WIC After Adoption

EthicsToday we went to “renew” our toddler’s WIC ….  case?? Since the adoption has been finalized I figured we wouldn’t be approved. I didn’t think that we’d be approved because as I understand it, the program is income based. They asked me what my highest level of education was and then couldn’t understand when I said, “Grad school”. They asked what our monthly income was and after I told her she said, “I’m not saying that you’re doing this but I hate when people that don’t need it sign up for WIC because it’s free”.

*blank stare*

The toddler was approved for another year because he has Medi-Care. Our son is considered “special needs” because he’s a person of color. That means that even after the adoption was finalized he was able to keep his medical benefits and financial support. If you’ve been following along, you know that I was conflicted about signing up for WIC in the first place. It’s been two years that we’ve been getting WIC and mostly it’s been lovely. This morning I felt a little strange.

What do you think? Am I taking advantage? Should we stop?

 

WIC is a Pain

Trying to use the WIC checks has been trying now that the baby is eating food.

When it was just formula, we’d go to the WIC store right next to the WIC office. The person behind the counter would take the checks, fill our bags with formula and we’d walk out smiling. Not this time.

I’ve been buying the baby jar food with meat (as the pediatrician told us to) from Target. It’s a dollar for two plastic cups of whatever we choose so I swing by the store and pick up six or seven at a time. Our WIC checks expire soon, so we thought we’d try to use them.

*blank stare*

We went to the WIC store that’s next to the WIC office, as usual, but they only had fruits and veggies. We went to Target but the checker couldn’t figure out how to use the WIC checks. He called a manager  … and we had to wait. The manager finally comes over and shows him how to do it. He starts ringing up the items. Our WIC check said 16 jar foods, 2 things of cereal (ugh!) and 4 bananas (random, right? Lol). The bananas go through, the cereal goes through but once he starts ringing up the food …  the register says, “unWICable” and doesn’t let it go through. By this time I’m so frustrated that I just tell him to ring up everything and I’ll pay for it. It was only about $20 worth of items anyway.

This is the kind of thing I was worried about.

Ugh.

 

The WIC Office …. Ugh

MehI usually rather enjoy going to our local WIC office. I didn’t think that I would, but our appointments have run smoothly, our worker has been kind and there have been few problems thus far.

Thus far.

Our WIC office is merging with another office that closed down. Today was the first I’ve noticed the difference. Our appointment was for 10:40am. We arrived at 10:35am. Usually, as soon as we walk in we meet with our worker, she asks a few questions, we weigh and measure the baby and then we’re on our way. Today …. ugh …. today ….

We were greeted by a lady that grated on my nerves immediately. She handed me the same form we fill out every month and returned my little WIC folder and told me, “Fill out the form and take this to window 2”. Twice. Like I didn’t understand English or something. I felt like I was in a welfare office. This is exactly why I wasn’t sure if I wanted to sign up originally.

I took the papers and went to sit down. She came out of her little box and walked up to me to tell me, “Fill out the form and take this to window 2”.  *blank stare* I responded, “I’m filling it out now. I’ll take the folder to window 2 when I’m done. That’s what you want, right?” She seemed exasperated and said, “Take it to the window now”. Whatevs.

I walked the folder to the window and gave it to no one in particular. I was told to take a seat. When I returned to the seating area there was an older woman there with a young man and a boy in a stroller. The boy was being annoying. The woman wasn’t paying attention to the children. The older boy was tormenting the younger boy on the low. It was agonizing to watch. The way that woman spoke to that baby. Ugh …

Our name was called and we went back to the office to have our interview. New person this time. He was okay, but ….  I miss the lady that knows us. As we’re talking to him guess who comes in? The woman with the smallest boy in the stroller. Apparently, the woman in the foster care giver for the boy. It seemed that she didn’t like him very much. I felt really badly for that child.

We were told that at six months, we’d be issued checks for jar baby food as well. I told him that we aren’t using jar food. He told me that they would be distributed to us anyway. We finished up and were told to go to the third window to get our WIC checks. At that window I see a flyer saying that people using WIC could get tickets to redeem for fresh food at the farmer’s market.  *blank stare*

I did not enjoy this trip and am not looking forward to the next one. At least we can redeem the WIC checks at the little “store” right next to the WIC office.

Ugh.

 

WIC Appointment – 60th Percentile!

At 3 months old, the baby is on track.

At 3 months old, the baby is on track.

Today we had to go the WIC office. Our appointment was for 7:40am. When I arrived at 7:35am the office had just opened and the computers weren’t even on yet. We were called over after a few minutes and asked the regular questions about how much he eats, how often, etc. and then the lady asked me if he could be put on regular formula yet. I told her that the doctor suggested another month and she seemed surprised.

All this time I had been under the impression that he was way too small for his age but she told me that he’s in the 60th percentile for his age! Whoo hoo! He’s still on the small side, but I’ll take average over sub par any day!

 

The Mysteries of WIC …. Solved!

WIC-1-in-2-infantsI have never used WIC and I’m not that clear on how it works. I have gone back and forth in my mind about if I will use it when we get placement(s) for foster-adopt. Since I have no idea what I am doing, I went to the adoption boards to ask the experts. Here’s what they have to say:

They give you vouchers for the products themselves, not money.
We got 32 cans/month. We only had to buy a few extra cans each month.
They add stuff and change amounts as the baby gets older. They eventually added infant cereal. Eventually they cut the amount of formula and added jars of baby food.

Very well worth it. Where I am it’s only a trip to pick up checks once every 3 months. Usually only takes about 15 mins each time in the office.

WIC-foodand

The child qualifies because they are on Medicaid/Medi-Cal. No need to worry there.

They give you an amount of formula they calculate to be approximately 80% of what the child needs.

and

you can get 3 months worth of checks at once (although they have “use” dates so you can’t use them before or after the use date). You have to go in every 3 months to get more and it only takes 15 minutes, but you have to have a review every 6 months (so every other appointment) where you have to bring the child to be weighed and measured and stuff. That appointment only takes 30 minutes. It’s not a big deal and it’s definitely worth the little bit of time and inconvenience to you.

This is a check from Oregon, but you get the idea.

This is a check from Oregon, but you get the idea.

Since I did the math and realized that a baby will go through about $250+ per month in formula, being provided with 80% of that isn’t bad. This woman spent a little more than $3,000 on year of formula! Wowzers! Also, as the kid(s) get older they will transition the vouchers from formula to cereal and then to jar foods (though I want to make homemade as much as possible).

WIC-transition-jar-food-fresh-veggies-fruits

I might be looking into WIC after all. Lol

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