Friday, August 27, 2010

The Beatings Have Been Cancelled

I heard from my new agency yesterday, and my old agency finally sent all of the requested documents.  Apparently, my threat to go up there in person paid off!  Mm-hmm, that's right!!!  I knew they wouldn't want to mess with me!!!  :-)

Everything is looking great at the new place so far.  They have all of my paperwork, inspections, training hours, test results, doctor's notes, copies of every document I have ever been given, etc.  I think I might have scanned and emailed some junk mail just to be on the safe side!  I have a two-day orientation/agency training this weekend, and then I should be ready for the new agency's homestudy.  The house is pretty much ready.  I just need them to come out.  Fortunately, they have a copy of my homestudy from the old agency, so it won't take long at all for me to be open and ready to go.

So...  All is looking well in Foster/Adopt Land, and the previously scheduled beatings at my old agency have been cancelled...  for now...  With any luck, I will never have to deal with those people again!  :-)  I'm so excited to see how things turn out with this new agency, and I am thrilled silly to be "foster pregnant" again!  I have a feeling this is going to be a really big year!  :-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Wrath of Mimi

I checked in with my new foster/adopt agency this morning and found out that my old agency is taking their sweet time in sending over my paperwork.  I'm not surprised.  They were never in a big hurry to do much of anything (other than to boss me around, irritate me, and make my life pretty much all around miserable).  I guess they're succeeding in that if that was their goal. 

I really thought they would be more than happy to get rid of me!  Goodness knows, they didn't care for me much after I started getting an opinion and actually expressing it when it came to my kids and the things they were telling me to do.  ("No. I will not leave work early to go home and get a single sheet of paper that you should have requested a week ago when you originally found out that you needed it and drive it to your office!  We get home at 6:00.  You can drive your booty over here when it's convenient for me and get it yourself!"  "No. I will not sign something that requires me to be in a minimum of two different places at one time.  You people have lost your freaking minds, and until you locate them, you need to back the heck off!"  etc. etc.)  I honestly thought that they'd receive my transfer request, do a Happy Dance, and courier my file over within an hour with a big "Thank You" note to the new agency attached.

I am going to play nice and give them until this weekend to send the requested documents.  I have orientation and training all weekend at the new agency, and I want to get my homestudy done next week.  If they would just send my paperwork and old homestudy, it would cut weeks off of my wait time before I can start accepting placements.  I really don't want to have to make a personal appearance at the old place, but you'd better believe that I will if I have to!!!  The Wrath of Mimi shall be smite upon them should they not provide the requested documentation by the end of this week.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cell Phone Etiquette 101

As I was walking into work the other day, I came upon a very disturbing sight.  A nicely dressed man, shouting loudly and gesturing wildly with his hands.  "OMG!  Is someone injured?!?  Is everything okay?!?  Do I need to run screaming from the building and serve as a warning to all who might enter?" I thought... 

It was about that time that I realized said man appeared to be ignoring me entirely.  "Oh...  He's just a former patient of the crazy hospital that used to be on the premises.  I'll just steer clear, and I should be fine."  Then I noticed, nope.  The guy was on his super-fancy Bluetooth.  That's when I got a little irritated.  Excuse me, Mr. Bluetooth Hand-Talker Man, but do you not realize that you look like a complete MORON and that you are irritating the heck out of everyone around you?  I decided then and there that I would dedicate a blog post to Cell Phone Etiquette in the hope that I can spare the masses from people with irritating cellular habits.

"Cell Phone Etiquette 101"
  • Please refrain from using wild gestures while talking on your hands-free device. - Yes, I realize you are using a "hands-free" device, but somehow I have a feeling that its makers did not intend the purpose of the design to be to free the user's hands for fist pumps, throwing "gangsta" signs, flapping one's arms like a birdie about to take flight, flipping the bird, moving in ways that look as though one is directing traffic, or any other such wildly dramatic upper body gestures.  YOU ARE ON THE PHONE!  The intended recipient of your ridiculous gesturing CAN NOT SEE YOU!!!
  • If you MUST use a hands-free device, please refrain from showing off. - It never fails.  Users of cellular hands-free devices always feel the need to rub it in traditional cell phone users' faces by this pose...  Which, I might add, totally defeats the purpose of having a hands-free phone.  Once again, you look ridiculous!

  • Pump up the volume...  NOT!!! - Stop talking so loud!!!  That whole, "Can you hear me now?" bit gets really annoying to everyone within a 100 yard radius as you are shouting into your phone.  If the person on the receiving end of the phone call can not hear you speaking in a calm, rational, non-intrusive to everyone else around you voice, perhaps the situation warrants the use of a (heaven forbid!) land line!!! 

