Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In Just One Moment......

every question you had becomes clear. In that same Moment, suddenly you have a 1000 more questions that are unanswered.
Over the last year of K's life we have strived to find the answer of what is causing her paralysis. Yesterday in just one single, life defining moment, we had our answer. It is not what we wanted to hear, it's nothing that we thought we would hear. To say we are shocked and upset, is an understatement. Right now we are working through everything we heard yesterday and I'm just not ready to post the answer we got. To say I'm devastated is an understatement, because when you think it is one thing for so long and it turns out it's not, well you just feel crushed once again. I'm glad K is too young to understand this, to understand the emotions I am going through, that our family is going through. I'm glad she doesn't understand the sadness in my eyes when I look at her. Instead she oblivious and super excited about going Trick-or-Treating tonight, which is the way it should be.
I can tell you that the test she went through was traumatic because she had to be awake for it so they could see her reactions, she has more needle pricks than I could ever imagine on her little legs.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Carving Pumpkins

Yucky Powder

Ok, so not the greatest title but I just looked down at my hands and I've got caked on powder all over them from the gloves I have to wear at work. The sad thing, I even washed my hands before leaving, so not sure why it's still there.

Otherwise it's been a crazy last week. K had her MRI at Children's last Thursday. Amazingly it went really well so no one has to fly up here and help me set them straight. We have her EMG tomorrow and I am really hoping it goes just as well!!

Over the weekend we were super busy. On Saturday, we went to Trick or Treat at the Zoo and on Main Street in our town and then we headed to our friend, S's birthday party. We had such a blast. K loved getting to see all the Big Cats, I really think that was the highlight of the whole day.

Also on Friday night, our 2nd car broke down and we had a choice either get it fixed or get a new car. Hmm, of course getting the car fixed was the cheaper option even though it was a $2500.00 option. So luckily they let us pay some now, and then some later, so the car is fixed and I no longer have to be taxi girl in the morning running my Mom and N to work.

Well I need to head to bed, we have to be up and at the hospital at 6am.

Monday, October 22, 2007

1st Afternoon Shift & Other Ramblings

Tonight was my first afternoon shift. It was great! But what's not to love, there's hardly no one there, no boss and there's actually work to do opposed to the day time. It is a little crazy because we got about 300 orders at 945p and we get off at 11p. We got all except about 50 done.

Otherwise I was so excited when I got the mail today because inside was my Dining Deals gift certificate. Our local TV station has a special show that covers all the happening of the area and new food places. Well every Thursday they offer a Dining deal, you spend $25 and get a $50 gift certificate for whatever place they are showcasing. I have been trying for 3 1/2 years trying to get one because they limit it to 100 people and you have to log in right at 315pm. Needless to say if it's 316pm, your out of luck. So to my amazement I got one of the gift certificates, finally after all these years of trying. Which I'm even more excited because it's for America's Incredible Pizza Company which just opened up and I've been dying to go there. They have an all you can eat pizza, pasta, potato, salad and dessert bar. Along with games, mini-golf, go karts, bowling and all kinds of other stuff. So this is my Christmas present to myself and my little splurge because I wouldn't have been able to afford to go and take all 5 of us and now I can.

And a few weeks back, (Oct 12) I took K to my work for my Boss, M's Birthday. She has been giving me a hard time about taking off to tend to K. So I thought maybe if she met K that it sort of soften her heart about the situation. Plus I thought showing up on my day off, bringing my delicious homemade meatballs and a cute kid, would win me some brown nosing points. Of course since my Mom works there, she also had to bring something. So she was also trying to get some brown nosing points and made one of her hand-carved watermelons, she did such a great job on it. Well everyone else oohh'd and ahh'd over my Mom's watermelon but the Boss was sort of forlone about it once she found out who carved it. Yep, the Boss hates my Mom and of course my Brown nosing didn't pay off either. It did pay off somewhat because the General Manager and the Asst. GM totally fell in love with K and they have been nothing but nice and have bent over backwards to help us. That's why I finally got my afternoon shift, the GM made her give it to me. So I guess it wasn't a total loss!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

We had such a great time at the Pumpkin Patch this evening. There was basically no one there so we had the place all to ourselves. K had a blast walking around looking at the Pumpkins and she also had a blast going throught the corn maze.

