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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 (#175)
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from a locked post dated 6/25 on Sandy's blog:

It all began when we thought we were going to be able to go up to see Mel's graduation and then meet [some friends] in MD because we had a fantastic lead on a Therapeutic Foster Home for Josh. Leaving B&Z with their grandparents would be a piece of cake for travel plans if Josh was taken care of; and even if they were not available, babysitters for them is slice o' pie.

And then ValueOptions denied our request for funding for the Foster Home and i was crushed. i must have sobbed that entire day. Here was the universe yanking the rug out from under us again. The excuse was that the Medicaid [had been given to us mistakenly] and [Josh] had been shifted to NC Health Choice, [which] did not cover [residential services]. This in spite of W's research on the matter that showed fairly clearly that it DID in fact cover it. So we are madly protesting that.

THEN. We remembered, wait! We have respite care available to us! Ten days, in fact! So we applied for that to cover the span of time we wanted to be out of town (from the 25th to the 30th) and Joy of Joys it was APRROVED!

But was the Universe done with us? Oh no, not at all! Upon trying to verify the actual dates of the respite so we could plan accordingly, it came out that although it was approved for that "seven day block" only THREE DAYS of respite were available to us. And that was ALL they give out at a time. Further, we were informed that respite is "not a babysitting service". As Z would say, "dot dot dot". They say it's for respite when in crisis. And i'm like, Dude, i've been in crisis since school ended. Hell, for that matter, we've been in crisis since the beginning of last summer! But fine. Fine FINE.

So, the kids' grandmother being the awesome person that she is, said that she'd be able to take on Josh for the second part of the trip 'cause by then Mel would be back & could help her with him.

So Arrangements were made. After much fussing & worrying & sundry anxiety details that i'm not going to bother with here, the foster mom was contacted and a drop-off time was scheduled and soon it was time to pack Josh & supplies in the car & off we went.


We arrived a wee bit early & foster mum wasn't home yet, so we waited in the van till she pulled in. After some twitchy waiting, she arrived and we ... got Josh out of the car & led him up to the house.

Where inside was a madly barking German Shepherd "puppy". And although it was barricaded away from Josh, he was not happy with this turn of events. We showed him his room and stuff and then he made to leave out through the front door again. Having managed to at least exchange Emergency Contact Info, we decided we should expedite our departure & left all the while pushing Josh back inside & trying to close the door without his fingers in it.

The Drive Home was not terribly fun. Kept waiting for my cellphone to ring. To be told that we needed to come back & get him. It din't. We got home. But a little while later, she calls & says he won't calm down & asks for suggestions. We give them. Another hour or so passes & just when we are pondering if it's safe to go to bed, the phone rings again. Josh won't calm down. It's not working out, could we please come & get him.

So, off W goes 'cause at this point i'm so weary & headachy from all the other crap from this whole misadventure that i just couldn't take any more but promised to stay by the phone in case W needed to call me.

Ironically, by the time W arrives Josh has calmed down... ...it was a good thing we din't decide to drop him off [the morning of 6/25 instead of the evening of 6/24] 'cause we'd have been halfway to MD when the realization that the respite wasn't working set in.

So, No Mel's Graduation for me. Which sucks. On the bright side, the second half of the trip is on. The mainest concern right now is how to get Mel's stuff brought home 'cause the second point of us going up there was so's we could drive his stuff back home. Probly what's going to happen is W's going to make a day trip of it; drive up in the morning, snag Mel's stuff & then drive back. We pondered doing it as an overnight trip with Josh, but sleeping in a hotel room with Josh is fraught with nightmarish demons.