Finally, an answer

How many social workers does it take to approve a sleepover?

If it wasn’t so annoying it would sound like a joke wouldn’t it?

Here’s the funny part. Foster Dad can approve without permission from the department for “Kelly” to have friends over for a sleepover, or for her to go to a sleepover. As her respite carer I have had a battle and a half to get permission for her to have a friend over.

How much of a battle? you ask.

Well…..it’s taken 17 months, 3 social workers, 3 support workers and 1 supervisor to get approval for this.

In the end, the supervisor said we just had to have permission from foster dad and then we have to let them know when it’s taking place.

Seriously. How hard was that?

Once the supervisor chimed in, we had an answer within 48 hours!

Can’t wait to tell “Kelly” next time she is here for respite and to start planning her sleepover.

I see a trip to the movies, shopping, nail painting and if it’s before Christmas maybe card making or present making.

So excited and frustrated at the same time.

Frustrated that it’s taken sooooooooooooo long to get to this point.

Excited because we’re FINALLY at this point!

 

 

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Heartbreakingly awesome

What do your foster babies call you?

Mum and Dad?

By your first names?

We have always had our respite kids and emergency babies call us by our first names as we know that they are only going to be here for a short time, but, baby “Jade” is different. We know she will be here for longer than we’ve had a placement before, and because I’ve never had any of my own babies, and she wont remember anyway, we are mum and dad to this little lady.

That said, I do make sure that in front of tummy mummy I call myself Cee Jay, and call her Mummy.

So you could have knocked me down with a feather when I collected “Jade” from access. She was a little bit unsettled when I arrived so tummy mummy said “Why don’t you go to your other mummy and see if she can settle you”.

I was speechless.

In our training we’re told that we very rarely will meet with the birth parents of children in our care, and here is one, right in front of me acknowledging me as her daughters other mother.

My reply was to tell baby “Jade” how lucky she is to have 2 ladies that love her to bits, while trying to hold back the tears.

What else could I say?

So awesome to have tummy mummy refer to me as the other mother, but at the same time it broke my heart that this lady, who clearly loves her little girl, has had to accept that another woman is also mum to her precious little baby.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for her, but she has also said that it eases her mind to see how much I love her baby. It eases my mind to know that mum seems happy for me to be loving her daughter while she isn’t able to.

So many emotions in this journey, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Sleepovers

They’re a part of growing up aren’t they?

Going to sleepovers. Having your friends sleep over at your house.

Giggling until late at night.

18 months ago I asked “Kelly’s” social worker if she could have her best friend sleep over at our house on a respite weekend. Her Dad wouldn’t let her have a sleepover, saying the department wouldn’t permit it, so the poor little girl still hasn’t had a sleepover.

“Kelly” has now slept over at her friends house a couple of times, which is nice, but still hasn’t had a sleepover at her house.

Since the first time I asked, “Kelly” has had  2 more social workers.

I asked “Kelly’s” last social worker who at first said no, but said it was because the child isn’t a child in care the department wouldn’t ‘pay’ us for her to stay here. So, I finally had a reason. A reason I could argue against. I explained that we weren’t expecting to be reimbursed for having the extra child, we just wanted to be able to provide “Kelly” with an opportunity most little girls have. The answer…talk to your agency and if they approve of you doing this, let me know and we’ll see what we can do.

So, I emailed “Angel”, who emailed the social worker saying that we had their support for hosting a sleepover and that we understood we wouldn’t be reimbursed for the second child.

The reply….I’ll check with my supervisor.

Next….”Kelly’s” case is reallocated to a new social worker and we’re back at square one!

ARGHHHHH!!!

Now, I have a new support worker, known for now as PSW (until I come up with a code name for her…sorry new PSW) and she has jumped right into the deep end and is chasing this up. What a girl!!

The answer she has been given is NO as well!

What the…??

This time the reason is the most ridiculous yet. It’s because the department do not have a relationship with the girl or her family. But, they would talk AGAIN to “Kelly’s” dad about facilitating a sleepover at his house.

New PSW…love this reply…lets them know that they have already, more than once, approved “Kelly” to sleep at that child’s house and has let them know I have picked “Kelly” up from their house following a sleepover.

It’s really quite bizarre.

How hard can it be?

What’s your strangest experience as carers”

 

Sleeping in

There’s nothing better than a good sleep in is there?

I didn’t realise how much I needed one until I got one today.

The beautiful little “Jade” slept from her bedtime bottle until 2.30 am, had her middle of the night snack, then slept again until 6 am, had breakfast, then went straight back to sleep and slept until 9 am.

