After court, I was told the plan. We were reunifying with BioMom. But since we've only had one home visit, we'll have a couple more of those -- supervised -- then an all day visit -- unsupervised-- then a few overnights and finally move them officially home.
All told, this will take about 6 weeks.
With the official return date being the weekend before school starts here. BioMom lives in a different county and school will start there a few weeks later, so they won't be going the weekend before L starts school, just the weekend before all 3 of the other school age kids here at this house do.
Oh, but this is all dependent on one more hoop for BioMom to jump. And we won't know whether she's jumped it successfully for "a few days", so we aren't to tell the kids anything has changed. (Although L knows they went to court because BioDad told her they were. So she's asking me what happened and when she'll go home and if this was the "last court" for them. And she is --thankfully -- a smart girl who can understand when I explain that I don't want to tell her something that might not happen, so I am telling her all I know are "might happens" right now.)
And yes, that's the way I was told about it. "We're reunifying, here's the transition plan, but it all depends on this thing happening, so . . . don't tell the kids."
Right now, I'm feeling frustrated and angry and selfish and bitter.
Essentially, we are still in limbo land--because it could all fall through if BioMom doesn't leap over this one last hurdle. So we can't tell the kids it might happen. But if she does do what she needs to do, it will happen, so we can't tell the kids that it won't, either. We just can't tell the kids anything. For "a few days." And I may still be a newbie foster mom, but I know what "a few days" means in caseworker speak. And it certainly doesn't mean we'll know in 2 or 3 days, like it means in the normal world.
Once the hurdle is jumped though, we still need a month or 6 weeks to transition back to their mother? To the woman they've been seeing regularly throughout the time they've been in care? To the person who was their full time caregiver for most if not all of their lives prior to coming here? (For the record, I was in favor of a long transition to Paternal Aunt's. They've never lived with her and O didn't seem certain of who she even was. But going back to Mom seems different.)
And -- here's where I get selfish -- the timing of this means there will be no time for any sort of just-the-5-of-us-again vacation between the time L and O leave and school starts. Nope, it'll be all-about-them -- getting them packed up, slowly moving their things to Mom's house over the course of a month, dealing with the behaviors that are sure to come as they try to cope with moving back and forth between us over several weeks -- until it's time to get ready to catch the school bus in the morning again. And yet, I don't feel like I can ask for a few respite days when they're in the middle of transitioning, so there will be no such family-bonding vacation this summer. Just like there wasn't one last summer, when L and O arrived 2 days before the intended one and we spent the rest of that summer expecting a call to send them home every week until it was too late for a vacation. Take L and O with you, you say? Well, you see the timing of all of these transitional visits is going to change week-to-week based on BioMom's work schedule. So I can't plan anything in advance because I won't know until "a few days" before which days they are going to be with her. (And that's the BioMom's version of "a few days" which seems to mean at best the day before.)
Yes, I would like some cheese with my whine, please.