This morning, I ran across a recently-received report regarding Whistle, and it said, "Whistle is currently living with a foster family in Ourtown." My first reaction was "Huh?" How can that be, ". . . living with a foster family?" It feels like so much more than that. This little guy is utterly, positively, in every respect, one hundred percent part of this collection of people who are a FAMILY. We cannot imagine what our lives would be like, or even who we might be at this point, had he not come to be with us 5 years ago.
I'm aware that that's not the correct way to foster children, and I am fully capable of working toward the goal of reunification. It's wonderful, and truly the ultimate success, if a birth family can be made whole again in spite of the obstacles they face. However, it became obvious quite a while ago that it wasn't a realistic goal for Whistle's family. At what point did we go from him being a foster child to that unmistakable feeling that he is Ours? A part of us? An important part of the whole that is the Family? I don't know. It happened gradually, of course, but I do know that I believed in my heart it was to be even before his official goal changed to adoption. The wheels of social services often turn slowly (and even occasionally for good reason), so patience is definitely a virtue for foster parents.
Now, we are waiting for the judicial system to do its work (which is where this post's title fits in). We do believe that God is in control, and what we saw as the future much earlier, others involved now also agree. It takes time, patience, and more time, but it looks like Whistle may be ours even in the legal sense sometime next year. Whoo hoo! Yippee! And thanking God for His manifold blessings.