I Must Be Adopted

I am truly hopeful that I am adopted, and thus not as messed up as the rest of my family.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Summer is officially over -- for me at least

I have started up my gym membership again. I suspended it over the summer to accomodate other things, such as biking and running.

This morning was my first morning back, and boy can I tell I regressed. Though I am not terribly sore, my workout weight limits were those I had back in January.

For those who do workout and are looking to change up their routine for any reason (plateaued, bored, whatever...), change it up...

Google "workout routines" and find something you like. I believe I'm going to change mine. I started this morning with the routine I ended with back in May, but it just doesn't interest me anymore...

I am told that bodybuilding.com is a pretty good site - click on "Enter Supersite", and then workouts on the left-hand side. I'll give it a go.

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Off to the "Great Gig in the Sky"

Last week, David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd fame) made the announcement that Pink Floyd would never play together again (the version of Pink Floyd that included he and Roger Waters)...

Monday, Richard Wright (founding member of Pink Floyd and their keyboardist) passed away, after his battle with cancer... I suppose any chance of a reunion is definately out of the question now.

Wright didn't write many songs for Floyd in the later years, but Great Gig in the Sky on the Dark Side of the Moon album is perhaps my favorite.

Although the lyrics below belong to another song (Breathe), they are appropriate...

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Big Announcement

Alright folks... apparently it's time to confess my activities for these past 3 or so months. First, I'll apologize... I originally gave you the wrong date for my last training...

BUT, before I make the announcement, let me tell you about my Labor Day weekend.

Nah... just kidding... I'll make that a separate post.

For the past X number of weeks/months, Traci and I have been part of a secret government program. I'd tell you more about it, but you know the old saying... "I'd tell ya, but then..."

Believe that one? Me neither.

Try this one...

For the past X number of weeks/months, Traci and I have been undergoing training to become Foster Parents.

Believe that one? Well, it's true.

For sometime now, Traci and I have been involved in working with a child, whom we shall call KB. KB is a very nice kid, who unfortunately wound up in the system at a very young age. I can't and won't go into specifics about why, but I'm sure it's not hard for you to figure it out.

KB has been bounced around within the system from one end of the state to the other, and as far north as south. Through her job, Traci became involved with KB. It wasn't that long after her involvement started that "our" involvement started.

To date, our involvement with KB is what is known as "Respite Care". KB lives at an independent living house, managed by York County's Children and Youth Services. We started by taking KB out for day trips to different places and getting to know him, and more importantly, allowing KB to get to know us.

During this whole process, I've had first hand knowledge of exactly how messed up, and nonsensical the whole child welfare system is -- trust me, it's messed up. I understand that some of the laws/rules are written because they have to account for the idiots out there (we'll get to this), but come on...

During our initial day trips that we would do -- for example, the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD (across a state line) -- we weren't allowed to take him back to our house. We hadn't been approved for home visits. Across state lines to whatever we want, check... our house... nope. Fine. We got approved for home visits -- relatively painless process, except for the complete and entire scrubbing/cleaning of the house Traci made me do... I'm telling you, the house was almost as clean as an operating room for this home visit inspection.

Since then, we have graduated to weekend visits... Meaning we pick him up at the start of the weekend, and drop him off sometime Sunday night. During these weekends, we do things with him (ie. take him places) most of the time, but there have been some weekends where we just hang around.

Oh, I forgot to mention, KB is a teenager. KB now has a girlfriend -- it's kinda our fault. KB is very artistically inclined, he wants to attend art school of some type upon graduation -- this is a very good thing. So, during this past summer, we encouraged KB to volunteer with the local arts foundation. It was a great thing for both parties. KB volunteered for so many things, they researched whether they could treat him and pay him as an employee... alas, there are rules...

At any rate, KB meet D... We meet D. We like D, it's just now we have two teenagers at our house that we need to supervise... ah, to be young again. Now, I'm on the other side of the fence -- the parental side of the fence. It's honestly not bad. I've taken the open-communication approach with KB on everything. We sit down and discuss the ground rules, and I encourage him to ask questions and/or air his views. So far it's worked great. We've had ZERO problems with KB.

So you may ask, if you've been doing what you've been doing for so long, why are you know going through foster parent training classes? It's the system's fault. Currently KB is supervision of government agency A, but soon, he'll be under the care of government agency B. Agency B has different rules and regulations that we must meet, in order to continue our involvement with KB. To satisfy all involved, it's just easier to become foster parent certified.

Fine, I agreed to go through this process. And it was painful. I cannot believe the amount and depth of some people's stupidity. Obviously, this training program focuses part of the training on the rules that foster parents MUST abide by. Surprise, there are certain things that you have to do... no exceptions... you know, pretty much the normal governmental bureaucracy. During some of the training, the people giving the training will say "Here are the rules you must follow for this aspect of the program/child's life/etc."

OK. I've agreed to do this, so I must also agree to the rules. Rules like "If you have weapons in your home, you must keep them in a locked cabinet with no glass surfaces, and must also install trigger locks on them." We don't have guns, so this isn't a big deal. BUT, I live in York County, where the redneck-population is fairly high. Redneck's don't like to take down their interior decorations (guns/knives/swords/weapons that I couldn't even imagine hanging on your walls), let alone locking them away with a trigger lock to boot. 20~25 minutes of discussion later, we still have grumbling about this rules.

Here's an idea... becoming a foster parent is purely voluntary (for the most part -- if you are taking in a relative's child (even your grandchildren), you MUST become foster parent certified). If taking down the Browning .50 caliber aircraft machine gun is really that offensive to you, don't... just leave. It's OK for you to quit the training. OR, if that bush knife with a 4' razor-sharp blade on it, MUST remain above the sofa in the living room, walk out... I'm not sure many people would be that upset with your decision.

And believe it or not, there are people who do foster care for the not just for the money, but that's at least a consideration... I'm not going to get into this, but suffice to say that I've done the math... I don't want to sound elitist, but the money I'm entitled to for having a child in my home, isn't going to any money in my pocket.

Last question, are Traci and I going to become full-time foster parents for KB? Answer is no, I would prefer to only have to deal with one teenager on a permanent basis -- and if you think that living with my brother isn't like living with a teenager, I'd be more than happy to have him come stay with you for any period of time you think you can deal with.

Kidding aside, Traci and I discussed this in depth... in the end (for a lot of reasons very beneficial for KB), the current situation is much better for him. That being said, there is a very small chance that sometime in the future, you may see a post stating that KB is now living with us, but that's a very SMALL chance.

As for other potential foster children. No. This was pretty much a one shot deal. Think what you will, and I'm a fairly laid-back kinda guy with most things... But, believe me when I say, "This was a one shot deal".

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