We are well underway in the transition process. This week we met with the kid’s new counselors! I didn’t learn nearly as much new information as I had hoped. The counselors received the same reports we were given (which are too vague in my opinion). We set some goals including parental attachment, reduce anxiety and process trauma. Seems pretty standard to me. They did recommend the book “When a Stranger Calls You Mom” by Katharine Leslie so I am eager to get that ordered when we have some extra money. The kids will be meeting with their counselors each at the same time to cut down on scheduling conflicts which is completely awesome!
We also met with the school to discuss Donald’s IEP and the general transition. Fourteen of us squeezed into one tiny to room. The first thing that came to mind is what an awesome team we have to support these 2 children! It takes a village, right? It was great to see staff from his current school working with the staff from our school to create a plan that will work for Donald. I am nervous, though, that there wont be enough time to implement the plan is just a few short days and that Donald’s transition will be even tougher because of it.
The only frustrating part of the meeting is when we discussed the kid’s names. Both kids, but Daffy especially, want to use our last name. We understand that the LEGAL name in the files needs to be their LEGAL name, but there shouldnt be ANY reason why they can’t use our last name in conversation or on their papers. After all, other kids use “nicknames” (like Becky for Rebecca) so how is this different? Its important to Daffy that she not be singled out as “different” from our family. She doesn’t want people to know she has been in foster care- she wants them to think she has always been our child. The school was adamantly against this. The sped coordinator all but insinuated that we would eventually give the kids back and that having used our name would make things more difficult. It was extremely insulting, particularly since we had the state case worker in attendance at the meeting supporting he kid’s choice and offering to write a letter of approval. The most the sped coordinator would budge is that the kids could use their legal last initial only since it happens to be the same as ours. Some of the staff commented that 4th and 5th graders dont know each others last names and that the staff dont use them. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????? My older kids have been teased over the years by teachers and students alike because we have a long hard-to-pronounce last name. How could that have happened if “no one” knew or used them? Ugh. I am completely frustrated.
Last night I had a visit with the kids at the group home. It was odd how standoffish Daffy was when I first arrived. She got a book and went to read alone while I did Donald’s homework with him. That is completely unlike her, she is normally bouncing off the walls. Once he & finished, we decided to play “Sorry” and she stayed on the couch playing with a Leap Pad. Once the game was done, I made her give up the game to Donald and told her to choose a game we would play. She resisted at first but finally selected Candy Land. (She beat me twice.) We went our to get a donut for dessert after dinner and then came back and read several stories before bed. It’s hard to believe they will only sleep 2 more nights in that home before the discharge on Tuesday.
In rather exciting news, we learned today that we will receive respite pay for all the weekends we have had the kids during the transition! Obviously none of this is about money, but every little bit helps in this economy for sure!Maybe this will help defray some of the wages I have lost being available for so many visits and meetings over the past 2 months.
Tomorrow they will be visiting their new schools and meeting their teachers! I will be sure to post an update!