Normally I would have stayed up after the 6 am feed, but MM told me to go back to bed as well, and I slept in till 8.30 am and that meant I got a cuppa before “Jade” woke up.

So nice to not have access today.

Monday, Tuesday and Friday access is quite early in the morning so we have to get up and get organised. Wednesday access is later in the day, but as I work Wednesday’s so I have to still be up and ready to go with everything ready for “Jade” so when mum gets here to babysit, it’s all ready.

Now, if I can get myself a sleep in on Sunday morning as well, I’ll feel a like a million dollars!

When was your last sleep in?

 

Autumn Leaves

Who doesn’t love the changing leaves in Autumn?

But what is better?

The timeless Jazz standard sung by Nat King Cole  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=684eg6S8dCw

It’s not just me that loves this song, but little Miss “Jade” loves it too. So much that she falls asleep listening to it, even when I sing it to her.

What songs do your children fall asleep to?

 

The Baby Diaries. Part 5

Foiled again!

I’m getting good at this.

The milk lady was so organised, we were both dressed and ready to go to the doctors for my 2 month shots and I did it again.

We were just getting in the car and I did my poop face.

Ba ha ha ha ha.

Yep, back inside for a nappy change.

The milk lady is getting faster and allowing more time to get in the car.

We made it to the doctors literally with a minute to spare.

The milk lady even managed to make the appointment for before my second breakfast feed (yes, she calls me her little hobbit) so when we were done we came straight home and I had a feed and a nap.

The milk lady is getting the hang of organising things around me. I can see I’m going to have to try harder to get the better of her.

 

Feeling like the enemy

Ever felt like someone had it in for you and you had no idea why?

Well that’s how it felt when we took baby “Jade” to visit her family.

If looks could kill, we might not be dead, but we’d have some injuries.

We arrived, they came outside and they never spoke, no greeting, no introductions, nothing.

Me….”Hi, I’m Cee Jay, are you “Sandra?”

“Yes”…woman of many words right there.

But, it did at least prompt Grandma to introduce herself.

I’m used to packing a bag for “Jade” to take to access, and it needs anything she might need in there. So, I handed the bag to Aunty and explained in the bag was nappies, 2 bottles, spare clothes and a spare blanket.

“I’ve got blankets” in a tone of voice to make me feel like I’ve insulted her.

When I suggested giving them our contact number in case they might need it, it was met with “I’ve raised 5 kids, haven’t killed any of them so I think we’ll be fine”.

Thank goodness for MM. I think had he not been there I would have been in tears at that point.

Grandma asked about how much baby drinks and when she was due for her next feed, and I explained what is usual for her, but that as she has had a long drive that normally upsets her feed routine.

3 hours later we went back to pick up “Jade” and again, hardly a word was spoken to us.

I would have loved a “thank you”. We went out of our way for these people. I know they see us as the enemy. They didn’t want “Jade” to go into foster care so they have a gripe with the department, I get that, but they need to be told by someone that we aren’t the enemy.

How can we make the best out of this situation?

How can we help these people know that we are here to help “Jade” by loving her and looking after her for the time being and that we aren’t the enemy to be despised?

The Baby Diaries. Part 4

Just call me Dash.

Why?

Because whenever the milk lady makes plans, I make plans to dash all her plans.

Today the milk lady had to teach, which I like as the music always sends me to sleep. Then we had to go and visit some new people, my Dad’s family, an Aunty, grandma and great grandma, my brother and some cousins.

So, the milk lady made her plans for getting us both ready on time.

Ba ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

I let her have her shower in peace, but, once she got out, I decided to try out some of that opera music we listen to together.

By 9 am, with only 30 minutes until the milk lady was due to start teaching, I was still howling, didn’t want a bottle, didn’t want burping, so, she decided despite the crying to pop me in the bath anyway, and, just to surprise the milk lady, I went quiet. It was warm and floaty and bubbly and just lovely. Until I had to get out, and then I started with the crying again. It’s cold when you get out the bath right? But, the milk lady got me dry and dressed super fast and by the time her first student walked in I was sound asleep in my bassinette.

I was beautiful all through her lessons, like I said, I love the music, but then it was time to get ready to go out.

The milk lady decided I should have a clean nappy to go out. A quick thing to do. She was pretty happy, we were running early, so…….

I puked on myself, and because she had my nappy off to change me when I puked, I did a tinkle and made more mess to clean up  before going out.

So the milk lady’s plans were totally dashed today. Just have to mix things up every now and then. Keep her on her toes.

What’s the best trick your kids have played on you before going out?