Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why I blog

Last night I was trying so hard to get my brain to wind down so I can sleep. It's not been happening and I was T-I-R-E-D. You see, I go to see "the house" tomorrow and we are all so excited to find out if this is "the one." And a little scared to be honest. We've lived here a longgg time, since we got married, in fact. And hubby was here before that!

As well as the big trip tomorrow with the kids, that lack of Internet again, scary. And add another dose of anxiety to my plate, I was called to go to an interview for a full time nursing job, in home pediatric care. As much as I would be thrilled to do such a job, I can't figure out where to fit the TIME to do a full time job outside this home IN my life!

Then add another dose, 'cause I don't have enough anxiety for medication yet, with the big meeting about the boys' education. Phewww, that was U-G-L-Y.
Quite frankly I didn't yell or call anyone names but the frustration level I have with this school had steam rising off my red head. Was I ever MAD. NOT because they claim children with language issues do not qualify for an IEP, I understand that, but because the ESL program they are using for the boys is not cuttin' it. And how do I know this???

Well, the goofballs gave me a report stating my son (Chase) went in a classroom (math) and sat down. Everyone else got out their books turned to the correct page and did a quiz. In the meantime for over 10 minutes my son sat, no one attempted to help him turn to the right page, it noted even the TEACHER ignored him and offered no aid to Chase. WHOA. Hello people. I was FLOORED.
I kindly ( okay MOM-- I wasn't kind) pointed out that they were breaking the law. Yep. It's that serious. Because my son is supposed to have a modified curriculum and be INCLUDED in his classes. Met at HIS level per the ESL laws.

NOT ignored, left to sit there, with no understanding, feeling like an outsider. I asked them if they understood the commitment we made to adopt these children, that they would get the best education. And that they came from schools they were treated as outcasts.

Unwanted children. But that now they were our sons, had our name and had the right to an education and I would not tolerate this type of situation for ANY of my children. How DARE they! Uhh, yeah, you see I did get a little hot.

So as I refused to sign their papers stating I agreed to their findings and I refused to so kindly hand them back their report ( it was my copy) with the "math class issue in" that I could take to the state board of ed or a lawyer and have a field day with, they are now scrambling to get stuff in place that will accommodate our sons.
Momma Bear will not allow them to short change HER cubs. I have tolerated their "never had students with NO English skills at their ages, we don't know where to even start" CRAP long enough. They are the ones with teaching degrees, not me.

Okay then, adding in some more stress and worry, just for fun, mind you, we STILL can not get the Philly office of imm*gration to issue Chase's Certificate of Citizenship, without him appearing to take an oath. I even sent a letter to the Pittsburgh office asking for help.
Not sure what our great government is up to but I suspect they are all "out to lunch" and so in order to get his SS number and file taxes, I am grudgingly going to go to Philly on Monday with Chase to get this darn COC. Not that we are even CLOSE to their office, it's a good 4-5 hour drive as well as the fact that I have never been there except once and I wasn't supposed to even be there.

I ended up going around some loop about 6 times, even stopping and asking for help, feeling like I was in a bad "Vacation" movie saying "look kids, Big Ben", over and over till I lost it. I did finally get out and got on the road to where I was supposed to be, but I have been traumatized for life about driving there, so one of our older sons who is familiar with Philly area has offered to drive us. Thank God. And Thank God for the people I meet from blogging.

One such person, who has sympathized with me as they dealt with this same office and had issues. Just as I was thinking I had hit breaking point of what was on my "plate" last night, she sends me this......

From: Vickie
To: USC*S, Callowhill Drive, Philly, PA
Re: That COC thingy


Thanks so much for the invitation to the COC party! I know that you would like my family to come to your office to pick up my American son's COC so that you can present him with an American flag and sing Yankee Doodle Dandy and then shake his hand. That would be swell!! Even my good (new) friend Dawn would like to see this ceremony and if you play the Star Spangled Banner, why then she'll start to cry (because she was in the Army and always crys during the SSB, even at the Shriners Circus, which of course made two of her three kids cry out of sheer fright) and THEN everyone could all clap for Chase the American. It makes me teary just thinking of it!!

Would you believe I plum forgot to tell you that we don't even LIVE in Philly, why no not even close! I live faaaaar away, way far up north. Actually we don't even live in the Big City, but out in the country, way way out, surrounded by soybean fields and cows. In fact, our street doesn't even have a real name, just a name we made up to put down on that CoC application. We live on that road that runs by the pig farm and then you cross the stream and go 4 miles past that covered bridge, turn right at the outhouse on the corner and you're almost there. If fact, it takes us 3 hours just to get to the interstate! Or so we've heard--we've never actually been to the interstate, it's just too complicated and Old Stumpy gets really skittish when the tractor trailers zoom by our buggy! We only got as far as the entrance ramp the last time we tried it.

And, we really have no idea how to get to Philly. We don't even have snow tires on our buggy and Old Stumpy is getting really old, so we just won't be there. Just mail that COC to Dawn, she lives on a real street near you'unns and she'll bring it up here next fall for the barnraising. She has a car and sometimes lets me drive it in a circle around our back field. But not on moonshining days.

