Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thinking about being done, again

I am not talking much about the guardianship thing just because I am not ready to talk about it here. The social worker previously suggested that we wait and see what happens at the next permanency hearing. I think what she is thinking is that if his dad does not show, again, then we should consider moving forward.

Roland and I are thinking about what sort of support and services we want to ask from the agency. My sense though is that everyone (meaning me, Roland and Gary) are all really warming up to the idea. Suddenly everyone is sick and tired of silly rules, and not being able to sign forms, and having to take Gary to a dentist we don't know because they take medicaide. We just want to be done with all that.

It's little stuff. Gary saw the dentist a month ago and she said he should have this tooth extracted and refered him to an orthodontist. It took a month for him to get an appointment, because they have limited spots for medicaide patients. Roland took him and the orthodontist said that the baby tooth could just stay there, but it might cause problem, so it would be better to pull it out. However, if it was pulled out then Gary would certainly have to have braces to help get the adult tooth to go where it should go. He also said that Gary's teeth issues aren't bad enough for Medicaide to pay for them. Well, I don't trust orthodontists. I just don't. They seem to think that if you don't have a movie-star smile then your life will be ruined. Everyone needs braces. Gary really doesn't want braces because of his MMA stuff (mixed martial arts -- more on that in another post). So I want to take Gary to my dentist. Now the really, really cool thing about the agency is that if Gary needs orthodontia, they will pay for it. On the other hand I called and said that I wanted to take him to my dentist, whom I trust, to see if he thinks we can't just pull out the baby tooth and see what happens. Will disaster really strike if he doesn't have braces? I talked to the social worker on Friday. She thinks this is a good idea, but she has to "staff it" and since this is Thanksgiving, she won't be able to get an answer to me until next week.

And it is just tedious.

On the other hand, orthodontia is expensive. We did not pay for it for the bioboys because we thought their imperfect smiles were just fine, thank you very much. So I like having them in the picture, I am just suddenly tired of everything taking two to four weeks. Gary is really, really tired of waiting. We only had the one conversation about guardianship but he aludes to it every now and then, saying that he does hope that we won't have to keep jumping through all these hoops.

So...we are certainly going to pursue it.

Roland and I are also having conversations about the older boys, how to best address their needs. I'm not ready to talk abou that yet either.

What I am going to talk about are these deep conflicting feelings about maybe being done. It is silly to worry about it because Gary will be here for nearly three more years, and anything could happen, but still I do.

See, I don't do foster care for the money ('cause I'm not INSANE), but I do rely upon the money to do it. We can take guardianship of one kid and lose the financial support (how much we will lose is still undetermined), but we can't keep doing that. So if we take guardianship and the agency backs away as much as they indicated they would like to, then we will have to seriously consider whether we do this again. I don't want to be in the position of not doing for one what we did for Gary because we can't afford to.

And I just don't know what I want to do anyway.

Part of me imagines doing care for another 10 years at least. I just don't see any reason to stop doing care. I like having kids in the house. I keep getting better at it. I find it satisfying.

On the other hand, six feels like a complete set, so to speak. It is enough birthdays to remember, enough Christmas presents to ponder, enough sources of potential grandchildren. My Thanksgiving table feels full.

And that makes me sad, cause I like doing this.

I like it the way I like teaching -- but what if the students didn't graduate? What if they just hung around the classrooms? That sounds horrible. It isn't what I mean at all. I adore all my kids. I don't want them to go away. I miss them when they do. I think what is happening is that I am hitting that tipping point where I know that taking more kids means significantly reducing what I can do for my adult children.

You knolw, I'm just feeling emotionally overwhelmed. There is a lot of big things going on right now. I need to stay focused on the now.


  1. I was thinking on another post of yours about how different your experience with care is from mine, and I would even venture to say from most.

    I'm not trying to minimize your feelings, but your considerations seem like the exact opposite that most people face when providing foster care.

  2. By which I think you mean that most people's pain is losing children.

    That would indeed be more painful than this Old Woman in a Shoe syndrome.

  3. Hi, Yondalla. Just popping by to tell you that I tagged you today.




  4. Will being his LG allow you to claim him as a dependent on taxes? (I've always wondered if you could claim a long term foster child as a dependent or not, so maybe you already are. Would love to know if this is allowed or not.) Wouldn't be a huge difference, but a few hundred dollars at least, right?

  5. Ann Marie,
    You can claim a foster child as a dependent on your taxes if 1) they have been with you for a year and 2) you provide more than half of their support. Our tax preparer says that given the rate at which the agency reimburses expenses we can't do that. But yes, if they are a legal dependent, then they are a legal dependent.

    I think about that periodically -- like maybe I should try to do it in the next five weeks so I count him.

  6. I am not sure if the tax rule differs from state to state, but here you can claim the foster child on your taxes if s/he lived with you for 6 months and 1 day. The birth parent can file before you of course and make your taxes kick back, but you can re-file proof of having provided care for more than half the year and the IRS will award in the foster parents favor.

  7. Oops, that was me Mothering4Money, not Contact Me. I wrote the wrong thing in the wrong place on my profile.


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