It takes a special kind of person to be a foster parent. As much as I love my own daughter, I doubt I could be one of them. But surely I'd do a better job than Sherill Small, the foster mother accused of killing the 2-year-old girl in her care.
The tragic death of Alexandria Hill has become national news, in part because her parents have admitted since their little girl was taken off life support that their pot smoking played a role in child protective services removing their daughter from their home. Marijuana proponents have latched onto the case as a battleground in the war for legalizing pot.
But this isn't about pot. It's about a foster mother who put herself out there as someone who could provide a safe home for a child in need and seemingly failed that child in the most spectacular manner.
Again, I'll admit I would likely fare pretty poorly as a foster mother -- more because I couldn't handle all that red tape than because of an inability to be around kids (I do have my own!). Even if I were to have someone else's kid, there's no way I'd do what Small is accused of -- throw a 2-year-old so violently that she suffered brain hemorrhaging and retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes, so violently that it caused her death.
Still, I haven't put my name forth as a foster mother.
I wouldn't because to be a foster parent is to make an incredible promise. You're saying that you can do for these children what their parents can't, that you will be a port in the storm for kids whose families have failed them.
Failure on your part is NOT an option because it has already happened to these kids.
Whether Alexandria Hill's parents deserved to lose her or not is not the issue here. They DID lose her. And she needed someone to take care of her while the courts decided if they could get her back.
Sherill Small owed it to little Alexandria to do that, to be her safe haven.
And she failed.
She allowed that child to die under her care. Worse, cops say she caused the 2-year-old's death.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how or why Alexandria was in that home. It matters that the person who took her in, the person who promised to care for her, is the person who cops say did the very opposite.
This is a problem with Sherill Small.
What do you make of this tragedy?
Image via police