It might as well be an infirmary-- 1o kids have now gotten this nasty, little bug. The house has been pretty quiet except for the occasional, "BLEH, BLEH, BLEH!"
The social worker was late, which cut our time short since I had a phone conference IEP meeting. I was fine with that until I heard from the kids what she was saying. "Where are the smoke detectors? Why are you kids all in your parent's room? What medicine is your Mom giving you? Has she fed you? Are you hungry? Do you want to go to the hospital? Why does it smell in here? Open that window. Your Mom's room is a little messy. Why aren't you guys in your own room? How did you get your black eye Andrew? Are you sure it was your sister?"
Not only did I get upset when I heard this from the kids after she left, but my kids thought she was rude with her questioning. Never in my history of adopting with at least 8 different social workers have we encountered this kind of questioning.
When I heard all of this, I wanted to call her back and defend myself. "Isn't eight smoke detectors, and one carbon monoxide detector enough? Why can't I let me sick children be in our room where they feel most comfortable and I can quickly attend to them? Can you please share what medicine I can give my children to stop vomiting? Isn't it better to let it run its course while keeping them hydrated with fresh water? Would you want to eat in between violent vomiting, or would you wait till your tummy felt settled? Why go to a hospital when the kids are doing well with home treatment? Is waiting twelve hours to see if they get better too long? Do you think I should have taken Dennis and Julia to the hospital or was waiting a day to see if they got better on their own, a good call? How else would you expect a room where kids have been vomiting to smell? And who would open a window on a hot day when you have the air conditioner on? My room is messy because-- um-- we have been up all night taking care of sick kids. Wouldn't it be more concerning to you if my house was spotless while I had 10 sick kids? I won't even comment on the black eye because my son's answer is good enough."
On top of all this, our online translation of Galina's birth certificate was not good enough-- why couldn't we get the registered translators to send an embossed translation? And though my home schooled kids got great report cards and improved state test scores, she wanted to know if I was "holding any of them back" from going to school. What does that even mean? And what if I was? Is it not my decision whether or not I think the local school system is doing a good job and if they would do better with a chartered home school?
I called my husband. I bit my tongue-- hard. Instead, I left her a polite message that yes my fourth reference had sent in their letter but just in case, they will send it in again. I wonder what what would happen if I did give her a piece of my mind. My first instinct is to do just that, but the stakes are too high. I'll let her make her comments. After all, she is just doing her job-- right?
On a positive note, Anastasia, Galina, and Paul got to see what it feels like to have me there to care for them. This was a first. A good bonding moment. I learned a lot about them through this experience. Anastasia is still sweet natured even while vomiting. And Paul's body takes a beating when he is throwing up. Poor guy sounds like a hurt baby bird when he is heaving. And Galina-- she is a strong one. She tried to not be vulnerable at first, and then finally came to my bed and crawled in.
In sickness and in health. That goes for children too.