I am sure you are on pins and needles to know how our latest trip to DHS went. Well don’t get too excited, it was the shortest trip of my life. Husbando forgot the golf cart key so we ran-walked to the car on the coldest day of the year and arrived at DHS right at our appointment time, 11:30. I had to dump my purse for anything they may asked me to bring back to the car (learned that the hard way last time, they don’t like metal keychains) and we sprinted for the door. After the metal detector line and elevator ride up, we were technically 3 minutes late for our appointment but Husbando called our worker as we walked into the lobby, as she had asked him to do. No answer. He then called the cell number she gave him in the last email. It was a wrong number. He calls the first number again and writes down the cell phone given on the voicemail. He calls the new cell phone and it rings. She answered and says she will be there shortly but is running behind. He hangs up and upon second though calls back immediately asking how long was ‘behind’ because at this point its 11:45 am and even if we only wait 10 minutes, that leaves us 15 minutes before we have to be out the door and heading back to work. Normally we would not care about any of this but this week I’ve been helping around the office while someone takes vacation and had only the time we allotted her. She says she will hurry (shouldn’t she be already?) and will be there in around 10 minutes.
We wait very impatiently and when she finally arrives takes us back to the room to look through the adoption binders of kiddos that were discussed at staffing. She apparently didn’t go to staffing herself but her co-worker took our file for her. Good news numero one is she suggested us to several workers as potential parents for their foster children. Bad news? The co-worker even gave us to workers representing just one or two children, essentially wasting that worker’s time going over our info. Husbando politely said, he would just go ahead and mark those out and she said, ‘you wouldn’t just try out one or two then get more?’ I’m sorry, what?! Have you even read our file?! I was so disappointed with that suggestion mostly because it meant she had no idea about us or what we are in this for. I looked at her with probably an odd (or hopefully not but maybe hateful) look on my face. I said no, that is not in our plan. We would like to adopt first then have a couple of our own and we don’t want to go through the adoption process more than once. She seemed to take the answer well but as I said, it didn’t sit right with me. I am hoping very strongly she reads the file, gets to know our objectives, and maybe spends some real time with us next time.
Okay, moving on. We were sitting in there alone frantically going through all the pages and scribbling down file numbers that looked to be potential matches for us. Good news numero two, some of the numbers we scribbled were also ones we were already recommended for by the fill-in worker at staffing so we are ahead of the game on those. We had exactly 12 minutes until we were out the door but overall I think it went well. We know what she looks like, she knows what we look like. She now knows what we’re looking for and what our life plan is (in the brief 3 sentences we shared). We know punctuality isn’t really her thing and she knows Husbando WILL hunt her down with that iPhone of his!
The moral of the story is baby steps will still get you where you need to go. I was miserable standing still but elated with even this inch we have climbed. We assumed we had not been submitted for any kids this month when in fact, we were. We gave her several more children we are interested in and will hopefully hear something sooner rather than later, even if the answer is no. Thank you to everyone who has been helping us get through this and I will keep updating as the updates come!
Out of the blue last week we received an invitation to another adoption party. You can understand why we were completely surprised since we haven’t heard so much as a peep from DHS since October and didn’t realize you get invited to parties in other regions. Anyway, the bottom part of the state is throwing a shindig and after much deliberation… we sent in our RSVP for two spots. We are going to participate and attend everything DHS asks us to do so that we can honestly say we have done all we. Just like you can’t complain about politicians if you don’t vote, you can’t gripe at DHS for not helping you if you haven’t helped yourself. Plus, Texas will probably being our permanent home in the future so why not be matched with kids close to that Texas border : )
Luckily, from having been at a party previously, we know what to expect. We walk in, get a catalogue with pics and profiles of all the kids who are coming, we look it over and let our worker know who we want to meet, if any. The alternative is we just quietly slip out before the children start arriving because none of them in the book are matches for us. That technically happened last time but we stayed for at least an hour after the kids arrived so we could see how the whole party worked. Plus, it was cowboy themed and we wanted to stay for the chuck-wagon lunch. One nice thing is that they bring in big, nice prizes for a raffle and every child ends up going home with a new toy. The latest Barbie Dreamhouse is not exactly a consolation prize for a new family but nice that all the kids leave with a good feeling. Well, that is if they haven’t gotten a concussion from the 7 inflatables they had to play on.
