be involved in this weekend), however because of the specialness of the weekend all group members are in the same boat as we are, helping with the weekend. After them we had a short list of people and finally found our saving couple Crystal and Scott Bott who, because of the job backgrounds, meet the “security clearance” and were wonderful enough to rearrange their time so we can be there for 30 engaged couples.
One large topic that I don’t think Cheryl or I talk about enough on here is the need for personal and community time. As we have gone through our baby puzzle journey some times that need gets pushed to the back burners. There is always another diaper to change, another sippy cup to fill, another boo-boo to kiss, another dirty front room to clean up, another load of laundry to put over, another sink full of used bottles to scrub, another banana to slice, but there is only one full time partner through it all. For those of you on your own baby puzzle journeys (no matter where you are) take some time to remember that all parts of your relationships, your mommy roles, and daddy roles all need a little bit of nurture and care for.
And if I did not say it enough THANK YOU CRYSTAL AND SCOTT…
Thanks for reading.