Okay. I know I sound crazy. But I think I should foster a child. Not that I'm religious or anything, but I've gotten a bunch of signs that make me think this.
It all started with an episode of NYPD BLUE that I caught yesterday at lunch. There were a few scenes in it that were amazingly written and directed. And really made me think. It was so well-done and poignant that I'm actually going to re-cap it, even though I totally won't do it justice. Basically, the two detectives (Andy and Saved by the Bell Guy) are trying to find a foster home for this kid (15), who's being beat up at the child services place. He had been sexually abused by his mother, who's now in jail, and he's a good kid but has no where to go. Andy and SBTBG call up their cop friend Gibson, who apparently fosters kids and asks him for numbers of some foster places to call. Gibson gets all pissed, because he thinks that Andy and SBTBG are trying to trick him and want him to take this kid in and dammit, he has too many fosters already and everyone knows he has a soft spot for kids and people shouldn't take advantage of him like that. Andy and SBTBG assure him that they just want numbers and Gibson says fine, he'll give them a call with some. So later that day Gibson calls Andy and says he spoke with the missus and she says that he (Gibson) should meet the kid for pizza and if he seems okay, they'll take him in. SBTBG is concerned, cuz basically that sounds like an interview and what if it doesn't work out? He doesn't want the kid to be disappointed. Andy points out it's better than nothing, and it'll be fine unless SBTBG wants to call it off, which he doesn't. So then we see SBTBG pick up the kid, who has a black eye, from the child services place. The kid is ecstatic and has all his stuff packed and is ready to go. SBTBG clarifies that it's just a meeting first - to see if the kid likes Gibson. The kid says any place is better than this place. SBTBG says something which I don't remember specifically but somehow the kid suddenly understands and starts panicking - like what if Gibson doesn't like me? He won't like me. And starts getting really upset. SBTBG says it'll be fine. Then the guard shows up with a clipboard and says they need to sign out for the night. SBTBG signs the sheet and the guard says "See you tomorrow." The kid, all disappointed, says he better leave his bag here. And SBTBG is like, no, bring it with you. (see how well this is written???)
Anyway, SBTBG and the kid get to the pizza place. Gibson and Andy are there already, sitting across each other in this little table. SBTBG sits next to Gibson and the kid sits down next to Andy. It's an awkward scene - SBTBG mentions toppings on pizza - turns out Gibson and Andy have already ordered - pepperoni. Is it good for everyone? Kid nods. Gibson keeps staring above Andy's head (at a tv presumably) and then asks the kid if he likes football. The kid says, yeah he loves football, clearly eager to please. Gibson asks who's his favorite player and the kid just sort of blanches and says "I guess I don't really watch that much football." Awkward pause. So SBTBG says the kid's a really good gamer and Gibson is like oh yeah, we have pong. And then complains about how loud the game is. So clearly, it's not going well. (And by this point, I want to cry - I'm so invested in the story) So the kid says, trying to sell himself, "I can cook." And Gibson's like "Oh yeah, what can you make?" and the kid says "I can make spaghetti" And at this point, my cell phone rings and it's my brother so I miss the next few lines but basically Gibson starts explaining how to make a pannini sandwich. And the kid just sort of nods happily. Then the kid offers "I can clean too. " Gibson's like don't worry about that, the missus has that area covered. Then there's a loaded pause. Finally, Gibson asks the kid if he wants to stay with him, and the kid says yes and Andy and SBTBG smile at each other. And then Andy leaves and as we fade out, we hear Gibson ordering three sodas.
So I was so moved by this that I started thinking, you know I should really consider fostering a child. (not now, but some day when I'm married and have a house) There are so many kids who need good homes. Then I went back to the office and was reading a newspaper and saw an ad looking for foster parents. I've never seen an ad like that, but there it was, like a sign.
And on top of that, this morning, I went on the Internet looking for episode guides of NYPD BLUE. I figured it'd be easier and clearer if I could just cut and paste a summary on my blog, rather than re-capping myself. So I went on this site (www.epguides.com/NYPDBlue/
) which had the title of every episode listed. There were over 200 episodes listed and I had no idea which one it was, except I knew it was in one of the later seasons. So I randomly clicked on one ("Guns n' Hoses") and it turned out that the very next one on the list was the right episode (and it barely mentioned the foster story so it was useless for me) THAT'S SUCH A SIGN!!!
Anyway, I'm totally full of shit and probably wouldn't foster a kid but it really did make me think that I should go volunteer, maybe at a Big Brother/Big Sister type place. Lypstyk Girl works with youth groups all the time, so I think I'm going to see if I can tag along with her some time.