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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Murphy's Law: A Textbook Example

Brandon and I have been trying to get everything lined up to become foster parents. It is complicated by the fact that we live in the middle of nowhere (the first place we applied to didn't do foster care outside of a 60 mile radius, which they didn't bother to tell us until AFTER we had filled out a ten page application and sent it in.) So now we are going with DFPS (also to be referred to as the State). We have PRIDE classes three hours a week for the next two months. The first class was this Tuesday. PRIDE is an acronym for Parents' Resource for Information, Development and Education.

Tuesday was also my writer's group meeting. That was at 10:00 a.m. and the PRIDE training started at 6:30. No problem.

As the meeting ended, one of the other ladies noticed that my right front tire was extremely low, and so one of the other women showed me to the tire repair place, where they were very nice and had it fixed within twenty minutes. It had three nails in it (ah, the joys of living on a dirt road). I went to the fabric store and to the grocery store, and when I came out of the grocery store, the same tire was COMPLETELY flat. Way too flat to drive on. So I called the tire shop, and on the second try (everyone was gone for lunch) got someone, who told me it would be a few minutes before they would be able to send a guy to help me.

It was only about five minutes, actually. He aired it up so I could limp on over to the shop, where in another twenty minutes it was fixed, really this time. And of course they didn't charge me for the second go-round, so that was fine.

I got home and had barely forty-five minutes to eat and get everything straightened up and put together before we had to leave for Amarillo (we were allowing some extra time for a quick trip to Joann Fabric and to eat at the Country Barn Steakhouse). Before I left, I gave a brief thought to double-checking the address and meeting time of the class, but I DIDN'T DO IT for some reason.

As we finished up supper, Brandon and I realized we didn't remember the exact address of the DFPS office, or how to get there, and so we called various relatives until we got some directions. My sister knows a social worker, and his mom has the internet, so between the two of them, we got the info we needed.

Then we got to the DFPS office and there was NO ONE THERE (except a lady who was crying and obviously in the middle of something). The class was not at that office, and we had no cell phone numbers of the class leaders, or anyone at DFPS.

Brandon said "I bet it's at Amarillo College." And that sounded vaguely familiar, so we drove over to the main campus. It was dark, at this point, and we were already half an hour late, but it is a three hour class. There wasn't much going on at the college. By wandering through buildings with concentrations of cars near them, we found an evening lab class and chorus practice, but no PRIDE. I called my sister, who found out from her friend that PRIDE training is not held in any one place - sometimes it is at the college, and sometimes at a church building or a private home. We were getting desperate, and the only option that wouldn't result in us turning around, having made the 1.5 hour drive for nothing was to call Brandon's wonderful mother again, and ask her to do us a big, big favor.

We asked her to drive 20 minutes to our house, let herself in, find our folder with the address we needed, and call us on the cell phone to let us know where we were supposed to go. She agreed! We were saved!

This is where Murphy's Law kicked in. She would have called us on the cell phone to let us know the address, but Plateau cellular network picked that time to go kablooey. I think that's the technical term.

Flashback to us in the car, waiting, and waiting. It's dark and slightly chilly. After 25 minutes, Brandon couldn't stand it anymore and called Sherry's cell phone. Immediate busy signal. He tries again, same thing. I try to text her, and my phone won't send the text, even though I have full signal.

Brandon calls my phone, just to test. Busy. I'm not using my phone. We call the house phone, hoping that Sherry is there and will pick it up. The house phone rings. For ten minutes, we repeat dial the house, before coming to the conclusion that Sherry isn't going to answer it, and she must have turned around and gone home. Hopefully after finding the file, but who knows?

So we wait another twenty minutes. Brandon calls his dad, just to see if Sherry has called. The phones will call out, luckily. After a few minutes, he calls his dad again, and Sherry is just walking in the door. She gives us the address.

One and a half hours after we were supposed to be at the class, we got there. It was at the southwest campus of Amarillo college. We banged on a door until the janitor let us in.


Myra said...

Oh, how frustrating. Are you considering fostering only or adopting? Our oldest is adopted, we went through Buckner in Dallas, and they assist anywhere in Texas. I think they also do fostering.

texasholls said...

What a crazy trip. I am glad you finally found your class. I commend you for being willing to go through all of the red tape to try to do the foster/adoption thing. It sounds really frustrating to me. Keep us updated on how the classes and the whole process is going!

bee said...

Lord have mercy!!!!! You and Brandon deserve many kudos for putting up with that whole entire situation. What is it lately? Seems everyone is having these disturbing events----Brad's truck stolen, your weird tire and class events, Tam's teeth delimma (which I think the dental place is a scam place), etc. The story goes on. Let's hope for a better start to 2009 next week. Hope the foster care works out for you.

MadeByAmanda said...

Myra - we are fostering with the intent of eventually adopting. I think there is a Bruckner's in Lubbock, but so far, working with DFPS (or CPS, whatever they are called) has not been as bad as I feared.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, are you sure we're not related somewhere? Sorry you had such a hard time but it was great to read it with my coffee this morning.

Kudos for wanting to foster too!

Latanya said...

The world of foster care examined through the eyes of little children has stayed unspoken till now. Invisible Kids (www.InvisibleKidsTheBook.com) adds these experiences to light, makes a obliging case for providing resources and support to this vulnerable population and inspires each of us to make a difference in the lives of foster children.

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