Monday, April 30, 2007


I just talked with AV's social worker. With the no contact order on her dad the Attorney General's (AG's) office does think they could prevail on termination of parental rights. So if I wanted to pursue it, adoption could/maybe be a possibility.

Pro for adoption
Adoption is... adoption!
Less explanation to others about our family structure
A true and legal family
Permanancy for AV

Pro for guardianship
AV doesn't want to be adopted though she is less against the idea than before.
AV is ready and excited about guardianship
Guardianship is now; adoption would be another year off or more

Please don't think me crass but there is a financial ramification for me too. I never planned to adopt so soon so I haven't had time to meet some of my fianancial goals. If we go into the guardianship and later do adoption, there is no financial support. I would have to pay all the lawyer fees, court fees, homestudy fees, etc. Adopting straight out of foster care means the state pays all those costs plus they will provide a monthly amount which currently allows us to do things like Tae Kwon Do lessons.

So if we do adoption, I want to make the decision now, not a couple years down the road. But I don't think AV's ready. And guardianship is very much a family...

Miscellaneous Items

I have been baptized by puke! Not litterally, thankfully. But I have now experienced the joy of motherhood and mothering a sick child.

All day Saturday AV had been complaining of a stomach ache. She didn't eat her usual amount at dinner. About 11:15pm, just as I was going to turn off my light, there was a frantic knock, knock, knock on my door. "Mom, I just threw up".

I was actually impressed that she hit her trash can for the most part!. So clean up and cuddle time later, finally got her back into bed. Sunday was pretty quiet in the AM but she was out and playing hard again by mid-afternoon.

I've been trying to figure out what would have caused such a stomach upset. We ate everything the same so I'm doubting food poisoning. No fever so not the flu. Maybe just the stress of the week. She did get into big time trouble at childcare on Friday...

On a completely different subject, I had a CD soundtrack playing in the car from the Bollywood movie Lagaan. I meant to turn it off when she got in the car thinking no kid is going to like this type of music. She actually asked me to turn it up and we've been listening for two days (which is a lot of Indian music even for me!). A little culture never hurt anyone! =-)

Sunday, April 29, 2007


You either find these interesting or incredibly boring...

In either case...

1. What time did you get up this morning? 12:30, 5, and 9:30 (sick kid)

2. Diamonds or pearls? Sapphires

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? One Night at the Museum

4. What is your favorite TV show? House, Lost, Gray’s Anatomy, Survivor and a half a dozen others

5. What did you have for breakfast today? Scrambled eggs and toast

6. What is your middle name? Joann

7. What is your favorite food? Anything chocolate (ditto)

8. What foods do you dislike? Guacalmole (ditto and add mushrooms and olives)

9. What's your favorite Potato chip? Ruffles with French onion dip

10. What kind of car do you drive? Honda Passport

11. Favorite sandwich? Mom’s leftover meatloaf

12. What characteristics do you despise in others? Lying, lack of transparent honesty

13. Favorite item of clothing/accessories? My sapphire earings

14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Cruise around the coasts of S. America

15. What color is your bathroom? White walls – burgundy, navy and hunter accessories

16. Favorite brand of clothing? Anything that fits

17. Where would you want to retire to? Wherever my family is

18. Favorite time of day? After 8:30 when AV is in bed and I get a few minutes to myself!

19. Where were you born? Anchorage, AK

20. Favorite sport to watch? Gymnastics

21. Who do you least expect to send this back? ?

22. Person you expect to send it back first? Blog it

23. What laundry detergent do you use? All

24. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke

25. Are you a morning person or night owl? Night but work demands I’m up in the morning. Work actually had the gall to threaten me with discipline if I was late!

26. What size shoe do you wear? huge

27. Do you have pets? 2 really cute shih tzu dogs

28. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone? We move into guardianship next month!

29. Favorite Candy Bar ? Milky Way

30. What is your best childhood memory? A school year in Japan when I was 17

31. Ever been to Africa ? No

32. Ever been toilet papering? No

33. Love someone so much it made you cry? Yes

34. Ever been in a car accident? Yes, a few. Nothing serious though.

35. Croutons or bacon bits? Croutons

36. Favorite day of the week? Saturday morning – so I can sleep in!

37. Favorite restaurant? Chico’s – a local Mexican restaurant

38. Favorite flower? Bright, beautiful, colorful mixed bouquets without roses

39. Favorite ice cream? Chocolate fudge or cookie dough or mint choc chip or vanilla with hot fudge

40. Disney or Warner bros? Disney

41. Favorite fast food restaurant? Wendy’s

42. What color is your bedroom carpet? Apartment beige

43. How many times did you fail your driver's test? None

44. Before this one, from whom did you get your last email? A list serve for organizers

45. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I wouldn’t.

