July 26, 2010

Answers to Questions....

In my comment from the last post, Yo Yo Mama asked a few questions, and I wanted to address her very valid questions before I move on. She asked:

What's keeping "dad" from returning Kent to you since you're still the legal guardian, aren't you?

Kent going to live with his dad was voluntary on both parties parts, so to speak. I love Kent, but he is no longer welcome to reside in our home, and he knows that. We have actually never had legal guardianship of Kent, we were his parent just like any other parents. In November when he attacked me, he had just turned 18 and at the urging of the adult protective services worker, we looked into getting declared his guardians due to the situation. We were told by our attorney that it would take months to go through the process, and once a judge saw how intelligent Kent was, he would most likely not grant our petition. The judges look at whether the child is competent to care for themselves, and in Kent's case, he is able, he just doesn't. Keith and I decided in the end that if we pushed the issue that it would just cause more hate and discontent with Kent, not to mention the legal implications it could have had for us had he hurt himself or someone else.

Have you checked with Medicare? He should definitely qualified and should have ages ago. It can take 18 mos from the beginning of the application process but the sooner you start it, the sooner he can start receiving benefits.

Kent was on Medicaid from the time he was placed into foster care, and it continued in part after we adopted him, our insurance became his primary while Medicaid became secondary. We were told by Virginia DSS that Kent was eligible for medicaid until he was 21 under a federal special needs adoption law. They told us that no matter where we lived in the US after we adopted him, that state had to abide by the adopting state's Medicaid law, that was not true. Each state is required to offer Medicaid, but they do not have to cover the same things that another state would cover. They also have the option to set an age cut off for the minors receiving coverage. In Virginia special needs kids are covered until 21, in North Carolina, it is only until 18. So, under North Carolina state Medicaid law, the day Kent turned 18 he had to reapply and meet the state income guidelines for disability medicaid. The problem with that rule is that once Kent turned 18, North Carolina began to consider the federal grant that we get monthly (Adoption Subsidy) Kent's income. Under that law, Kent "made" above the dollar amount level to re-qualify for medicaid. The check comes to me, and gets put into my bank account to cover all of Kent's medical needs not covered by medicaid, which were numerous, and to help with his living expenses. Kent had no job, so other then that money, he had no income. I plead to the Social Security Administration to declare him disabled, but I got the same story from them. I literally asked the woman at the SSA office if I had to make my son homeless and penniless to get him the help that he needed, and she looked me right in my face and said, "It won't be the first time I have seen a parent have to do it, and I am sure it won't be the last." So, even though Kent is permanently paralyzed, as long as we got that subsidy for him, it was his income, and the government did not consider him disabled because of the money he made. Trust me when I tell you that I was in total freaking disbelief when all this came out because it is just the dumbest shit I have ever heard of.

I fought hard, even going back to Virgina because they have the option to take him back as a Medicaid recipient if the state we live in would no longer cover him, but they wouldn't do it. I even gave them the federal statutes that I found online that stated they were able to exercise that option, but in the end we lost. North Carolina cancelled his Medicaid, and he had to come home. Honestly the really stupid thing about the whole thing is that Kent was already 18 when they agreed to pay for him to go to the rehab hospital in the first place, by 3 flipping months, and they waited until April to tell us they were pulling him.

Since he is no longer living here, we rescinded our subsidy and cancelled him off our insurance, so he can get back on Medicaid and now qualify for SSDI.

I hope this kinda helps you guys understand what I have gone through with the government, it is really sad to know that they force people to make decisions based on crap like this, full well knowing that they are screwing up lives, but they don't really care. Honestly this is part of the reason that I tell people adopting from foster care to be VERY careful and not to take anything the workers tell you at face value. They may not mean to mislead you intentionally, sometimes, but they do, and frankly the more homework you do on your own the better off you are.

I cannot say whether it would have made any difference in where we are at today because the simple fact is that Kent didn't live up to his end of the agreement that we had, but I can't help that it is part of the reason that things turned out the way they did. He was not anywhere near ready to come home from the hospital, and I honestly believe that had he stayed there longer, I wouldn't be sitting here without him nursing a broken heart.

July 21, 2010

Emotionally Drained......

For the last 3 1/2 months the Universe has chosen to lump more and more on me at every turn, making functioning a thing I could only dream of. I guess I can't really apologize for being gone because frankly I didn't have it in me to write out what was going on, so there wasn't really a point. Sure I thought about it, and I even sat down to do it a few times, but I never could even type out one freaking word. I honestly felt like I was in a tornado, well not in one, but on the outskirts where the air starts to get sucked up, and all the debris starts flying around.

