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Update

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by New Leaf, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Today we drop son off for his six week experience prepping for college. I am excited for him to have this opportunity to test his wings on university living.
    The grands are slowly settling in and their bickering has slowed a bit with reminders to be peaceable and discuss things rather than escalate from 0-10 in a nano second over trivial stuff.
    The future is yet to be written as to where they will stay, I have been reminded by the social worker that I am for now a “temporary resource parent” and that the goal is family reunification. We are in limbo, and I am praying that God will soften the hearts of those responsible for my grands fate. I can’t help but think “been there, done that” because years ago when we took care of them, the goal was the same, we went through family counseling, their parents went through parenting classes, anger management, substance abuse, etc., etc. Here we are 11 years later, parents missing from the picture for over two years and deeper into drugs, and they are still talking reunification.
    I can’t recall how many times I have called CPS since they were “reunified” with their parents so many years ago and dragged through the hell of their parents violent, addictive lifestyle. I wish I had documented more, because here we are with now CWS, considering placing them back with their parents “if they can straighten out”. It seems that the power of attorney that father filled out is valid, as the worker has alluded, even after one worker told me they are not a legal document. “Their father has signed something, and your daughter is missing, right?” There is this vagueness and spotty information as I speak with different workers. I suppose they have to dot their “i’s” and cross their “t’s”. In making my grands follow up appointment with the surgeon who did his appendectomy the secretary questioned if I was their legal guardian. CWS gave me a form for all three, but it is still not signed, so I don’t know how that will go? The worker was supposed to come over and check on them, but cancelled at the last minute. In our initial conversation, he chose a date and I explained I was going for my physical (that they required) and he said I could leave the kids home so he would be able to interview them. What? Was that a test? What person would leave three kids in the hands of a complete stranger, I don’t care what agency you are with? That was going through my head as I calmly said “no, I don’t leave the kids home alone.”
    Sigh.
    In the meantime, I cannot enroll these kids in school, can’t get doctors and dentist appointments or counseling. I have sat down with them and explained the situation and they don’t have much reaction. I told them that we were going to keep rearranging the house and pray for the best outcome.
    Limbo.
    It’s awful.
    I am trying to remain calm, but I have to be honest that my gut is churning. I am supposed to go to a family conference and face the other grandmother and her daughter (I don’t know her that well). I am bringing Hoku with me. They are supposedly bringing the kids Dad, but last text was that they can’t get in touch with him and won’t hold the meeting without him.
    Sigh.
    I shall have to do my best to keep it together and rely on God.
    These poor kids have been shuffled around enough. The focus should be on them, what they have lived through, not on their parents rights. The parents left them for drugs. When they had them, used them as cash cows for EBT, sold the food for drug money.
    I am hoping to get in touch with my daughter but she has gone off grid due to her bench warrant. Police have been in the neighborhood looking for her. I don’t think she will be coming to sign anything.
    Well, it is what it is. The best I can do, is to keep documenting this journey and keep focus on taking care of myself and my grands. Time will only tell what the next steps are.
    Any of you following along with grands in a similar situation, keep a journal with dates! I wish I had. It is hard to think straight in the midst of drama and chaos, write everything down. Years down the road, it is difficult to recall incidents and timeframes.
    Take care all, and if it be your way, please say a prayer for us.
    (((Hugs)))
    New Leaf
     
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  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear New Leaf

    I read the sense of powerlessness and fear in this post, generated by how little control you have over the circumstances that affect your life and the kids' lives and your lives together. How frustrating that the parents seem still to hold the trump card over these kids (lack of) care.

    This is what I think: Child Protective Services can hold whatever goal they want with respect to these kids. Ultimately, they have no real autonomy or decision-making authority, while they do try to flex their muscles. They are guided by the courts. They have to jump through hoops.

