Thursday, February 10, 2011

News at Six: Clean, Safe Housing Not Sufficient for Foster Children

I'm too nice for my own good. You can put your coffee back in your nose; I'm serious. I know I'm a judgmental bitch on this blog, but that's just to get all the bullshit out of my head in order to function in the real world. Most of the time, okay 65% of the time (that's more often than not), I'm a pretty rational, compassionate, genuinely nice person. I may show that side of me to you sometime, but if you need a Mrs. Nice Hyde fix right now, go here.

A couple weeks ago, Bruce of Dreamodeling! wrote a post about finding the right remodeler. His post brought up some very bad memories for me about home improvement jobs gone horribly wrong. This is a rare glimpse of Mrs. Hyde being taken advantage of and being powerless to change it. You might want to print this one out.



Initially this was going to be one post, but it became too long as I tend to ramble. Who wants to read a long ass post on one blog when they've got 60 other blogs that they follow? So, I've divided it into two separate posts, one that you get today, and another that you'll get tomorrow. I'm a very considerate bitch.

A few years ago before we adopted the [teenage] girl, hubby and I jumped through hoops to get certified as foster parents. We had to get our cat licensed, take six weeks of parenting classes, get background checks and fingerprinted, get our home inspected by both the fire and health inspectors. All understandable, of course; health and safety issues and all. We had to have a separate bedroom for her. Okay...what the fuck? This was a child that was coming from a group home. There she shared a room with four other girls, but in my house, she had to have her own room. Whatever, ass clowns.

Our whole house had to be rearranged. The six-year-old girl had to move in with the seven-year-old boy, the twelve-year-old boy moved into the basement, and hubby had to give up the mancave. The state didn't care where my kids slept as long as the girl was comfortable and safe. I didn't think that was fair to anybody because that would have her moving into a home where all the kids (and one adult) already resented her for having to give up their rooms. I damn near killed myself with the fumes of some off-brand WD-40 trying to clean crayon marks off the wall in her new room. We also had to get rid of the bunk beds that our younger kids slept in. Are you kidding me? The girl was 13, a big 13. Not only was she big enough to refrain from falling off a bunk, but she wasn't going to be sleeping in it. She wasn't even going to be in the same room with it.

I hope they don't think I did that shit. Fuck no. I just closed the door when the social worker came to inspect. She asked, pointing at the closed bedroom door that I stood blocking, "Is that where your kids sleep?" I smiled and said, "Yes." Then I gave her my don't-even-think-about-it look. She didn't even think about it. That bitch might have had severe gingivitis, but she wasn't stupid.

Anyway, the health inspector came out and ripped our house to shreds. It just wasn't good enough for their precious foster child. Did these people forget that this child was technically homeless? And they're saying that my clean, safe, warm home was not good enough for her? In our kitchen, some of the tiles had fallen off the wall. We live in an old house with almost all of the original fixtures, so that style/brand of tile is not even manufactured anymore. Even so, with all the money we had to pay for inspections and such (yes, we had to pay for all that shit), we just didn't have the money to have it repaired.

He failed us because of the kitchen tiles. To this day, I still don't see how that is a health issue. When he came back months later, he approved the kitchen wall, but was about to fail us again for the screen door in the back of the house. He said he must have missed it the last time. It was pretty banged up, but damn. That mother fucker was starting to piss me off! I asked him if I just removed the screen door, would that be sufficient enough to pass his ridiculous inspection. His reply, "Yeah, I guess." I took it off while he stood his dumb ass there and watched.

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of foster children waiting to be placed in safe, loving homes. Meanwhile good people who would give those children what they need are being subjected to bullshit. I understand that there are some people who are mean to these children and who only do it for the money. But it was clear to anyone with half a brain that we weren't those people. The hubs is a cop, as I've mentioned before and I am a stay-at-home mom. We have three (now four) children who are thriving and healthy and happy. They know this because they interviewed our children and scrutinized their school and medical records. Not only that, but we weren't trying to foster multiple children, just this child. So no, we weren't in it for the money. Besides, if they think that little monthly stipend is enough to raise a child, they are sorely mistaken. And just plain dumb as fuck.

This experience has succeeded in achieving one major thing: we will never do foster care again. It's sad that they are pushing good people away because there are so many children that still need homes. But that's it for me. I've saved one child, which is more than lots of other people can say.

She'll be 18 in five months, but she still has two years of high school to go. She was moved around in foster care so much because of her anger issues, that she fell behind in school. It's a shame because that girl is smart as a whip.

I was so looking forward to my kids moving the hell outta my house once they had turned 18.

Damn.

I just depressed myself.

I'll be back with part two, Handyman Sucks Donkey Balls, tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm going to replenish my vodka stash and cry about how half my life is gone and I have yet to do anything with it.

It's five o'clock somewhere, right?

16 comments:

  1. Oh this pisses me off for multiple reasons.

    One you don't have to take any damn class or have a home inspection to have your owns kids, so why the hell for all that inspection shit.

    That home inspector is a shit head. He needs to be fucking slapped. Seriously.

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  2. It's 5:03pm where I am right now. Go for that big ol' vodka and Red Bull!

    I'm stealing the second sentence. Glorious!

    Good on ya for persevering with the foster placement.