K's New Improved Brace

On Thursday, Oct 11, we headed over to Shriner's to pick up K's new brace. Shriner's said this is the first time in almost 20 years that they made a brace like this. They said most Doctor's don't like using metal anymore but because K's condition is a little different then most (when we saw the neurologist she says only about 100 people in the USA have it) that sometimes it calls for a little creativity. This brace buckles twice, ties and velcro, it's difficult to put on and nothing like her plastic brace she had before. Of course the minute we walked into the fitting room, K started crying. We got her shoes off and they put her new brace on her. I really wanted to see how K would walk in it but instead when I put her on the floor she crumpled into a sobbing mess. I tried everything to get her to walk, I carried her to the cafeteria so I could buy her ice cream, no go. I took her down the hall to see the dog but she could have cared less. I even took her to the 2nd floor to see if the change of scenery would help but there was no way, no how she was going to walk. Thank goodness they weren't going to make us stay until she would walk in it. They took it off and checked for hot spots and then they let me put it back on. Of course K was fussing so the Shop Guy started showing her pictures of his kids, she sat there with great interest and he got a real kick out of that. We were over an hour late picking Grandma up from work but there was nothing I could do about it. We got stuck in rush hour traffic and then construction traffic so it took us forever to get home.

The CRAZY Weather

Well I wouldn't normal just post about the weather but I took some really cool pictures last night I wanted to show off of the storm front moving in behind my house. Yesterday it was 85, sunny and just plain ole' hot. Today it's windy, super cold and barely in the 50's. I'm sorry but if you don't believe in Global warming, then you better see a doctor because your crazy. There is something certainly amiss.

So here are my pictures of the thunderstorm moving in last night, today we've had the torando siren's go off twice already.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Horriable, Worst and Better

I want to Thank everyone for the sweet comments. I was still pissed off when I went to work on Monday. But after being around my co-workers for awhile I was feeling better, I really truly believe that being around chocolate makes you crazy, I mean think about it, I breathe chocolate all day long, so it's gotta do something to ya. But my day just had to be ruined when my boss put me in charge of melting the chocolate. Ok, this isn't a big deal but they don't do it right. Anyone who has worked with Wilton wafers for years (which I have) or even someone that has a half a brain knows that you are suppose to melt them by defrosting them, that way they don't burn. Well not at my work, they cook them. I brought this up once to the boss and she went ballistic, total b*tch. So of course I had to follow their directions. Well of course what happens, I burn the chocolate, not once, not twice but three times. And I get this freakin' lecture from the boss. It's not my fault because I was following your directions and did it exactly as M & D told me to do it. So I came home in a grumble mood. I tried K's Halloween costume on her again and she tolerated it a little longer than last time, so that was good.

So on Tuesday, my boss pulls me outside, which in most cases isn't a good thing but actually it was good. She is finally allowing me to move to the afternoon shift which is what I asked for when I was being interviewed for the position. I'm super excited, I'll still get to spend my days with K and then take her to work with me, where then Grandma will get off work and then take her home to watch her in the evenings. Still wish I could get that midnight shift but this is at least better. I'll only be missing about 5 hours with her before heading to bed, opposed to 9 1/2 hours that she is up during the day (minus her nap).

