On control...

...and lack thereof. As foster parents, we have very little control. We can not make any plans that interfere with the boys' visitation without first getting permission from their mother. This means that 5 days a week we are the mercy of their visitation schedule. One of these days is Saturday, which puts a crimp in any weekend activities or trips - Saturday they have a visit, Sunday we have church.

We all went to the lake last night, and D ran into some of his cousins on his dad's side. His dad is not active in their case and he has not had contact with his dad since he entered foster care. I don't believe HHS even has an address for him. Anyway, one of the girls that was there gave D his dad's girlfriend's phone number.

When the kids first came to our house D was talking about his dad all the time, like he was a constant presence in his life. I asked his caseworker if he could talk to his dad and the answer was no, period. No explanation given. So I told D when he told us about the phone number that he got that he couldn't call his dad's girlfriend but we could ask his caseworker again and maybe she had changed her mind or whatever. He cried for a long time. :( It was really sad.

So I emailed the caseworker last night about it, and they responded that we have to supervise 100% of their conversation, like it has to be on speaker phone or we have to be on another phone in the house or whatever. Also, she asked for the phone number because she wanted to talk to the dad first to explain what was going on. She also said they could get visits set up if the dad wanted to, and that they would be supervised (someone else would be present the entire time). Apparently he has "significant criminal history" but I have no idea what this is specifically. When I told D that the caseworker wanted his dad's number to call him first (I didn't say any of the other stuff) he totally flipped out and was about to rip up the phone number. I grabbed it from him and said that if he really didn't want to see or talk to his dad that was fine, but he needed to think on it a while (I told him at least one day) before he made that decision because he might not get the opportunity again. I'm not really sure what to think about his reaction, I'm hoping it was just an off-the-cuff thing and he will be getting over it.

The caseworker also said in her email basically oh hey, by the way the little boys' dad is out of jail now and is requesting visitation, so they are trying to work something out. Needless to say I am totally thrilled with the thought of these babies going and hanging out with a criminal. Father or not...it just makes me feel a little ill. I am not 100% sure what he was in jail for but I can take a guess at it. I think the state HAS to give him visitation unless he has done something really bad, like kill one of his children or something like that. So I get it, I really do...but it's just sad.

So soon the boys may have more visitation with their dads, of course they have different dads so they will not be going together. I think D is going to be pretty upset when he finds out that the little boys are going to be seeing their dad and he won't be able to be there, just because of his protectiveness towards them.

That is where lack of control comes in. I really wish I could say "NO they can not see these people!" But of course I can't. I really hope these dads don't make the kids' lives harder than they already are.

School is starting soon. I found out that D's school is from 8-3, which isn't terribly early but that means I'll be waking up the babies about a half hour or an hour before they normally wake up, because they will need to be up by 6:45 at the latest (probably more like 6:30) so I can feed them, change them, and get the car loaded up to be heading out the door by 7:30. Sometimes they sleep until 7:30 so it will be interesting. Maybe it will result in longer nap times. :)

Oh I was so proud of myself for thinking of this - All of the computers at our house are password protected. D is always asking me to put the password in for him so he can get on the internet. He always asks at the most terrible times, like when I'm trying to get food for the babies, when they are both crying, when they are getting into something they shouldn't, when I am in the middle of washing dishes, etc. So I decided to start "charging" him 10 minutes of reading before putting in the password. I think that's fair especially since pretty much all he does at home is sit around and watch TV or play on the computer. So far he has not been willing to "pay" for me to put in the password. He says since it's summer he shouldn't be reading - my position of course is the exact opposite, since it's summer it's a GREAT time to read! We have offered to pay him for reading ($10 per book - if my parents would have done that, I would have been SO RICH), offered to take him to the library so he can pick out whatever books he wants to read, offered to take him to ride go-carts with Brian if he reads, and he just won't do it. I'm wondering if there is some kind of issue with his reading ability, but of course I have no way of knowing that because I have none of his school records or anything (UGH). Or maybe he is just being really stubborn which is entirely possible.


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