book review-taken by rosie lewis

just finished another fabulous foster care memoir written by UK foster carer rosie lewis. the book tells megans story. megan was born to a drug dependent mother and she was born with a kleft palet. she was placed with rosie on a temporary basis until a permanent family could be found for her. little did rosie know when she took on megan the twists and turns that lay in store for both of them. as i said she was born with a kleft palet and found it very difficult to feed, had bad reflux and was generally a baby that got sick a lot. from the start rosie was determined to give her as much love and care as she possibly could. foster carers arent meant to get too attached to the children they look after, especially because they will most likely be moving on to permanency or long term placements, but rosie couldnt help falling in love with megan, as did her family. her birth mother christina kept going in and out of rehab, but there really was no chance that the social services would give megan back to her, it was too late. during megans early months she had twice weekly contact with her but more often than not she wouldnt show up for it. megans father couldnt be traced, but later in the story he was traced and it turns out he was living in italy. megans first social worker peggy was a very blunt woman, who spoke her mind. after a few months of rosie caring for megan, peggie asked her one day if she’d even thought of putting herself forward to adopt her. rosie was stunned, she’d never even considered it. could she? would she? she talked to her kids and they were all really happy and excited. so she decided to apply to try to keep megan. however the social worker on the adoption team didnt want her to have her at first, saying that it wasnt in megans best interests to be adopted by her foster carer. she came to visit rosie at home and criticised everything, and by then peggie was off megans case and hazel a new social worker had taken over. rosie was sure it was going to be bad news, and her suitability would be declined. but hazel told her that veronica, the adoption team leader had liked her and that it might look good for her after all. a couple of weeks later she got the letter, and it was good news, her application had been approved. however a few days later more bad news, because christina megans birth mother had visited megan in rosie’s house, it was felt that her safety was in jepordy. rosie was heartbroken. by this time she had cared for megan for over 2 years. the bond was strong and strengthening more and more with each passing day. the thought that she might have to let her go was too much for her. meanwhile veronica had found a family she thought might be suitable. a very wealthy and affluent couple. and so it was that rosie withdrew her application. and the hand over commenced. eventually rosie had to say goodbye to megan for good, which devastated her. however the placement did not go well. the couple could not cope and the placement broke down. rosie automatically thought they would place megan back with her again. but the local authority did not want to spend the money hiring an agency foster carer, they wanted to use one of their own inhouse carers. however rosie fought to get megan back. and finally she managed it. and a couple of months later, she adopted her. megans story had a happy ending. but it could have gone so horribly wrong. i felt this book really showed the pitfalls of the adoption process. how the matching process can go so horribly wrong. i feel this book is a good read for anyone studying social work, or wanting to adopt a child. it gives a raw and honest account of the ups and downs a carer faces when trying to adopt the child they are caring for. it was a great read.