Things were already ramping up at the end of march what with the whole tooth stuff, caring for Rex, and other little things.

Then came the day in early April when I got a letter stating that the state was pulling Kent's medicaid coverage, which was who was paying for his inpatient treatment. I lost it, and called the worker. She stated that the state told her that once Kent had turned 18 that our adoption subsidy had become his "income" and there fore he "made" to much money to qualify for coverage. This didn't ring true with what we had been told when we had adopted him from Virginia, so I started calling, and calling, and calling anyone I thought could help me. Turns out we were lied to. Each state has the right to adapt the Medicaid law as they see fit, and what is covered in some states is NOT covered in others. In Virginia, Kent would have remained on medicaid until 21 here in NC, not so much. So, for literally almost 6 weeks I fought with 2 states about who in the hell was going to cover this kid so that he could stay where he was, because he was in no shape to come home yet.

In the end, I lost the battle, and he returned home on the 30th of May. No more changed then he was when he went in to treatment. The 31st, I took him to be admited to the hospital for an elective surgery that he was having done. He came home on the 4th of June from that, but he had already started to act up while he was there for the 5 days.

We have gave him a six week deadline to meet certain requirements. He was supposed to do his chores around the house as he had before he had left, get an ID, get his GED , or be waiting on a test date, and working towards enrolling in the local college for the fall. We explained that we understood that all of this things might not be doable in the time frame, but that if we saw that he was making a concerted effort we would extend his time. Here we sit 6 weeks later, and he never did anything to work towards those goals, in fact in 6 weeks he only left the house six times. He spent most of his days in his room watching TV, playing games, or sitting on the computer.

I told him four weeks into things that I was tired, and I no longer cared what he does with his life. I still love him, but honestly you can only watch a person NOT care about themselves for so long before it poisons you to. Not to mention the fact that we have since found out while he was in treatment, that he really spread some very hateful lies about us before he left. Needless to say it has made for some confrontations for us, and some of our friends that never should have happened. We live in a very small community in the rural south, so everyone "thinks" they know your business, when really they usually have no clue. But the damage has been done.

Last Wednesday night we sat him at the table and told him that Friday was the end of his six weeks, and that since he had made no motions toward accomplishing the goals that we had set forth, that he would have to find a new place to live. The hate and angry words that came from him will forever ring in my ears and heart, but I can imagine the fear that he had at the time.

Thursday he made some calls, and after a verbal altercation between his birth father and I on the phone, and a long discussion with Keith on the phone "dad" agreed to take him in. Plans were made for him to go up there to them on Friday. We agreed to drive him the 3 hours to his dads house and drop him off. The step mom was supposed to call early the next morning with the details, unfortunately she waited until after eleven AM to call us, so with us having to drive so far and the fact that we would have to drive through a major metro area during rush hour, it was decided that we would take him Saturday morning instead.

After much consideration on Friday afternoon, Keith and I decided to give them some money, our mini van, which was purchased for Kent, and to leave him on our insurance until the end of the month. we were trying to help ease the transition as much as we could for all involved. I called step mom and let her know what we had decided, and she was very relieved. I totally got that this was out of the blue for them and that it was going to be hard on them to have another mouth to feed, not to mention his special needs.

Friday night while mowing the grass we found out that our truck's starter had broken, and there was no time to fix it before the next morning. I made arrangements for a couple of friends to help us the next day. Keith didn't want to put said friends out, so we contacted "dad" told him what was going on, and I started to ask him if he could rent a truck to come get Kent.... before I could even tell him that we would pay for said truck he vehemently said no, he didn't have the money, and he didn't want to drive all the way down here to get Kent. I told him that I didn't relish the though of driving to his house either, and he responded with, " Well once you drop him off I have to deal with him for the rest of my life." Nice one there "dad". He then had the nerve to grill me about what was wrong with the van that we were so willing to give it to them. I told him nothing was wrong with it, it had just been serviced, and had a set of new tires. He didn't believe me and was going on and on about why we really were giving it to them. I explained that it had been bought for Kent, and the only time we used it was when we went somewhere with him. I have a Mazda 5, and Keith has his Kia, so there is no real need for us to keep the van anymore.

When I got off the phone with him Keith was just livid, and started going off about "dad". Then he looked at me and told me that they weren't getting shit from us. I told him that there was no reason to be so upset over the whole thing, and then he let me in on the fact that the night before when "dad" was going off on him over the phone that he had threatened to have Lauryn taken away from us if we kicked Kent out. I was stunned. This man is a minister people. I have been raising his son for over 10 years, and he has the nerve to say something like that. I agreed with Keith that we shouldn't give them anything, because I wasn't going to put up with that kind of shit from anyone.

