Monday, October 25, 2010

Sabrina went home

Last Wednesday, the judge ordered that Sabrina's dad have custody. (Not actually custody, I think it was called "protected supervision" or something along those lines.) He and I agreed that the transition should occur after school on Friday, so Wednesday after school Sabrina and I had a conversation about how she was going to live with her daddy starting that weekend, and in the evening we started packing her things. (Her dad told me that she didn't need any of her things, as he has clothes and "too many" toys. However, her things are HERS. So they sure were going to go with her. However, some things I had before Sabrina came to live with me, so I let her decide if she wanted them or not.)

Thursday we shared a banana split for dinner (calcium, fruit, you know, not too bad for us!) and packed a bit more.

Friday we took a bunch of her things to school with us, then we went on a field trip (SO MUCH FUN!) and I tried to soak up all the great times. When we got back from the field trip, all the kids whose moms went with us went home early, and I stayed at school with Sabrina, the one girl who went on the trip without a parent, and the three kids from the class who didn't go on the trip. Her social worker picked her up at the end of the day, we all walked to the social worker's car, and then I had almost no opportunity for a good goodbye.

However, I still have a bunch of Sabrina's things, so I am going over tonight to take them. I hope that dad will let me have a few minutes with her. And I hope that dad doesn't get rid of her things.

But you don't care about the logistics. You care about how I'm doing. My friends on facebook have said all sorts of sappy things about how special I am and how much of a difference I made in Sabrina's life and how admirable it is that I did this... Gag me. :-)

Honestly, though, despite the bit of denial, I think I'm okay with this transition. I've known since day two that Sabrina would end up with family. And she spent every weekend and all summer with her dad. So it isn't like I've had an adorable five year old appendage all week every week for the past 11 months and now there's an emptiness in my apartment.

At the same time, though, I was shopping yesterday for a piece of Sabrina's Halloween costume (her dad and I agreed that I would handle the costume) and kept seeing things that Sabrina would like, and had to remind myself that I shouldn't buy them.

I won't be asking to be put on the vacancy list for a little while, as I need to really dedicate myself to straightening my life out, so in the meantime I emailed Sabrina's GAL (who asked me before court on Wednesday, "should we be talking about your next placement?" This before anything was official. I think she has some kids who aren't in ideal settings for them) to ask if she has any kids who would appreciate and/or benefit from a family Thanksgiving. I know that my parents would be okay with an additional guest for the day. So we'll see how she responds.

And that's where things are for now.

An interesting read

I wish this had paid more attention to adoption (I think I saw a grand total of one reference) and fostering (no references), but still a relevant and interesting read:

(I'll post about Sabrina going home later. I'm still traveling down that river in Egypt...)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Court today

This has to be a quick update, as I am busily discovering all the interesting things that happened in my Big City when I was three years old. (That is, doing work.) But it would be wrong to let the possibility of big things go unremarked here.

There is a hearing in an hour and a half in Sabrina's mom's case. I haven't yet spoken with Sabrina's GAL (a bit of phone tag) so I don't know what she is going to recommend, but I have been steeling myself for the possibility that the judge will allow Sabrina to live with her dad. I've also been steeling myself for dad to be P-I-$-$-E-D if the judge says no, on account of his new apartment having only one bedroom. But dad does have a new apartment, in the Big City, which takes his home county (in another state) out of the equation.

I talked to Sabrina last night about the possibility that she would go live with her dad. I'm absolutely positive that I didn't handle the conversation as well as I should have. I'm not absolutely positive that bringing it up was a good idea at all. I suppose that I'll regret it if the judge says she has to stay with me, and be glad I did it if she gets to live with dad.

My big logistical hopes for her in the event that she gets to live with her dad are that he lets her stay at her current school (which is terrible, but no worse than the neighborhood school where dad's apartment is, and she has friends there) and that he is able to take her to ballet. She starts ballet this afternoon and she is nervous about it, but I am pretty sure that she will love it once she sees that she won't be performing on stage in front of an audience today. I reassured her that I get nervous before I do something for the first time, too.

