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Kathy’s second book about her work as a foster mom focuses on the story of Daisy.  Daisy’s mother was unable to care for her, and yet unwilling to release her either.  Daisy bounced around from Kathy’s home, back to her mom, and back to Kathy.  Dealing with the effects of abandonment and abuse, Daisy suffered from eating disorders, speech disorders and attention problems.  But with Kathy’s help, Daisy finally found the family she always wanted.

As an aside, as I was reading this book, I was reminded of Torey Hayden’s books.  She also writes about her work with troubled and abused children, but she does so from a classroom teacher’s point of view.  Kathy’s books are very similar in tone to Torey’s.  Both women are dedicated to their jobs, matter-of-fact about the difficulties that they endure, and honest about both the mistakes they make, and the successes they savor.  Their books are must reads for anyone working with children.

Kathy was introduced to the foster care system though her job as a Head Start teacher. In her classroom of 4 year old high risk students, she quickly became drawn to the foster children, in particular, a girl named Angelica. Upon discovering that Angie’s biological mom was unable to care for her, and that Angie’s current foster placement wasn’t working out, Kathy and her husband decided to become foster parents and provide Angie (and later, her big sister Neddy) a home. They soon began the adoption process for the girls, and felt as if their family (including their 3 biological sons) was complete. However, social services kept calling, in need of a good temporary home for other kids in the system. Kathy and Bruce couldn’t say “no” to kids in need, and were soon full-time foster parents.

Another Place at the Table chronicles Kathy’s journey as a foster mom. She’s ready at a moment’s notice to set another place at the table. It’s a record of the joy, sadness, and anger that she feels as she cares for her kids, and an honest look at the incredibly hard, yet immensely satisfying work that she does each day.