When we were called to see if we would take S they told us, "She is going home in September." Prior to that call I vaguely remember Ben and I saying that we wouldn't take on any kids that we knew were going home. Well, when I got that call all that apparently flew out the window because there was no hesitation, I said Yes, we would take her because I felt like that was what I was supposed to do, and considering how the words literally flew out of my mouth there wasn't much time to think through it.
Early on, as we made plans to meet S and for her to come live with us I actually found it comforting that I knew when she was going to go home. I wasn't all hopeful that maybe this was permanent. I didn't wonder if this was my new, permanent daughter. I could look at her and see her. I saw her for exactly who she was and what we could be to each other - no matter what the length of time. From the first time I saw her I knew that I was meant to take care of her - I just assumed that it would only be until September.
The first time S's lawyer called me to "meet" me and check on S I picked his brain pretty throughly about what the next step in all this was, what the likelihood of her actually going home in September was and what all the steps in between would be. I walked away from that phone call knowing that the likelihood of S going home in September wasn't very good. With that came very mixed emotions. Of course we would love to have more time with S. At the same time, I would very much love to know when and if she is going home.
Around September 1st S will have been in care for 6 months. A lot happens in 6 months. She has learned to go potty on the potty (at least when she feels like it!), she has started talking and putting sentences together. She has met 2 strangers that have become "mama ci ci" & "mom" to her. She has met the first man that ever stuck around long enough for her to call "Daddy" - (the same man who I have been married to for the last 8 years officially tomorrow) - also, the only one she has ever chosen to call "Daddy", she also has met her first sister (Angel) and her first brother who she affectionately calls "Toby", and trust me, he is pretty special.
And all the leads me to say this:
I talked to S's worker today for a long time. Every 3 months S, maybe technically I should say S's mom, has a hearing concerning her progress towards working the case plan that is supposed to lead to her getting S back. On my other blog I will talk a little about what those steps are, but basically, if S's mom has not moved into a new place to live by early September (her next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16 or 17) S's worker told me that OBVIOUSLY she will not be able to recommend S returning home because there is no home to return to and that will mean that we are almost guaranteed 3 more months with her, until her next hearing in mid December. The date is fast approaching and S's mom has been told that it does not look like S will be returned to her in September. Basically there is nothing she could do that would actually get S returned in September, the most that would happen would be perhaps unsupervised visits if by some miracle she finds a place to live.
So, now what. That is how I feel. I feel like, as I knew it would, I have no idea when S is going home. And it bugs me. Every social worker, lawyer or anyone involved would still most certainly say that Yes, S will be going home. Eventually. But, we all know kids can sit in foster care for like 2 years and the parents can still get them back. I hate that. And that could be me. And I hate that even more. One of the BIGGEST things that bugs me is what she won't have when she goes home. When she goes home she will have a mom, but what about a "daddy", what about a "Toby". She needs that. She has come so far, I never realized that as much I can tell that this is exactly what I was meant to do, I had no idea how much our S would need a "Toby" and how incredibly lucky she would be to have a real "daddy". I HATE that she can't take that with her. And I hate that I don't know when she's leaving. But, I always told myself that if she stayed longer than September every day after that would be the icing on the cake, so that is what it will be. I'll love every minute and trust God to take care of all of the stuff I don't know. He can handle it better than I can anyway :)
Click here to read more of the steps of what it will take for S to go back home.