Book review: Innocent by cathy Glass

I just finished the latest Cathy Glass book a few days ago. It was a great read like all of her books are. I do have to say though that I knew what the problem with the mother was right from the get go. It wasnt hard to spot what was going on. Maybe it would be to someone who didnt know a lot about mental illness or psychology, but I knew right away what the issue was with her.
The book centres around two siblings, molly age 3, and kit aged 18 months. they were taken into care due to Kits non accidental injuries. He had a broken arm and bruising to his face.
While in care, the kids are sick a lot. They keep having symptoms like vomiting, rashes, breathing difficulties etc. Normally it happens after contact with their parents. It turns out the mother is making them ill. She has munchausens bi proxy.
It is only after Cathys own daughter Lucy becomes ill that Cathy figures out that the food from contact is contaminated, but she doesnt guess its the mother doing it, she thinks the food is being stored incorrectly at home.
When she finds out the real cause of the childrens mysterious illnesses, she is shocked. I wont spoil the ending, but I will say, I did not like how the book ended. Its true to life though, and I guess the ending was how things happened, and cathy is reporting it exactly how things unfolded.
Overall I enjoyed the book. And I think anyone who reads it will too. I read it in a matter of days. Its a real page turner.
It also highlights the mental illness munchausin bi proxy. That illness isnt very well known. I thought it was good that it gets some attention as this sort of thing does happen far too often and its hard to pinpoint or diagnose.
I rate the book five stars! Its available on amazon, and in paperback from all good book stores, and on kindle and on audible as an audio book also.


Book review: Denied a mummy by maggie hartley

Just finished an amazing book, denied a mummy by Maggie Hartley.

Here’s the summary of the book, and my thoughts are below.

When Maggie’s latest placement arrives on her doorstep, the three young siblings have clearly been through unspeakable traumas in their short lives. Violent, malnourished and showing signs of sexualised behaviour, the two brothers and their big sister have been left to fend for themselves by their drug-addicted parents. Maggie must use all of her skills and experience as a foster carer to help these damaged siblings to learn to be children again. With much love, care and patience, their behaviour gradually starts to improve, and social services start looking for a forever family for them.

But alarm bells start to ring when Maggie meets the couple who have been matched to adopt the siblings. It is clear that they’re looking for the perfect ready-made family, and they’re not going to get it with these vulnerable brothers and sister. Despite raising her concerns with social services, Maggie is powerless to prevent the adoption from going ahead, and she must put aside her own fears to help the siblings settle in with their new parents. But she can’t shake the feeling of dread as she waves them good-bye.

Six months later, Maggie’s worst nightmares come true when she learns that the children have been handed back to the care of social services following the breakdown of the adoption. Maggie must fight to get the children returned to her, but is it too late to undo the damage that has been done?

My thoughts…

An absolutely fabulous read. Gripping, a page turner. This book you wont be able to put it down! It was heartbreaking in parts, uplifting in parts, an overall great read! You cheer as the children progress, you cry with them, laugh with them, I highly recommend you read this one! It will not disappoint!
Its available on audible, kindle and in paperback.

Book review:A long way from home by Cathy glass

So I just finished the book a long way from home by Cathy Glass. A wonderful read. Different from most of her other foster care memoirs, this is Annas story. A story about a little girl adopted from an orphanage who came into foster care after being diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder and when her behaviour became unmanageable for her parents.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a poignant read. Deeply moving, very sad in places, but also full of hope.
The summary for the book follows.

The true story of two-year-old Anna, abandoned by her natural parents, left alone in a neglected orphanage.

Elaine and Ian had travelled halfway round the world to adopt little Anna. She couldn’t have been more wanted, loved and cherished. So why was she now in foster care and living with me? It didn’t make sense.

Until I learned what had happened…

Dressed only in nappies and ragged T-shirts, the children were incarcerated in their cots. Their large eyes stared out blankly from emaciated faces. Some were obviously disabled, others not, but all were badly undernourished. Flies circled around the broken ceiling fans and buzzed against the grids covering the windows. The only toys were a few balls and a handful of building bricks, but no child played with them. The silence was deafening and unnatural. Not one of the 30 or so infants cried, let alone spoke.

This book can be gotten from audible, its also available on kindle. and in paperback. It is Cathy glass’s latest foster care memoir.

Book review-Nobodys son, by Cathy Glass

so i just finished cathy glass’s new book called nobodys son. what a fabulous read. i was very moved and i would highly recommend this book to people.

this book tells alex’s story. alex was 7 when he came to live with cathy. he had been born to a drug dependent mother, and had been born in prison. taken into care at 18 months, he had been moved around a lot, had numerous carers. when he first came to cathy he was coming temporarily, as he was due to move to his adoptive family soon so he was only going to be with cathy for a few weeks.

a suitable adoptive family had been found for him. they were a very well to do family, had one son, a year older than alex. they were successful business people, and it was felt they would give alex lots of opportunities, for instance, to learn a musical instrament, go bike riding and horse riding. the initial introductions went well. and 2 weeks after being introduced to his family alex moved in with them.

however the placement broke down within days. the adoptive parents felt they’d made a huge mistake. they felt that james their son would be happier as an only child, they felt they shouldnt have adopted. so alex was taken back into care and moved back to cathy.

it was felt that a long term foster family was what he needed now, and so the family finders went about trying to find one. eventually they did find a family. however before that alex had a lot of angry outbursts, and had a lot of acting out behaviours, like running away, he also had bedwetting. it was all due to the trauma of the failed adoption.

eventually a new family was found. and alex was introduced to them. he moved in with them and flourished. for six years he thrived. with love and patience and firm boundaries he settled in well and was doing really well. then when he was 13 he started to rebel.

he was drinking and taking drugs, smoking, truanting, and having severe anger outbursts. his parents who were fostering him long term had adopted him a couple years previously. they were trying to come to terms with the problems he was having. they were really struggling to cope and almost gave up on him. however they did not give up. they kept loving him despite all the difficulties, and eventually he turned a corner. the book ends on a happy note. however it really does put the whole adoption process and matching process for adopting into question. the first adoption failed because the couple werent properly vetted, and the fact that they were not suitable wasnt picked up. i think all foster parents, adoptive parents, carers, social workers should read this book. cathy has done a great job of telling alex’s story. parts of the book moved me to tears. i hope you read this book. it is available on audible, in paperback and on kindle. its a page turner and once you start reading it you wont be able to put it down.

Book review-If only he told me, a short story by Mia Marconi

I just finished another of Mia Marconi’s books. Mia Marconi writes short stories about her experiences of fostering. She lives in the UK. This is book 3 of her books. As I said they are all short reads.
This book tells Brodys story. Brody is six yeard old and he came to Mia as an emergency placement. He was with his previous foster carer for 2 years, but one night he smashed up their house. The foster carer wanted him out of the house immediately so Mia was asked to take him.
When Brody arrives he is polite, friendly, and very helpful. Mia cant imagine him smashing up someones house. By this time Mia has four kids and Brody makes friends with Alphie, Mias only boy. They play football together and are like brothers.
Mia finds out about Brodys family and background. His mother and father are alcoholics. He spent the first 3 years of his life in their care. They neglected him and he lived in squalor. Their flat was filthy. At age 3 Brody was taken into care but he’d been on the at risk register since birth. His mother also had special needs and his father was violent towards his mother. Brody idolised his father though and had little time for his mother.
After a couple of months with Mia, Brodys behaviour starts to worsen. He has violent outbursts. He becomes competetive and keeps telling Alphie that he is better than him at everything. He starts punching and hitting Mia. Calling her names and being very rude in public. Mia is at a loss as to what to do with him. His social worker Lottie had warned Mia that this might happen.
Mia doesnt want to give up on him. She keeps trying to help him but there is little change in him or his behaviour. He smashes up her house. His room. He takes up all of her time and attention. And he loves it. He craves attention and when he is the centre of attention is when heh is happy.
When he is 11 and starts secondary school he starts to self harm. He also starts to threaten to commit suicide on a regular basis. He starts individual therapy sessions with Mia to try to figure out why his relationship with her is so bad. He hates these sessions though. Then Mia realises her son Alphie is changing. He keeps being ill with different things. He tries to tell Mia one day that Brody makes him angry. But Mia doesnt take any notice. Eventually one night it all comes to a head. Mia finds out Alphie is being bullied by Brody. After six years of trying to help Brody Mia is drained. She cant do any more to help him. And he doesnt want to live with her any more. So Brody is moved. And Mias family tries to get back to normal.
She has a long talk to Alphie. He cries and says Brody tormented him. Mia feels very guilty that she didnt notice sooner, as the rest of her family did. They had tried to warn her that it wasnt working out. On new years day about a year later Brody contacts mia. But social services say it would unsettle him to see her. So for years she doesnt see him. Eventually after a couple of years they do talk. And Brody tells her that living with her were some of the best years of his life. But ultimately he had wanted to return home to his family. Which he did. That was his goal and he succeeded at it.
The book is very good. It talks about many of the challenges faced by foster parents who take on a child who is very high maintenance. I found it to be a good read. I think foster parents and social workers and others who like true life stories would enjoy reading it.

Book review-Unexpected, a short story, by Rosie lewis

I’ve just finished another fabulous book by Rosie Lewis, this is another of her short stories.
Ellen, who is 28, has just given birth to a baby. She never knew she was pregnant. 2 days after the birth she abandons her baby, and the baby is taken into foster care. Rosie takes over care of the newborn who is named hope after the paramedic who delivered her.
At first rosie cant imagine why any mother would abandon their baby. The midwife had said that she thought Ellen had post traumatic stress disorder, that some mothers after a difficult labour sometimes got diagnosed with the disorder.
a couple of weeks after Rosie starts looking after Hope, Ellen starts to visit and she has access to hope for 2 hours a day. At first she is very afraid to do anything with her baby, she doesnt pick her up, she doesnt even want to look at her. She’s happy to do jobs for Rosie like folding baby clothes, making bottles etc. But she doesnt want to bond with her baby, she cant seem to do that, something is holding her back.
Eventually after a couple of weeks Hopes social worker Graham says they are looking to have Hope adopted. He thinks Ellen is trouble and despite Rosie trying to speak on Ellens behalf plans go ahead to have Hope adopted. Rosie decides that she will have to do something drastic or Ellen could lose hope forever.
One day while Ellen is visiting the phone starts ringing and rosie makes a snap decision to hand Hope to Ellen. It is the start of them bonding. Eventually Ellen opens up to rosie about her past and her childhood. It turns out Ellens mother abused her, she beat her and starved her and verbally abused her. Ellens father was distant and worked long hours. Ellen also tells rosie that her older sister made allegations that her father had sexually abused her. She tells Rosie she is a horrible person and she should not be allowed to keep Hope. She says she cant look after her that she is afraid she will do what her mother did. Rosie encourages her and tells her that she is not her mother and she can love Hope and give her all the things that she never had as a child.
Over the next few weeks the bond between Ellen and hope grows increasingly stronger and stronger. Then Ellen finds out that social services are still planning on having hope adopted. Rosie tells her that she will have to fight to keep her and she must prove to the social workers that she is comitted and wants to keep her daughter. Eventually it turns out that Hope is allowed to go back to her mother, ellen is thrilled.
The book ends with Hope being reunited with her mother and Ellen tells Rosie that if it wasnt for her this never would have happened. The epilogue says that Hope is now 9 and Rosie and Ellen stayed in touch after Ellen got Hope back. Mark Ellens boyfriend who had broken up with her at the start of the book was now back on the scene and the couple stayed together and brought hope up together.
This is a really good book. I loved it. It was well written and would be a good read for foster parents, social workers, abuse survivors, or just anyone who likes true life stories.

Book review-A child called hope by Mia Marconi

Hi everyone
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.