After finding out that a rental was going to cost almost 400 bucks, we decided to just go with our plan of having the friends help us out. I called "dad" and let him know what was going on, and held my tongue about the threat.

Saturday we loaded Kent's things, and they left. Under direction from "dads" sister who told me that "dad" was going to lose his shit when he found out he wasn't going to get anything, I called the sheriffs department in "dads" county and asked for an escort. They couldn't do it because of low manpower, but told me that if I needed the deputy to call his cell, and he would be right there.

Before they got to "dads" Keith decided to stop for drinks and gas, and called to tell me that he was going to tell them that he needed to bring the van back home to get the seats that go in it, we had to take them out to get Kent's stuff in it, and that he had forgotten the check with the title. He felt like this was the best way to go with things to avoid a confrontation.

They got there, unloaded Kent and his things, and even went so far as to set up his bed (hospital type), told them the story, and left. Needless to say 10 minutes later, "dad" starts blowing up my phone. I called Keith and told him that I wasn't going to answer it because frankly I didn't feel like talking to the dumb ass anyway. He called 5 times in the two and a half hours it took Keith to get home, and I still didn't answer.

We decided to treat the friends who had helped us to dinner and went out. When we got home he had called 4 more times on the house phone, and 3 on my cell. Keith and I were sitting here discussing the best way to break the news to them when step moms cell pops up on the phone. I decided that honestly was the best policy and answered the phone. "Dad" was on the other end and asked if Keith had gotten home OK, and why I hadn't called him back. I told him that I wanted to ask him a question, he said fine, so I asked him what he was thinking threatening to have my daughter taken away from us. he was all apologetic, and told me it was very inappropriate, and that he didn't mean it. I told him fine, but that if he ever did it again, he was going to need his God to come in between us. He then asked me if we were going to give them the van and the money, and I started to tell him that based on his behavior towards us at that point we weren't sure. To say that he lost his shit would be an understatement. He started screaming at me, calling me an effin bitch and then told me that he could play my little games to. When I asked him what that meant, he stated that he was going to take me to court and lie to them, telling them that I abuse and neglect Lauryn, and that he was going to sue me for stealing from his crippled son all these years. I just told him to have fun with that, and hung up on him. He called back a minute later and when I answered he was still ranting, and then he said that he was going to drive down here the next morning to "Get Me". I told him to "Bring his ass", and then I hung up on him. He called right back again, but I had handed the phone to Keith, and he answered. As soon has he heard Keith's voice he was all apologizing about talking to me like that, and Keith just said "Yeah sure you are "dad" let me talk to step mom."

Keith then got step mom on the phone and spent the next 30 minutes explaining why we had decided not to give them anything, and that basically we legally didn't have to offer them one cent, much less give them a van. He told her that "dad" had sunk their ship with his behavior, and that he was never to call this house again.

Sunday we called our Sheriff and told them what had happened, and they told us to document what was said because if they took a report then they would have him arrested for communicating threats. Since "dad" being in jail wouldn't serve any ones purpose, we decided to just leave it alone for now, but there is no statute of limitations on that offense, so if he starts his shit again we can have him charged.

So there you have it. That has been my last few weeks as far as Kent was concerned. There is more to update you on, but frankly my fingers are killing me after typing this, so I will be back to tell you about what else has been going on soon. Hugs.

July 20, 2010

Walking Wounded....

As we walked past Kent's room tonight to put Lauryn to bed, she waved at the door and said "Goodnight Kent."

The problem with that statement is that his room is now empty of all of his things. He moved out on Saturday, or more like we asked him to leave.

After I walked out of her room my tears flowed. I never wanted things to end like this, and a mothers love doesn't just end when her children walk out the door. I will forever love him, and will always wonder why we were never good enough for him as parents or as a family. My heart is broken in a million pieces, and I am not sure how to mend it.

The last six weeks since he came home have been filled with so much anger, hurt, and frusteration that when he did go I was actually relieved, but now that we have cleaned out his room, it is real. He is gone. Not coming back. Lost to me probably forever.

Trust me when I say that when we took him in this was never a blip on my radar, but 10 years later, it is all to real. We adopted him, gave him our last name and all of our hearts, but in the end it wasn't enough for him and he walked away.

I know that this may seem like a post way out of left field since I have been gone for so long, but honestly my life has been turned upside down for the last three and a half months. I am working on a post entailing all that has gone on, but I really needed to get this off my chest tonight. No more waiting, no more hiding.