Home Study Drama

My spring semester at the college ended yesterday. Our program graduation on Thursday went well,  and the speeches the graduates made were extraordinary and moving. After some stress around budget changes, we were given the same continuing hours for fall, and it feels great to have that continuity. Additionally, I was given a few hours a week during the last half of June and all of July before we have a full week of retreat and orientation when fall semester ramps up at the beginning of August. With these hours, the court disbursement I finally received last week, the non-profit work, and my career counseling business, it looks like it may be a little tight this summer but OK.

In this present moment, I'm looking around my house and recognizing there is a lot of cleaning to be done. I  feel jealous when I hear people being struck with spring or summer cleaning fever. I must have a strong immune system when it comes to that illness. haha  I do get motivated by outside catalysts, and  yesterday I scheduled a big one –  my final social worker visit on June 15th. I intend to make a list today of all the actions I need to take and what I need to get in place before she comes.

I had a scare last week when my social worker sent a lengthy email about additional policy changes which shift their demographic to a higher number of older and special needs children. I understood this was always the case, but I guess they are expanding relative searches for infants, among other things. She then asked me to expand my per age and or special-needs parameters. I wrote back that I was not comfortable with that and reminded her of previous in-depth conversations we had last year about it. She wrote back that in that case they would be unable to work with me. What? I was freaked out, needless to say, after jumping through inumerable hoops and literally being on the threshold of completing the homestudy. I wasn't sure she knew I've been communicating the past two months with their agency coordinator and completing all the replacement forms based on my move. So I sent those to both her and her supervisor and also left a voicemail with the supervisor Friday late afternoon.

And in my worried state, I also started doing some research with the county I live in now to see which parts of the homestudy might transfer. I will say I really liked the two women I spoke with in this county, but they needed to do further research about it...and regardless, I would need to redo the intensive interviewing process. I was clear I wanted to complete the homestudy with my current agency, since I'm so close, then consider options about how to move forward. Once completed, the homestudy can travel with me to other counties, etc.

So, long story short, I finally heard back from the supervisor on Wednesday, and she said there was a miscommunication and she did not mean they wouldn't work with me. She just wanted to stress the policy changes and likely longer timeline for placement with an infant. I said I understood but still wanted to complete the homestudy, which she was fine with, thank God. I think my social worker may have expressed things more strongly than she was supposed to. In any case, I'm super relieved!

No big plans this weekend, but I'm looking forward to attending the new church I found tomorrow and hiking with a friend on Monday. I hope you have a fun and relaxing holiday weekend!


Family Frustrations

Side note: I'm super ready for a new laptop; typing in an iPad mini is for the birds...

 I'm feeling a little angry today about family dynamics. Trying to remember that it's not about me and it's not really something I can control, but I still feel some sadness and longing for things to be different.  After my mom died a couple of years ago, The rest of my family went to Lake Tahoe that next summer and scattered her ashes into the lake, which was a special place for her.  Prior to her passing, as you might remember from reading this blog, it was a several-year tradition for us to all go to Tahoe together as a family over the Fourth of July.  One trip there with S was particularly traumatic, but that's another story.

In any case, I just assumed that we would continue this tradition as a family going forward, but last year I received a rude awakening that my brother was going to Tahoe at a different time that summer and my sister wanted to be there with her immediate family only, and some close friends. Maybe if I had a partner and child or children, I would also enjoy going there sometimes by ourselves (this is a separate issue of feeling like a lower-class family member because I'm single), but I think I would still value and support us all being there together over the fourth. I made it known last year that I was disappointed and in future years really wanted us all to spend this time there together.

 Which brings me to this year... A month or so ago I talk to my brother and he told me that he and his family were planning to go at a different time and not be there for the Fourth. Argh!  I was frustrated and upset and let him know that I was super disappointed. I asked him to please consider my wishes on this and said I thought that the memories we create there would be really significant and important going forward in our lives. He seemed a little chagrined and agreed to consider this.

Then, recently I messaged with my Dad about the Fourth, and he said he and his partner, Mary, are planning to go early and leave on the third, and that my sister wanted to be there with her immediate family alone over the holiday. WTF!  A big part of the experience is the freaking holiday! Going out on the boat to watch the fireworks, hanging out on the dock and going to get drinks, etc. We can do a lot of these activities prior to the fourth I guess but part of the fun is preparing for the holiday and going out on the boat. To me, this significantly changes the experience.

 I feel like I'm the only one that cares about making this meaningful, but also that I am the one who's feelings and opinions are least valued.  I guess part of the equation is me living in California and the rest of my family living up in Eugene and having just more time together and casual conversations about it in the course of their lives.  But I'm really tired of getting blindsided by, and not included in, these decisions.

 I did message with my brother this morning and have plans to talk to him this afternoon, and he said they might be moving their plans around so they could come to Tahoe on the Fourth. This is super exciting news, but I hope we then can actually stay for the holiday. I left a voicemail for my sister expressing these hopes. If you were me, how would you feel, and how would you try to mediate the situation? I'm not sure it's worth creating a huge issue with my sister, but I resent her being the favorite and getting more say in the matter.

 To end on a positive note, I completed my child/infant CPR training yesterday! It was actually quite informative and helpful. Almost done with my homestudy replacement forms and plan to get the social worker visit on the calendar soon, maybe by next weekend.