Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 449

August 27, 2014

Day 449


Ben's first day of more sleeping in for me.  As I crawled into bed last night I thought to myself, "Another school year without Paul."  Only 15 of those to go until I'm finished.


Ben is going to be able to continue working at the farmer's market as part of his school experience.  I emailed his teachers last night, not expecting a response until today, but they were quite enthusiastic in their support of this idea.  Of course, it keeps them from having to come up with other career exploration ideas for him until Nov, so that might be some of why they're so supportive!


The insurance taken care of.  I think.  This was really quite the experience.  I plugged the address into my GPS Mon. morning and drove to a rather unsavory part of Des Moines.  Really - the office is located over by Martin Luther King Parkway.  I think I was north of I-235, but I'm really not sure.  I hope I never have to go there again.


I got there at 9:30 in the morning and stood in line for an hour.  Then, I sat and waited for another half hour.  All this time gave me a good opportunity to observe humanity.  Over and over I heard people complaining about the same thing - they couldn't get through on the phone, so they were having to visit in person.  I understand that!  As I watched the people around me, I noticed a rather curious thing within myself.  I think, in the past, I would have had some pride springing up.  I would have been proud that I wasn't like these people - I have more money, I have a nicer home (I would assume), I dress better, I talk better, etc.  But as I searched my heart that morning, I could honestly say that was not what I was feeling.  Instead, I felt...compassion. 


Who helps these people?  I'm sure some social workers try, but there are just too many needs to be all that effective.  I saw immigrants who couldn't speak English at all.  They would be handed papers to fill out and they looked so confused.  The woman in front of me was nearly beside herself as she told me her story over and over.  She has two sons who have been dx and medicated for about 16 conditions each.  Her husband has had 4 heart attacks and had a defibrillator put in July 24.  But he has to sleep within 3 foot of a phone cord and the only phone jack in their apartment is in the kitchen which is farther than 3 feet from the bedroom.  She is borderline mentally retarded and can only read at a 2nd grade level.  She spent all her school years in Special Education but the flood of '93 destroyed her records so she is ineligible for SSI.  She's bi-polar and has a host of other diagnoses.  Her Medicaid paperwork was stolen out of her mailbox because her landlord refuses to put a lock on it.  I don't know how much of what she was telling me was true, but I helped her fill out her application.  She truly could not read. 


The line stretched longer as I waited.  There were people that smelled bad.  There were poorly dressed mothers who wore too tight of tops, too short of shorts, showed off their leopard printed bra straps, and  were tattooed from head to foot.  I'm pretty sure there were some homeless people in line.  One woman had holes all over the seat of her jeans (jeans on a stifling hot day) and you could see big chunks of her underwear peeking through.  I'm just glad she wore underwear!


My heart just ached the more I watched.  Yes, bad choices have probably lead to a lot of what I saw.  Ultimately, of course, everyone is responsible for their lot in life.  We've all read stories about people who have started out in very poor circumstances but chose to overcome their environment and make  successes out of themselves.  At the same time, though, I don't totally blame everyone else for not making the same choice.  When you're undereducated, when the only people you know have all made similar choices of poverty, drugs, crime, and whatever else, it can be difficult to realize that other choices can be made, that you, indeed,  have a choice.  And then they are sucked into lives of utter dependence on others and the government.  It's just so sad.


And then, as I stood there, the thought struck me that this is what my girls were saved from.  The birth family they emerged from was rife with govt. dependence, crime, illegitimate births, low education, and poverty.  If things had not happened the way they had, the girls could have been standing in that same line with their birth mother, waiting for their govt. handout.  I'm not saying that poverty and lack of education is a reason to remove children from their birth parents - not at all.  But unfortunately, those kind of environmental factors can often lead to other poor choices, including child abuse and neglect.  I shuddered.


At one point, I whipped out my Kindle so I could pass the time by reading.  I was afraid to get my phone out because every so often I heard people in line asking if anyone "had a phone."  Not knowing for sure it would be returned to me, I thought it best to keep mine in my pocket.  Although, it might have been that nobody would want to borrow mine anyway.  Mine is a bit of a dinosaur and I saw quite a few iphones on others as I stood there...not judging, simply observing!  Anyway, I have the Bible on my kindle, so read Psalm 91 several times as I prayed I could sit down with someone regarding my situation and that it would be met with favor.


Eventually, I was called back to speak with someone.  I tried to be extra nice, but  I still felt like the woman was impatient and treated me like I had the understanding skills of a second grader.  She very quickly determined that my paperwork had been misfiled all summer long.  Furthermore, it was evident that my children still qualify for Medicaid, despite me being told otherwise in May.  I asked about this and she honestly told me it had to do with Obamacare.  The new health care rules changed a lot of previous guidelines.  While I had the attention of a live human, I then asked about the girls' insurance.  For some reason, they are still covered as foster children, even though the adoption took place nearly a year ago.  Again, it goes back to the health care laws.  The lady told me this would probably be the case for another year or two.  I guess it doesn't matter.


Yesterday, I received a new notice of decision that informed me the boys were covered by Medicaid from July 1 onward.  That's fine, except David had a dental appointment in June...but  I am so tired of dealing with DHS and I am not going to go stand in line all over again to get the date corrected.  I will just pay for the dental visit myself rather than go through that.


What an ordeal, huh?  And as socialized medicine and other forms of 'care" are forced upon us it will only get worse in my lifetime.  I rather imagine I'll be spending a lot of time in long lines and crying after phone calls.



We saw a rainbow on the way to town the other day.  The kids were excited and I used this as  an opportunity to remind them that the rainbow is a symbol of how God will always keep his promises.  I'm not sure the kids even heard me when I said that, though.  Lizzie said something about there being "blue and purple" on the bottom of the rainbow and Sam dismissively retorted, "You mean, 'indigo and violet,' right?"  Indigo and violet?  Who IS this kid?


Time to go do Learning RX with David, and then feed the Littles.  The sky is threatening to rain, but so far it's dry.  I almost wish the rain would just come and get it over with.  Moving along...





























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