Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Adoption # 2- We failed our home inspection!
Yesterday I posted about our upcoming home inspection which Oronzo was having to deal with himself, since I'm here in Florida.

Well, after it was done Oronzo called to say we did not pass it! That's right, despite the fact we scoured our house from top to bottom, read and re-read the checklist and the other detailed literature of details about what we should expect from the inspection, and even having our agency licensing agent walk through last week and give us the thumbs up, we did not pass the inspection yesterday! I'm just a bit frustrated with the whole deal!

There were three pool-related things that the State rep told us we need to modify in order to pass inspection:

1) Get locks for the gates of our pool. We have self-latching, self-closing gates that have the latch 5 feet off the ground, where no small child can ever reach them, even standing on a chair. We ripped out the old ones and replaced them with sturdier, safer new ones when we moved into our house. But apparently that's not enough and we need to purchase locks for the gates.

2) Snuggle Bug's window must be secured so that it cannot be open more than 4" without the use of a tool (like a screwdriver or a drill). Snuggle Bug's window faces our back yard (the pool is in the back yard). His window is outside of the pool gate, so even if he were able to climb out without breaking a leg, he still couldn't land himself in the pool! In the literature that we were given, all it said is that a foster child may not have a bedroom with a window that had access to the pool area. Well, the room the foster child will be in faces the side of the house, not the backyard, so we thought we were fine. Apparently not.

3) The sliding patio door that we have in our bedroom leading out to the pool area must be closed off altogether. The fact that this door has a lock (with a key) at the very top of the door that stays locked at all times is not enough (contrary to what our licensing agent told us during her walk-through). We must seal off the door entirely! I'm not sure how we're going to accomplish that without removing the door and walling up that entrance, which I'm not willing to do!

I understand that the State is very serious about a child's safety and that a pool is considered a high-risk situation. I get that and that's great! What frustrates me (and Oronzo) is that no where in their booklet of detailed instructions or their checklists did they mention the specifics any of these requirements that we're now being told we have to adhere to. Instead, they'd rather a lady drive 2 hours to tell us these things in person!

And what about our agency licensing agent? Surely we're not the first family to have a pool. Why didn't she warn us of these things? She warned us of other things. How could she not know of these major things?

Oronzo thinks that he can manage to make the necessary modifications this weekend by purchasing and installing hardware at Home Depotm (thank goodness he's handy like that). Our licensing agent is scheduled to be at our house on Monday afternoon to do our final interview (together, as a couple). She told us before our inspection that if for some reason we didn't pass (but she assured us that she saw no reason why we shouldn't) that we'd be able to make the necessary modifications, she could inspect it on behalf of the state, and then confirm with the state that we were in compliance so that we could be approved. All I can say is that this better be the case and this better not hold things up an unreasonable amount of time or I'm going to be even more frustrated!

I have a call in to our licensing agent. The message I left her is that we didn't pass inspection and that we needed to talk.

Needless to say, our licensing agent and the State is going to get some feedback from me, letting them know that they need to be more forthcoming about their requirements for those of us that have a pool! It needs to be spelled out in black and white so that families don't have to try to guess at what they're looking for!

Ugh! Oh, and did I mention that one of our cats died a mere hour before the inspection (he died of old age, we suspected it was coming soon) and that after the inspection when Oronzo dropped Snuggle Bug off at daycare Snuggle Bug sobbed like crazy. Oronzo called me on his way to work to share all of this with me and said he'd had the worst morning ever! I feel terrible that I wasn't at home to help Oronzo deal with all of this.

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5:30 AM

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After adopting our daughter through our state's DSS, I could write a book on the things they "forgot" to tell me! Hope you get everything squared away and you pass inspection soon! :)

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Joyful Days said...

I am so sorry that you've had this happen. Praying for resolution.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Julie said...

I am so sorry. This just seems ridiculous. I can understand wanting the pool secure but this just seems like overkill.

Hope it is all resolved soon.

At 11:34 PM, Blogger FosterMom said...

Hang in there - I don't know of any foster parent that passed with flying colors the first time around. There is always something they find, or make up, to get you. The sliding door reequirement seems a little odd - I think I would go up the food chain with a complaint about that one.

At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...that is rough! My heart is with you!

At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attempted to post another comment just a second ago, but I guess I failed. :0( I am new at this whole blogging thing...I am a myspace girl myself. Anyway, my suggestion for gifts the fam would be a Florida T shirt or hat. I am wearing my Florida shorts right now, and boy are they comfy. Also, you could get your little one a stuffed gator or shark since Florida is known for its gators and sharks, right? Another idea for a fun gift would be something from EAFB...I bet your little boy would love a little toy airplane or something. Make sure you check out that white sand up close before you leave! And stick your feet in the water! It's WARM!!!

At 1:58 AM, Blogger heidi @ ggip said...

So sorry they failed your house. Those seem like really nit picky things that really don't jeapordize the safety of the child at all.

At 2:06 AM, Blogger abebech said...

You must be so frustrated. Hope your licensing agent is some help in the matter. The sliding glass door in particular is really nitpicky, especially if it has a lock that requires a key -- and especially since it's your room! A brace as well wouldn't do the trick (The kind that prevents the door from sliding)?

At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you on not wanting to permanently close up the sliding door in your room - there has got to be a way around that one... Keep us posted.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Sally said...