Then there was yesterday, well that morning my boss decided to make a huge announcement that today was my last morning that affective next week that I'm on afternoons. Well needless to say my co-workers, who I'm really close to were all upset. They each hugged me and just kept telling me how much they will miss me. It tore me apart but they understood that I needed to work everyday opposed to the 3 days I was getting. Then that afternoon, one of the girls, L was complaining to the boss because people aren't cleaning the equipment properly. I just happened to be standing there when the boss looks at me and goes, guess what H, you get to give a cleaning seminar this afternoon. You should have seen the look of panic and anger on my face. Finally it was time to give my speech, which I again didn't want to give. I thought I was only giving it to the new people, instead she made me address the whole room, including the senior people. I felt like a total idiot and of course all the senior people were pissed at me. I told them all that this wasn't my idea and I was volunteered to do it. What sucks is that the Boss hates my Mom and so she takes it out on me. Our boss has never managed people ever, she was a clerk at her previous job and her lack of experience really shows, she lets so much crap going on that should go on.

So that brings us to today, things are much better...could it be that I'm away from work? I'm trying to do some major house cleaning but have no motivation at all. Did get some laundry done and some winter clothes dug out and hung up. I have almost found my bed which has been covered in miscellaneous crap for at least the last three months. I also found my box of Christmas presents for this year, I buy stuff when I find it on sale or clearance and then try and keep it all together so that way it isn't a great big hit to the budget come Christmas because of course my family is huge and of course they all expect a present even if it is something small. Well we are planning on going to the pumpkin patch tomorrow as long as the weather stays good, so we are excited about that. I'm trying to catch up on my posts because I still have to talk about my last Foster Class, my Bosses birthday party and K's new brace.

Here is K in her Halloween Costume, she is going to be a Circus Lion, I already have taught her how to jump through a hoop. Too bad I'll have to work on Halloween so Grandma & Uncle N are taking her Trick or Treating. At least I'll be able to take her to Boo at the Zoo.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why is it....

that some people think they just know better? That they think that there way is the only right way. That is what happened tonight. I innocently called my Aunt earlier in the evening to find out if she was going to be at work this week so I could send her Grandson a package (this is the same kid who is just a big bully to K). My Aunt, who is also my Godmother and until the last few years someone who I was really close to, called me back around 10pm tonight. Our casual conversation turned UGLY when I couldn't make it to Fort Massac this weekend. I then turned into the evil person who wouldn't bring K down to play with her Grandson, J. Well, I have other plans and honestly I would only go down there if my Uncle was going to be there and at this time he isn't going to be. I told my Aunt that I had to work, which could be the truth since it seems like I may get an afternoon shift plus I had already committed myself to a church function. Well, then she points out "my Daughter, M is coming down after she gets done working" Ok, well let me point out something, M doesn't work a normal job. She occasionally makes bridal bouquets and that is what she is doing that weekend, well actually she just has to drop them off to the brides. So how does this compare to my situation....I have no idea, If I work I have to put in a full 8 hour + day on my feet. She then asked me if I would ask off and I said innocently that no I can't ask off because I have taken off to many days already this month with K's appointments and have to take off the 25th & 30th too. Then this is when I am told by my wonderful Aunt that there is nothing wrong with K, that I'm the stupid one that has been taking her to greedy, money hungry doctors and all K every really needed was a good chiropractor. Um, excuse me, she has no feeling in her foot. She then goes on to say, I'm just doing a bad job parenting her and not stimulating her enough. She told me that I could easily give her a back adjustment by hanging her upside down by her feet and then she would be cured. WHAT THE HELL!!! Needless to say the conversation went even further down hill from there, that basically I'm a bad parent for putting her through these tests and if it was her kid she wouldn't let them touch her. I tried to justify myself, which I don't even know why I tried because she didn't care because her way is the only right way. I got off the phone so angry and so upset. Heck I'm sitting her crying writing this. I mean who gives her the right to question my parenting skills? Who gives her the right to diagnose my daughter, I mean it's not like she is some MD or something, all she is someone who believes that a chiropractor can fix everything, from sinus infections to cancer. What frustrates me the most is she acts like I'm making all this up and that I'm putting my daughter through hell just to get attention. If I really wanted to get attention, then I would call her up and actually tell her about these tests, or her new brace or even when she gets a cold. My Cousin, M (her daughter) does that all the time, "Oh poor J has a cold/cough/etc". Instead I don't tell them because it leads to conversations like this one, where I get off the phone feeling like a failure and will spend the rest of the night and tomorrow beating myself up over all this, because someone who I dearly loved all my life and thought I truly understood them, treats me like shit.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

K's Tests are Scheduled!!

