Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's Always Something

The local newspaper called me to tell me they are publishing my letter to the editor. I am really glad they decided to do it, because there have been a ton more letters just berating the birth father for being selfish and refusing to do the right thing. I am just livid at the fact this child was taken without his permission, so basically kidnapped and everyone is so quick to tell the birth father how rotten he is for taking him from the only home he has known. For heaven's sake, are we going to start saying that about other kidnappers or non custodial parents taking kids?
The behind the scenes news that you won't read in the newspaper is that the little boy has been returned to his birth father. I am well aware, (nine years as a foster parent, remember?) that this isn't going to be easy on the child, and I would never say this was the best case scenario. But is the father's fault? Or the adoptive family and adoption agency's fault? My vote falls for the latter.
Way good news! Little Man has been eating! Like really eating, for the last few days. More food in one night than he usually eats in like a week. Wow. It rocks, he is definitely puttin on some weight. We are cheering.
The downside? Bet ya thought there couldn't possibly be a downside to our son eating. Well, sweet boy, it is always something. Yay, whatever goes in, has to come out. And Little Man? Well, he suffers from, um, poor gut motility. The poop chronicles had come to a complete stop. Not so good. Thank goodness we saw some "results" today after two days of less than productive income. A phone consultation with the GI doc's office and all that too. Geez, it really is, always something. At this point, it looks like we are praying for poop.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The View From My Window

First, for being such good and loyal bloggy buddies, is your picture from my window.

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Spring is springing in so many ways.
Bald Man and I actually got some respite this weekend! Know what we did? Took our precious Pea to the park.

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Here ducky, ducky, ducky.

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Almost got um....

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Peek a boo Grandma!

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And for some added cuteness, Meeko and the Kitten Formerly Known as Justin

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The kitten decided to check out Meeko's digs, much to our amusement

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Once more I have some respite hours, so in spite of it being a holiday, Little Man is gone for a bit and I am enjoying some peace and quiet.

Friday, May 25, 2007

My Dander is Up

This is a long post, so bear with me as I unload my feelings on my blog. Before I start my tirade, let me apprise you of a few facts. We were foster parents for nine years which certainly acquainted us letting children go. On top of that, we also had two private adoptions of newborns not work out, because the birth mothers changed their minds in the legal amount of time. Those are two of the most grief filled moments of my life, so I know about adoption loss and laws. You will probably be surprised which way I fall in this arguement.
Utah has some of the most adoption "friendly" laws in the U.S. The reason for Utah's reputation is that birth mothers can sign away their rights after just 24 hours and the birth father does not have to consent to the adoption. Here in Utah, if the father does not file paternity paperwork with 3 days of the birth, their rights are voided. The case I am talking about has been in the courts for three years and has gone to the Utah Supreme court. The child in this lawsuit was born on a three day weekend, so the father was not able to file the paperwork within the required time period. Now the state of Utah is overturning this law, saying it must be three business days not just three days. Kind of hard to file paperwork when the governmental agency is closed, huh?
I have some very strong feelings about the rights of birth parents. Especially because adoption has become an economic decision. Being poor, single and heaven forbid, brown, automatically disqualifies you from being a fit parent. I am so not okay with the rampant prejudice in our adoption culture. To trample over some one's civil rights, willy nilly because we think it would be "best" for the child is just unconscionable in my book.
In our local newspaper, we have had two letters to the editor in the last week, expressing horror over the birth father's selfishness and a general cry for the birth father to do what is "right" for his son. Here is the letter to the editor I wrote.

As an adoptive parent and a former foster parent, I am more familiar than most with the complexity of adoption issues. Our family has even had two private adoptions in other states overturned during the waiting period, so I know the loss of a child. Having said that, I feel compelled to weigh in on Utah's adoption "friendly" laws. Friendly for whom? Not the birth parents, that is for sure, just ask the birth father in the middle of this mess. There have been 2 letters now, pleading for the birth father to step up and do what is best for his son. What about the adoptive family? I am almost certain that they have known for the past three years that their son's adoption was being disputed. The adoption agency certainly did. Why did they not do exactly what is being called for? The unselfish act, the loving of child more than self. If this adoption is overturned, and the child is returned to his birth father, who in fact was more selfish? Who of us, if our child was taken without our permission would not go to the ends of the earth to bring our child home? If this child had been kidnapped for three years, there would be no outcry against the return of the child to his family. Children have been taken by non-custodial parents for much longer than three years and then returned to their legal guardians. I don't hear anyone saying the custodial parent is selfish or not doing what is right for the child. I feel this case and these letters show our very real prejudice against single parents. Single or not, legal rights must be upheld. Do not cast stones at a father exerting all his efforts to get his son returned to him, instead, do something about the law and an adoption agency that would allow this to happen.

