October 12, 2021

spilling the beans, details, and a Dear Indiana rant

* Time to spill the beans. We looked at each other mid March  - holy crap. Boys  could be here as early as Easter. We better share the news with our families. THIS is the news I had planned to share with my mom and my sisters on my mom's birthday . . . remember? When they all had a dinner together and I wasn't included - the day we got our vaccines and Marie was in town from Milwaukee? Yep, that stung worse than the shot. I was like BUT I HAD SOMETHING TO TELL THEM and at the same time I was like WHY DO I EVEN WANT TO TELL THEM? 

* Easter announcement. We hosted my side the day before Easter. Marie was back in town for her next shot. I gathered the adults after we ate and stood up to speak. Only squeaks came out of my mouth. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I'M A TALKER. IT'S WHAT I DO (in case you thought I was wordy in written word only). Coach was like DO YOU WANT ME TO TELL THEM. Hell no, love you man, but it's gotta be me. I hadn't anticipated being emotional, but I had to stop more than once as I told the story. Later Aunt Leprechaun said:  YOU KNOW WHEN YOU GOT ALL CHOKED UP WE ALL FEARED YOU HAD CANCER OR SOMETHING AWFUL. 

Reg and boys making train
tracks in a hotel room.
    They were all surprised. Ann asked why they were up for adoption. Did their parents die? I was like PARENTAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TERMINATED. She wanted to know why, I brushed her off. Later she would ask me again during Tank's grad party if I knew their story/background. I was like YES, ALWAYS HAVE. JUST NOT SHARING IT. IT'S THEIR STORY TO TELL. 

    Ed said that my dad got up after our announcement and moved over to sit next to him at the snack bar. Apparently my dad had tears streaming down his face. He told Ed:  THIS IS REALLY SOMETHING. 

* Our worker called with news a few days later. I told her Coach was at work, but I could relay any message to him. She took a pass and said it needed to be both of us. Didn't sound good. It wasn't. Indiana was being a pain in the ass about agreeing to things. The boys could come live with us but IN wouldn't contract out. I could be wrong, but I think she said that Indiana didn't like that we were working with a private agency. Things would've been smoother if we'd been licensed through the state. What on earth? Who cares?     

    We'd have to pay for their therapy and to have our worker check up on them every week. Her rate was $600/week. They'd have no health insurance. We could find a provider in IN and drive to Indiana (like just across the border about an hour away) if we wanted to continue to use their Indiana Medicaid cards. When the boys came into care, their parents made more money than the benchmark, so they weren't title E something-or-other qualified, which is the thing needed to get free insurance in our state (or something - I can't say I understood it then or now - it was just super ridiculous). 



1. Who the hell cares what their parents' income was? Their rights were terminated, the parents are worthless to their own children and showed absolutely no signs of caring for them over the years. These boys are now considered THERAPUTIC because of their own deadbeat parents. That's going to take quite a bit of therapy and those bills aren't cheap. (As our worker pointed out, once an adoption would be finalized, their financial situation would be re-evaluated and the court would then recognize that the boys could be title E whatever eligible. Helpful? I think not.) 

Debbie the foster mom worked in the kids'
school, so when we ran out of options for
 things to do, hello covid, she'd
 let us use the gym in her school. 

2. You don't contract out? Well, hey morons, do you wanna rethink this one and maybe support us a tad because we're about to do you a solid and take these two WARDS OF THE STATE off your incompetent, clueless hands. Why make this a financial hardship for us? Because you can? You'll end up paying more trying to support them in foster care for the rest of their lives, if you don't encourage us to do what we're willing to do. Kiss my ass. 

3. Oh, and while we're on the subject of how you all suck . . . you removed these boys from their parents' care and placed them with their dad's best friend and his loser wife. These people were not licensed foster parents. Nor were they blood relatives. The boys circumstances did NOT improve. This couple mistreated them and hurt them. For 11 months you let that happen. They were small children who needed help and you failed them. But you are going to pussy-foot around and make us pay out the ass in order to agree to have these boys come and live with us. You're going to hold up the process because you won't bend on your end and we can't afford for them to live with us uninsured. *since then, I've learned from other foster parents in Indiana that DCS in Indiana is known to try desperately to place with family so they don't have to pay the stipend. Um, this dude that they placed them with was NOT a blood relative. He divorced his wife, and she married his best friend. She was then the boys' step mother - still no reason to have her ex-husband get custody. 

* One of the difficulties was health insurance. I called a hospital from Illinois that had a branch in Indiana. I asked if they saw Indiana residents as patients in Illinois would they take Indiana Medicaid, since the branch in Indiana most likely did? The answer was no, they wouldn't. Only the Indiana branches would. This idea to call and find this out was our worker's idea. 

* We tried a few other 'think outside the box' alternatives. One idea was that we would just bring the boys to a provider in Indiana whenever they needed to go to the hospital/doctor. That'd be fun. Indiana is about an hour away from us, when there is no traffic. In case you've never been here - there's always traffic in Chicago.

* Finally, I told Coach to reach out to the owner of his company. He's a good guy. Knows us personally. Sold the business a few years ago, but retains partial ownership. 



Wish granted. Mr. owner was adamant that he be kept in the loop about all of our heath insurance needs and we were to contact him with any issues. He wanted this DONE. I knew he'd come through. 

