Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not Quite The Update I'd Hoped For.....

I'm really pissed right now. Just a warning. You may want to turn back.

I'm in the process of updating my homestudy cuz they're only good for 2 years in Ohio. I'm not thrilled about it. But I do it. Because I have to. I have a new social worker. The one who did my original homestudy has moved out of town. In the safety audit part of the session, they ask about firearms in the house. Well, duh. Do you remember what I do for a living, Ms Social Worker?

Now the original chick was cool. She understood my position. She understood that there is no way that I will EVER lock up my gun in a safe and then lock up the ammunition separate from the gun. I will NOT do this. My gun is loaded. ALWAYS. And accessible to me. Because if someone decides they want to come into my house, I plan to protect myself. And I won't have time to grab the key to the lockbox, retrieve the gun, go to the other lockbox, get the ammunition, load the gun and take care of business. I won't. What? Am I supposed to politely ask the burglar/serial killer/rapist to hang on a sec cuz I'm not prepared?

When the original SW came for the home visit she had me put the gun and ammo in separate lockboxes. So she could physically see that I had done this. Then she wrote it down on the paper like that. Even though she knew my position about it and knew what the reality of my every day situation is. Because I was honest with her. I don't like to lie. And because she has common sense, she understood.

But the new SW "has some concerns" about this. She "doesn't feel comfortable with the situation". She would "just feel horrible if something happened to my child because of the gun in my house".

So I explained my position to her. I'm a police officer. A gun is part of my job. It's part of my life. It always will be. There's no way around that. Certainly, other police officers have been approved to adopt before in this state, right? In fact, I was approved once already as well.

I explain how I'm forced by the city government that I work for to abide by a residency rule. Which means that I have to live within the city limits of where I police as a condition of my job. I know what happens in this city. Because I police it. I know how safe or unsafe these streets are. Because I police them.

Add to that the vulnerability of being a woman who lives alone. That looks pretty good to a criminal. Now add on to that the potential for any one of the mother f*ckers that I've arrested to google my name and find my address. It wouldn't be that hard. Or maybe I might run into one in the grocery store who is particularly disgruntled with me and wants to exact revenge so they follow me home. Far-fetched? Not really. See the part above about being forced to live in the city that I police. I've run into people out in public that I've dealt with on the job. Luckily, no problems have arisen. Yet.

Is she beginning to understand why I arm myself? A little. But she's still not real comfortable with it. I explain to her that I'm a trained professional. There is no way in hell that I will ever be careless with my firearm. Because I know what a 40 caliber Glock loaded with hollow point ammunition will do to somebody. Does she really think I would ever be that irresponsible?

I explain to her my well thought out plan of where my gun will be hidden. Which is inaccessible to my small child. And how I always intend to hide it there without her seeing. For as long as that lasts. And if she catches me someday, then I'll find a new inaccessible spot. Until she gets old enough, then I'll explain it to her. I'll take her to the range and teach her to shoot it herself. I'll teach her to respect it as I do. I'll teach her how to be safe with it. Because guns don't kill people. People kill people. Does she want me to lock up the fucking steak knives while I'm at it? Better get rid of that hammer in the toolbox, too. (yeah..I'm full on swearing here. No astericks or other bullshit. I told you I was pissed.)

So she's starting to get a little more comfortable with it. "She can see that I've given this a lot of thought." Ya think?! "But perhaps when I'm off duty I won't carry it once my child gets home." WTF lady?! Do you watch the fucking news?

I explain to her that in fact I'll probably carry it more often. Does she think I could even live with myself if we're sitting in McDonald's and some crazed gunman comes in and starts capping people and I can't protect my own daughter? When that's what I'm trained to do? Think it can't happen. Turn on the news, lady. And don't even get me started on the potential for opening myself up to civil liability for not acting. Or how about departmental charges for dereliction of duty. I'm certainly not saying I would be held personally responsible for not trying to intervene in a dire situation. But there's always a possibility.

She's still not quite down with the program here. So I tell her.... "You know what. That's fine. You're right. I've thought about what you said. My ideas are completely irresponsible. I'll take your advice. I'll lock my gun up every night in a lockbox and store my ammunition separately in another lockbox. Go ahead and write that down on the paper so that I can pass your test."

But now she's not comfortable with that either. Cuz we just sat here and discussed my position and she knows that's not how I really feel. Apparently, I should have just fucking lied to her from jump street. Now I'm livid. Just furious. And things start to go bad.....I tried really hard to keep my mouth shut. But you know what. I've fucking had it. With all of this.