    There are certain realities here: One, the parents have a long and documented history of negligence, indifference and involvement with the authorities. Two, whether or not the father signed a document or not, I think that this has limited effect. This is one of the two people who have abandoned their children. How can any paper from him guide any decision-making here? Three, the living situation with the grandparents can hardly be legal. Unless the house has 10 bedrooms. That this number of people live there can be documented. That the kids had multiple "accidents" at the hands of the adults there is documented. The abusive and high-handed behavior of grandfather was observed and documented. Finally, the kids are of an age where what they say and want has great bearing on the courts. When I was that age the judge himself met with my sister and I in chambers and asked us directly what we wanted. And what we wanted, held sway. This happened with my sisters kids too. At the age of your grands, what they wanted with respect to custody, held sway.

    Yes. There is not knowing. Yes. There are authorities who believe they have voice and control. Right now you are their best shot, whether or not that social worker checked you or not. You will have to live now in that space where it is not known what will come next. Which is really the truth about life whether or not we accept it.

    And you are living in the space where the kids have to live too. It's hard to accept how little control they have about anything in their lives. How blessed it is that you have such great empathy and love for them. If you define your mission, as this, New Leaf, your love of them, you will feel again your power. That is what you control here, your love and commitment to these kids.

    As far as that meeting, goes, peace of cake. I am visualizing you in that canoe, New Leaf. You described it on a thread and I don't forget it. Where you are in churning waters, that can (and do) go one way, or another, and the outcome is uncertain. And you stay present, and powerful and centered, at one with the sea, and the divine. That's where you will be at that meeting. Love.
     
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  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    [[[Any of you following along with grands in a similar situation, keep a journal with dates! I wish I had. It is hard to think straight in the midst of drama and chaos, write everything down. Years down the road, it is difficult to recall incidents and timeframes.
    Take care all, and if it be your way, please say a prayer for us.
    (((Hugs)))
    New Leaf[/QUOTE]

    Have you thought about going back on your posts here on this sight, and using it as a calendar/journal? I think you can see your history of posting. Good luck! Ksm
     
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  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Copa for your wisdom and that reminder to stay present as the seas of uncertainty swirl around us. I do so love my grands and wish for them safety and peace of mind. I have come to realize that this is what I must provide for them as long as they are with me. KSM, yes, I can go back to my old posts, but the history goes beyond that. I can try to create a timeline of sorts, that is the best I can do and it will have to suffice. I keep telling myself that the opposite of faith is stress, anxiety and worry. When my thoughts turn down that negative path, I have to lean on my higher power. You are right, Copa, life is full of challenges and uncertainties. I will do my best to remain present, patient and calm. If the meeting happens, I will bring a sprig of lavender and a lot of silent prayer. Got to keep the canoe moving forward whatever come what may.
    Thank you so very much for your loving kindness and help.
    (((Hugs)))
    New Leaf
     
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  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I meant piece of cake. Well. Is this Alzheimers or is the Divine inserting itself?
    But peace of cake seems so much tastier.
    I know. When you think of it do we ever have more than this, at best?
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  6. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    I like "peace of cake" too. I thought it was intentional and I'm going to start using it. Hang in there, Leafy. I don't have any words of wisdom other than what Copa said. When things have been crazy and I have my granddaughter I try to remember that even if it isn't a lot of time I have with her, the time I do have makes a difference. Just for those kids to know they have a stable, loving force in their lives can go a long way. Focus on them and let the rest of the mess play itself out. It's all you can do. Sending peace and positive energy to you.
     
  7. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    A verse I just read and posted to my social media:

    Don't worry about anything,
    instead
    Pray about everything

    Philippians 4:6

    I love it and it's simple and just focus on that!

    Hugs.
     
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  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Ok just opened my bible app and this verse popped up and I know it's meant for you:

    The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.

    Exodus 14:14

    Wow!!
     