After 6+ weeks of arguing between me, Shriner's & Children's Hospital, K's tests are finally scheduled. She will have her Spinal MRI on October 25th and her Nerve Conduction Study on October 30th. I still have no idea what time they are scheduled for but at least we have dates! I would assume they are early in the morning since she has to be sedated for them. I'm just so relieved after all the stress I have been through the last few weeks with them and their incompetence. I just hope we are treated more like people than we were last time. I hate to see my daughter suffer and as many of you know, they acted like incompetent fools with her. I'm just so happy tomorrow is my last work day, not that I'm looking forward to Thursday since I've got a doctor's appt and K has an appt with the Shop in Shriner's for her new and hopefully improved brace. Then Friday, I got permission to take K to my work because we are celebrating my bosses birthday with a luncheon. Our plans for Saturday is to go to a super huge baby yard sale, where over 200 families set up and sale there stuff. It's a great place to find stuff that is still brand new and never used and cheap. I wanted to share these pictures with you, the sky was just so gorgeous the other day that I really wanted to try and catch it's beauty on film.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Pity Post - Blood Test for K are Back

I tried to think of a good title for this post but there just wasn't any. I got a call from K's doctor today and her blood tests are already back. And needless to say they aren't good, I mean it's not something horrific but still not news I wanted to hear. And then on the same side I think the doctor has been a total pain in the a$$ since K's 1 year check up and maybe she is blowing everything out of proportion. What I do know is we have to see a Specialist and I'm pretty excited because we don't have to go to Children's Hosp. We actually get to go to the other Children's Hosp in town which is CG. I have heard alot better things about the treatment at CG, so that puts my mind at ease.

So here is where the pity comes in, which I have to say I even hesitate to post this but I need to vent and work out my feelings because otherwise I'm just being ate up inside and I'm in an awful mood....Why do I feel like I'm losing every ounce of control on my life? Why doesn't it seem like we can every catch a break? I guess there are so many questions right now that I want answers too, I feel betrayed by the 2 Evil Adoption Agencies that gave me K's referral. I know that she is perfect for our family and she is my daughter and I wouldn't want to change that one bit. But why did she have to come home with so many medical problems? I mean most families that have adopted from VN come home with these healthy, happy children and never have problems. But every time we turn around it seems like it is something new. Why did the Universe think I as a single Mom could handle this? Because right now I can't. K's medical bills just keep mounting, right now I've got close to $112,000.00 worth of medical bills? Why? Because K's condition they considered pre-existing so they denied every medical treatment, visit or prescription she has ever gotten and it has fallen on me to pay these bills. On top of it the insurance I had dropped coverage for K and I. I'm lucky I could finally get her covered by the State's All Kids program but still, they don't cover even half the stuff she needs. Her allergy medicine alone costs me $389.00 a month. And I still have a huge copay on every medical appointment she has. Would you like to know how much it cost me yesterday to get K's blood tests done? $540.00 out of pocket. I don't have that kind of money anymore in savings, heck I don't have the same job I had when I started my adoption....they closed down my freakin office, so I'm not making $60,000+ a year. It took me forever to find this job where I make decent money to at least pay the mortgage payment and keep food on the table. I'm lucky that my Mom pays cable/phone/internet and sometimes power. I know why the Universe gave K to me, we were suppose to be a family and I guess, well they knew I was strong enough that I could handle this because I know most parents couldn't have. And like I always say we will survive this. Somehow we always get by no matter how hard it gets. Well this is good I feel better now. Just had to write out my frustrations. Oh wait one more Vent. After weeks and weeks of going around and around with Shriner's and Children's, they called me today and leave a message they scheduled her procedure on a freakin' Tuesday and not until the end of October!! I specifically told them that it needed to be either Thursday or Friday and by mid-October because otherwise we are in our busy season and I may no longer get Thurs & Fri. I called them back and left a very detailed upset message because # 1 which procedure is this for? she has 2 tests she needs to be done # 2 what happened to the whole Thurs or Fri or mid-October, it's not my fault you guys suck and dicked around for over 6 weeks for the one test and 3 weeks to get the other tests scheduled. Needless to say they never did call me back, I know it's because they didn't want to talk to me, the hysterical Mom but I can't be Sorry I'm upset, they have added so much un-needed stress into my life by pulling the crap they did scheduling the tests. I have made myself so physically ill over this, that after I left the message I spent a good hour getting sick. I hope all of you had better days than me!

