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A Long Way from Home: Part 3 of 3

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2019 год
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      A Long Way from Home: Part 3 of 3
Cathy Glass

The true story of 2 year-old Anna, abandoned by her natural parents, left alone in a neglected orphanage.Elaine and Ian had travelled half way 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 thirty or so infants cried, let alone spoke.

(#u4c9b156a-a813-50d9-92ac-3b444919ddad)

Copyright (#u4c9b156a-a813-50d9-92ac-3b444919ddad)

Certain details in this story, including names, places and dates, have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.

HarperElement

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk)

First published by HarperElement 2018

FIRST EDITION

© Cathy Glass 2018

Cover layout design © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2018

Cover photograph © Elly De Vries/Arcangel (posed by model)

A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library

Cathy Glass asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

Find out about HarperCollins and the environment at

www.harpercollins.co.uk/green (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/green)

Source ISBN: 9780008275891

Ebook Edition © February 2018 ISBN: 9780008275907

Version: 2018-01-26

Contents

Cover (#u3c8f5d8d-2200-55f4-81c4-e5d579c61fe7)

Title Page (#u25a20ee3-27ab-54a7-9b1e-6169e72b032f)

Copyright (#uad937db6-af5b-5c18-8d8a-80feebae1664)

Chapter Twenty: Bad at Home (#ucc106210-c2ff-5cd7-b3f3-f65d13c06e1f)

Chapter Twenty-One: Review (#u0b44bf6e-eed5-581b-a64b-45aa51dea86a)

Chapter Twenty-Two: Frightened of Her Daughter (#ue79e11b2-31cf-5f06-9501-66202d8727aa)

Chapter Twenty-Three: Save a Child (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-Four: A Family Torn Apart (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-Five: Ian (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-Six: Missing Her (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Bad Ending (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-Eight: A Long Way from Home (#litres_trial_promo)

Suggested topics for reading-group discussion (#litres_trial_promo)

Cathy Glass (#litres_trial_promo)

If you loved this book … (#litres_trial_promo)

Moving Memoirs eNewsletter (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty

Bad at Home (#u4c9b156a-a813-50d9-92ac-3b444919ddad)

The strain of having Anna live with us was taking its toll on Adrian and Paula. Since she’d arrived I had hardly spent a minute with them, and they were looking forward more than usual to spending the day with their father on Sunday, when he would take them out somewhere nice. He saw them every month and phoned in between. Regardless of what I thought of him leaving us, I didn’t let it impact on Adrian and Paula’s relationship with him. I told Anna they were seeing their father and I wondered if this would prompt a comment from her about seeing her own parents. She’d hardly mentioned them at all since she’d arrived, which was very unusual. Most children who come into care, even those who have been abused by their parents, pine for them, want to see them as soon as possible and often ask when they can return home. Anna had originally said she didn’t want to see her mother. Had that changed? Apparently not. She didn’t mention wanting to see her parents at all – not then, at least.

Once Adrian and Paula had left with their father, I asked Anna what she would like to do and suggested the cinema, a park (the weather was cold but dry) or an indoor activity centre. She didn’t want to do any of these, so I said we could do something at home then. She shrugged and didn’t offer a better suggestion, so I opened the toy cupboard in the conservatory and asked her to choose some games we could play together. The phone rang and I answered it in the living room. It was my mother; we usually spoke a couple of times a week, but now I said I’d have to call her back later for a chat. When I returned to the conservatory Anna was nowhere to be seen. I’d only been away from her for a couple of minutes. I went round the downstairs calling her name and then upstairs. My bedroom door was wide open and I went in to find her going through my wardrobe.

‘Anna, whatever are you doing?’ I asked, going over.

‘Nothing,’ she said. But she didn’t immediately stop.

‘That’s private,’ I said, and closed the wardrobe door. ‘Do you remember when you first arrived, I explained our bedrooms were private and we didn’t go into each other’s rooms unless we were asked?’

‘You go into mine,’ she said.

I was taken aback. It wasn’t the reaction of an average five-year-old, even one with behavioural issues. ‘Yes, because I am your carer and I look after you. I go into your room to make your bed, put your clothes away and keep it clean and tidy. At your age it’s part of my responsibility. When you are older you can do it yourself. Now come on, out of here, we’re going downstairs to find a game to play.’

She didn’t move, but stood with her back to the wardrobe. ‘I go into my parents’ bedroom whenever I want,’ she said brazenly.

‘That’s up to them,’ I said.

‘No, it’s up to me.’

I believed her, and not for the first time I saw that the distinction between adult and child in their house had become blurred. This, among other things, would make disciplining Anna very difficult. Children need to see the adult in the parent, set apart from them, in order to respect and be guided by them, until they become adults when (hopefully) they have learned what they need to be responsible for themselves.

‘Well, in this house we don’t go into each other’s rooms unless asked,’ I reiterated. ‘Now, come on downstairs and I’ll choose us a game to play.’ This was enough for her to leave.

‘I’m going to choose the game, not you!’ And she rushed out.

I closed my bedroom door. I didn’t want to have to start locking it as I had done with one young person I’d fostered, but I might have to if Anna kept going in. Apart from the privacy issue, I had items likes scissors and nail varnish remover in my room, which could be harmful in a young child’s hands.

Downstairs Anna was already rummaging in the toy cupboard. Taking out a large, brightly coloured jigsaw puzzle suitable for quite young children, she took it to the table. I sat on the chair next to her but it soon became clear she didn’t want me to join her, so I simply sat beside her. When the puzzle was only half complete she gave up, despite my offer to help her finish it, and chose another. The second didn’t get completed either, but the third did. Then she wanted to crayon, then ten minutes later paint, then model with Play-Doh, and so the day continued with a break for lunch.

Usually when I have one-to-one time with the child I’m fostering I find our time together is enjoyable and it advances our relationship, with the opportunity to talk and break down barriers. But I didn’t feel that with Anna, not at all. Although I stayed close by her as she played, she didn’t want me to join in any of the activities and continued to reject me and shut me out of her world. Any questions or comments I made she answered with a shrug or ‘don’t know’, or she just ignored me. It was hard work and the day disappointing. Also, not only had our one-to-one had no positive effect on Anna, I discovered later it had actually had a negative one. When Adrian and Paula returned Anna clearly resented them being back, as she was no longer the centre of attention. She told Adrian she didn’t like him and that his father would die soon.

‘Anna, that’s a hurtful thing to say, and untrue,’ I said.
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