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  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Peace of cake. I love it.
    Well.
    Peace.
    It will be a struggle to achieve, that’s for sure.
    Last night I had my first taste of how volatile these boys can get. The eldest has been lording his size over his brother forever. The &4!t hit the fan when I stepped outside for a moment to speak with Tornado, who finally called (we have been trying to reach her to sign a power of attorney, so at least we would have something.) My sister in law is a notary but leaves in two days for vacation. She is a one shot deal, as Tornado has no id, and is running from her bench warrant.
    The new social worker keeps alluding that the father “has signed something” and has prodded me to find their mother. That’s the motivation there, even though the first woman I spoke with said a POA is not legal.
    Anyway, I stepped outside when Tornado asked me to make it for FIVE years. Um, no it is only good for one year. Didn’t think the kids needed to hear the rest of that conversation.
    The eldest decided to take my iPad away from his brother, who has been increasingly frustrated that he can’t do anything because of his ankle and stomach. I came in to find him sulking. Then the elder starts yelling at him to stop acting like a baby. “Just SHUT the F up!” Screams the younger. Several times. Top of his lungs. Then crying and shaking and telling me that he can’t live with his brother. I get them separated and then grab the younger and hug him tight as he cries and talks about being beat up by his brother, his papa, that he has no outlet to get his stress out and he’s tired of living like this.........
    Sister retreats to the back room.
    I talk with the elder and tell him that he is not his brothers parent, that is my iPad and he should not have taken it. He would not apologize.
    Meanwhile, Mom calls back and the kids tell her they miss her and want to see her. She says the same, but that she does not want them to see her at this time. It has been three years. The kids go silent. She says she will meet her aunt and I at a nearby store and I jump in the truck hoping that is true, but kind of knowing she won’t show. She didn’t. So much for that.
    My grands need a lot of help. I am waiting for word this week as to what process CWS decides on. It is obvious their mother will not get involved. I don’t know if their father will.
    I am praying that we will be able to work through the issues and establish some ground rules. The kids have cell phones with WiFi and are always on the phone, would stay up til wee morning hours and sleep all day if I allowed it. My wounded grand I let sleep as his body heals.
    Only time will tell guys. One day at a time. Lots of prayer.
    My quote thingee won’t work. Thanks ladies for your encouraging words.
    Deep breaths.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leaf
     
  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Leafy, my heart goes out to you. What a blessing you are to these kids and how sad that they don't really see it for what it is.
    I can't imagine the hurt they must feel when mom says she wants to see them but doesn't want them to see her at this time.
    I know that CPS has a place but sometimes I question how they conclude that re-uniting a family is the best. I know they have rules and guidelines they have to adhere to but there are some parents that should never have their children back.
    I'm so very sorry you are having to deal with this. It's the ripple effect of long ago choices made by your daughter.
    Sending you prayers and hugs!
     
  11. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    How old is the older son? I know it takes time to start getting help for the kids. But don't be afraid to report the threats/violence if it continues. Sometimes you have to do hard things to protect the most vulnerable.

    Ksm
     
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tanya and KSM. I think they see that I am trying to help them but they have been through so much chaos, it’s like that is their “comfort zone.” It’s all they know, except for the times they have been with us, and favorite Aunts from their paternal side. It will take a lot of retraining to get them to stop escalating emotionally and acting out. The unanswered questions and what ifs are not helping either. I question the goal of reunification as well, what more proof do they need as to a parents fitness?
    I have had a talk with my younger grandson this morning to find ways to cope rather than losing it like he did last night. The elder is going to be 15 soon and at 6 ft tall, pushes his weight around. I will talk with him again later.
    All I know is that I am not physically capable of stopping him if he loses it. I have to monitor this and see where it goes. I will not have bullying, swearing and violence in my home. I know it is a scary time for all of them. I am praying that CWS figures something out so that we at least have some kind of plan.
    You are right KSM, sometimes we have to do the hard things.
    Leaf
     
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  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear New Leaf. I think this is it. What respite really do the kids have? It's like being intensely in love with somebody, who will soon leave because he has a wife in another city. While it's not you who is betraying them, their parents and the system are. I think it is unconscionable leaving these kids in this limbo.

