Juan and I have spent the past 3 years, 3 months and 23 days taking care of  a little boy that is not ours.

We’ve fed him.

We’ve clothed him.

We’ve provided him with shelter.

We’ve loved him with a ferocity that would frighten the fur off the most terrifying jungle beast.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about his well-being.  Even during this period of supposed transition – a time when it would be easy for me to focus on my own pain – I worry so much more about T and what he might go through as he returns to his parents.

I have been willing to participate in his transition and going-home in any way I can, even if it means that I must face and interact with the two people I trust the least to protect him from harm – his mommy and daddy.

Speaking of transition…little has happened.  T’s weekly, 1-hour supervised visits are now 4-hour unsupervised visits.  There have been four so far.  Overnight/weekend visits should have started by now, but as usual, the twins – Motivation and Follow Through – have taken center stage again.  The March hearing is just around the corner and things should have been further along by now.

So two days after the January hearing, I offered an idea to T’s worker.  I suggested that we, the other foster parents and the parents get together and have a meeting.  The goal of the meeting – at least in my head – was to figure out ways to ensure the transition goes well.  I expressed my concern about the possibility of emotional trauma and shared my belief that we could all work together to help lessen the damage.

I was hopeful in that way that annoys the hell out of me at times.

The worker liked the idea and said he would present it to his supervisor.  A couple of weeks later we were told that February 14th was the tentative date for the meeting.

Fast forward to yesterday.  The worker includes the following in an email:

Presently, there will be no transition meeting with the adults involved in this case. I will let you know if this changes.

Stupid, hopeful me interprets this to mean that there is still a chance that a meeting will occur, just not “presently”.

Juan knew better.

Slight-fast forward to today.  I talk with the worker and he confirms there will be no transition meeting.  The parents do not want to meet.  In spite of his efforts to help them see the value of such meeting, they refused.

End of story.

So now?

I’m frustrated.

I’m angry.

I’m frustrated with this whole process. I’m frustrated that kids are held hostage while the system waits – incredibly patiently – for the parents to hopefully right themselves.

I’m angry that the parents cannot – for an hour or two – put down whatever baggage they might be dragging around about us, DSS or the whole f”in system and focus on what their kids need.

Foolishly, I’m still hopeful that they will ultimately see the light. I hope the epiphany comes soon, because the March hearing – the one that could mark the end of T’s time with us – is just around the corner.

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