LIMA — When Sally’s former foster daughter reached out to her three years ago for help, it didn’t take much convincing for Sally to respond.
And it was a big ask. The young woman had a child who needed a permanent home. She had lost custody of four children, with three in safe places and one in foster care.
Sally, who is the mother of a 9-year-old boy, was awarded kinship custody because of the family connection made through fostering. Names have been changed for this story.
She said she and the mother made an agreement to raise the child together.
But the young woman became pregnant again, Sally said.
Sally took in the newborn as well. The mother no longer lives in the area but calls the girls periodically.
The girls are now ages 3 and almost 2. Sally, who is single, was keeping up — until she fell down the back stairs at her house late this summer.
“I broke my foot in seven places,” she said. “And I got a cadaver tendon, and they reinforced my ligament somehow.”
Her job schedule is tied to the school year.
“And so I was unable to start work,” she said.
Several surgeries were needed to repair her foot. A serious infection was found when the cast was removed, and it has been an ordeal to heal it. It worsened a couple weeks ago, with an unplanned surgery needed.
“And the thing of it is, is that I don’t have a lot of support right now because I have two sisters that have COVID. And their families had COVID. And other people work. And my mom is 78 (with health issues) and cannot take care of my children,” she said. “So I have one friend to call, and if this friend wasn’t able to take my girls I was literally going to have to call Children Services and ask for them to go into foster care.”
She called that friend while she was in the ER, and her friend drove 1 1/2 hours to pack up the girls and take them to her house. It ended up being for a week.
“She said, ‘I will leave immediately.’ And I cannot tell you what that felt like at that moment,” Sally said. “In my bank account I had $100, and that’s all that I could pay her. I gave her my very last $100.”
Sally’s mother came over to stay with the boy and help Sally when she was released from the hospital.
She is working on short-term disability benefits. She is a little disheartened that the recovery from this injury has been so long, and now she’s returned to using a walking boot, a walker and crutches to get around.
Samuel, 9, enjoys PS4 games and could use Apex Coins. He likes electronic gadgets and joke books. He wears adult medium or 34/30 pants. He wears adult size 8 shoes and could use tennis shoes and black dress shoes.
Davina, 3, needs a lot of mousse and gel on her curly hair and could also use wide-tooth combs, brushes and hair ties. She wears size 3T clothes and size 6 shoes and needs black dress shoes.
Adira, 2, loves toys that allow her to push buttons or open and close things. She wears size 2T clothes and size 5 shoes. She could use tennis shoes and black dress shoes. She wears size 5 diapers and needs wipes.
The girls have a play kitchen but they need a play food set to use with it. The girls would love a baby doll and stroller for each of them, as they wouldn’t share very well. The family could use more crib sheets.
Sally could use leggings or casual stretchy pants. She wears size 18/20.
“Thank you,” she said. “My heart’s desire would be to bless my mom, my friend and my sister.”
Reach Adrienne McGee Sterrett at 567-242-0510.