    My son was foster adopt. His parents still had parental rights. When I expressed interest to adopt him, the system moved quickly to legally terminate parental rights. I don't necessarily think it was for the welfare of my child. I think it was because the system had been complicit in his neglect. Which I think is the situation here. I think the children need their own attorney. When children are in "the system" they are by law entitled to an attorney paid for by public funds. I doubt that this is only in California. It must be the case there as well. This attorney would advocate for the children's rights. Not the parents. Not yours. Not grandparents.
    This is what I think. I think the expectation here needs to be of yourself. I think it would be real easy to believe you can rescue these kids. The situation is pulling for that. I would want to rescue them. But you hit the nail on the head. Their situation is ongoing and intractable as long as the parents remain "out there" and the system does nothing to take that on and give these kids a stable and loving permanent home. The kids are not stupid. They know they are in limbo. Like you say, they are just acting out the truth of their lives.

    This is the 64000 dollar question. But this question is not only rhetorical. The system needs to be challenged to do their job. Or your daughter and the father need to be pressured to surrender parental rights, voluntarily. Now that there is this perceived tug of war between paternal and maternal grandparents, arriving at a compromise may be more difficult, but who knows? Maybe it will help.

    There have to be a non-profit that advocates for kids caught up in the system, that will take this on. Over and above an attorney to represent the kids. And if there are funds, it would not hurt for you to consult with a family attorney, to advocate for your position.

    The thing I am struggling to get across to you New Leaf is to validate what you're feeling, that you have taken on a huge responsibility...not because the kids have issues and problems...but because they are being sacrificed...and they know this is still the case. Somebody at the Democratic debate said the truth, I think it was DeBlasio *who I am not enamored of, but I liked what he said: He said of racial resentment towards immigrants, it's not them who hurt you, it's corporations. This is the kids, too. Substitute adults for corporations.

    This is why these kids need therapy ASAP. They need individual therapy and they may benefit from family therapy. They need to come to the understanding that they are taking out their anger at each other and themselves, anger rightfully placed at the feet of adults in their midst (and I would add, the system that enables them.)

    I want you to let yourself off the hook. I fear that you expect of yourself that you make it all better. You can't. Nobody can. It's one day at a time. Like you say. No more than that.

    But somebody needs to help the kids understand that none of this is their fault. I feel bad.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  14. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Oh, Leafy...

    I think maybe even more than their comfort zone. In a house so overcrowded, with an overbearing Alpha male like Grandpa, acting out and screaming might have been the ONLY way they could hope to be heard.

    I hope they soon understand that the chaos they are used to isn't necessary (or acceptable) anymore. I believe they will understand that soon. I know they understand you are trying to help them.

    Tornado...well, there are no words. It's flat-out heartbreaking, and I just can't even begin to wrap my head around it.

    I was wondering the same thing as Copa. Do the courts have Guardian ad Litem programs available?
     
  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I think this is what CWS is pondering which is the next step- going to court. The process for them is to hold these conferences and try to get one parent to start towing the line.That is not necessarily in the kids best interest, but they have to follow procedure. Supposedly this conference happens Wednesday but I have no confirmation as of yet. No contact from the social worker yesterday.
    I wonder if that would jeopardize my position as a temporary foster resource parent? It seems like a catch 22-making kin responsible for the children’s care, through the state agency while we sit and wait for the system to respond. As far as funds? Nothing, again. That is not my main concern but it is a factor. No word on health insurance. One would think that would be prioritized so the kids could start getting therapy to deal with the immediate stress of being uprooted. Sure, they are away from the abuse, that does not mean problem solved.
    They are smart. They know that their parents and the system has failed them.

    I am hoping that this will happen soon. I took my younger grandson for a ride to watch the sunrise and see the waves. We had a nice talk. They are reachable. Resilient.

