By P. Berman, K. Hecht, & A. Hosack
This is a weird place. So much rushing around. Claire can just barely hear someone talking on a phone in the next room. Who are these people? What will they do to her and Davy?
Claire takes a risk and asks Nancy, “Do you know what Ms. Alexandra is going to do with me and Davy?”
Nancy has been working with Ms. Alexandra for about a month. It has been mostly good, but she has been warned that if her drug testing ever becomes positive, Sara is going into foster care to make sure she isn’t neglected or abused while Nancy is high on drugs. She doesn’t want to scare Claire, but she knows friends should be honest with each other and she is trying to learn how to be a friend. She says, “What I like best about Ms. Alexandra is that when I tell her the truth about what I need, like running out of money for diapers, she always makes sure I get what I need. She is always willing to help me take care of my Sara. But, she is going to put your baby before you because babies are helpless and easy to hurt. If she believes you have done something bad to your baby, she isn’t going to listen to any excuses. She will put your baby in foster care to make sure he is okay and then she will get you help.”
Claire sighed and looked down. She better never let Ms. Alexandra know that sometimes she dreams of abandoning Davy. On the other hand, most of all she wants to keep her promise to God and be a great mom; it sounds like Ms. Alexandra might help her with this like Nurse Karin did. She looks back up at Nancy and says, “Do you ever get frustrated with your Sara?”
That’s all it took. Claire and Nancy talk nonstop about how tough babies are. Claire begins to feel better; maybe Davy is normal, and she is doing okay as his mom?
They hear footsteps in the hall and both immediately stop talking- they look at each other and giggle as Ms. Alexandra enters the room. Ms. Alexandra comes hears the laughter and is relieved; she was afraid Claire would spend her time alone crying. She says she has great news. She has found a new home for Claire and Davy with a Mr. And Mrs. Carson. They are special foster parents who are committed to helping her raise Davy until she becomes a legal adult at 18. Davy wakes up at this moment and begins to cry; Claire does too. Nancy figures Claire is scared to be going to a foster home. She tries to help out by acting like her advocate. “Can you tell Claire about the Carsons? Maybe then she wouldn’t feel so scared.” Ms. Alexandra smiles at Nancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Carson run a small convenience store in the town where they are now. Mr. Carson is 60 years old, and Mrs. Carson is 58. They had 2 children of their own who are now both married. Their son lives about 2 hours away and has 3 small children. Their daughter lives three hours away in the opposite direction. She has 2 small children. The Carsons decided to become foster parents just recently. They did all the required training to be “special foster parents” so they could help families like Claire and Davy. They have their own four- bedroom house with a large backyard with a small apple orchard. Claire can sleep with Davy and use a second bedroom as Davy’s playroom or she can have Davy sleep in his own room if she wants. Claire stops crying and looks up at Ms. Alexandra.
I get to choose? Really?