* Our worker agreed to lower her fees (really, it's not her decision. It's her office's. If it was up to her, she wouldn't charge). She lowered her fees to $400/week to check up on the boys. And Indiana came back and said they'd pay $97 a week. Big of them. What's with the weird number, Indiana? Can't do a round number like say $100? So strange. 

* Then we asked if we could do family therapy that would be covered through our health insurance and only see our worker once a month to save us some money ($400/week). The therapist we were on the waiting list for was top notch. Only works with adoption cases like ours. Indiana said NO. They insisted that our worker come every other week, not once a month. 


*more tomorrow, it's a lot - so no worries if you can't keep up. trying to get you up to real time so you know what's happening in the present day.


Nicole MacPherson said...

Oh wow, they do not make it easy! $600/ week! Who can afford that!

Suzanne said...

Oh Jeez. This all sounds so exhausting. <3 WHY so many ridiculous hoops???? (I mean, I get it. But also WHYYYYYY.)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Your dad's reaction to your announcement? Brought tears to my eyes.

I'm exhausted reading all the freaking hoops you've had to jump through. Really? Indiana? SHAPE UP. Why make a person doing something good so damn hard?

Hugs my friend.

Jenny in WV said...

Surely the system could eliminate some of the red tape and still insure the kids are safe and well cared for!

$600 a week! Don't they know there was a tornado and your money tree was blown over?

Anonymous said...

Wow, it’s mind blowing how difficult they can make this. Like you said, you’re doing them (IN) a favor really, and if you’re approved, safe people for the boys to be with, why the hell make it so difficult?!
Hearing your dad’s emotional reaction, and approval, is really nice. Did the rest of the family react well? Besides the nosiness.
Another thing that blows my mind, is how you had ALL of this going on and you still managed to give us 2-3 solid, consistent, posts a week, and we thought your life was busy then! You are SUPERWOMAN!

Pat Birnie said...

Like some of the other commenters I also got teary, first with your dad’s response, then with the owner of coach’s clinic stepping up. So many good people out there, including your family. I cannot fathom the unnecessary red tape and don’t know how you have the patience. Thank you for keeping us up to date! cannot wait for the next instalment.

Beth Cotell said...

Oh, Ernie!!! This is all so ridiculous! I am anxious to read further updates. Also, tour dad does have a heart!

Charlie said...

Unbelievable you could get to near the end of the process before all these hurdles were put in place. Maybe I am really naive but that’s so dreadful. Bureaucracy gone mad! But then I’m not from the US so don’t really understand different states’ laws. Where are the child’s interests in all this red tape…. I’m really feeling very cross for you at all this.

Ernie said...

Nicole - They really don't. And it begs the question - would more people do more if the path wasn't so challenging. The $600 was lowered, but still crazy that they wouldn't contract out - we happen to be out of state. Deal.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- It's an awful system. I don't necessarily have the answers for how to fix it, but even the people working the system continue to say BROKEN. Sigh.

Ernie said...

Suz - Thanks. Yes, my dad has a heart, he's just sometimes careless with others'. He has also softened incredibly with old age.

It is nuts. Our agency won't work with Texas. Something happened along the way and I wasn't allowed to reach out to Texas. AT ALL. I think another challenging state should be added to that list.

Thanks for the hug.

Ernie said...

Jenny - Yes, some of the red tape was mind blowing. If we'd adopted within Illinois it would've just been a straight forward contract. Our worker kept apologizing. We had nothing to compare it with, but she said it was crap. I like the tornado/money tree reference . . . I mean it did knock over my swing set. ;)

Ernie said...

AM- All the family were very supportive. My SIL Aunt Leprechaun asked me how many kids one of Coach's brothers has currently. His brother and wife just delivered baby #9 days before our gathering and I told her that. Aunt Leprechaun then said to me OH SHE'S STILL WINNING. I felt that was in very poor taste. Really? Increasing our numbers as if we were in a competition was not our motivation. I might add this bit to an upcoming post, because I did forget to mention it and I thought it was crappy.

I am not close to my sisters. Gave that up awhile ago. I know they and my brothers were surprised and they all had good things to say. I can also imagine some of the side conversations. I don't really care though. The thing about creating distance - it's given me space to see things clearly.

I'm curtseying at your compliment at continuing to post despite the background nonsense. Honestly writing is my escape. No matter what's going on, if I start writing I can get absorbed. This will also give you an indication of what a DISASTER our home is.

Ernie said...

Pat - It was always somehow nice to keep our journey private - although good friends knew . . . you know who you are. But when we shared it, we were not prepared for the outpouring of support. Coach's boss - former owner/retired owner. He's very well grounded. Which reminds me, I probably owe him a plate of cookies. He's a lover of my baked goods.

I worried that my dad might shake his head and say HOW CAN YOU AFFORD THIS? He's an accountant and the bottom line is his 'thing'. But as I've said, he's softened quite a bit.

I should go as red tape for Halloween. And write Indiana on my sweatshirt. The ass wipes.

Ernie said...

Beth - Thanks for following along. Yes, my dad - I think I said it best when I described him as always having a heart but not always being careful with others'.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Your accent is coming across here and I'm loving it. BUREAUCRACY GONE MAD. Indeed. And thank you for saying you're cross. I'm right there with you.