Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The latest in the Odessa saga

Odessa spent the night last night in an emergency home because I wasn't yet licensed for a teenager. (Keep in mind that I called everyone I could think of on Wednesday AS SOON AS I KNEW I NEEDED MY LICENSE EXPANDED.)

I was told that a licensing worker needed to come see my apartment. Fine, whatever. I offered for the licensing worker to come yesterday afternoon. No, they thought this morning would be better. Because of course Odessa, who has been in more than three homes in the past year, isn't being inconvenienced at all.

Wendy (the GAL, remember) and I spoke last night when she called to tell me how much she hates the Agency. She was told 1. that I didn't have a bed available and 2. they were meeting with me at that moment. "Foster Ima, they flat out lied to me!" (Not that she was surprised.)

So this morning the licensing worker came. She was 45 minutes late. She called from the lobby of my building at 35 minutes late, then had to move her car in the parking lot, and that took ten minutes. Don't ask me how. She did tell me that she "was on the wrong 5th St." (I don't live on "5th St." but that's kind of the parallel.) Brilliant.

The first comment she made about my apartment was "you have a lot of stuff. We don't like a lot of stuff."

She looked at the room-that-will-be-Odessa's, went to the bathroom, and then looked at the room again. At which point she told me "this room is stark and uninviting. This is a teenager we're talking about. We don't want her falling into a depression because the room isn't welcoming." Because I should have the room decorated already for a teenager who I don't know and who probably has pretty set preferences? I was a bit indignant because of the worker's tone, and explained that we would be going to the store together to get things for her. At which point the worker's negative attitude changed 100% to how wonderful I am. What the heck.

So Odessa should be coming tonight, at last, but I haven't heard anything back from her worker yet today, which she told me yesterday I would.

I typed up the house rules; there are only five, though there are an additional two about food and an additional three (one plus specifics) about having friends over. The first rule is my favorite: don't do anything illegal. I think that pretty much sums it up, right? ;-)

OH! Related to house rules, a quick request for more advice: Odessa has a pay-as-you-go cell phone. While at her group home, she has gotten a few dollars here and there for various things--that is, not enough to keep her phone paid for. I want her to be able to call or text me (and to be able to call or text her) reliably. I don't know what company her phone is through, but do any of you have recommendations for the most economical but reliable way to make sure that she is able to use her phone to reach me but I don't end up spending a ridiculous amount on her calling/texting friends? (To clarify: she can call or text her friends, but some pay-as-you-go "plans" have per-minute, per-text charges, and I've heard rumors that teenagers can really rack up the minutes. I don't mind paying for reasonable usage, but...) Any tips on navigating this?

1 comment:

  1. Verizon has parental monitoring software that allows you to limit the total number of texts and phone minutes that are used, but those caps do not apply to other phones on the family share plan.

    The problem with this, of course, is that you end up with a phone on contract, which could be a problem if Odessa doesn't stay long and you don't have another teen.