To my friend C, in NH a very Happy Birthday wish! We thought about you and sorry your present is going to be a little late.
A in MI if your reading this my email's keep bouncing back, so please call me sometime, I'm pretty much always home, all day on Thurs & Fri. Would love to hear the updates of the paperchase for # 2 and updates on S.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Blood Tests and the 8th Training Class

Well this morning, K and I took Grandma to work so that way we could have the car and finally go and get the blood tests done we need to get done. We arrived shortly after 645am, the lab use to open at 6am but changed there hours. Well needless to say they didn't open at the time the door said either which was 7am. They did finally show up at 730am, we were one of the first people in but we didn't have an appointment so we got pushed to the bottom of the list, we waited almost an hour before we got called back. They did my blood draw first and we had no problems. Then came K's. Well of course I have said how my daughter has super human strength for being such a little bit of nothing but the lady taken the blood had to call the other women in. So I'm holding K still while they just hold her arm. Needless to say, we walked out of there at 1230pm, with 6 needles sticks, bruises on her arms that look like fingers because they were holding her arm so tight and no blood drawn, they told us to come back in the afternoon after she ate and drank. So I took K home and feed her lots of food and had her drink a ton. We then went and picked up Grandma from work and headed to the lab. Of course we had to wait another 45 minutes before they called us back but after 2 failed sticks, they called the head honcho in the processing lab and he said that they could do a finger stick but had to fill 10 mini-viles worth of blood. Needless to say at least that worked and after 38 minutes and 2 finger sticks, we were finally headed home. K was so pitiful with her finger and arm wrapped up and all the bruises.

Then tonight was our 2nd to last Training class, I have to say I'm pretty excited next week is our final one. Because then I won't have to listen to the snickering, whispers, racists comments and all those other fun things my class does. Today when we got there, I will call this girl the "ring leader" was sitting in our seats. It's not that we have assigned seats but everyone has been sitting in the same seats for the last 7 weeks. Well basically the whole table was full except for the end which my Mom wouldn't be able to twist around to see the trainers. So yes, we did the unthinkable and took the married couples seats across the room (GASP!). So they came in and was giving us nasty looks and stuff. Well luckily the Trainers brought up the fact to them, that someone took our seats, so we had to change what we were comfortable with. Which lead into what the topic was tonight "CHANGE". Of course that tabled acted like fools because the married couple sat with them and unfortunately, these people are probably good people but they come off as rich snobs who think they are above all of us in class. So of course the "ring leader" was saying one mean comment after another and it continued the whole night, along with her usual interruptions of the Trainers too. The looks the Wife made were unbelievable, at times I couldn't help but chuckle because now they know what we have been going through for the last 7 weeks with the Table and the "Ring Leader".
The topic tonight of change was interesting because it was more on bringing the foster child into your home and them leaving the home. Which we have always talked about how that will be the hardest part is them leaving. I have to say the covered children imagining things, a imaginary friend, or that my Millionaire Daddy is coming to get me tomorrow, we always had plenty of food to eat, etc. I guess I had thought about it but never really deeply thought about them having imaginations like that. They also talked about allegations against Foster Parents and how the investigation is accomplished. That actually scared alot of people in our class and alot of them stood there talking about maybe Foster Parenting isn't right for them because of the possible investigation. Which makes you wonder is a just a nerve thing or are they scared they could loose control someday and hit the child or worse? They also talked about changing our daily lives to accommodate another child, with me already having K, not that much would change except maybe getting up earlier or stay up later to get the things done I need to get done. Which is the exact same thing I do now.

