Give Peace a Chance
Within hours, Shari shows all of us that we want her to select us. Even Ivy, who has been traumatized by the behavior of her foster sisters is soothed by Shari’s maturity and kindness. Lea’s temper tantrum scared her, Billy’s kicking the hole in the bathroom door and Mona’s constant and unrelenting provocations are wearing her down. My happy, sweet little girl is now secluding herself in her bedroom. Shari settles into the bedroom that now belongs to Shari and Billy. I knock on the door and enter the room. They are organizing, arranging and talking with one another. I am amazed. The next day is a school day, the younger girls will go to school and I will get to know Shari.
Shari joins me as I am sipping coffee, taking my morning breather after everyone leaves for school. I smile at her. I am so happy she is here with us and she is who she is. Shari takes a seat and says: ”My feet hurt, a lot. I can barely stand, they hurt so much.” “Let me see,” I say. I see little things on the bottoms of her feet that look like a corn I had on my toe once that was extremely painful. Shari has at least a dozen on each foot. I ask her if she has any other shoes besides her wooden platform wedgies. She does. I tell Shari I am certain she is in a lot of pain and we need to go to the doctor. In the meantime, I get her Ibuprophen and then we find her medical card and I call the doctor. I decide we should take care of this as soon as possible. She needs to walk without being in agony. We go to the doctor and she recommends salicylic acid applied carefully on each wart (they are warts) every four hours and to put a tiny piece of tape on each wart after the application. When I stop to get salicylic acid, I also buy gel soles to pad her feet. Shari can apply her own treatment, which she does, and her feet feel better within a day. Within a few weeks, the warts are gone. The day after the Doctors visit for the warts, I take Shari to the high School for our community. Shari would prefer to take the city bus to school so I purchase a city bus pass. The bus pass is a good idea anyway; Shari is 17 and needs mobility in the event she can get a job or anything else a young adult needs the liberty to do. Shari’s inclusion into our family is a wonderful thing. She is a minor, but also an emerging adult and I enjoy her presence very much. Billy, Lea and Ivy are happy and stable.
Within a week, Shari urgently needs to talk to me privately. We get together the following morning after everyone has left for school. “I haven’t been to school for two days, I can’t stand this school.” Shari confesses. The fact that she came to me directly and let me know is a good thing. I totally understand; this is a tough high school. I am relieved that this is the problem. It is something I think we can solve. This problem is not nearly as serious as some of the possibilities I feared. I called her school counselor, explained the problem and we were in her office within the hour working out an alternative program. Shari is placed on independent study, is diligent, and gets a job.