Tuesday, March 9, 2010

So I'm in Elkhart, IN waiting for the morning. My boss asked me to stop by Markley Enterprise in Elkhart on my way back home and pick up 300 sample cases. I'll get them back home and then we'll load them with small sample pieces of our windows and color samples and such and then we'll ship them out to our customers. But Markley closes at 3pm and there wasn't anyway I was going to get through all my Chicago stops today and then drive 150 miles to Elkhart and be there by 3. So here I sit.

I'm parked in the Den of Thieves, also known as a Turnpike Travel Plaza. Truckstops are bad enough when it comes to high prices, but I cannot for the life of me, figure out how these folks running turnpike travel plazas can justify gouging people like this. I ate at a Burger King in this one and it was over $10 for just me. That was a Whopper w/cheese, a Whopper Jr. w/cheese, fries and a large drink. At home, the whopper jr is on the dollar menu. Here it's $2.69. I think the only thing they had on the dollar menu was napkins.

As you may or may not remember, I have five kids, one of which is a foster son. This little guy is extremely autistic. He just turned 8 last month and we are still working on potty training, holding eating utensils, and not walking across the dining room table. He does not speak. We have no idea how much he will learn as the years go by, but it will only be by way of a miracle that he ever finds himself able to live independently. And he is one sweet little boy.

So his county of residence calls our agencies and asks them to ask us to meet with them to discuss our concerns about adopting Josh. There are many. We have had a few family discussions about this issue in which all the kids were included, and the consensus is that we would like to adopt him.


Josh will need assistance the rest of his life and where will that come from? Sheila and I are not getting any younger. I will be 60 when Josh turns 21, and still, he will need help. If we adopted him we would receive an adoption assistance subsidy, but that would only last until he was 21. What if something happens to me or my wife in the next few years? Will the remaining spouse be able to take care of Josh and still work? As it is now, Sheila would not be able to work outside the house since he has so many appointments. Psychiatrist, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Family doctor. If something were to happen to Sheila I know that I would have to change jobs i order to be home with the kids. But with Josh, I would need to be home much more than if it were just the other 4. And if something were to happen to both me and my wife, then my kids would feel responsible for taking care of Josh from then on. And that doesn't seem fair to foist that onto their shoulders.

We have had difficulty with our local school system. Regardless of the laws that are in place that state that a school must provide an education for the children that live within its district, our school authorities regularly tell parents, and foster parents in particular, that they have no room or facilities or teachers capable of teaching your child. Believe me, it's true. They've told us that regarding three different foster boys, and we had to fight them tooth and nail to take Josh. Now they are saying that we should probably look for another place to educate him since they feel that they are not making enough progress.

There is another school nearby that specializes in autistic children and their education, but the cost is pretty high. Right now, Josh's county of residence is financially responsible for his education. If we adopt him, then that responsibility transfers to our county. And I know good and well they are not going to pay $5000 a month for Josh to go to another school. So there would be another fight. And I imagine that one would need an attorney or two before it got straightened out.

He's a great kid and we love him and it would tear us up to see him leave. But can we provide for him the things that he will need as he gets older? I have my doubts tat he would be adopted by another family and I'm fairly certain that his county of residence would leave him with us for as long as we can keep him. And as it stands, if he has a need then the county has to pay for it. And they've got quite a bit more money than we do.

So that's where we stand right now.

In the meanwhile, I've had a couple follow-up visits with my cardiologist, plus a stress test and an ultrasound of my heart. e gave me fairly good news. He sees no indication that I might drop over dead tomorrow. I guess that's a good thing. He did want to try a different medication for the heart flutter, and he told me that I have a slight enlargement of my upper chamber and a slightly leaky valve. I told him my wife has been telling me that for years. That I have a big head and I'm always blowing wind. He clarified his thoughts. The heart, John, the heart.

But he said that was fairly normal for a guy my age, my size, and with Sleep Apnea. Lance Armstrong I am not. Besides, I'd look ridiculous in those bike shorts. I'd look like a bowling ball walking around on two sausages. So I started the new meds yesterday and we'll see how they do. So far so good. I've actually been feeling better since the episode anyway. Maybe it's cause I see spring around the corner.

Oh, and Hana was finally able to get a job. She's gonna be an aide for special needs kids on the school bus. And the nice thing is that she can ride to work with our neighbor around the corner. YEAH!!

That's it. See ya later.