In my job, I've seen the tragedy of some people's parenting choices. And it's ugly. Then I go to my 2nd job and watch these child abusers and crack heads come for their court ordered supervised visitation. Cuz even though they've fucked up their kids, they're still allowed to visit them. Even though junior might have to double up on his therapy session next week cuz of the trauma it causes. Or the monitor may need to keep a closer eye on the little 5 yr old so that she doesn't pull too much of her hair out during her visit as a trauma response from being forced to play fucking Candyland with her sexually abusing father. But it's okay for them to be parents.

But me? I've gotta jump through all kinds of hoops. I've gotta fill out stacks of paperwork. I've gotta go have physicals so that my doctor can decide if I'm healthy enough to parent. I've gotta go to classes to learn how to parent. I've gotta invite a social worker into my home so they can decide if it's acceptable. I've gotta sit and answer questions about how I plan to parent. And then be scrutinized and judged about my answers. And I'm on my 2nd round of this bullshit.

What gives them the fucking right to judge me? Why do they get to decide if I'm good enough to be a parent? Did my social worker have to do this in order to have her children? Does she have any idea WHAT IT FEELS LIKE?! Why does this have to be so hard? I've been dealing with this bullshit for 2 fucking years! And there's no end in sight either. I may have to jump through their stupid hoops like a little trained monkey all over again before it's over with. Why can't I just be allowed to be a mom like everybody else???????

I am so fucking sick of all this!!
I'm not sure how much more I can take.

Now take out the cussing and add in my tears (cuz I was pretty much over it emotionally at this point) and that's pretty much how our session ended. She really caught me on a bad day. Work was stressful today and then to be dumped on with this bullshit was just more than I could handle.

Apparently. Clearly. Obviously.

She was understanding and supportive. And I apologized. But that's certainly not how I wanted to update my homestudy. I just hope she doesn't fail me.

I know tomorrow will be better. But today really sucked.

41 comments:

Tori said...

Krista-

I'm so sorry. She sounds like an ignorant biatch. I know Joe doesn't lock up his ammunition in a different place than he keeps his gun. I can also tell you there is no way once our daughter is born that he will stop carrying his gun when he's off duty, but who's going to tell him that's "not acceptable". Its so hypocritical. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this BS.....

Mark & Michelle said...

WOW!! What a day!!

You should have added that if you DON"T carry your gun you will get fired and then you won't qualify to be a parent if you don't have a JOB!! Or perhaps it was better to leave that part out.

Clearly an argument for NOT telling the truth - or at least - telling them what they want/need to hear!

I will keep this all in mind for next week when I have my update!

Sara said...

I'm so sorry. I don't know what else to say except of it sucks and I hope you have a better day tomorrow...and hopefully this fucking process will eventually end and we will be parents...sigh...sorry...

kris said...

I'm almost never, ever, speechless.
But my fury is keeping my tongue. YOU matter to me, that's it. So I send you a HUGE EFFING HUG, dang it. SO wish I was there in person to BM (bitch and moan) the night away, over a chocolate martini.

And I hope tomorrow really IS a better day.

And you know what? Thanks for posting this. Thanks for posting what we all feel going through the grill of SW visits- visits we'd NEVER endure had we been physically pregnant.

Love you.

Rhonda said...

I'm so sorry that you had to go through this (and that we all have to, in one form or another). It sucks, it really does.

Sending you a huge hug.

Malia'sMama said...

Just popped over from Candace's blog and whoooa what a post! But, girl, I am not a cop and it wasn't over a gun, but I can soooo relate to the want to go postal on the SW! Mine (2nd time around for me) is a b*tch and has been from moment one! Hope things end up joyous!

Lisa and Tate said...

WTF???? You should not have to go thru this stress and scrutany!!! You will make an amazing momma. Just one more way you are proving it.... Hang in there, Mia is waiting for you- gun and all.

Hugs
Lisa

Eliza2006 said...

That's stupid. Sorry you had to go through this today. Hopefully it's over and she writes a pretty, little update for you.

Tiffany

Abby's Mom said...

Krista I am so sorry you have to deal with this! Big ((HUGS)) from Abby and I!

Sophie's Mom said...

I agree, people kill people... and we told them what we knew they wanted to hear during our home study. Better to not even go there.

So sorry you're dealing with this crap!

"M" said...