And because it wouldn't be a Sabrina-related post if I didn't complain about the back and forth with dad at least once: somehow we have three winter coats at my house (I bought none of them) and zero fall/spring jackets (I bought two). Weather today? Definitely jacket weather. Oh well.

And now, to wait and see what happens at court...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Status update

Sabrina's dad has an apartment in my Big City. This takes his state and county out of the picture and leaves only the Agency and the court to make the decision about whether Sabrina can go to live with him. There is a hearing scheduled for next Wednesday (that is, a week and a half) so I imagine that nothing will happen until then. That would be the extent of my certainty about the situation. The apartment is only one bedroom, but the social worker told me she's fine with it. Sabrina has seen it, in fact, for her visit with mom on Thursday they all went to the apartment. Interesting.

I talked to dad on the phone yesterday from his new cell phone (I had tried texting him on Wednesday and got an out of service reply--isn't the beauty of pre-paid phones that you even if you let the payment lapse, you still have the phone and can just put more money on it? I wonder why he got a new phone) when the school called me at about 11:30 (I missed the calls from the school because I was chatting with a coworker and only happened to get back to my desk right before he called from his cell phone; I wonder how many times they were going to try to reach me if I had been out at a meeting or something) to ask if he had permission to pick her up. I guess the principal was out and so the administrator who was there didn't know that he picks her up on Fridays and didn't look at any of the many forms I provided stating that he picks her up on Fridays. But I'm glad that they called because otherwise I wouldn't have known that he was picking her up early. Why, I asked him. Oh, "we have some things to take care of." Could he BE any vaguer? Frustrating.

He and I talked about Sabrina's extremely expensive field trip that is in two weeks. Sabrina told me she wanted her dad to go with her, I wanted to be the one to go with her, I talked to dad and he doesn't want to take off from work. Good, that means that I'm paying $40 to enjoy the farm with Sabrina, not paying $40 and not getting to enjoy the farm. Yes, it's $20/person to go to a farm. And each kid has to have an adult. I'm fine with the field trip. (Though to be honest there are more educational farm trips than this one.) I'm fine with the requirement that each kid have a grown up with them. I can afford the field trip. But Sabrina's school is incredibly low income. (Last year, 159 students were tested for NCLB requirements. 138 qualified as economically disadvantaged.) And they are planning field trips that cost FORTY DOLLARS??? (The school also has a thing against checks; I don't want to make a special trip to the ATM just to pay for a field trip.)

I signed Sabrina up for ballet. Our city recreation department only offers ballet at one rec center which is about as far from her school as possible while still being in the city. I'll have to take off work to take her to class, but I'm going to be royally annoyed if her dad decides not to take her (if he gets custody, that is).

I'll also be royally annoyed if he switches her school to the neighborhood school where his apartment is, since the plan all along has been that he will move back to his parents' house with Sabrina after the agency closes the case, and I don't want her to have an extra change of schools after I was told that I couldn't enroll her in the better school where I live because she was going to go live with dad.

Among the many things on my to-do list for this weekend is to buy the makings for Sabrina's Halloween costume. Dad and I agreed that I could deal with the costume. She wants to be Tinkerbell, which she apparently was last year as well.

I ordered the materials to make Christmas presents for her female relatives, though I have no idea what she should do for her dad and grandpa. For the women in the family, I am going to print photos of Sabrina onto shrinky dink paper (which they make for inkjet printers, believe it or not), punch holes, bake, and turn into necklaces. Any ideas for the men?

And that's where things are :-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quick Update

Last week Sabrina learned to snap!

And even more excitingly, last week was the first time that she responded "I love you, too" when I told her that I love her!

Sadly, our fish Tracy passed away this weekend. Contrary to my expectation, dead fish do not all float. I have left Tracy for Sabrina to see, and she and I will go to replace Tracy (if Sabrina wants) on Wednesday. (Today we have to stop by the Agency because my worker hasn't seen me in a while and she's required to, and tomorrow we're having friends over for dinner.)