Friday, January 13, 2012

Kindergarten, Decannulation, and Permanency

I got a Kindergarten registration packet in the mail this week from our school district. Baby 4 will be officially school-aged in September and it's freaking me out!! He's only been my baby for 1 year and now I'm sending him off to real school. Even though he goes to preschool every afternoon, all day kindergarten feel so much different- so grown up. I never planned to send my kids to school. I decided to homeschool a long time ago for several different reasons. You can't homeschool kids in care. You can pay out of pocket for private school or use public school. Baby 4 has to be registered for Kindergarten by March 2nd, so our decision has to be made soon.


Private school doesn't solve the fundamental problems I have with school:
  • Trusting a stranger with a large portion of your child's life
  • Lack of time management -3hr homeschool day vs.6hr traditional school day for the same amount of work
  • Indoctrination of beliefs contrary to our own- because even other Christians can believe differently than we do
  • The idea that in a room of 28 kids and 1 adult, my child will learn from the adult
  • Inability of schools to use the child's natural pace, talents, and style to make learning effective.

Did someone lose their soapbox? I seem to be standing on one.

Private school does seem to be the lesser of 2 evils though. It would be an easier decision if I knew 4 would be with us- or even in our city-  through the end of the school year. That way I would pay for the school year and know he'd be attending no matter what. I wouldn't handle it well if I lost Baby 4 and $4,000 in tuition all in the same day. On the same token, what if he stays and I put him in public school and hate it? hmmm..... moving on!

Baby 4's surgeon has scheduled decannulation for next month. That means they will take out 4's trach and watch him overnight to make sure he is breathing well on his own. They literally pull the trach out and slap a bandaid over the stoma (hole in his neck) and it will close up very quickly. This is GREAT news because having the trach out will open up so many doors for Baby 4. Swimming, sandboxes, uninterrupted nights of sleeping with no machines, no more surgeries every 6 weeks, and his medical needs will to need to be considered when choosing a school. This is huge since only a few schools- public or private in our district have full time nurses on site. This is also very DISTRESSING because we've been through this before. 4 was decannulated and sent home- where he was fine for 2 weeks- only to be rushed to the hospital in respiratory distress. There is no guarantee from the Dr that this won't happen again. They think 4 has been stable long enough to guess this time will stick, but we don't know until it's done. If he can not remain decannulated- the trach will be surgically replaced, it will be stitched in for one week while 4 is bed bound in the PICU, then we'll continue the surgeries like we've been doing. If the decannulation is successful, there is a more likely chance that DHS will recommend sending Baby 4 out of state to his relative resource.


The last time Relative Resource and her petition for custody were really addressed in court was back in November. She came up here and went to court expecting to leave with Baby 4. The county told the judge that having 4 travel would while the trach is in would be too risky for his health. The judge agreed and put the custody petition on hold.

We had court this week and while nothing happened, everything happened. Does that make sense? Nothing happened as far as Baby 4's placement with us, visitation, or the charges against the parent. Everything happened including Mom being offered and considering surrendering her parental rights, Dad maintaining that he would like to parent his son, and Relative Resource refusing to become foster trained and certified like the county recommended, and RR refused to withdraw her custody petition after being advised by her attorney to do so. RR's attorney told 4's attorney that he thought her petition "was going nowhere".

Did I mention RR teleconferenced into court FROM HER HOSPITAL ROOM?! I'm torn about whether or not health issues should be held against her. It's not something she can completely control and even I could get sick and be hospitalized, yet what would happen if she gets sick when she has 4? She is a single working woman with no family down south- they all live up here. Her being hospitalized for 3 days like she was this time would definitely put 4 at risk.

Baby 4's attorney made the court aware of the plan for Baby 4's medical treatment and we discussed how nothing was going to happen in the case yet. Then we set another court date for February where I suspect nothing will happen again. 4's attorney told me that we need the judge to decide bout the custody petition before 4's trach is out permanently if we want him to stay with us. Unfortunately, that is scheduled for Feb 2nd, so there is not a lot of time to make that happen. As far as I know, there are no plans for RR to come back up here any time soon and I would hope she needs to be present to be granted custody of my Baby.


March 28th marks one year of Baby 4 being with us. Supposedly that gives us some leverage when the judge is making decisions about his permanency. I've heard that after 1yr. foster parents are considered equal to blood relatives. If that is true, the "A" word is pretty likely, especially if Mom surrenders her parental rights.

Kindergarten, decannulation, and permanency are all very important milestones in 4's life. They are all coming up very quickly. They are all completely up in the air.


  1. Gosh, that all seems so...uncertain! I've been praying for Baby4 since you first got him, and I'll continue!

    Im with you on the school thing. I am about to have a freak out panic attack that I will be required to enroll my babies in school as soon as they come home. I just want them home to enjoy them. :( I also love homeschooling Snugglebuggle and it's breaking my heart to have to put him into school just so T won't feel like he's not special enough to be home with me.

  2. In terms of school, the only thing I can tell you is to pray like crazy. We had a lot of anxiety before our oldest started kinder (we ended up going the private school route). Realize that there is no perfect schooling situation, and that one year of less than ideal school will not ruin a child. Also, nothing is forever- you can change your mind after one year. Sometimes God works amazing things that we would not expect- for example, the teacher your child gets at the feared public school has life experiences that make her particularly sensitive to his situation. These are the types of events that God orchestrates for us. Make the wisest decision you can, and trust God with the details.

  3. Found your blog tonight and enjoyed it....thanks for sharing!!