What a crappy day! You are right, this is all so crazy and stupid. You were put through it all the first time, you should never have to go through it a second time. Everything just feels like insult to injury, doesn't it?

Hope tomorrow is better.

XOXO

~ Alison & Mali ~ said...

What a headache =/

We all know you'll be a great (respsonsible!) Mom, & I hope Ms Ignoranmous Social Worker documented just that.

Janet said...

Special K,

I'm sorry it has been such a crappy day. I hope tomorrow goes better for you, and your SW gives you a good report. Hang in there, girl.

cougchick said...

Wow! Krista, that really bites. I hope tomorrow is a better day. Sending positive vibes your way.

Gail said...

Krista,
Your day did suck! I am so sorry.
I don't understand why some of these SW can sit back and make judgements. Who are they??
Why do they get the last say?
Never understood it and still don't.
You will be a responsible ,loving and nurturing mom.
The gun has nothing to do with it!!
I hope tomorrow is a better day.
((hugs))

TBG Happenings said...

Krista,

Sorry. You are absolutely right....your work is dangerous and you do KNOW what goes on in the city that you live in. We all know that you would do anything to keep a child safe. Sorry you have to put up with this crap.

Lindsay said...

Sorry you had to go through all of this. Good luck with the home study update. It truly is heart wrenching, when you will make such a great mom and yet have to wait so long; yet, as you say, people who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near children are free to procreate as often as they wish. Hope you are feeling better.

Sandra said...

I was just clicking on some of my fave blogs and I happened to click on this post.

It sucks. You are so right. I know you will be an awesome and responisble parent and I just wanted to send you some big hugs from across the ocean...

Noemi said...

You are so right in all of what you have stated! You will be an AMAZING MOM! I am sorry you had to go through this.

Tomorrow WILL be better!

((((Hugs))))

3D said...

Some people have the rose coloured glasses on so tight there is no budging them. And was is more shocking is that she is a social worker and should know what the world is really like as like you, unfortunately face the ugly side of things. Apparently she is a social worker in Candyland, in Candy Cane county and lives on Peppermint Drop lane. Moron.

Hope that today is a better day.

I totally agree with you on why we have to bend over and take it anyway they want to give it while others can pop a baby out and throw it away. Beyond unfair. Maddening and has me reaching for the wine.

Keep smilin!

Daniella said...

so sorry you had such a bad day and expereince with this SW. Your post was right on about guns. My son has learned gun safety from when he got his first water gun. He now goes to the range with my husband. It sucks that it's so hard to become a parent and we have to go through so much. Hope today is a better day.

Marla said...

Wow, that absolutely sucks! I'm sorry it was a crappy day and I hope today is a better one. Hang in there!

a Tonggu Momma said...

I know exactly how you feel ... I'm not saying that lightly. Hugs to you. Big hugs. And possibly a stiff drink, too (only don't tell my SW).

Tonggu Momma

Stephe said...

YOUR HOMESTUDY IS GOOD FOR 2 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mine is only good for 1 YEAR!!! (okay, I'll go finished reading your post)

Stephe said...

HOLY CRAP! Are you kidding me!!!

I don't know how your agency works but can you talk to the head honcho or request another social worker?

Can I ask??? Does the city require you to lock up your gun and ammo separately because if they didn't... would there be some kind of legal conflict. Does she just not GET that you are a PROFESSIONAL not just civilian with the constitutional right to bear arms. THIS IS YOUR LIFE!

HOLY Crap! I am soooo sorry that you had to endure this. Sucks...but just hang in there...your daughter is waiting!

Sending big HUGS!!

sea star said...

Wow, you only have to go through this shit every 2 years? It's every year down here in Paradise! I'm on my 3rd round of qualifying.

I say get rid of the gun and stock up on some #2 pencils. ;0)
~~(u so had to see that one coming)

Kayce said...

I AM SO with you on this!

Briana's Mom said...

I wish I could say something amazing that will make you feel better. All I can say is that it totally sucks and it isn't fair. So not fair. Hugs...

Two Kayaks said...

Ugh. I'm sorry, K. I wish that this process could, for one teeny, tiny moment, get a little easier for us. It makes me sick to my stomach that we have to jump through all of these hoops. Insane.

Debra Sue said...

As a social worker this whole situation makes me want to throw up. This situation is what gives my professiona such a bad rap.

Social workers have a pretty stringent Code of Ethics, and nowhere in there does it say that social workers have the right and ability to force their personal ethics and opinions on the client. NOWHERE. In fact, it says the exact opposite.