  • Use your words, people...  USE YOUR WORDS! - Texting is not an excuse for poor grammar, improper spelling, or lack of punctuation. I realize that it might take me a little longer to send a text message than the average user.  However, I can at least hold my head up high and proud knowing that I have successfully demonstrated my ability to use the written English language as it was intended.  I also maintain full confidence that the recipients of my messages can actually understand what I am trying to convey.  None of that, "brb b4 u can say gr8!" or other such nonsense for me!  Use your words, people...  Use your words.

  • And last, but most certainly not least...  Please, for the love of all that is holy and good, when entering one of these:

DO NOT be talking on one of these...

Seriously people...  That is just WRONG on so very many levels!!!

I hope that this proves to be an educational tool for those of you who have grown additional appendages coming out of your hands or ears.  I am all for embracing change and advancements in technology, but when such advancements cause grown men to do things like this in public...   

...perhaps we should find something new for them to play with.  At the very least, there should be a disclaimer on the box stating something along the lines of, "Warning...  Use at your own risk.  Cellular devices tend to bring out the 'obnoxious' in people, and users might find themselves the targets of projectiles to the head."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Deep Thoughts from a Couple of 5-Year-Olds...

I had another super-productive weekend this week! I managed to disassemble, move, and reassemble the crib upstairs all by myself. I organized toys and arranged the nursery the way I wanted it. The twins came over and "helped" me finish an art project for the nursery, and all I have left to do up there is paint a couple of shelves and hang a few art pieces and mirrors!

I love that my niece and nephew are so excited about me getting another foster baby. They still have a hard time understanding exactly what foster care is and why the kids can't live with me forever. It's hard to explain in words that two 5-year-olds can understand. I've explained that we get to love and take care of these kiddos because their mommies and daddies can't do it right now, but when they watch me being a mommy to them for so long, they have a really hard time understanding why they're not staying. That's a scary thing for little kids... Thinking that they won't get to stay with their mommy, and I know that's what was going through their little heads when the Booger Bear went to live with his daddy. It was easier with the Munchkin because she was only with me for a week, so they felt more like I was "babysitting" her.

It was really confusing for them when I had both the Booger and Angel. We had numerous conversations over the year about who the Booger's mommy was because they knew that he called Angel "Mama," but they also knew that I was the one who did everything that a "Mama" does to take care of him. They seemed to be satisfied with the answer that he was lucky enough to have two mommies... Angel was his mommy because he was in her tummy and because she loved him, and that I was also his mommy because I loved him and took care of him and kept him safe like mommies do.

When we were decorating the nursery for this next baby, Buddy thought it would be neat to put all of my kids' names on one of the walls. He said, "That way, we can see their names and always remember them." As he was spelling out their names, the twins asked me if Angel and the Booger Bear were still our "family." That led to a long talk about what makes a "family" and the different kinds of families that a person can have.

We talked about being "related." We talked about being a "family." And I think I explained it in a way that they seemed to understand. I told them that your "family" is all of the people who love you the absolute most out of everyone in the world, and who you love back just as much. That your "family" is the people who you want to see and spend time with every day, even if you can't actually do that. And that your "family" is the people who want to take care of you, love you, and keep you happy and safe, and who you want to take care of, and love, and make happy. I told them that sometimes, you might not be able to see someone as often as you would like to or sometimes even at all, but that if you still love them just as much as you did when you could see them all of the time, they are still your family and that won't change.  I told them that what really makes a family is love.

They both smiled and said, "Good! Then Booger and Angel are still our family!" :-)

My niece and nephew have these big, beautiful hearts with more than enough love to share with all of the kids who come into my life. As sad as it makes me to know that they are losing daily contact with their "cousins" each time one of my children goes home, it makes me happy that they are gaining a new perspective on what "family" is. That these little kids are opening up their lives and their hearts so freely to other kids who desperately need to feel the love of "family..." Those two never cease to amaze me with their insight and love. I have to say, I am one extremely proud aunt.  :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Albino No More!!!

Had a fun day today!!!  BFF Katie and I took the day off work and brought the twins and her little boy to the waterpark.  I am no longer Tamu, The Great Albino Whale!!!  After five hours outside, I have been upgraded to Tamatoo, The Great Water Tomato!

