August 14, 2013

It never fails.

Alyssa and Allison each have their own beds, but at the moment, they share a bedroom.
Without fail, this is how we find them 9 out of 10 nights.

Speaking of them having their own bedrooms, I wanted to share a little bit of our story.
Johnathon and I, due to our growing family, recently tried to apply for larger housing. We currently live in military housing which is privatized and ran by Lincoln Military Housing. When we originally went to them with our situation, we were told to put D on Johnathon's Page 2 and we could easily apply for larger housing.
The military will not allow us to put D on Johnathon's Page 2 because we are neither his parents OR his legal guardians. Their reasoning for this is clear, they do not want D to receive benefits that do not belong to him, such as medical, etc. This I completely agree and understand. My issue is, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE.
For those of you who do not know, when you originally apply for housing (at least here in San Diego), you first apply with Navy Housing. They see what branch of the military you are, your rank and your number of dependents. Then they let Lincoln Military housing know what size of home you qualify for. You will sign a lease with BOTH Navy Housing and Lincoln Military Housing.
This is how we handled our situation.
We filled out an Exceptions To Policy Form explaining why we wish to have our foster child acknowledged as a member of our family and that we do indeed need larger housing. We also had Johnathon's command write up an endorsement for us on command letter head. We then submitted that with our foster parent certification to Navy Housing.
It took two weeks to hear back, but we have officially been cleared for larger housing and D is officially being recognized as a member of our family (NOT on Johnathon's Page 2, but in everyway that matters to us!).
There is a HUGE wait list and we are managing just fine in our current home, but for me, this battle is simply about getting our foster children to be recognized. So many people wanted to brush us off in the beginning and treat us like he shouldn't matter because "foster care is temporary".
I could have smacked them all.
Instead, I persisted and annoyed anyone who would listen until I got the right answer.
My point for explaining all of this is that I am sure I am not the only person who has encountered this issue and I want to be an example for anyone who may need help in the future.
In the end, it wasn't even about getting an extra bedroom. I was on a mission to be the voice for any child in foster care. In the foster system or not, these children need to be recognized and loved. They deserve at least that.

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