13 months. 5 days. 18 hours. I can’t stop counting. No matter how busy I am or distracted I get – no matter how in-a-groove our life seems, I am all too aware of dates and the passing of time.   The moments tick by, punctuated by the occasional court date or caseworker’s visit.  My life moves in both fast and slow motion.  I long for more time with him – with us- but feel increasingly impatient.  And concerned.

13 months. 5 days. 18 hours.  Talk about slow torture.

What the hell is going on?  If they are going to take him back they need to hurry the fuck up!

There, I said it. I’ve been holding on to that thought for a couple of months now, but fear of God’s wrath, jinxes and plain old bad luck have kept it buried deep inside. Even now, my finger hovers over the backspace key, readying to delete those words.  But I feel some relief now in getting it out of my head.

Hurry the fuck up. For his sake. Hurry. Up.

T is getting old.  He is no longer the blob of a baby that came through our door over a year ago.  He walks.  He talks.  He laughs.  He cries.  He asks for Juan when Juan is already long-gone to work. Ah poppa! (translation: where’s papa?).  He tells Rocky to sit (thit!) and Rocky, as stubborn and willful as he can be, often obliges. He falls, inevitably hurting himself, and comes running and crying, his face twisted in dramatic misery as he points at the offending object and holds out his injury for inspection and healing.  He spots our neighbor/good friend in front of her house and calls out “Naaaanceeeeee!!” as he run-stumbles down the sidewalk to her.  He greets us at daycare with enough excitement to light up an entire city.   He expects.  He gets.  He wants. He gets. He needs. He gets.

I remember saying many months ago that I could not imagine loving T more.  What was once unimaginable continues to happen with each passing day.  I also thought there was no way he could feel any more a part of our lives.  I fear – and know – that this is not true.  We are all connected to each other with bonds that grow stronger at each of those ticking moments.

13 months.  5 days.  19 hours.

Someone needs to hurry up – the parents, DSS, the Court…someone.  If the return to his parents is inevitable, then it should happen sooner than later.  My stomach flip-flops in panic every time I think of the trauma he’ll experience, trauma that will be much more intense the longer he stays with us. I don’t want that pain for him.  Who would?

13 months.  5 days.  19 hours.

We hear snippets, typically off the record, about the case and the parents’ progress. None of the information seems all that helpful, probably because most of it is downright confusing and conflicting.  What we do know (and I think I’m allowed to say) is that their to-do list is extremely short though not insignificant.  The requirement is no doubt do-able, given the resources at hand. The fact that it is still outstanding after all this time concerns me.  Why isn’t it done?  How old will T be before it’s done?  How old will he be when they start the “transition”?

I don’t sense urgency from anyone on the case.  It seems to plod on from week to week, visit to visit and hearing to hearing with very little actually happening.  I wonder sometimes if the system – parents, DSS workers, the courts, and children – have somehow become used to this strange, sad  pace, where big, important things happen but little seems to get done.

So another day passes and I’m still left wondering.

What the hell is going on? 

13 months.  5 days.  20 hours.

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