When I told my sister that I wanted to bring the kids to the waterpark when she and my brother-in-law were out of town this week, she replied with, "Oh!  They'd love that!  Thank you!"  Then the "Mommy List" quickly followed.  "Make sure they drink lots of water so they stay hydrated.  It's hot out there.  And be sure to apply and reapply sunblock throughout the day.  On second thought...  Have them wear a t-shirt!  And make sure they wear their lifejackets." etc. etc. etc.  ;-) 

I followed Christy's orders to the "T..."  So much so, that Katie called me "the mom who sucks all of the fun out of things."  But I feared my sister's wrath if those kids got heat stroke or a horrible sunburn!  We took breaks every 45 minutes to drink water, reapply sunblock, eat a fairly nutritious snack (grapes...  because they have water in them!), and get out of the sun for a few minutes.  Unfortunately for me, I was concentrating so much on keeping the children out of harm's way, that I completely neglected my pasty white self, resulting in a lovely, rather lobster-like shade of red.

We had a blast though, so I think the waves of heat radiating off of my body and the pain that I am certain is to come will be well worth it.  The kids loved the wave pool and the lazy river, and Katie's little boy thought that Buddy was really cool.  Buddy has a way with little kids, and they all love him to pieces.  The twins even went on a couple of the "big kid" slides by themselves!  There was one that was about 2-3 stories up, and I really didn't think they'd go on it alone, but they did!  They made me go first so I could wait at the bottom for them, and they did a really good job listening to the lifeguard who told them when it was okay for them to go.  They're already planning next summer's trip to the even bigger nearby waterpark!  :-)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Paper Train is Rolling!!!

After weighing all of my options and talking with people at a few different foster care agencies (or not talking with some people as the case may be), I finally chose a new agency!!!

I had it narrowed down to two, so I did the whole pros and cons list to get a better feel of what would work best for me.

Agency #1:
  • I know a couple using the agency, and they have been really pleased with it.  (HUGE PRO)
  • The agency took several days to respond to my inquiry (Not thrilled about how long it took), but when they did finally answer me, they actually answered all of my questions.  (Big Pro considering no one else up to this point had answered any of my questions)
  • The office is about 30 minutes away from my house.  (Not too bad considering this is Texas, and everything is sprawled out around here, but my old agency was only 10 minutes away, and literally on the next street over from my parents' house, so I had easy access to babysitters on training days.  Thirty minutes in the opposite direction could get old pretty fast.)
  • Buried in the paperwork that they sent me, I discovered that they license all of their homes as "Therapeutic" homes, whether or not you accept Therapeutic placements.  That means that I would need at least 50 hours of training per year (as opposed to the 20 for Basic or 30 for Moderate Care).  (BIG Con.  I'm a single, full-time working mom.  Add being a foster mom to that, and the stress level and time management issues quadruple!  Trying to find time for another 20-30 hours of training plus the extra drive time would be hard.)
  • The agency has foster parent support groups.  (Huge pro as this is the first agency that I've seen that offers this!  And believe me...  It's needed!!!)
Agency #2:
  • This agency responded to my initial inquiry in less than 30 minutes, answered all of my questions, and even included attachments of paperwork that I would need.  (HUGE PRO!!!  If you've ever tried to get anything out of anyone in the foster care system, you know that it takes an act of Congress to get any answer, let alone a straight answer.  The fact that they got back to me so quickly and with so much pertinant information was awesome!)
  • The office is two miles from my house!!!  (HUGE PRO!!!)
  • They offer several additional reimbursements and assistance that most of the other agencies don't offer like mileage reimbursement, financial aid for children's extra curricular activities, and a respite care incentive to encourage foster parents to take occasional, much-needed breaks.  (Pro)
  • I don't personally know anyone using the agency, so I don't have anything to go on as far as personal experiences with them like I do with Agency One.  (Con)
  • They base their required training on the level of care the foster parent(s) want to foster, so most (if not all) of my previous training should count, and I can be licensed with this agency within the next month.
  • I would have to do another homestudy, but the majority of the time consuming work would be done already by using my existing homestudy from my old agency.
  • I've had several questions over the past two days, and every time I get a response within thirty minutes!
So, considering my needs as far as time, location, resources for foster parents, etc. and the great communication I've had with them so far...  I decided to go with Agency #2!!!  Hopefully, my initial impressions are accurate reflections of how this agency operates.

I've already submitted my background check application and transfer of information consent so they will be calling my old agency soon.  I'm not really looking forward to the backlash from that.  Hopefully my old agency will be gracious enough to hand over my files and keep their mouths shut when it comes to their personal opinions of me.

