Book review-Little girl lost, By Mia Marconi

i just finished another amazing book. this is another short story by mia marconi. its book four in her series of books about her foster children. this book is called little girl lost.

this is Kiras story. kira was 3 when she came to mia. she came from another carer on respite as the carer had broken her hip. initially she was only meant to stay for a week. but it ended up that she stayed for years.

kira had a lot of challenging behaviours. she was angry. violent. she had melt downs and outbursts. she had an attachment disorder. she was rude, swaring at people and kicking and punching Mia at every chance.

mia struggled to come to terms with her behaviour. she tried desperately to help her. she made life books with her. during one particularly bad outburst kira destroyed her life story books.

she started school at age 4 but she hated school. she wasnt able to socialise with the other kids and found it hard to make friends. she was constantly being sent home from school. she was also very clingy to mia and if she knew that mia was making arrangements to meet her friends or mom she would do something to stop it. she contstantly had to know what was happening and she had to feel like she was in control. she hated social gatherings, parties, etc. she would have bad melt downs and have to be taken out of the room and go somewhere quiet to be by herself.

in an attempt to understand kiras behaviour Mia tried to find out more about her background. what she did find out was shocking. kira was the product of an affair. Her mom was married but had had an affair with another married man. her mom had 8 other kids. she’d had an affair with a pacastani man and gotten pregnant. she rejected kira. and then when she told her husband, about the affair he’d not taken it well. he went on to sexually abuse kira. she regularly witnessed her mom being beaten by this man her step dad. he also drank and so did her mom. kira was on the at risk register since birth but wasnt removed until she was 3 years old.

mia kept kira for 7 years. eventually though her behaviour became too much. initially she just sent kira to respite, but eventually it all got to be too much. so it was decided that kira should go to a residential school for children with special needs. the move was a planned move and took months, they organised a good school though that had individual daily therapy, horses, etc. the kids who lived there were mostly on the autistic spectrum. kira was supposed to go live with a family and go to school and stay with this long term carer during holidays. the carers name was Lynne. she’d met lynne and things were going well. but on her first night something happened, some of kiras behaviour was very sexualised and she’d gone into lynnes teenage sons room. Lynne wouldnt say what took place but the next day she brought Kira back to Mias.

that didnt change things though. kira did eventually move and contact with her ceased. for years mia didnt know where she was. she kept sending gifts and cards though. sometimes she’d get a phone call or a letter. kira moved to a long term foster carer when she was sixteen. but she hated the family.

eventually when she was 18 she recontacted Mia. she turned up at her door. they talked and kira told mia that she considered her family. she said she considered her to be a mom and the only mom she’d known. she said she didnt want to lose touch with Mia again. so they kept in touch. then the police contacted kira. they wanted to speak to her.

it came to light that the respite carers who used to look after kira, the husband was a paedophile. mia and kifra were shocked. he’d taken lots of photos of kira while she was at their house. he’d left a note saying he had nude pictures of kira. but kira said he never sexually abused her. he went on trial and went to prison for 20 years.

this book is really good. i liked it and it held my interest right to the end. i found it to be a heart warming story. mia seems like a really caring person. i think anyone who is fostering, or in social work, or just anyone in general who enjoys books about kids in care would like this book.

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-Learning to love Amy, the foster carer who saved a mother and daughter, by Mia Marconi

I just finished this amazing short read by Mia Marconi. This was Mia Marconi’s second book, her first book is called a child called hope and I reviewed that recently on this blog. The book starts out with Mia and her family moving house, because of what happened to hope she felt that their last house wasnt like a home any longer. So they moved, and started decorating their new house which needed lots of work. Mia had neighbours who she grew very friendly with. Her neighbour Lizzie had two kids just like she did, one of Lizzie’s kids Janet had downes syndrome. Mia really connected with Janet. She accepted her and did not judge her due to her disability as so many others did. Janet helped her through her grief after Hope’s death. One morning Mia found out she was pregnant. 9 months later she had a little girl. Just after Isabella was born, Mia became friendly with another foster carer. This woman wasnt able to have kids and had turned to fostering. She was looking after a 3 year old named India. However India and her foster carer werent bonding. Her foster carer also found Indias mother Amy very difficult to deal with. After 5 months Martine, who was the foster carer, decided fostering just wasnt for her. She had gone into it to fulfil an emotional need and it hadnt worked out. So she decided that she was going to go to romania and adopt a child from there, as it was 1990 and the height of the romanian orphanage fiasco. It was decided that as Mia had been Martine’s confident and support worker, and knew India that India would go live with her and Mia would become her full time foster parent. Mia noticed that India wasnt able to interact like a normal child. But when she came to live with her she copied Mias kids and eventually was able to play and do normal things that kids do. Amy Indias mom was an alcoholic. When India had lived with her she’d spent all day every day drinking, the flat they lived in was filthy, India was neglected. At first Amy was allowed to see India every three weeks. Over time Mia built up a bond with Amy and Amy began to tell her about her past. She had had a very unhappy childhood. her stepdad Mike had sexually abused her. He was found out and recieved a prison sentence of 18 months but when he got out he moved back in with amys mom and started abusing her all over again. Her mother knew and did nothing to stop it. Eventually social services found out and removed amy and her siblings and sent them all to childrens homes. When amy was 12 and on her way home from school one day her stepdad Mike bundled her into a car and took her to a wooded area and raped her as an act of revenge for his prison sentence. After that Amy began drinking to numb the pain and forget what had happened. Thats where her alcoholism started and things spiraled from there. At 18 she aged out and began to live independently but not knowing how to care for herself and what to do she just continued drinking and spiraling out of control. Mia tried desperately to help her but to no avail. One night she got a call that Amy was on her fourth floor windowledge saying she was going to kill herself and she didnt want to talk to anyone except Mia. Mia went to her flat and calmed her down so that she didnt do it. After that night she stepped back a lot and put some distance between her and Amy. Then a couple weeks later the police came knocking on her door. They searched her whole house. Mia had no clue why and so she rang Luke Amys brother. Luke said Mike had been murdered and Amy was suspected of killing him. Her and her two brothers were arrested. Before they were arrested though Amy came to Mias house and told her what happened. She hadnt killed her stepdad. Neither had her brothers. But someone had and she was relieved. But since he was on the sex offenders register and lots of families had it in for him it could have been anyone. No one was ever charged for his murder. Not long after that Amy tried to commit suicide again and was sectioned. It was while she was in hospital that she met max, her new social worker. He was really good to her and got her on the road to recovery. After coming out of hospital she attended AA meetings, she took parenting classes, she went to therapy. She started to get her life back on track. Her access to India started up again and Mia showed her as best as she could how to be a mother, and what to do. Amy had a long time boyfriend Archie who had always stuck by her and loved India as if she was his own daughter. Eventually a decision was made that India should be sent back to live with Amy and Archie. She was 10 by now and had been in care with Mia for 7 years. The move went smoothly and India was happy to go live with her mom finally. Despite everything she loved her mom and that showed all throughout the book. The book ends when the move is complete so we dont find out the outcome whether it was a success or not. As I said its a short story so you could probably read it in about an hour if you sat down and continuously read it. I loved it and would recommend it to any foster parent, social worker, or anyone who likes this type of book.

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.