Yesterday the CW told me that the licensing worker was working on finding us local respite and followed that up with some reasons that the placement guy wasn't doing it. Then last night the licensing worker called to set up a time to come renew our license. Every time this woman is made aware that we still exist she either comes to relicense us or sends the fire marshal to reinspect. It would be funny if it weren't such a pain in the you know what.
So. She gets a hold of me this morning, and even though we aren't due until December and have a project taking place in October that will need inspection upon completion she is insistant that she come in September, which is just great because September is such a quiet month, right?! I ask her about the repsite and she says, "You would need to speak to R about that". I said that I understand that is his job, but that the CW told me yesterday that he wasn't going to do that but instead YOU would be handling it. She repeated that I needed to speak to R. "Are you even aware of this?" I asked. She got kind of flustered and said something along the lines of people are certainly aware of things but it was R's job and she would be happy to pass along a message to him. I told her that I had been in contact with R myself and again that the CW told me that she was handling this. She went on auto pilot repeating, "I'll give R the message to be in touch with you". What the heck? Why does everyone need to be so difficult?
It occurred to me last night that when I have relationship issues in my life I am usually able to take responsibility and see my own faults. However in this case, at this point, I don't trust and don't see eye to eye with ANYONE from the state. It is a nightmare. Gary, who gets along great with everyone and has never has a single negative thing even whispered about him in a job performance review is having the same trouble with the state, so I am inclined to believe that it isn't me, it's them. Even thought the common denominator appears to be me, I'll bet if I was looking at the big picture of all the foster families I would see that the state is really the common denominator.
The thing that I could do to get along better with everyone is to be completely submissive and agree to all the abuse. I won't. Nor will I subject my own children to deprivation because it's better for the state. So I guess that means I'm not a team player. So be it. I feel like it's just a waiting game where they push me harder and harder until I give up, and when I do, they win. And when I don't, they still win. I don't want to give this up, I wanted to be a foster parent from the time I first knew what that meant, but I don't think it is something that I will succeed at. In fact, I predict that I will fail, and it's unavoidable from my perspective right now.
UPDATE: just received an email from R. He is looking for respite but can't find anyone under "normal" circumstances, and finding someone close by and available on short notice is almost impossible.
Interestingly enough, I asked someone (a former foster parent who's own story with the state is so horrific that she really should write a book) the other day who was available in Waterville. She knew of three families who had openings and three more who were completely empty. Hopefully she will get back to me with some names and numbers because going through the appropriate channels is just not working.