Yours truly,
Vickie and Family
(Uncle Jed, Ellie May, Jethro, Chase, Chance and Old Stumpy the Mule)

I read this and laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. Oh sorry, TMI there. But really, I just LOVE you girls (and even guys) that make up our adoptive "family". It shouldn't amaze me, God puts us together for a reason, but I can't help but feel so blessed to not just have adoptive children, but also people that connects me with.

This is why I blog. I meet some of the most wonderful people.
And so often they come to my aid when I am overwhelmed or life is throwing me 10 curve balls. And a good laugh was the perfect "medicine" for my overworking brain and I slept quite well. Thanks Dawn, you are too cool.

I have to tell you all too what Chloe said to me last night. I told her she was driving me "nuts" between Winter Retreat and the house showing, and she said "Weren't you already nuts?" Then "where do you keep those nuts, I like to eat nuts, peanuts, all kinds of nuts, so tell me?" OIY.

I hope to post on Sunday when I get back, till then think of me, pray for me, 21 kids going, no Internet, 21 kids and ME. Or maybe you better pray for Camden and Kat, they are staying back with dad. Any hooo, I'll be back on SUNDAY.....................


Chad and Kristy said...

I wish I had you in my corner when I was battling the schooly system. The sad things is they were in the wrong and I couldn't find a lawyer in the great state of Alabama to even talk to me... they all work for the AEA (Al Edu. Aso).

Good luck in Phily! Try not to be the next victim of Parking Wars:)You do not want to make any parking violation there!(if you haven't seen that show it is really funny... on A&E...)

Hugs to Mama Bear!

Family said...

You are quite a woman! I love the way you deal with everything. Sadly for your part, but good for me as I am already getting no help in preparing through the school for my soon to be home teen son.
Hang in there this weekend. We will hold on to the internet for you!

Wife of the Pres. said...

YOu go Momma on the IEP!!! BTDT!!!!

They tried to tell me our little 5YO (newly home) needed more time. Excuse me, he had plenty of time sitting in a crib (yes at 5 years old) in an orphanage being ignored. YOU are not going to ignore him. Yep, that is what I told them!

P.S. I had to put a call into our State Board of Ed. to get help and my they really helped! I highly recommend it. And you absolutely do not leave any meeting w/out copies of EVERYTHING they read from. Learned that the hard way. Things seem to *vanish.*

Thanks for sharing and this needs to be on NHBO Whatever Wednesday!

Heather said...

Sheesh! I'd be hot! That is absolutely ridiculous. Our wonderful "school system" in our great country. Things really get screwed up sometimes. Wish I could offer you help. I hate Philly myself. I;ve found that Baltimore is soooo much easier to navigate. I've had to go several times myself for a Temple doc and decided it wasn't worth it. Again, wish I could help!

Kelly said...

You should have used the D word. The BIG one that strikes fear --- DISCRIMINATION. I pull that one out periodically for one of our daughters with physical limitations because they aren't allowed to make decisions based on those limitations, but try to anyway (and I work in the district). I understand the frustration with the ESL thing because I feel the same way with physical and occupational therapies in school - they just aren't able to meet my daughter's needs so we go outside thank you very much. I am thrilled that you blog as I can't adopt at the moment and am thoroughly enjoying the glimpse into your life. Good Luck this weekend.

Nancy said...

You go, girl. I taught ESL way back when. When I quit to raise my kids I did tutoring in the elementary school for a little girl from Korea. The district paid me to come in two hours every day to work with her. It's the law. They have to provide education for your boys. Just don't let them get the best of you.

Grandma Shelley said...

Awesome job of standing up for your children's rights! I learned that MANY years ago with son I birthed. About 8 adults from school system along with myself, sat around table. They made a plan for Son without any input from me. Put the paper in front of me to sign....and I looked at them all, and said "there is NO WAY I am signing this paper." and I slid it back into the middle of the table. They ALL were dumbfounded. In the end, things went MY way...and I was told by a teacher at that time, the following: If YOU don't stand up for YOUR child, no one else is going to!" Amen, sister!

BigOrangeDog said...

First time leaving you a comment -- I've got 2 little girls from Beijing and Guangzhou, ages 4 and 5, and we're waiting for a 3.5-yr-old from Shanghai. All since 2009. :-)

Anyway, I'm sorry you're going through this with Chase. Can you suggest to them that they confer with another school district more experienced in ELL??

Our local public school also did not know what to do with a child who had spoken Cantonese until age 4.5 (and she's only in Kindergarten!), and thought they would just dump her in with the others and expect that she'd just pick it up without help.

So we're sending her to an inner-city public school, which actually has one of the best ELL programs in the country (Minnesota has tons of Hmong and Somali refugees). They know what to do for her. In fact, her K class has 16 kids who only recently began speaking English. Perhaps your district could meet with a more experienced district for help??

Just wanted to toss that out there! Best of luck with this uphill battle!

sunflowermom said...

You go girl!!! So funny, the way you handle it all with humor. My prayers are with and for you!


Grandma Shelley said...

Hello???? The house?? inquiring minds......LOL