sherron0: (Default)
Last week, I was supposed to go for a nice calm, fabulous breakfast with some other moms of teenagers.  Instead, we get canceled, which turns out to be a good thing, because Shelby's case worker wants to come by for a surprise home visit.  Blessedly, she's five minutes late, because the cat just barfed in the living room, and I'm out of paper towels.

sherron0: (Default)
Wasted half of my day today with DHR, again.

We were supposed to have in ISP (Individual Service Plan) meeting and I was supposed to be given more information (DHR's general policy is to treat me like a mushroom –—keep me in the dark, feed me shit), and I thought we would actually get the ball going on us becoming Shelby's permanent guardians, and getting DHR out of our lives. So I don't have to ask permission of the court every time I take Shelby out of state, or vaccinate cats that had never been vaccinated before, because they never leave the house, etc. But no, more talk talk talk, and we have to go before a judge (something they told me last week we'd avoid by going guardianship instead of custody), and this and that.

Makes me want to strangle people. Except that the actual people we talk to are nice, well-intentioned people (or at least are good enough at faking it that you can't actually call them on stuff). It's the system. They're in the dark often too (or do a very good job of pretending that anyway).

Anyway, again, to all of you good people who want the government to tax me so that they can take care of those in need, I dare you to just spend the afternoon in a DHR (or CFS, or whatever your area calls the food stamp/take your children away agency) and take a look at how well our government is doing that, and ask yourself, are these really the people we want to trust our most vulnerable citizens to?


Feb. 3rd, 2009 10:37 am
sherron0: (Default)

Oh yes, absolutely.  The way to let a foster parent know that her child has been taken off medicaid is to wait until said child needs meds, and leave the telling to Walgreen's.  And then have to scramble around to come up with some alternative besides making the foster parent pay the $600 and wait the usual 3 months for reimbursement.

One more example of how well our government handles all those tax dollars we're donating to take care of the less fortunate

I am glad to give to the organizations who do it right,  Who run their organizations efficiently, who really do care about their clients, who are actually there, 24/7.  Who are made up of real people willing (and who have the authority) to take responsibility and make decisions, on the spot if necessary.

The Catholic Church and Catholic Charities

Other local churches with food pantries, thrift stores that also give clothing to those in need, and tutoring ministries.

The Red Cross (which not only gets my money, but blood from everyone in the family too)

The Salvation Army (these folks are practically first responders in big disasters)

St. Jude's Hospital (check out<> which has videos of a few young  celebrities, including our own lovely Kyle Schmid, speaking for fund raising for St. Jude)

Those are my biggies right now, and I give generously, as I urge each of you to do, to your abilities. 

But I resent every dollar I give to our fat, lazy, debt-ridden, corrupt, inefficient, rude and just plain stupid government 'programs'.

sherron0: (Default)
So, did I mention 2 hours at DHR? 

A perfect example of government bureaucracy and nice guys finish last . . . )

So anyway, I got a harsh reminder of what it's like being on the desperate end of the socio-economic end of the scale.  How it feels to have nobodies at a government agency trample on you just because they can.  To be told "No" and "wait over there" because that's all that government worker has the power to tell you, to sit in a very questionably clean lobby on wobbly plastic chairs, because you're obviously not important enough to even sweep for, much less use a clean mop for.  And what really scared me is that I fell right into my designated place.  The oppresive atmosphere just convinces you that there's no hope, that you truly are at least unimportant, if not downright sub-human.

And now I feel even more strongly that the government IS NOT NOT NOT who should be trusted to help the poor.  Everyone who wants the government to distribute their tax dollars to benefit the poor should be forced to sit for an afternoon in a waiting room at DHR, and see exactly how well the government does that. 

the rant on other despicable gov. agencies and on being forced to pay for them: )

Do people really want to help the less priveldged, or would they just rather not think about them and let Big Brother take their money and pretend to use it for good?

Sorry if you find this offensive, but only if you've been there.

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I managed the downtime. whew.

While I was in Decatur today, I got to fill up the Vue with gas for $1.85!   That's only twice what it should be!

And, after only a 2 hour wait at DHR, we got a clothing voucher for $150!  And when we got to the store they were having a major sale!  We managed to get him several good pieces of clothing.  Two pairs of pants, two nice shirts, 3 t-shirts, a fleecy jacket, and a suit coat.  It's Alabama, so a fleece jacket will get him through most of the winter.  Still I need to go get him a real coat, but not today.  Any, we managed to get all that with the voucher and $24 from me!  I was very impressed.

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No, not panicking here.  1 hour and 34 minutes. Then no live journal.  Reading like a crazy person.

Also, at 8am, it's still only 33°.  Gaack.   We were all still in denial about the impending cold, telling ourselves the 50's would last, but now it's time to dig out the jackets. 

Or in Shelby's case go buy the child one.  I can't believe DHR sent him here practically naked.  It's not as if they pulled him out of a meth house in the middle of the night, and couldn't take anything with them.  He's been in "care" (they call it) for 10 Years! I understand why this last foster home didn't buy anything, they only took him as an emergency and knew he wouldn't be there too long.  But before that he spent 2 years in a children's group home.  They didn't have time to buy him one shirt that actually fits?  And he's 19.5 years old.  He's been out of that teenage boy grow fast stage for at least 2 years, probably 3.  Grrr.