46. What do you do most often when you are bored? Eat – a very bad habit

47. Bedtime? Between 10:30-11:30

48. Who are you most curious about their responses to this questionnaire? ??

49. Last person you went to dinner with? My daughter

50. What are you listening to right now? TV, AV singing

51. Your favorite color? Blue

52. Ocean or River? Ocean

53. How many tattoos do you have? One long one

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Workin' it out

So we told her today. While we were at the SW (social workers) office, AV was pretty calm. The SW tried to deliver the news very gently and did a really good job.

While the SW left to get some papers for me AV started playing around in the office chair, twirling and pretending it was a bucking bronco. She twirled and worked herself into a sweat for about 15 minutes. If I twirled that much I'd be sick!

Anyway, it really started hitting on the way to soccer practice. Low tolerance for frustration - all of a sudden she couldn't remember how to take off her shirt. And then trying to take off her glasses because her hair was in her eyes. And then, on the walk back to the car, yelling at her "stupid" soccer ball, bouncing it high, yelling that no one likes her...

Then a great pity party in the back seat on the way home... Baby talk... General fussiness...

Just going through the emotions. It's going to be a tough couple days.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I just walked into AV's bedroom to check in on her. She's lying in bed reciting Tae Kwon Do moves - already working on her next belt level! =-)

It's so great to see her self-motivated to achive in something.

You know, she really is an amazing kid. She tries so hard to please and she really wants to get things right.

She asked about when her next parent visit will be. I choked a bit since I know what tomorrow's discussion topic will be even though she doesn't. Turns out she had a dream about going home, being safe and getting puppies. But then the dream changed into a nightmare as she mother got drunk and started hitting her and she couldn't get away.

So AV was understandably upset and worried that she's never go home. So we talked about the truth, that she won't be ever going home. How hard it is for her to realize it's her parent's choice not to follow the rules so she can go home... And in this conversation she keeps talking about how she's afraid she'll never see them again... And now I'm worried she's overheard something or suspects something or intuits something...

Ack! Telling her is going to be the worst!


So I was in court yesterday for the standard quarterly check in. The big news was, of course, this no contact order on her father. Off the record, the attorneys and the judge tried to figure out what her father could possibly done to have so royally pissed off the superior court.

The long and short is no one knows why the order was issued. But it was issued and there's no getting around it. Everyone is very sorry for AV but there's nothing to be done.

The judge and attorneys did mention that a no contact order has to be renewed every 10 years. But even in 10 years AV will be a young woman - who hasn't seen her father or been able to say goodbye.

So I'm taking her to her social worker's office tomorrow and the social worker is going to tell her. This is not going to be a good weekend...

And all this just when I was starting to feel things were back to normal a bit. AV's really been acting out and I think it was triggered by visit mid-March with her mom. She's been doing much better this week. Now we'll go through another cycle...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

And this is April

Hello All!

Sorry about the long absence!

I turned on my "email comment" feature so now I'll actually know when you all show your sweetness and comment. Thanks for the concern!

Kiana even called me! Thanks for the great chat!

So how are AV and I? All in all pretty good. Lots of "moments". I will say I think I'm starting to calm down as a mother so that's very good for both of us! =-)

AV is doing just great in her sports activities. At her soccer game this Saturday, her coach said she played better than he's ever seen her play. Yeah! She recently tested for her gold belt in Tae Kwon Do and passed. Double yeah! (That's her in the center).

She's also turned into quite a little reader. From the struggle earlier this fall to get her to do her 20 minutes a day of reading, she is now falling asleep with 4th grade chapter books in her hands! (she's in 3rd) I'm so happy for her! Now if we could get some progress on the math front...

The guardianship hearing has finally been scheduled for May. So we are making progess. AV is excited since I told her as her legal guardian she could actually stay home alone when she is older. And I can let her learn to drive. And sign permission forms. So she's starting to add up the benefits.

My latest heartache for her is that the courts have issued another no contact order on her father. This means he is not allowed to see her or communicate with her or otherwise ask others to give messages to her. The really heartrending part of this is that the order is in effect until 2058.

Just think for a moment how far away 2058 is... AV will be a middle-aged woman and her father will most likely be dead. This order, in effect, means she will never see her father again.

AV idolizes her father and loves him very much. She feels safe with him and though she can't go and live with him, she is still very much a daddy's little girl. Can you imagine how you would feel if you were told you could never see your father again?

This is going to be devastating for AV. We haven't told her yet. The social worker is trying to get more information on the order (why issued, why only dad and not mom too, etc.). And we're trying to strategize who tells her and when. We're doing state mandated testing this week so I wanted that to be out of the way before dropping this emotional bombshell on her.

And who tells her? Me? I don't want her misdirecting her anger onto me. The counselor? I want AV to feel safe in counseling and not angry. The social worker? It seems unfair for her to have to bear the brunt of the anger but we will likely get a new social worker when the guardianship is finalized so maybe...

I really like AV's social worker and I hate for this to happen. How do you deliver bad news in a good way? And how much do I protect her? Is it better to say "Honey, I'm so sorry. But this means you will not be able to see your dad again." or soften it with the "Honey, I'm so sorry. You just can't see him for a long time." and keep redefining "long time"?