Today, I did it! I emailed my former Family Specialist at my old agency... The one who told me, "if at any time you want to come back to fostering, know that we are always here." Today, I learned that what she really meant was, "we are always here, but you might not be!" I never really liked her much (other than on the day that I lost the Booger), and today just solidified that. I emailed her asking what I need to do in order to reinstate my license. She didn't even bother to respond herself. She just forwarded my message to the Assistant Director who replied with a very formal, "Whenever a family decides to come back to the agency, we discuss the request as a team. Therefore, I will bring this request to our next staff meeting. I will follow up with you in the next two weeks regarding our decision."
First of all, I didn't ask to come back to your agency. I would rather be strung up by my toenails than have to deal with you people on a daily basis again! All I want to know is what I need to do in order to reinstate my foster care license! Secondly, I think your totally noncommittal, very formal, hovering on snotty response to my request was rather unwarranted considering I bent over backwards for you people every day for a year and a half! I realize you thought I was a troublemaker because I actually voiced my concerns about things that were happening with the kids and where I knew the situation was heading. And seeing as how I was proven right on every point, I would think that you would suck it up and just say, "Thank you, Tammy. I wish we had listened to you. You knew what you were talking about. I wish all of our parents paid as much attention to the children as you do. We'd love to have you back!" That would never happen though. Instead, I am a troublemaker.
This little bit of contact reminded me once again why I was so determined to find a new agency. It made me remember things like the Shampoo Nazi coming into my home and reprimanding me for having a bottle of shampoo sitting on the inside corner of my bathtub rather than being locked away in an undisclosed location. And I didn't have a placement at the time!!! No kids in the house, and they are still chastising me! It reminded me of the time that they decided to audit Angel's case files and insisted that I take off work to drive Angel to an interview that lasted all of five minutes. Not once did anyone speak to me, but they insisted that I be the one to drive her to the agency. It reminded me of a lot of things that irritated me about them, so I decided to go ahead and contact the Department of Family Protective Services and another private agency now, rather than await my fate with my old agency. I didn't tell them that, of course. Let them waste their time in their staff meeting. They made me mad, and I'm evil that way. :-)
After receiving a response from DFPS, I was reminded yet again why it takes over a year to get these poor kids in any kind of permanent living situation. If they would pay attention to the question being asked, and make some attempt to answer it correctly the first time around, the system wouldn't seem nearly as incompetent as it does! I explained the situation and asked "Will my current homestudy and training hours count, or will I need to start from scratch with the PRIDE classes?" I thought that I would go straight to the source. I received in response a lovely electronic brochure on "Thank you for your interest on becoming a foster or adoptive parent." SERIOUSLY?!? I AM a foster/adopt parent! Kindly remove your head from your nether regions and pay attention to what I am asking you!!! And here I thought it would be a good option to eliminate the third party agency and work directly with CPS... What was I thinking?!?
So now I am eagerly awaiting a response from the agency that some friends of mine use. They started their foster/adopt journey around the same time that I did, and overall, seem very happy with their agency. In the meantime, I am re-CPS-proofing the apartment by removing all aluminum foil (because goodness knows, one must always put a leftover pizza in an airtight Tupperware container). I am storing my Tums in a double-locked tackle box on the top shelf of a locked closet and praying that I don't get a terrible case of heartburn in the middle of the night. I am still trying to find a way to meet the CPS "minimum standards" of both "having a clean towel and soap readily available for children in the restroom" and yet "keeping soap out of the reach of children." Hooray for the brilliant writers of CPS minimum standards! Cover your own butts, but create contradicting rules so the foster parents get in trouble no matter what they do!
Why am I willingly putting myself through this torture again??? :-) Oh yeah... :-)
Because they are SO WORTH IT!!! :-)