Signed, Your Jo, compelled to do what is right, one child at a time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Bitter Sweet Good Bye

Yesterday was our last day with feeding therapy. YAY! And yes, it also makes me sad. Which part do you want first? The part that makes me sad, or the part that makes me happy? Okay, happy first, then, sad.
I am so utterly thrilled that his feeding therapy is over. It has been very difficult. For Little Man and for us. He has been ugly before, during and after therapy. Pretty much wrecks the day. I have been bitten, hit, had a shoe thrown squarely and with surprising force at my chest. Let's not forget the scratching and spitting. With much drama we make our way to the car and then try to somehow make it through the evening with Little Man being perfectly hideous. It is awful, really awful. And it hasn't been helping him eat a bit.
So yesterday, his therapist threw in the towel. After she found out how unhappy it made him for the rest of the day, she said she really didn't think the price was worth it. She had hoped we could continue, and she had even hoped it could help him, but looking at the bigger picture, it is just not worth it. He is also quite old for this type of therapy and his habits are pretty ingrained.
But even though I am thrilled I no longer have to stagger through this self chosen torture, I am so sad. Sad that his behaviors are so bad that it makes taking him to this kind of therapy worthless. Sad that he is so driven by his demons, sad he doesn't eat and who knows what will happen from here. His weight is still hovering in the high 50's, low 60's and for now, it is great. But it isn't the life I dreamed for him, or for me as his mother. I struggle with forcing him through the most basic of daily cares. Showering, brushing his teeth, getting dressed and oh my gosh, going poop, my daily nemesis. I am so tired of dealing with the soiled underwear, every day, most days at least twice and the weekends are beyond counting.
So many normal people see children and people with cognitive delays as happy, loving people. Yeah, right. Little Man is an angry and often mean cognitively delayed person. It is just hard right now, he isn't sleeping well, and his behavior seems to be going downhill too. We will just hang on and see where we end up. For now, the weekly torture of feeding therapy is over and that is a good thing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

It's Another Mountain Monday

The weather here has considerably cooled down and it has rained off and on, all day. Not much to see of the mountains, but the clouds just look so pretty, spread all over the top of the mountains.

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The Kitten Formerly Known as Justin is just as cute as she can be. I need to keep reminding myself that it is a good thing that I am constantly reminding and prompting Little Man with his social skills with the kitten. No, don't pick the kitty up by her tail, please let her go, she is meowing to get down, etc. He is always supervised with the kitty and they are good friends. He loves it when she curls up on him for a nap.
Now the Princess Meeko and the kitten? Well, their relationship is a bit adversarial. Pictures speak louder than words, so I will let you see how things are going with those two!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It Could Always Be Worse

Yeah, it could be us in the hospital instead of Bon and her sweet little Pearl. I stopped in the yesterday in the midst of errand running because heaven knows I KNOW how boring it is being in-patient with your kid. Little Pearl swallowed a sequin quite a while ago, unbeknownst to her parents and it wreaked havoc with her bitty and cute throat. Post surgery, PICC line and g-tubed, Pearl is on the road to recovery.Bon and I decided to add IV pole surfing to the Vile Olympics and Pearl with her little fountain hair was the cutest surfer ever. Stop by and show them some love, they could use it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tag, I'm It

I was recently tagged by Bored In Vernal for a meme done as an interview. If you wish to be tagged, drop me an email, Lakotajo2 at msn dot com and I will send you your questions.
1. Why did you decide to go into social work?
I guess I finally realized I had been "doing" social work for many years, so it kinda chose me. I wasn't terribly impressed with social workers we met in the course of fostering and adopting, and like many people thought that was all there was to social work. I started working with a group of really great social workers, working for change with the Native American children. I was deeply impressed with the kind of change that was possible through social work. When I went back to school a few years ago, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up!
2. If you were really going to be in the Olympics, what sport would you choose, and why?
Oh a gymnast, hands down. I love watching them and always wished I had the coordination to do something like that. Unless they start a needle felting sport, I don't suppose I will ever be in the Olympics.
3. What do you think is the biggest issue facing Native Americans today?
Another really good question! I think being able to live in the world and succeeding in it, and yet being able to cling to all the strengths that come with being Native. Some feel they can't leave the reservation for fear of losing their heritage and others who feel they can't be Native and do well in the world. The only way for us to be ALL we can be, is to do it all, and KNOW we can do it all. My mom taught me that one.
4. What is your favorite feature?
I have tiny ankles and wrists and I am fairly vain about them.
5. Describe your favorite room in your house
My bedroom. Maroon, green and gold. A nice comforter, (finally!) TWO bookcases, my dresser, and my needle felting table and wool. I love having my favorite things around me, and my books and my wool are two big things in my life.
Thanks Bored! I hope other people enjoyed this meme too!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What a Week!