I have a two day orientation and training seminar on the 28th and 29th of this month, and short version of a homestudy right after that.  All of my other records are current, so as soon as the agency's homestudy is submitted and approved, I'll be licensed again!  Hopefully I'll be getting baby calls by the middle to end of next month.  YAY!!!  I'm so excited to be doing this again!!!  I learned a lot from the past couple of years, and now I have a much better idea of what to expect.  Keep me and my past and future kiddos in your prayers!

Monday, August 9, 2010

On a Mission

I'm on a mission to re-CPS-proof my house and to change things up a bit from the way they were when I had the Booger.  I was a cleaning, rearranging, organizational wizard this weekend!  "What did you do that has you feeling like Wonder Woman," you might ask?  Well, I'll tell you in a lovely little bulleted list!  Because we all know by now how I love lists!  :-)

Friday after work:
  • Ran straight to my favorite children's resale shop for their Grab Bag Clearance sale!  I bought about $175 worth of clothes for $18.94!
  • Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher for the first time in about three weeks.  (Hey!  I live alone and rarely cook.  It takes a while to build up dishes.  Although I must admit, it was getting a little ridiculous.)
  • Woke up and went to Melissa's house with Christy and the twins to jewelry shop and to drop off her "smell pretties" (as she calls her Scentsy order).  Melissa sells Premier Designs and she was having a week-long open house, so we just had to go see what new goodies she had to offer!  Buddy had fun playing with Melissa's 2-year-old little girl (He's GREAT with little kids), and Ka-Diva had a blast "glamming it up" and trying on all of the pretty jewelry with Mommy and Aunt Tammy.  $170 later, we left...  BROKE, but excited to be looking pretty when our stuff comes in!  :-)
  • Determined not to let the dishes go for another three weeks, I unloaded the dishes from the night before.
  • Went to the apartment office to pick up a big box of Scentsy stuff that had come in.
  • Having only purchased one grab bag of clothes the evening before, I decided to go back and buy another bag.  I ended the weekend with between $300-350 of clothes (resale shop prices) for just over $35!  And about 1/3 of the outfits still had original store tags on them and had never been worn!!!
  • Piled up all of my goodies, removed the tags, and sorted all of the clothes (included my own) into about 7 piles of laundry.
  • Stupidly went out in the 105 degree heat, pulled everything out of my outside storage, and completely rearranged.
  • Brought all of the baby things inside.
  • Found a bunch of Angel's things and emailed her to let her know I still had them.
  • Started hauling baby things upstairs to what's going to be the new nursery.
  • Took a much-needed shower.
  • Took down the "nursery" curtains in my bedroom and replaced them with my curtains.
  • Pulled all of the baby stuff out of my closet and started moving it upstairs.
  • Went through all of the clothes in my closet and pulled a bunch to donate to Goodwill (still have to go through my dresser though).
  • Did 6 of the 7 loads of laundry and put the clothes away (except for the baby clothes...  I need another storage tub for those).
  • Organized the baby things that I am going to keep downstairs and put them away.
  • Vacuumed my bedroom
  • Did an "art" (I use the term loosely, as it wasn't all that involved) project for the kids' bathroom that I'd been putting off since March.
  • Bagged several things of trash as I've been overrun by Scentsy boxes and packaging.  (I haven't made it out to the dumpster yet though.)
  • Started a grocery/still need for the nursery list.
  • And...  (drum roll please)  Cooked...  Yes, I said cooked... dinner!!!  Touched raw meat and everything!!!  I even put the dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher!  (Go, me!)
I'm fairly certain there was more crammed in there, but it's all kind of blurred together at this point.  I even somehow managed to watch a few movies and some TV too!  Hooray for multi-tasking!!!  :-)  So, while it wasn't exactly an overly-eventful or exciting weekend, I did get quite a bit accomplished.  My house still looks as though it's been hit by a tornado, but at least it's organized chaos now.  :-)  I'm going to the store after work to get a few of the items on my "still need" list, organizing the baby clothes, and lugging all of that upstairs tonight.  Then I have a feeling that I'll be taking a much-needed, well-deserved, bubble bath, and going to be early.

On a different note...  Still no word from anyone on the foster care front.  I'm not overly-impressed with the other agency that I contacted last week.  They must not be hurting for experienced foster parents if they can't be bothered to get back with me.  I should hear back from my old agency next week sometime to see whether or not they've found me "worthy" of fostering for them again.  (UGH!)  I'll just finish up the house and see if there are any upcoming foster care orientations nearby sometime soon.  They'll have to answer my questions in person, right?  :-)  I know I should try to cut them a little slack and wait it out, but patience is not one of my virtues.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Why Am I Not Surprised?

