Fostering and Us
by Marie Coady
AuthorHouse UK

"...1991 brought us three very different children for three very different reasons."

This memoir is riveting. It describes the day-to-day life of a foster family in the United Kingdom. If you've ever been a foster parent or been curious about what life is like for one, this book is a must-read. Coady is a hero and a special kind of person. Not everyone has the seemingly endless patience and nurturing skills required to be her and become a good foster parent, but it is easy to admire someone with such an important calling.

This autobiography was not written as someone wanting to pat herself on the back, though. Her stories, heartwarming and harrowing, are pure honesty between the covers. Not only does Coady describe the life she leads as a foster parent, but also how it takes the literal and proverbial village to succeed. She also explains how her fostering affected others. "It was our choice to foster, not my family members'... I had never realized how much danger we were exposing them to," says Coady after a fostered teen accused the author's brother of molesting her, which he had clearly not done.

It is interesting to see the obvious differences between the British and American foster care systems. For example, it is doubtful that social services in America often pay the cab fare for foster kids to come and go to their social events. Coady's writing is clear, heartfelt, and genuine. The book is well organized, describing life as a foster parent from the 80s to her recent retirement. She expertly lays out the risks, rewards, struggles, and successes. All respect goes out to Coady as an author, a parent, and a community member. The world needs more people with her dedication.

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