So there ya have it, another countdown. Two weeks from today we will be heading down for an adoption party masked as a weekend with the grandparents. The very best part is that we will be spending some quality time with our nephew and wrestling with him on the living room floor always makes me forget anything is wrong in life.
This is not a real update. This is a confirmation that I was correct all along… we fell through the cracks of DHS.
I wrote an email to our worker several months ago that said I was worried about being forgotten and felt like we had already fallen through these cracks. I was sent a very long response immediately addressing my concerns. Apparently if you accuse people of forgetting about you, you get answers fast. Then they forget about you. For months. Several months. So anyway, I was brushed off being told that ‘these things take time’ and that I had to be patient.
Fast forward several months later to now and Husbando has had enough of the silent treatment and patient thing. He called our worker’s supervisor (or at least who we thought was still our worker) but she was not in the office. Instead, he got her supervisor’s supervisor who was very nice and more importantly, very honest. Miss. Supervisor agreed that we were
lied to given ‘misinformation’ about getting a new worker when ours transferred and that we had been assigned a new worker for a while now. The supervisor even asked aloud why on earth we hadn’t been contacted yet and that she would be making sure she got with us the next day. I didn’t hold my breath and good thing because its now five days later and still no call. However, Husbando is not taking this lightly and will be calling later today. I think his new outlook is that the squeeky wheel will get the grease and he plans on squeeking away.
Miss. Supervisor did suggest we go up to the DHS office and review the kiddos that had been at staffing this month but we have the list of who they were and none of then seem to fit what we’re looking for.* Mostly, they’re all singletons and double sibling groups. We don’t want to have to do this more than once so we are going to stick with our goal of four for now. I thought originally they were going to beg us to take a half-dozen but (luckily) there doesn’t seem to be as many big groups out there as I thought. Lucky for the kids, unlucky for us.
*We will obviously go just to give us something to do to feel like we aren’t sitting stagnant but our expectations will be nothing like last time.
This is my new favorite recipe and according to the teenagers, this is the best breakfast casserole they’ve ever had. In fact, at our New Years Eve party two of them told me they liked it more than the one their mom makes and she was standing in the room! Since I got this recipe through text, I thought I’d take the liberty of making it pretty and more, making it where I could find it when I need it.
Better Than Yo Mama’s Breakfast Casserole
2 pounds ground sausage, browned (be careful, some tubes are now only 12 ounces but you need a full two pounds)
1 dozen eggs, beaten
1 package fresh hashbrowns (bought in the dairy section)
1-2 large cans of green chilies
2 cups grated cheese – any flavor but I used cheddar
Preheat oven to 350.
Start to brown the sausage. When it is almost done, add half your chilies. While it continues to cook away, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the hashbrowns, half the cheese, and the rest of the chilies. Mix it all up and set aside while you spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Don’t be stingy with the spray. Now add the sausage to that big bowl of egg mixture and combine everything. Dump it all into your 9×13 and level out with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour and then sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top. Bake 5-15 minutes more until casserole is not jiggly in the middle and serve warm with salsa. Leftovers are GREAT cut in individual servings and plastic wrapped for the freezer. Microwave them about a minute and you’re good to go!
I have officially cracked under the blog pressure and am posting a selfie. One day last week I was completely willing and ready to write something deep and memorable but got distracted by the Photo Booth on my computer. I often accidentally open Photo Booth when trying to open my iChat and hence, there are several impromptu pics of myself. This time I noticed a new feature, birds flying over my head. Also, no matter which way I move, the birds follow right where they should be. This entertained me for a good 3 minutes while I tried to trick the birds. For the record, they are super smart iBirds and cannot be fooled! Please give it a try.
P.S. I know this isn’t a real blog.
P.P.S. I know my bow is
ridiculously big awesome and thank you for noticing.
So last time I jumped up on this high horse I was addressing the people dressing immodestly. Today we are going to focus on the parents of the immodest. You know who you are, I see you walking around Abercrombie like your kid’s muffin top doesn’t stink. Well it does! And further, you stink for letting your 11-year-old prance around town with her butt crack hanging out. If a perfect stranger doesn’t want to look at it, why would you?!
