There's just so much uncertainty in foster care.
When R and A came to us, we were told they would be long-term -- a year or more, maybe turn into foster-to-adopt! They'd been in care before, surely the judge would want to be thoroughly convinced before sending them home. Later that same day, the judge had sent them home.
When we were first called about L and O, we were told it would be short-term -- probably no more than a week or ten days at the most -- but that they had to come to us in the next hour or so. We rushed to get rooms ready, then spent a week or two waiting for the phone call to pack them up. Which never came.
Then we registered her for school, got serious about his toilet training, hoped to get all her dental work completed before the 3 month court date, enrolled him in speech therapy. That 3 month court date came and went and still they stayed. Next court date is 3 months away, after Christmas.
Suddenly, there was a family member home study being done in a different state, hoping to get them approved before "the holidays." The date for that approval passed, with not a comment from anyone about how it turned out. Is it still in process? We don't know.
Next, we heard about another family member, local, DFCS expecting to have their home study done before Thanksgiving and hoping for approval before Christmas. Thanksgiving arrived, with no word on the status of their paperwork.
As we inched into December, I emailed the caseworker. "Any news on that relative in-state? Did you get the paperwork you needed?" No response for over a week, then an update that they were waiting on the relative to get her drug test and fingerprinting done. They won't be moved before Christmas now.
Thankfully, L and O knew nothing about these faint hopes for reunification with family. They know only what we have repeatedly told them: You'll be here as long as it takes your parents to do what they need to do. We don't know what all they need to do and we don't know when they'll be done or how long it will take. We're sorry. When we know something for sure, we will tell you.