And so it begins...  The crazy, nail-biting, self-hair-pulling, teeth-gritting, wanting-to-bring-back-public-floggings, ready-to-march-into-the-offices-of-the-people-who-are-making-your-life-miserable-and-wipe-boogers-on-their-favorite-briefcases, insane roller coaster that is life in Foster/Adopt Land.  I'm not even licensed again yet, and already I am reminded of why I needed the break to begin with!

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!!!  :-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

It MUST Be a Sign!!!

Do you find yourself looking for "signs" any time you're trying to make a decision about something big?  I do!  Well, not so much looking for signs, but if I come across something that is even remotely related to the situation at hand, I tend to think, "OMG!  It must be a sign!"  Over the past couple of weeks as I've been struggling with deciding whether or not to go back to fostering, I feel like I've been hit in the head with what must be signs from God.  :-)

A week or two ago, my sister, the twins, and I went to our favorite childrens' resale shop because we hadn't been over there in a while.  Their clearance section was packed, and having shopped there for years, I had a feeling that they were gearing up to do their bi-annual "Grab Bag Sale" where you cram all of the clearance clothing that you can into a shopping bag for only $15.  I asked, of course, but they wouldn't tell me anything.  Yesterday, I opened my email to find my "sign from God."  "Grab Bag Event!  August 6th-8th!!!"

"Why do you think this is a sign?" you might ask...  I use these grab bag sales to stock up on baby and toddler clothes for my foster kiddos!  Because I'm not looking for a specific gender or age, I start with the newborn and work my way up looking specifically for items that still have their original tags on them.  I usually end up with about $300-400 worth of clothes for $30!!!  You can't beat that!!!  And for the store to be having the sale right now, just as I'm leaning more and more towards going back to fostering next month...  Yep.  It has to be a sign that I'm heading in the right direction!  Right?!?  :-)

Other "signs..."  I keep getting snail mail and phone calls for Angel and the Booger Bear from CPS and Medicaid.  Angel moved eight months ago and the Booger Bear is no longer in CPS care!  I guess that goes to show you just how "organized" and "on top of things" that CPS is.  They can't even keep track of who's in their custody, let alone where their children are living!!!  It took six months to get anything from them at all when the kids were with me, so I guess it only makes sense that I'm still getting mail now that they aren't.  I think that's a sign that CPS and Medicaid still want to work with me.  (Although I have no idea why they would seeing as how I pretty much made their lives as miserable as they made mine... I'm rather opinionated and "mother bear-like" when it comes to my kids. ;-)

I've been getting hammered with emails from my old agency, foster care associations, and other foster care-related organizations about upcoming training opportunities and "why foster?" emails.  Emails that talk about the kids who just need someone to love them and give them some stability...  etc. etc...  I think they must miss me too.  :-)

I've had other, more rational signs recently as well.  I keep up with several online "friends" through their foster care journeys, and lately, even though most of them are dealing with the pain and frustration that loving children within the foster care system inevitably brings, I find myself thinking, "but they are so worth it!"  After I lost the Booger Bear and Angel, I was so furious with CPS (and anyone who had anything to do with CPS) that all I could think was, "They can all kiss my shiny white hiney!  There is no way in heck that I'm putting myself through that again!"  Even though I still get a feeling of dread when I think about everything that is involved with fostering, my excitement over having a new little person to love and take care of seems to have developed to a point where the dread no longer matters as much.

And then it seems like I've been seeing more and more Bible verses and references on friends' Facebook pages and blogs about "loving the children" and "caring for those less fortunate," etc. etc. If that isn't God saying, "Hello??? McFly???" I don't know what is! It's kind of like that joke about the guy stranded in the middle of the ocean, waiting for God to save him. Three boats come by, and each time, he sends them away saying, "No thank you. God will save me." After he drowns, he asks God, "Why didn't you save me?!?" To which God replied, "Well, I sent you three boats! What more did you want?!?"  That's kind of how I'm feeling about me asking for "signs."  :-)

So, I am going to go back to fostering while I keep trying to sock away the money for the adoption fund.  I'm working on re-CPS-proofing the apartment this week and am drafting an email to my agency family specialist telling her that I want to reopen my house.  I'm hoping I can find a way to word it so it doesn't sound like I am completely wishy-washy when it comes to fostering and also trying to find a politically-correct way to say, "I just needed a break from you control-happy, completely irrational, unorganized, heartless, ego maniacal, evil dictators for a few months before I decided to put myself through the unspeakable torture of dealing with all of you on an almost daily basis again!" 

I might be working on that email for a while.  ;-)
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