It’s official…I have an appointed foster care case and I met my youth last Friday. It took a week for us to connect because she had moved from living at one group home to another, but her location had not been updated with CASA. I finally got ahold of her lawyer and then social worker and found out how to contact her.
“T” is 17 years old and has been in foster care over 3 years. She was a victim of abuse by the hand of her dad, but unfortunately the rest of her family didn’t believe her. He never got prosecuted but she never returned home. Over time she developed mental health problems and struggled in foster care. She’s been in quite a few group homes. Now she’s a year out from adulthood and isn’t going back home. She’s got to learn how to do it on her own. That’s where I come in.
T will be applying to the AB 12 program, remaining a ward of the state from age 18-21. I’ll help make sure she graduates and continues on to college or gets a job. I’ll help her learn how to pay bills and get a drivers license. All of those things your parents usually do.
The great thing is that T is really sweet. She’s smart and good in school. She’s excited to hang out with me and looks forward to me helping her. That’s awesome — my main fear going in to the was that my CASA child wouldn’t like me, wouldn’t accept me in. T did that right off the bat.
I still have so much to learn – specifically about AB 12 guidelines and where to help her look at places to live when she turns 18. So for now, I’m just going to enjoy getting to know her.
I haven’t posted to the blog for awhile because, well, nothing much has changed. Mr. Owl is still fighting for more time with Xander and Kat. I’m still focusing much of my kid centered energy on Angel. We had a fun summer:
As for starting the process to become a foster home and having Future Owl finally become a part of our lives, we have a timeline. Mr. Owl and I are planning our wedding for June 2015, and after we return from our honeymoon, we will apply. Hopefully there will be less roadblocks this time.
The one major thing that is happening: I’m about to become a CASA! I have one class left (tonight) and next Monday I will be sworn in to the court!
Yesterday I spent the morning observing dependency court. It’s a little hard to follow just as a visitor – they don’t read the case files out loud, so the only information that could be gleaned was what the child’s lawyer said as an update. It was still very interesting to watch.
Over the last 6 weeks of class, I’ve learned a TON of information about the foster system, court system, and how best to support a child. I’ve requested an older female youth, ages 15+, and am interested in mentoring a teen who might be questioning her sexuality. I’m an outspoken LGBT ally and hope that I could help them feel accepted and loved. But who knows what kind of case I will get.
Confidentiality is huge in this realm (much more so than Big Sister), so I will be very vague on the case and child I am assigned. But I am looking forward to the next journey.
Know what a 9 year old loves?
Nail polish. These “Hot Designs” pens I ordered online were a HUGE hit.
We saw Rio 2 this afternoon, and afterwards instead of going out for dinner, Angel opted to go back to her house and do our nails. Her dad made us dinner at home. Giving up going out for dinner? Now THAT’S some serious business. 😉
This weekend I took Angel to the ballpark! I was very excited to share my love of the game with her. I brought her a shirt and hat to wear, gave her a kids pass necklace, and we had the grand tour.
Our seats were on the third deck, and happily, she loved that view as much as I do. We brought snacks and games to play, but it did take some encouragement to watch the game and not get bored. I’d set goals – “ok, one more inning and then we can go check out the batting cages” – to keep her interest. I explained innings and how each team gets to bat each inning. My very basic explanation of balls and strikes boiled down to “three good pitches or four bad pitches”, which I think the fans around us found amusing.
Cotton candy got us to the fifth inning, and a hot dog got us to the seventh. A little pleading got us to the 7th inning stretch. I wanted her to experience the whole ballpark singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
The meet and greet with the team mascot is in the kids area after that, so she bravely took photos with him (clinging to me), and then I agreed to leave. Not bad, the full 7 innings.
Next weekend I think we’re going to go see Divergent. Girl power!
“Angel”, my Little Sister, texted me last night:
Oh yes. She totally got me. Hahaha
This weekend was very wet, raining on and off and sometimes pouring! Perfect day for the museum.
Angel is a little older (9 yrs) than most of the kids we saw at the museum, but she didn’t seem to mind. We still had fun looking at the exhibits, doing crafts, and seeing a skit about an otter who was teaching other animals to drink water instead of juice or soda.
Next weekend I’m taking her to her first Major League Baseball game!
There’s just something about pets, you know? Great for the soul. Especially the kid soul:
Can’t wait until the day Xander and Kat get to meet the new bunny. My little sister Angel met her today and there was a lot of squealing.
But it’s possible that just can’t be helped: