I just finished this book, a child called hope. it is written by Mia Marconi. the book starts out with mia talking about her own family. ultimately the book is about her experiences as a foster parent but before she talks about fostering she talks about her own family and upbringing, giving a lot of background on her mom and dad and grandparents. her parents fought a lot when she was a child. she took her dads side a lot and says it was only in later life that she realised her mom had a lot of responsibility and she should have been more compassionate towards her. basically her dad was born to his mother after she got pregnant due to having an affair with a man in italy, he was brought up by his mothers parents for the first 11 years of his life, then he was told that actually his mother was in england and sent to live with her in england, but she didnt want him and rejected him. her mom witnessed her dads suicide, for these reasons both parents were very unstable and needy and mia remembers a very volatile house during her childhood where her parents would regularly get into arguments and throw things at each other. She had older sisters, her sisters were 10 years older than she was. She ended up getting a good job though despite all the disfunction. Her older sister got her a job in a magazine and she had that job for years until she was 29 years old. She met her partner martin who was a taxi driver. They never married and still to this day they are not married. Martin always wanted kids but Mia didnt but one day when she became sick she realised that she was pregnant. She went on to have two kids two girls named franchesca and ruby. It was only by chance that she became a foster parent. She was shopping for a wedding dress with her best friend Jane. They went for a meal and during the meal they met a woman who had a lot of kids and Mia found out she was a foster parent. She decided she’d like to do that. So she began the foster care training. Her first placement was a baby sophia who was only 3 days old when she came to Mia. Her mother was italian and had come to england to have an abortion but realised she was too far along in her pregnancy to end it so had had her baby and then disappeared. After only a few days Mia realised there was something wrong with sophias eyes. she took her to hospital and it was determined that she had gonnarea which was passed on from her mother. she made a full recovery and she stayed with Mia for a year. during that year friends of the mothers family, an older couple got in touch. Eventually Sophia went to live with them and was adopted by them. Her biological mother never turned up. After Sophia left Mias girls grieved a lot and she wondered if she was damaging them by fostering. A couple of weeks later she got a call asking her to take in a disabled baby named hope. This little girl was a year old. She’d spent the first year of her life in hospital. She was very sick and was on lots of medication and had lots of complicated medical problems and tubes and oxygen and things. Her mother was Vikki, a drug addict who’d also been in care during her teens. It ended up that Mia and Vikki built up a very strong bond. Vikki became clean and had contact with Hope at first once a week but after Mia advocated for her it rose to 3 times a week. Mia would show her how to look after Hope, bathe her, help her administer meds, show her how to play with her and help her to bond with her daughter. Martin, Mias partner also built up a very good rapport with Vikki. Hope was with Mia for 9 months. But one night she wasnt too well and Mia slept in the livingroom to be near her. Hope had an alarm on her oxygen tank so that if she stopped breathing it would alert Mia. This particular night the alarm went off and Mia rushed to hopes room. She was breathing very shallowly so they called an ambulance. But it was too late. On arrival to the hospital hope was dead. Mias grief was overwhelming. So too was hopes mother vikkis. They were able to comfort and help one another at the funeral. After Hopes funeral Mia decided that she didnt want to foster any more for the time being. Her girls were profoundly effected by Hopes death. They did get over it eventually but it took a long time and eventually Mia and her family even moved to a new house. I think Mia did end up fostering again because she has written some other books which seem to be about foster children. I have just downloaded two mroe of her books. All of her books are short reads, you could probably read the stories in an hour if you set your mind to it. I enjoyed a child called hope. I found her style of writing to be good, the book was easy to read, and there was lots of twists in the story. I’d recommend the book to any social workers, foster parents, or anyone who enjoys reading about children in foster care.
Book review-A child called hope by Mia Marconi