Since last we spoke, it has been an insanely crazy week here at Maison De Tangled. I will go in order, hopefully to inform more and confuse less.
On Monday, I was driving the Princess and her Pea to my house, and we were on the freeway. I saw a cop, I mean a very nice policeman, and looked at my speedometer. Great, I was going 70 in a 55 mph zone. I did what any self respecting and law abiding citizen does, I pushed on my brakes quickly and prayed deeply he wouldn't notice my speed or brake lights. Yeah, well I kept pushing and the car kept going and my eyes got bigger and bigger as I was saying to myself, naw, there isn't anything wrong with the brakes, the brakes always need to be pushed to the floor before the car slows down. I didn't do such a great job reassuring myself either. Thank goodness we were only a mile or so from the apartment and we got home safe and sound. I called Bald Man and he rushed home to figure out what happened.

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See the round part to the left? The whole brake line is supposed to look like that. See the part to the right where it is rubbed flat with a slit in it? Yeah, that is the part that squirted my brake fluid all over the freeway as I was trying to slow down. We are all very, very grateful nothing bad happened. Bald Man fixed it and my brakes once again slow down without needing to be pushed to the floor.
Now you are caught up to Monday afternoon.
Monday evening? I went to a landscape needle felting class. Dang I had a good time! And here is my picture:

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Sheepies and meadows. I guess I was all about the peacefulness after my close call with being squashed on the freeway.
Although, blood and carnage can be good things if they are connected to Peeps instead of people. Come check out what Eliza and Redzils and I did while hanging out in the grand town of Doolittleville. Peep Carnage! We weren't even drinking or anything. This is what happens when three nerds under terrific stress come up with as entertainment. Our insanity is your enjoyment.
Little Man's doctor had told us a long time ago that kids with his syndrome do better if they have animals in their lives. Since it looks like Utah is the place we are going to be for a while, we decided to give our boy something he has literally crying for.

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Initially Little Man was calling this girl kitten Justin, but last night decided Fluffy would be a good name. Whew.

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She is sooo sweet and doing really well. Little Man is all smiles and the vileness has been toned down to the reasonable level. This little ball of fur has already brought so much joy and so many smiles to our boy's face. Someone in our house is NOT amused about the new addition though.

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The Cockatoo Princess is NOT amused. This is her all fluffed and insulted that we dare bring in any competition.
And there ya go. All caught up in the excitement and fun I call my life.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Whoot! It is Mountain Monday!

No complaints, but I sure hope some of you missed our regularly scheduled Mountain Mondays. It was COLD the last few days, there was even snow! Yeep! But today dawned warm and sunny and the mountains are wearing their spring finery, just to show off for you.

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And as I was driving, I saw the essence of spring. Sheepies in the meadow, so I have to share.

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My beloved Pea was over and eating ice cream, cause Grandma always says yes!

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The world looks even better from this angle:

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Ya'll know I do love my Mondays and today is no exception. Lunch and then housework, all done in the quietness of the Jo. Yay! Hoping all your weeks are getting off to as nice a start as mine.

Friday, May 04, 2007

More Wedding Pics!

We received a few of the professional photographer pics, and I made a slide show on photobucket. But of course I am way too cheap to upgrade my account, so there are not a lot. If you want the website address where you can see all the pics, drop me an email and I will send you the link. I just talked to Pygmy Child yesterday. She is busy getting ready for summer school at the University of Fun in Florida and is very happy with her new hubby. Their love is so brand new and shiny, it is just sweet to watch them growing together. Enjoy, we certainly are.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Paper Chase

The school year is winding down and you would think it would be quieter time of year. Yay, you'd think. You'd think wrong. Things are just gearing up for much craziness. With the end of the school year, many things must be put in place. One is the school for next year. IF we are still here, Little Man will NOT be attending the same school. There is no way I can cope for another year with the neglect and meanness of those two teachers. I kept getting a form in his backpack and then follow-up phone calls about getting the form turned in. I finally called the school district and told them forget it, he will not be attending there next year and they better find another placement. ARGH! Paperwork.
Because school will be getting out, we need to decide what is going on with the boy about summer. He had such a lousy summer last year, I do not want to send him to the same summer program. It wasn't that it is a bad program, but they have no other kids his age and I think that was a large part of it. So that means more phone calls and guess what? Yes, paperwork, as we decide which program he will attend. We found a good one I think, and I am hoping he has an awesome summer this year.
And last, but not least at all, is how the visit went with his psychiatrist. She is recommending that he do an inpatient psych stay. I can't quite wrap my brain around it. He is still such a small child inside. But, she needs to tweak his meds and she would like to start a program to get his aggressive behaviors under control before he gets seriously dangerous. So we are considering it. After school lets out.
And.. we need to switch his health providers. The good news his psych would become his primary care doctor. Bad news is we would lose his precious, precious neurologist, Dr. Maverick. I have not been pleased with the neuro care Little Man received at the Sick Kids hospital in the Big City, and that is where we would be going back to. This could get ugly, but I am hoping it doesn't. More phonecalls. No paperwork for me to do with that one, someone else does it. Thank goodness, I have plenty to do over here.
Who ever thought it would be a good idea to increase the paperwork tenfold when you are already struggling to raise a special needs child should be taken out to a field and shot. Humph.