In my post the other day, I mentioned the 6th circle of hell. Today I'm talking about purgatory...maybe I should go dig out my highschool copy of Dante's Inferno. Hey, nobody said this CPS stuff was easy, right? And therein lies the purgatory element of this. Just like souls in purgatory supposedly must rely on the intercession of others to get them out of it, over whom they have no control, we are stuck in the middle with a bunch of CPS people working (supposedly) to get this all wrapped up. We have no control over them, the timeline, or the outcome.
Such is the life of a foster parent.
Enough with the poetic old literature. Being in the middle is hard. And we have been very aware of this middle phase lately. At almost eight months into this case, we know a lot more than we did at the beginning, of course, but still don't have a clear picture of which way this will go as far as reunification vs termination of rights. And now, eight months in, there's a new cast member that has entered the drama whose new involvement will delay things a bit. CPS may request an extension of the case from the judge, which would push us past the February one year mark. But we don't even know if that will happen.
On one hand we are rocking and rolling with these two sweet little ones, loving and living. But on the other hand, every once in a while, we're reminded that we're in the middle. Looking at family memberships to the zoo that last a year, I wonder if the kids will still be with us a year from now. Sorting through some clothes their mom sent for Sister and putting away items that won't fit her until next summer, I wonder if we will be the ones to see her wear them. Recalling cute shoes in the top of Brother's closet that are hand me downs from our nephew and still too big, I wonder if we'll see him grow into them. At Brother's speech evaluation this week, the lady explained to me that their program only serves kids until age three but we can adapt his services as we go up until that point and I mentioned that we don't know if he'll be with us at age three, so we'll just have to see.
These moments tend to hit me like a ton of bricks honestly, but not for very long. I'll get upset sometimes for a moment. Every once in a while I need to burrow in my husband's arms and have a good cry. But you know how we deal with this middle phase and all its unknowns? We just continue to live life. We'll buy the year long zoo pass. We'll keep the 2T clothes and size 8 shoes accessible. We'll begin speech therapy and just see where it goes.
We'll keep rocking and rolling and loving and living. That's about all we can do at this point.