There are several words that get used often in the realm of foster care that just become part of daily jargon.
These words just used to seem like regular words to me, until these words had something to do with the future of my children.
Lately, the word transition has been on my tongue constantly. Like, I'm pretty sure I say it 100 times a day (Okay fine, like 10 times a day). But what does this word mean exactly? Or, at least, what does it mean for us?
[Definition #1] In the last month transition has meant an emotional time of weekend visits with our new Little Man (whose name also starts with S, so we'll be calling him Little Man to cut down on the confusion). The transition started with a three hour visit on a Saturday. Then a nine hour visit the next Saturday. Then an overnight visit the weekend after that. Then a full-weekend visit last weekend.
Little Man moves in with us tomorrow night, and that transition will come to an end.
[Definition #2] But then, we will embark on a new transition, the transition of Little Man actually living every day in our home. The time it will take for S and D to understand that their brother isn't going "back" anywhere. The time before Little Man stops calling me "Mommy Liz" and starts calling me "Mommy." The time between tomorrow and whenever we start to feel like this "new normal" is normal.
And really, we are already in the process of another transistion -- our original transition. The transition that went something like "Just the Two of Us" to "We. Are. Fam-I-LY." In case you've lost track of time, that was a mere five months ago.
In the course of all this transition, we've started to understand that we will probably always be in some sort of transition according to someone. Caseworkers, Case Aides, Court-Appointed Advocates, Counselors, and other professionals all refer to this time as transition, but we refer to this time as life.