Interesting Article

This is a intersting article that came out on October 3rd about the board payments Foster Parents receive for caring for a child. Basically I will tell you that my state is in the 76%-100% catergory. I can tell you for a a child age 2yrs old in our state only receives a board allowence of $320 a month and a Teenager only receives $440. Of that money the 2 yr old receives $20 of it is for clothes and $11 is for toys. For the Teenager it is $25 for clothes and $40 for misc. I do believe that there should be an increase in the money that is given to care for the children (and not because I'm some money hungry person) but it would help not using my personal money so that could be saved for family vacations for everyone including the foster child or something special like a new swing set or anything else that would be considered a treat.

October 3, 2007, the Children’s Rights Organization, the National Foster Parent Association and the University of Maryland School of Social Work released a historic, first-ever nationwide, state-by-state calculation of the real cost of supporting children in foster care. The report reveals widespread deficiencies in reimbursement rates across the nation—and major disparities among the states—and proposes a new standard rate for each state to use in fulfilling the federal requirement to provide foster parents with payments to cover the basic needs of children in foster care, including food, shelter, clothing and school supplies.
One of the requirements foster parents must meet prior to being licensed is that they have income necessary to meet their financial obligations without any reimbursement from doing foster care. Reimbursement from foster care is meant to cover only additional financial outlay due to caring for a child; the states are not meeting these costs today.
Providing foster care for a child is not meant as a way for foster parents to become rich nor should it cause financial difficulties due to low reimbursement. There is a minority of foster parents that do attempt to provide care for the money but they usually do not last long as foster parents. The majority of foster parents are meeting the needs of children in their care out of their own pockets due to the low reimbursements made by the states. Most states reimburse foster parents significantly less than the actual cost of raising a foster child, complicating the task of finding good homes for children who need them, according to this first-of-its-kind survey.
The survey analyzed regional living expenses and calculated on a state-by-state basis the minimum cost of adequately raising a foster child. Only Arizona and the District of Columbia pay foster parents more than this minimum amount, according the survey.
To adequately cover the cost of rearing a foster child, base payments would need to be increased as follows:
10 states would need to be raised at least 25%:
Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Connecticut and Maryland
10 states would need to be raised from 26-50%:
Montana, New Mexico, Minnesota, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, Georgia, New Jersey and Hawaii
15 states would need to be raised from 51-75%:
California, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Iowa, Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Vermont, Delaware and Massachusetts
9 states would need to be raised from 76-100%:
Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Rhode Island and New Hampshire
5 states would need to more than double their current base rates: Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin
Of the more than 513,000 U.S. children in foster care at any given time, about 75 percent live with foster parents, while most of the others are placed in group homes and institutions.
The report expressed concern that inadequate reimbursement rates would worsen a shortfall of foster parents, “potentially increasing the likelihood that children will be placed in institutions or shuttled from one foster placement to another.”
“The bottom line is that when these rates don’t reflect the real expenses that foster parents face, it’s the children who suffer,” said Karen Jorgenson, executive director of the Foster Parent Association.
Although child welfare agencies are required by federal law to reimburse foster parents for the cost of raising foster children, there is no national minimum, leaving states and localities free to set their own rates. The result is a huge disparity. The base rates paid for raising a 2-year-old foster child range from $236 a month in Nebraska to $869 in the District of Columbia.
The “minimum adequate rates” in the report represented the cost of providing basic needs — housing, food, clothing, and school supplies — as well as a child’s participation in normal after-school sports and activities.