I hold on to the precious little bundle as I walk into court, taking a seat not to far from her biological mother. As I look down into her big brown eyes she reaches out with her tiny little hand and grabs one of my fingers. I smile at her, knowing that she is safe. Just yesterday she was removed from her mother’s care, she was hungry, filthy and quiet, too quiet.
I look at her mother, she nervously runs her fingers through her hair. She is a single mother struggling with substance dependency. Life has not been kind to her. Silently I pray that she will be able to turn her life around and be the mom Layla* needs.
I look down at the now sleeping baby girl, not too long from now I will have to take her to a child care centre. We don’t have enough foster parents in the area where she needs to be placed. My heart aches, I know she will be well looked after, but there won’t be time for someone just to hold her as she sleeps. I hold her tighter, this is not the end, it is the beginning of a happier story.
*Not real name of baby.
We have found a lovely foster family for Layla. She is well cared for an loves sleeping in the arms of her foster mom.