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  3. It's ridiculous that hoops that you have to jump through to HELP someeone. I've only ever tried to adopt another dog, and am continuously denied for every dumbass reason under the sun, and I imagine that it's 100x as difficult with a kid. Good on ya for enduring though. Your daughter's a lucky kid. :)

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  4. thanks for the shout out! you make me a better person for having gotten to know you... a bitch with a big heart is my kinda woman!

    inspectors are jackfuckingtards...can you say weapons of mass destruction? i mean they must have been there but inspectors are fuckityfucktards...

    i hate inspectors and have not even gotten to that dreamodeling post yet.

    when my family took in foster kids(while i was growing up) it was not nearly as fucked up. my father was an alcoholic and mother an enabler, but they had a lot of love to give. it was a good thing to have all those kids in and out of our lives, and mebbe that is why i have the idea that nothing is permannent so take each day as the gift it is.

    you have done an awesome thing and it is a fucking fuckity crying shame that you will not take any more chillins...

    you are a great role model and i don't care what anyone says the world needs more role models and caring parents.

    it does not need anymore idiotarded fucknutted inspectors, or hoops to jump thru to make the world a better place.

    as usual, i want to just say i love you but i have to vent first!

    totally awesome post can't wait for part two.

    Bruce
    Bruce Johnson JADIP
    Evil Twin
    stupid stuff I see and hear
    The Dreamodeling Guy
    dreamodeling!
    The Guy Book
    The Guy Book

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  5. Great post and yet another example of the many things that are broken in the government. Good on you for sticking to your guns despite the assinine hoops you had to jump through just to take that girl into your home. Hopefully how well she is turning out brings you great satisfaction because that was an amazing and loving thing you did for another human being. We need more people like you Mrs. Hyde and I am so proud to consider you a friend. Much love!

    http://rantersbox.blogspot.com/

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  6. I spent most of my life in foster care. Funny. I'm not sure they even checked those whom I was unfortunate enough to end up living with's background.

    you're a good, good woman. I'm sure you know that.

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  7. I agree with you on everything except your statement that you haven't done anything with your life yet. If you've raised your kids well AND provided a loving home to a kid who's not even biologically yours as well, you've done a helluva lot more than many people. Unfortunately, we stay at homes aren't given the props for the work we do every damn day, but it's the most important work there is.

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  8. Inspector Dickwad sounds horrible. Good for you that you were able to put up with it and give this girl a good home.

    visions unto myself

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  9. Just when I thought I liked you a lot, I realize I like you even more. My late hubs was a victim of foster care most of his life having lost his parents at 2. He was abused, and shuffled around but turned into a great man. You gave a gift to that little girl and for that you deserve the world. Bless your heart. All that bitch stuff is just a front. You're a sweetheart!!

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  10. wow. i admire people so much who are willing to reach out to a child in need of a safe home. it's a shame they had to put you, her, and the rest of your family through all that waiting and ridiculous bullshit. the amount of effort you were willing to put into it might just make you a saint. (probably the best saints are the ones who can throw a bitch fit when necessary.)

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  11. OT- That's the same thing I said. I need to take a class for something I've already been doing for the past twelve years? You're joking right? Sadly, they were not.

    Mollie- Thank you for supporting my alcohol addiction. ;) Unfortunately, I had a class this evening and wasn't able to get my drink on. There's always tomorrow...

    Katsidhe- My daughter may disagree with you after I ripped her a new one today for that sorry ass report card she brought home.

    Bruce- those with big hearts make the best bitches cuz we love people, but we will not be stepped on.

    Empress- That child is lucky I love her because ONLY a mother's love could endure that kinda bullshit.

    Bella- I guess it's a good thing that they do background checks and such nowadays. Although some of crazies do slip through the cracks.

    Lolamouse- I understand what you're saying and I appreciate it. But all that is stuff I did for others. I have yet to do something for myself and I think it's high time. It's like I'm just starting to 'get' that I'm a woman and a person as well as a wife and mother.

    Kara- That is the perfect name for him. From now on, I shall refer to him as such. Thanks, hon!

    Barb- I am not a sweetheart! Okay, maybe just a little.

    Lovkyne- I'm quite sure the ability to bitch is a prerequisite to sainthood.

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  12. You are totally awesome and I have so much admiration for you.
    It seems crazy that people who can genuinely help these kids often give up through dealing with the dick heads in government departments while if you want to breed and neglect your kids, just go right ahead.

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  13. WTF?? This country is in dire, dire need of foster parents. It just pisses me off that the gummint is essentially discouraging people from becoming foster parents. You are a generous soul to take on a foster child, let alone a teenager. She's a lucky girl to have found a home. There are thousands of children out there who never will. It's heartbreaking.

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  14. Mynx- Exactly! They've got orphans living with family members (who they didn't scrutinize) that are turning up dead and/or severely neglected, but OUR home and family is the real threat.

    OMS- I plead temporary insanity on adopting a teenager, but you're right. I was discouraged from ever doing it again.

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  15. Perfect line about not being a bitch in real life, just on this blog so you can function in real life. I wish I would have thought of it first.

    Second, I admire you for becoming a foster parent, even though it was such a pain in the ass. Too many children in need and not enough loving homes to place them in. I will consider the option myself when I become selfless enough to raise children.

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  16. I totally agree with you. We were on track to being foster parents. Hubby saw the list of 50million things they wanted us to do and got discouraged. I'm hoping he'll change his mind again, but our house is OLD so they'd probably tell us to knock it down and start over.

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Bitch with me, will you?