- Family and Parenting»
- Foster Care
For the Love of Her Foster Child
A Foster Child Could Be Any Child ....
A Mother's Love
The morning air on February 12, 2007, Approximately 8:00 AM, was cool, and the ground around Sherry Blackwell's apartment building was pretty icy. Which meant she had to walk very gingerly towards her waiting cab with her infant -- foster -- son Tony safely secured within his 3-in-1 stroller and a small diaper bag around her right shoulder.
Sherry does not remember the driver or even which hospital she went to that day, because she has been going to hospitals and using car services for all of Tony's existence. What Sherry does remember about her ride to the hospital -- that early morning -- was how nervous she was about Tony's health, because Sherry was informed that Tony was born with only one kidney, and he had a tumor on his brain. What Sherry was concerned about and said to me was,
"My baby needed surgery .... He was too small ... he could die."
When Sherry finally arrived at the hospital she seemed okay until she realized that the mother was not going to show up. The hospital staff was willing to wait as long as they could, but soon everyone realized the mother was not going to show up. When Sherry finally got in touch with the birth mother the woman claimed that her transportation -- Access-A-Ride for disabled people -- did not show up. Sherry called Access-A-Ride to see if they would pick Tony's mother up, and she learned that they already arrived and the mother was a no show. Which, means if it is the client's fault Access-A-Ride does not have to make way to pick up the customer again.
Sherry was upset, because she worked out with Access-A-Ride, and the birth mother, how she -- Sherry -- would wait for the transportation service, and pay for the woman to get to the hospital and return home. Sherry also promised Tony's mother $10.00 for herself. Now, sherry had to return home, with her little one, without the child being pre-tested. It was mid afternoon.
When Sherry finally received a cab she was just grateful that she was picked up since the air began to become cooler. Added to Sherry's worries was the fact that Tony's mother seemed to be a woman that did not seem to be really concerned about Tony's health issues. She would party using the Access-A-ride bus, but she could not come to sign for an important procedure for her child. These thoughts distracted Sherry during her ride home in the cab with Tony lying asleep in his infant car seat. With her left hand gently touching him Sherry prayed that Tony would survive this.
When Sherry moved into her three bedroom apartment about a decade ago due to a fair-housing statue. Sherry jumped on the chance to move into an area where she could feel safe raising her two -- at the time -- children. The building was always clean, and the building's entrance door stayed locked. Unfortunately, some of the people who moved into the area -- over the years -- under the same fair housing statue were bad eliminates.
Slowly, the area changed. The cleaning was not done as regularly, the entrance doors were broken every two months, and when Sherry would order take out for delivery she had to start sending her teenage children down to the lobby for their food. Delivery services stopped coming into the buildings in her area, because the delivery people were getting beaten and robbed, for the food and their money. Her area became known as a dangerous area to do door-to-door service by all delivery people.
Sherry stopped taking or sending her children to the parks in her area. When they went out it was to relatives homes, amusement parks, etc. It usually cost her to take her children places just to keep them safe. Though her goal is to move into her own home ... she still lives in an increasingly dangerous area in Queens, and she and her children have to do their best to stay safe. Still, her only thoughts while in the car was, "Please let my baby be okay."
It is possible that the cab driver did not feel comfortable being in what he recognized to be a predominantly black section of Queens, NY. If he would have asked Sherry about her area -- once they arrived -- he would have learned she also was not comfortable with her area. once the cab reached her apartment building, and she paid him. He stayed in the car the whole time. Not once did her offer his help as he did when he picked her and Tony up from the hospital. He popped opened his trunk so Sherry could get her infant's 3-in-1 stroller out of it. meanwhile she had to keep her infant son in his car seat in the back of the car while she prepared the rest of the ... stroller. The driver had showed impatience, and even destine which showed when he cursed Sherry, and yelled for her to,
'get that thing out of my car!'
Sherry was too stunned to even think where that came from. It just bothered her that the driver had referred to her child as a thing . She returned to the car to retrieve her son. Once he was safely in her arms she angrily replied,
"I have not messed with you guys since 9/11." Refocusing on her child she safely placed her son into the ... stroller and carefully strolled her child over the icy pathway towards the left side of her double building. She refused to close the ... door, and when the driver got out of his car to close it himself he yelled,
She ignored him as she carefully strolled her child over the icy pathway towards ... her ... building. Though a neighbor and two of his friends boisterously came out to help her after witnessing the verbal confrontation, Sherry confirmed that something happened when asked, but conveyed she was okay. plus, the driver seemed to speed away after he saw the three men.
Mentally and physically exhausted, from a very long and -- unproductive -- chilly day, Sherry could not even reach into her pockets to get her keys. She could smell chicken frying and was happy, because she was starved. She knocked on the door, and heard an unnaturally quick response. When the door opened, she saw four beaming faces and they all yelled,
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!!!"
Sherry was happy, and shocked, because she forgot that February 12th -- that day -- was her 38th birthday. In that brief moment, with the jubilant greeting from all five of her other children, they changed her day from misery to delight.
Names and dates are changed to protect the privacy of my subject's children, because in this day and age some people still put a stigma on foster or adopted children, and even on the motives of foster or adoptive parents.
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