It's a good thing that this blog is anonymous, not because of protecting my dear children's privacy (well, that too) but because I am going to say this:
It is just past 11 this morning. I've just finished my coffee (love ya Dunkin Donuts!) and have done maybe 20 minutes of work so far. Yes, I've been here for 2 hours. I have plenty to do, and none of it difficult, but feel like catching you all up on the last few weeks chez Foster Ima.
Odessa is still with me. I had a visit from my support worker a few weeks ago which is relevant to Odessa still being with me in the following way: my support worker clearly doesn't care about the kids in my care.
Now, this isn't entirely fair, as she did ask if I'd been in touch in Sabrina and how is she doing at dad's. But her lack of concern for Odessa's well-being as a 17 and a half year old in care was shocking and dismaying.
You all know that I agreed to Odessa coming to live with me without much thought or soul-searching on my part because it was supposed to be an "emergency" placement for "about a month." I can't say no to a teenager being without a place to live, and I could handle a month. Obviously it's been about three and a half months at this point, and while Odessa's social worker submitted a request for a new placement (see my last post for more details about how well that went over, my guilt over the situation, etc), MY worker says that the placement office won't do anything unless they feel a sense of urgency. (A lot of good that sense of urgency did when Odessa's LAWYER was the one who found her the placement at my house because the placement office wasn't acting with any sense of purpose.)
So if I want Odessa to move, I need to give 30 days notice. Of course, that could very well mean that in 30 days she moves to an emergency home and then to another foster home like mine where the foster parent(s) hasn't thought about making a long-term commitment to a teenager, and she just gets bounced around and around. I don't want that to happen. But my worker had no problem at all with the possibility of this happening and told me at least four times that I should give my 30 days notice.
I am happy for Odessa to stay with me until a reasonable longer-term placement is found. I have come to accept that probably she will be with me indefinitely. She is likely to go to community college here in the fall, instead of going away, and I anticipate that she will still be with me.
We got cable yesterday. Odessa and I met together with her therapist a week ago and discussed what each of our top priorities are. Mine was that Odessa communicate with me. (As in, you may not give me the silent treatment.) Hers was cable. So I got cable in exchange for her not giving me the silent treatment. I should have gotten cable earlier (she LIKES watching the news--what teenager wants to watch the news?) but I was a little stubborn :-( At least I am getting something out of it now!
Now we just need to work on the concept of "turn the TV off when you leave for school."
Passover. Passover is coming much too quickly. However, I discovered the advantage to living somewhere where the school system is so tied to the Christian calendar that spring break is still the week after Easter instead of being in the middle of March to break up the spring semester: Passover falls during spring break. Again. I assume that Odessa is going to visit her godmother out of state over her spring break, so I will only have to worry about the last day or two of Passover with her. That is a huge load of stress removed from my shoulders.
Stay tuned for a post soliciting advice about vacations.