2 pairs of blue jeans
1  pair long pants with the button torn out,
2 shirts, neither of which really fit him, the buttons are straining and the sleeves aren't long enough for him to wear comfortably (so really no shirts)
2 T-shirts, one of which we bought for him on one of the weekend visits.
1 pair sports shorts, which he will never leave my house in, just gross
1 pair shoes, almost completely worn out. (I've already bought a good pair of athletic shoes, $130 - extra large, ya know)
3 pairs of sock, one of which actually fit him.
5 pairs of underwear, one of which he says is not his.

Oh, but all the kids at the group home got iPod shuffles for Christmas.
sherron0: (SO)
A euphemism for home inspection.  But it went well.  She seemed favorably impressed with the facilities, the zoo, the boys, and the Keeper (me).

I've been cleaning, emptying that room where you put things that you don't know what to do with, so it can be Shelby's bedroom.  The most difficult has been the closet, which I'm not through with.  I have thrown out and or given away at least a room's worth of stuff.  Because some of the stuff (furniture) that moved out of there had to be put somewhere else, which meant we had to move something to make room,  and on and on.  Mark said he felt like we were in one of those tile-moving puzzles.

I finally got a "scrapbook" put together as a slide show and printed it out on card stock and bound it, for her to take to Shelby, so he will get a (falsely clean and organized) idea of us.  It turned out pretty well.  I may try to figure out how to add the slide show to the Ostrander website.

So our first in home visit with Shelby will be next Friday, Sept.26th.  We will meet at the bowling alley and bowl with the Asperger's Young adult social group.  Then Cheeburger, Cheeburger for food, then we take Thomas back to class for an hour, and I have no idea what Shelby and I will do, then home.  If he's still comfortable, he'll stay overnight.  I'm both excited and terrified.  Mark, of course, won't be here, because he'll be rappelling off some cliff in N.Carolina as a warm up for Bridge Day.

So now, after an exciting day [ TB test, taking Mark to work so I can have the car t get to the AS support Luncheon, then back to pick up Mark, to come home for the home visit] I've moved on to the wine and relax portion of the evening.  Whoo.

Panic Mode

Sep. 13th, 2008 06:32 pm
sherron0: (prozac)
When in danger, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

I'm having a home visit/inspection next Friday.  I've got to get enough things out of what will be Shelby's room to at least put up the bed!

Right now I am definitely at the much-worse-before-it-gets-better stage.
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I guess I haven't mentioned that we're taking in a foster child.  Not something I ever thought I would do, honestly.  But this specific child, well, it just had to be. 

I found out about him through someone at DHR who found me as a contact in this area for Asperger's.  She'd been looking all over for a "placement" for this young man.  His name is Shelby, He's 19 (In fact, his birthday is one day after Thomas's), and has Asperger's, and is over 6' tall, like Thomas.  It seems that it's harder to find a placement for a big teenage boy.  I sent the info and request out to my lists, and such. 

Then I started thinking about how really, we were the perfect place for him to be.  For various and sundry reasons.  (our experience with AS, we knew what it was like to have to teenage boys, and one of those was completely out of the house now, so we had the room and all, etc) I approached Mark, and somewhat to my surprise, he was immediately on board.  Then, of course, I asked Thomas how he felt (and if had had the least amount of negative feeling about it, of course it would have been a no go).  He thought it was fine, might be fun, he could be the big brother, etc.  Thomas is much more socially/emotionally advanced than Shelby, since Thomas has had intervention and training and support since he was a baby, while Shelby was undiagnosed until later, and then there has been all that being shuffled around in the system.  so maybe he could be mentor.  And since Shelby is the "talky" kind of AS, he might bring Thomas out a bit.

Yes, we've met him.  All three of us went over there (the county next to ours) and we met at DHR.  He's a really sweet kid.  yes, quite tall, and big, and he has light red hair.  He seemed to like us, and thought he'd like to be our foster child. 

So now, we are in the process of 11 weeks of classes, having our fingerprints sent to the FBI and the ABI, and being checked out in the Child Abuse Network, and trying to get our house to the safety standards necessary to be foster parents [if everyone had to do this to be parents, there'd be alot fewer babies born, and no need for DHR], and filling out paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, and taking pictures of the house and all the pets and things, so that Shelby will have an idea of what he's getting into, and vaccinating all 4 house cats, and I'm going to have to replace my lost Social Security Card, so they can have a copy on file, and on and on.  And I have to clear out the bedroom I'm giving him, which is not Mat's, I didn't want Mat to feel to replaced, but is that room where we put things we can't find a spot for, or are "temporarily" there for say the last five years... and get a bed/mattress/etc. 

Since Shelby's still classified as a child, I have to make my home safe enough for a 5 year old.  There's only one set of standards for children (another for infants), so that's what I have to go by.  Things you wouldn't think to do for a teenager, like locking up all the cleaning chemicals.  The minimun standards book is only 69 pages.  In the end, all this cleanup and lock up won't be a bad thing, it'll give us an excuse to go through things we'd been avoiding in that extra room, and get stuff out of the garage and thrown away -- like maybe 15 cans of paint, each either completely dry or with an inch of paint in the bottom, and many of them moved from our previous house!

So, speaking of all that kind of stuff, I better get on with it.  I promised myself I'd get a lot done this weekend.


Oct. 22nd, 2007 11:39 pm
sherron0: (Default)
I just wanted to give credit.  Yesterday, when I was all limp from a migraine, Mark vacuumed the whole upstairs.  Thomas did the stairs and basement hallway today.  It helps Muchly.  I used to say that my house was so bad that if DHR saw it they'd take my kids away.  But they're both over 18 now.  So, lately, it's gotten even worse around here, and I was worried, because if the Humane Society heard about this place, they were going to come and get all the animals!  But vacuuming helped.


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