    Indeed one day at a time. I had a chat with a friend who has fostered and adopted many children. She said the State has to go through its process and it is slow because they are overwhelmed with cases. She knows my caseworker and said he’s a bit disorganized but is a good person. That’s important.

    We are constantly discussing and working through issues. I think grandsons melt down shocked his sister and brother. Things have calmed somewhat for now. All I can do is wait and pray that the tides will turn and my grands will get a chance to live peaceably.
    I think with time the kids will calm down and learn to express themselves in more positive ways. I have seen small changes already. I tell them that we all have our work cut out for us, adjusting to new living conditions and trying to remain calm and rely on faith. Hoku has been a tremendous help and has promised to be here to help even though they are moving in to their own place.
    Tornado is in a predicament with her drug use. It is sad that it has overtaken her life to this extent. She knows that when she is caught, she will go to jail. I try to explain to the kids how drugs effect ability to reason and care about anything else. Hopefully one day she will awaken from meths spell.
    My friend said once the state has done the necessary conferences, court is the next step. She urged me to attend so that I am involved and aware of decisions, that it is my right to go and that by law I have to be notified. I think that I will be covered under the family act to miss work if that be the case.
    So, it is a waiting game. We will keep busy rearranging the house and getting the kids settled in to a routine. Hopefully the gears will be put in motion so that I can get the kids registered for school and take them to the dentist and doctors. In the meantime we will continue to work through challenges and discuss issues. I think the kids are appreciative to have an opportunity to express themselves. I have to move forward with faith that there will be resolution. I intend to work hard for my grands right to have peace in their lives. I expect them to learn to respect my right to have the same.
    Thanks so much for following along and offering comfort, wisdom and understanding.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy
     
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  16. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    New Leaf, I am so grateful for your grandkids' sake that you are there for them. You have your work cut out for you, but I agree that with persistence, they will begin to release some of the coping mechanisms they have had to use to deal with the situation they were in. May God give you great wisdom, love, and patience as He guides you in caring for these kids He has placed in your life.
     
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  17. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Some thoughts... Keep asking about the children's benefits and health insurance. In our case, state insurance was able to go back 90 days and cover medical costs, if there were any.

    In our state, which has privatized foster care, they now do a dual case plan, meaning that although they do have a reintegration plan, they are simultaneously working a permanency plan if the parents don't progress quickly. A lot quicker than they used to plan for.

    Did you have to have a home inspection? We had to, before they let the kids spend any time in our home.

    I wish this was all an easier process. Praying for all of you. Ksm
     
  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Beta and KSM, I have calmed a bit knowing that I don’t have much control over any of this, and stressing won’t help matters. The kids finally got state insurance when grandson broke his ankle, the hospital social worker was kind enough to sign all three kids up. But other grandmother has the cards.
    We received confirmation that the conference is set for tomorrow and an agenda was sent. We are all supposed to sit down and discuss the situation and agree to a plan.
    There was a quick initial home inspection, as I am considered a temporary resource foster parent for now. We shall see what happens at tomorrow’s conference. I am trying to be calm and present and rely on God. The best outcome would be for everyone to focus on what the kids need to heal. I have asked them to write down their thoughts so they have somewhat of a voice tomorrow. We are supposed to be talking about our hopes and dreams for them, I don’t feel comfortable doing that without their input too.
    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
    It really helps.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy
     
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    We will pray for this.
    Smart.

    What time is it tomorrow, your time? I will be there with you.
     
  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Copa we are meeting at 2:00 pm. It was stated that it will be a 2-3 hour meeting. I just had a big rush of the feels thinking about my daughters lack of concern over her children. It makes me real sad. What triggered it is the discovery that on Hokus emailed invitation to the meeting it revealed that the case is under Tornados name. She will not be there. I don’t know who will be coming from the paternal side.
    Hoku and I are going to advocate for these kids.
    God help them.
    Leaf
     
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