My mum passed on a book to me last week, warning me that I might find it a tough subject as it dealt with a damaged young girl in the foster care system. To be honest I was very surprised that she had been able to read it. The book in question is Crying For Help by Casey Watson. I read the whole book in a day. I am not sure this is testament to a great story or just the fact that I had been bed bound for much of last week.
I would not normally look at books in this genre, mostly because anything that is strictly fictional I would probably end up trying to find faults with. However this book is based on real experiences that the author has had in her other life as a foster carer for seriously damaged children.
The lack of information coming forward from social services, difficulty with children and adolescent mental health services was all too familiar to the scenario that we went through when we were kinship caring for my niece. The behaviour of the child in question 'Sophia' was so similar in many many ways to our experience, as was the roller coaster ride of not knowing what could possibly happen next as we lurched from crisis to crisis.
There was one point in the story where I became quite angry with the presumptions the foster carer was making about the child's family. She had no father, her mother was in a persistent vegetative state and she had lived with her uncle for a while until him and his wife became first time parents of a newborn. The situation of not being able to really KNOW what had happened to the child in the past because of the state of the mother and lack of social services intervention was very similar to the situation we found ourselves in. The not knowing for sure whether stories are true, based on truth, or imagined/made up is very difficult. In the author's case she seemed to believe the stories Sophia told her and judged the family quite severely. I so felt for the uncle, as the story unfolds it becomes apparent that if a professional struggles with Sophia's problems, how was a first time kinship carer supposed to manage them. I can just imagine how difficult the decision to hand her over to social services must have been. This book has confirmed that which I already knew - there will be people who come into contact with my niece who will be judging me in the same way. That is hard to live with. Though there is nothing I can do about it so there is really no point dwelling on it.
The book is a great story and it did keep me gripped, however I did not really feel that the writing gave it justice - or maybe that is just me getting my own back having felt judged! The jury is still out on whether I would read another of her books, I certainly would not rush to get another.
Today I am also continuing to count my blessings with Ann Voskamp:
820. Better drugs giving me pain relief from my back problem.
821. Unexpected cards in the post from caring friends.
822. The delivery of some on-line shopping which has helped me be a little less bored in my bed bound state.
823. Blue sky!
824. Happy daughter as she finished her primary school years.
825. Reading through a years worth of books and papers from her last year at school.
826. Books to read.
827. A husband that has to put up with far too much.
828. A little pumpkin starting to grow in my veg patch.
829. White roses and Gypsophila growing in my garden reminding me of my wedding flowers.