I am the first to admit that I am judging parents before I am one. I’ll give you that. I know there are millions of things you say you will or will not do/be before you actually have kids then you end up doing/being exactly the opposite. Do I want to say I won’t give my kids candy as a bribe? Of course. Do I know the likelihood of me stuffing a Blow Pop in their mouth to get them to shut up long enough that I can enjoy Christmas Eve service is about 95% probable? Yup. However, I think every parent has the ability to stick to their guns when it is something they are non-negotiable with. This would be one of those things for me.
So lets address why on earth you allow your children to look this way, shall we?
- Do not blame the clothing company for this. I am a 3X woman in love with rainbow leggings and light-up sneakers so don’t talk to me about clothing companies not selling what you want in your size. Every last thing I want to wear is in the 6-7 year old section but we don’t always get what we want, do we? Put out some effort and shop until your kids are cute AND covered.
- If you think you can blame it on the clothes ‘not fitting’, keep track of the kids growing! Haven’t we all seen a kid in jeans about 3 inches too short because mama didn’t realize they hit a growth spurt last month? Of course, but ankles are different than belly buttons, lets be real. If the clothes don’t fit, don’t allow them to wear them.
- Do not blame your tight budget for this. You cannot tell me the clothes that are appropriate are more expensive. In fact, you’re probably paying more for the holes in the thighs of jeans and the rhinestone-bedazzled low-cut tops. You wanna wear that top? Be my guest you child-o-mine, but guarantee I better see an undershirt peeking out the top. I had a friend in high school who was a cute, tall, thin girl and always wore little v-neck t-shirts under her tank tops. I always thought it was cute so I started doing it to. I found out later that she wasn’t allowed to wear sleeveless tops in public but did anyone know that by looking at her? No! She just had a cute way of layering. IT CAN BE DONE Y’ALL.
- Boys are not exempt! You have GOT to be kidding me about seeing underwear in public. Or home. Or anywhere! I am baffled by this because I would think that the possibility of my child’s pants falling down would not be something I want to continually worry about. Luckily, people are starting to stand up against this one and I’m so glad! Read about a Dallas McDonalds owner who will not take it anymore. Also, I love a nice skinny jean and oversized sweater but why on earth would you buy jeggings for your son?! If I can see the outline of anything, we need to look into bigger pants (and that is not just because I was raised in the JNCO jeans era).
- Schools need to stand up if parents won’t. It is not enough that schools are cracking down on tank tops, they need to go farther. At a local middle school (where two of the teenagers attend) the rule is that a girl’s tank top strap has to be three finger widths wide. Okay, so three tiny fingers is about two inches but there is no rule about how low in the back it can go or how low in the front it goes as long as you can’t see her bra, not that one of those is required either. What about shorts? In my high school days the rule was six inches from the ground no matter how tall you were. Did that suck for some girls? Sure. Do I feel bad for them? No. Nowadays, they only have to come to your fingertips. Parents, STOP BUYING YOUR DAUGHTER SHORTY SHORTS! P.S. It may surprise you that I am against school uniforms but I am. More on that in the future.
So there you have it, all the rant I can come up with for the moment. I’m sure by now I sound like a loon that wants everyone to wear floor-length skirts and collared shirts. I assure you I am not, I just think the world could use a little modesty and I think starting with teaching our kids to respect themselves is a great place to start. Lets teach young people that their beauty comes from within and that showing themselves isn’t the right way to get attention.
I stumbled upon something a couple years ago that really makes me happy. There is a Christian-based organization called Secret Keeper Girl that tours the country doing retreats for parents and daughters. It really is an adorable company. Secret Keepers has a program called Modesty Project that specifically talks about modesty in both dress and life. It is a biblically-based project and really provides insight into why you should be asking your child to live a modest life. You better believe as soon as I have a daughter, we are signing up (they will be in Tulsa around Valentines Day this year so I don’t think we’ll make that one).
Today is another Statewide Staffing. People with the power to change our lives forever are *hopefully* at work doing just that. With the silent treatment we’ve been given for months now we aren’t expecting some magical phone call, just wanting to ask for some extra prayers and good vibes. Like I said before, we’ve given up on being constantly excited (and then let down) and are to the live-our-lives-like-normal-and-get-excited-when-it-happens phase. We are having a GREAT time being married and continuing to focus on us, knowing everything happens when it is supposed to happen.