Imagine a little girl, not even two years old, walking up to you in a hall at the Children’s Hospital, hand in hand with a police officer. She has red eyes. Her hair is tangled and uneven. She has a goose egg on her head, and marks around her legs. The smiley face earrings you spot in her ears make her innocence shine through in this terrible moment.
This is the situation Ellen* found herself in 14 years ago. A year into her time as a foster parent with Closer to Home Community Services, she took in a little girl whose mother had hurt and abandoned her in a building in downtown Calgary. Ellen cared for the girl over the next year, while the little girl’s dad worked hard to secure a job and a place to live so he could bring her home.
Ellen and her husband, Steven*, still keep in touch with this girl today, attending parent/teacher interviews for the bright high school student along with her father and step-mother. “She still calls me mom,” says Ellen. And “I have two moms, and two dads; I’m really lucky,” says the now high school student.
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