Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The saga of the lead continues

I'm on vacation out of the country this week, and about 15 minutes ago I received an email from my landlord asking me urgently to call him. Through the wonders of the internet, I connected with my next-door neighbor, who called my landlord while he and I were on gchat. Teehee.

What's the problem? Well, that work that they were going to do while I was away? They haven't started it yet. And once they start it, I can't go back into my apartment until it's completely done. So can I stay somewhere else until next Wednesday?

Actually, no.

It's not so much that I would have to sleep somewhere else. That's probably not an insurmountable problem. However, I only brought enough clothes with me on vacation for the week, so I would need to be able to get my clothes. Or my laundry card. Again, not completely insurmountable as I could borrow a laundry card (and detergent) from a neighbor. A little annoying to have to do laundry without a full load, but do-able. The lack of access to my kitchen would be bad. And my poor plants that are already going without water for a week would really suffer. But the real problem?


I only brought three pairs of shoes with me to Israel: sneakers, comfortable sandals that are also nice enough for Shabbat in Israel (but not professional), and wedding shoes. So: no shoes to wear to work on Monday if I can't get into my apartment.

And we all know that shoes are critical.

All of this means that I told my neighbor to tell my landlord not to start the work. I will email my landlord and hope that I'm not now the bad guy. (After all, I didn't know all of this information about not being able to be in my apartment at all after they started the work.) We'll have to find another time when I can be out of my apartment for a week-plus, and hopefully soon. Originally, next week starting Monday was an option. As long as I'm able to go into my apartment to prepare and pack, I'll be okay.

I knew things were starting to go too smoothly.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I'm ready...

Here's a bonus of having a young foster kid (any kid, really) while frum: using the stroller to hold the bottle of wine that you are taking to your Shabbat dinner so that its bag doesn't break, dropping the bottle in the middle of the street where it breaks in half.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book Recommendations

For the hordes of readers sole reader of this blog: as the prospect of real kiddos living with me becomes closer to reality (please G-d), I'm looking for book recommendations that might be helpful for kids age 3-7 to understand/feel better about being in care.  


Lead update

I spoke with my landlord yesterday and the abatement (I think it may actually be abatement, and not just remediation) is going to happen next week while I'm in Israel for a friend's wedding!  Is it wrong that I'm excited about these in the following order?
  1. Wedding
  2. Lead repairs
  3. Israel
Is my failure to prioritize being in Israel made better by the fact that I was just there four months ago?  Or is that negated by the fact that my excitement is almost entirely based on easy access to delicious food (that I can eat)?  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lead update

I saw my licensing worker today. I think she'll be persuadable to start my home study once there is a schedule for the lead-related repairs in my apartment, as opposed to waiting until the repairs are complete. (I guess that means I need to get cracking on some of the child-proofing I've been putting off. Like putting away the bread knife that has been sitting on my dining table for the last three weeks.)

I called my landlord to see how the walk-through last week went. He is expecting two separate proposals but hasn't received them yet. He won't know the schedule until he gets the proposals. Still, progress is being made.

Thinking out loud about Marian Wright Edelman

I had the opportunity today to hear Marian Wright Edelman speak at a child welfare event. (Actually, I sat next to her--really!--but sadly didn't have a chance to speak to her.) One of the data that she brought was that there are 534,000-some faith communities in the US (note that I could have transposed numbers in my head over the last 8 hours); she said that if just 10% of those communities recruited one to three adoptive families for kids in care, there would be no more crisis of children being left to languish in the system.

Now, I don't agree that simply recruiting more families will solve the problem, but of course this got me thinking about synagogues-as-faith-communities. Based on purely anecdotal evidence, Jews who adopt tend to choose to adopt infants from Russia or Guatemala. Including my nephew, who I love. I don't know of any Jews who have fostered (except for Foster Abba and Foster Eema). Does this mean that I should try to start a trend of peers becoming foster/foster-to-adopt parents? Or should I figure that churches can comprise 10% of faith communities without needing to add in any synagogues?

Again based on no data whatsoever:
  1. there are very few Jewish kids in care, and
  2. where the vast majority of Jewish adults live, most kids in care are minorities (read: cities. Okay, major urban areas. On the coasts. This might not hold in cities in, say, Nebraska).
I suspect that without a need within the community, we're not likely to suddenly choose, in large numbers, to do tikkun olam through fostering rather than, say, volunteering at soup kitchens. And I certainly don't hope for a need within the community.

And then there are the issues that I have addressed and plan to address in this blog. Even for non-observant Jews, there are holiday and cultural differences. Add those to the concerns about trans-racial fostering/adopting...well, is that good for kids when more effort could be given to recruiting families from the kids' communities of origin?

As a side note, at the same event today, I went to a session that was supposed to be about helping youth maintain ties to their cultural heritage. After the presenters spent about a half hour of pitching their own adoption program, I asked if they could address the cultural identity portion of their program. They spoke for about five minutes about research done on trans-racial adoption (75% of kids adopted trans-racially pre-adolescence didn't suffer adverse consequences--not the most uplifting of statistics, as that means that one in four DO suffer adverse consequences, and that's only for kids who are adopted at a relatively young age) and said that it helps to join multi-cultural groups. And that was it. What a waste of my time.