I face ethical dilemmas daily, and for years many of them surrounded the horrifying events that you deal with in both your jobs. Believe me, there are many things that I "just don't feel comfortable with," but I step back and remember this: We all have rights. What she needed to remember is that you (and all of us) have a constitutional right to bear arms. Just because I don't support having a gun in the house, doesn't mean that everyone else shares my view.

IT'S NOT HER CALL!

I am so sorry this was such a shitty experience. If she fails you, call her supervisor, NASW chapter, and/or licensing board. She is forcing her ethics onto yours and it's not appropriate.

laurie said...

I think playing the game is the key to making life easier. We too (LID May 2006)are redoing our homestudy. Today my husband went for his 3rd adoption physical at our doctor's office 35 miles (a.k.a. a half day off of work) and brings home the paperwork without freakin' getting it notarized!! WTF? He didn't realize...we've notarized everything short of our toilet paper for two and a half years!?! Also the second time we got fingerprinted by the FBI they couldn't get my prints and scraped on my fingers with their fingernails, water, and corn huskers lotion for 50 minutes leaving my hands raw. Sorry to rant on your blog, but I just want you to know we are all there with you sister. What we don't screw up ourselves someone else is happy to do and it never ends. I am sure the plane will go down if we ever make it to China. Oh and I teach in the public school system so I have seen the ugly dysfunction that is out there. I feel better already:) Hang in there.

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy(Kim & John) said...

We have to do ours every year.. I am getting ready to go through this...
I am feeling for you girly..
I am sooo sorry you had to deal with that crap...
Hope it all gets better..
BIG HUGS GIRLY..

Our Journey of Love said...

My husband is a retired officer (24 years) and he couldn't believe the BS that lady put you through. I am a child of a police officer too, and my sister and I have always grown up knowing about dad's gun and we were not to touch it and we understood and respected that.

It is amazing what WE have to go through to be parents and there are so many that don't even deserve pets.

We also have had our bumps during our initial homestudy and it seems very discouraging, but tomorrow will be a better day and 1 step closer to your precious Mia.

Barbara
www.ourdaughtermia.blogspot.com

Liene said...

Yuck! My dad was an MP in the Army then went to work as a detective bustin' drug dealers, the mafia, etc. I'm totally on your side based on what I've grown up with myself.

I've always grown up with guns and my dad has a license to carry a firearm and NEVER does not have it with him in his car as he refuses to be a victim.

He's also an avid hunter and has more than a dozen guns in the house. We have never been allowed to touch them as my dad would knock us into the next dimension if we did. And you don't want to cross my dad.

FHL said...

Oh what a nightmare! Someday when you're looking into the face of your beautiful baby this moment will be nothing but a distant memory. Hang in there!!!

FHL said...

And thank you for your service!

eggrolls and chopsticks said...

I am so sorry that you area going throught this CRAP again. It isn't fair and it truly sucks to be dragged over the coals by a holier than SW is BS.
The only reason we are still in Miami is because our SW rocks and we refuse to leave until this adoption is complete.Nobody else is going to come into our home and judge us. Our SW even came by socially to visit and meet Lily cos she couldn't wait. She has been doing this for years.
Hold on this, is just a bump in the road, soon that overwhelming feeling will take over your life.

Anonymous said...

Delurking here.
What you went through is NOT FAIR. That SW should be writing down praises that Mia will be raised by such an honest, strong, and upright citizen.
I encourage you to contact the SW's superior, and her superior's superior, and even the next superior in line until you reach someone that has a little common sense and respect for your contribution to society.
And then, you should drink a giant yummy margarita and know that Mia is going to be lucky to have a mom who went through so much crap. These horrible experiences only serve to prove that you are a strong individual who will endure anything to get your daughter.
We are all rooting for you!
~~Annie

Joannah said...

I am angry for you! Just shaking my head here. Doesn't she have any common sense? You obviously do. Your arguments make perfect sense to me.

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this! I hope it resolves itself like it should.

redmaryjanes said...

We have to go through it every year here. We just did round two, but our SW is cool so it wasn't so bad.
I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time. I hope that everything turns out ok. I am sure that it will.

secret agent said...

stopped by......friend sent me here

I am surprised you've had no "anti-gun" comments

this isn't one of them.

This is crap.......you'd think she'd have the brain power to differentiate between society's dreg's and a professional

apparently not.

lesson of the day......learn to lie???
feed them what they want to hear??

so sorry you have to deal with this bullshit.

good luck