Chapter 15 is all about the consequences of disobedience for a group of students, and originally I thought I’d write about that. However, after looking at the chapter again, I decided we will tackle that subject in another book and hit a different issue: what I’m calling the consequences of caring.
The first consequences we see in this chapter are that of caring for peers. Neville is the ultimate picture of a friend caring for their peers and reaping the repercussions. The poor guy just wants to keep his classmates out of trouble and ends up right in it with them. This happens often in life, but I want to focus on a different type of caring for this parent discussion.
Emergency Care for a Child in Danger
While serving his punishment in the woods, Harry encounters very real danger and could have been facing imminent death, but Firenze swoops in to the rescue and takes Harry into his care. He takes him to safety and lets him know he’ll be safe now. This immediately made me think of what foster parents do, even more so when I read the reactions of Firenze’s peers. By caring for Harry, he pitted himself against the other centaurs. They were repulsed by his actions for they did not mingle in the affairs of humans. The words Bane spoke to Firenze angered Firenze, but I wonder if they also made him second guess himself later. Ronan says, “I’m sure Firenze thought he was acting for the best,” to which Bane replies, “For the best! What is that to do with us?” His questions and attitude brought to mind so many questions foster and adoptive parents hear:
- Don’t you want kids of your own?
- Why don’t you try in vitro?
While in process of getting our foster parent license, we told a family friend about our endeavors. His reaction surprised us but you might be able to relate:
“But… You’re the ideal couple. Why would you do something like this?”
He went on to tell us about horror stories he had heard from other people adopting. Tales of biting, incarceration and physical brutality.
We have other stories that you might be able to relate to. Our family has experienced the beginning stages of forming a friendship with another family. However, when people discover that our kids have been through the foster system, we don’t get asked to go to BBQs anymore and our invites go unanswered.
Now, I do want to make it clear that we do have some great and supportive people in our lives. We have also joined a fantastic support group for foster and adoptive families through Harmony. However, there is still the feeling of having the public verbally praising you for your “heroic” efforts but keeping their distance like you have the plague.
Now It’s Your Turn:
- Why do you think Firenze chose to help Harry?
- Why do you continue to foster?
(We’ve asked this before but it helps to revisit this question multiple times and solidify your thoughts and motivations.)
- Do you feel like an outsider since you have begun your adoptive/foster journey? When? How?