Wow! I can't believe all those silly nitpicking things. Very frustrating!! You sound like you're handling it very well, though. I'll be praying for you and your family.

I hope you're able to enjoy the FL beaches some in the meantime.

At 6:49 AM, Blogger said...

Oh hon! I'm so sorry that things didn't go as planned! Seriously, the book should be crystal clear about all of those things! And I don't know that I would want my son's room's window to only open 4 inches... what if there was a fire? And closing off an entire exit? Again: fire exit anyone?
I'm sorry about your kitty, too...

Good luck. Hope the details smooth out fast.

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh geez, you must be so devastated and to be so far from home. I am sure it will all work itself out. Sending positive vibes your way.

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Toni said...

This is crazy. I think the inspector was waaaaay over the top in telling you that those sliding glass doors needed completely sealed off. It makes no sense if they lock AT THE TOP...WITH A KEY.

And what's sad is the inconsistency. In the next state (or maybe even the next county) it wouldn't be an issue AT ALL. Our next door neighbors fostered with the same agency we fostered with. Um, they had a 4 foot pool with a deck that lead from their back door right up to the pool. There was a gate. It was NEVER locked. And they got placements frequently.
Go figure.

I'm excited about the emergency placement possiblities for you and I do trust this inspection issue will be resolved (the enemy would love to thwart a plan that brings foster children into a loving Christian home.) Praying this is resolved quickly.

At 7:22 AM, Blogger a/k/a Nadine said...

I am so sorry you didn't pass. I can't believe how strict they are. I understand safety, but clearly you are doing everything reasonable. Sealing off the slider is not reasonable. I hope you can get things taken care of/straightened out soon.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Ugh! What a day! It's got to be so hard to be away while all of this is going on. Sending good thoughts your way.... :-)

At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH!! How frustrating for you and your honey!! And even more so, to be away from home with all this going on!
Keep us posted on the responses to your questions.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Jenn @ Knee-Deep in Munchkin Land said...

I am SO, SO, SO sorry! I would be incredibly frustrated too. Hang in there... I'm sure this will all be worth it someday!

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Carey said...

I am so sorry to hear of your losses. How awful that these people dont communicate enough to get all the facts put out there.
Your in my prayers.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger TeamWinks said...

Ugggh...I'm frustrated on your behalf!

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry you didn't pass. But your licensing worker will inspect the changes that they want you to make and all will be OK. Our licensing worker told us that any door or window that has access to the pool has to be inoperable. We have 2 24" windows (I don't think our cat could pass through them) and they had to be nailed shut. Yes, she told us about the locks too. She didn't tell us about the shepards hook. Everything will work out. It's a little frustrating because you want your ducks in a row, but it will be OK

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Judith said...

I had no idea how much you're dealing with. And I am so sorry, because there are needy children who would so benefit just by being with you. Please don't lay a guilt trip on yourself about not being there.

I realize this is terribly upsetting, but keep in mind the various government workers, who tell you different things about the same rules and guidelines just don't have their stuff lined up together.

I would certainly appeal to those in higher office. And if you know of a congressman or senator who advocates helping those poor little children, I would contact them too. Something that would take you weeks, they could probably fix with only a phone call. Didn't mean to preach. Just know there's more than one way to solve these problems.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Barb said...

I can sure see why you're frustrated. You'd certainly think if having a pool is going to cause this much concern on their part, they'd at least tell you their requirements before they did an inspection.

I'm sorry about your cat. And yes, I'd say poor Oronzo had a pretty bad morning. I know you wish you were there. Still, I'll bet you two overcome this little setback.

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been a foster parent...I feel your pain. The State (no matter which) fails to offer a lot of pertinent information until after the fact. It goes for information necessary to properly parent the children who come to you, also. However, I have a feeling you'll handle everything just fine.

You are in my prayers. Poor DH...what a morning it was.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Awesome Mom said...

Man that sucks big time!! I hope that you are able to get everything fixed in time.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Oh I'm so mad for you! That does sound absolutely ridiculous with some of their demands! To completely block off the door from your bedroom to the patio...especially when you keep it locked.

What concerns me is saying Snuggle Bug's window can't be open more than 4 inches w/out the use of a tool...that sounds like a fire safety hazard to me wouldn't you say? Shouldn't he have a 2nd way to get out of his room if the doorway is unusable/unaccessible? He should be able to get through the window and no one should have to worry about needing a screwdriver or drill in the event of a fire! Don't you think?

I hope you get some answers to these inconsistencies and I hope your licensing agent is able to sign you off on the 2nd insepction w/out having to wait for the state agency to reschedule again.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I was so upset for you about the inspection I forgot to post how sorry I am to hear one of your cats passed away as well...sorry you had to be away on business during all of this craziness!

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Tricia said...

Oh, dear! I am so sorry - about the inspection, about your kitty, about it all! Hang in there!

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Ms. Kathleen said...

I think the inspection person was being a bit ridiculous and was probably having a bad day. I hope it is all straightened out. Praying for you all!

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amazes me that the inspectors can be this picky, especially when you juxtapose your post with the horrible news about the woman who had adopted/fostered a bunch of kids from NY under fake names, collected all the checks, and then kept them all half-starved and locked up in the house for YEARS. The world is a crazy place.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Elizabeth Emanuel said...

why do people still make this kind of mistakes? When doing home inspection, always leave it to the professionals.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

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