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So, I just found this meta that I never published in my drafts.
The scene between Abbie and Jenny’s former foster parent is one of my favourites in The Lesser Key of Solomon for so many reasons. I’ve heard/read about how exploitative the foster care system can be, but usually when it’s portrayed as such in the media, I rarely see the kids most marginalised by that system (i.e. children of colour, black kids especially). So, I appreciate the fact that Abbie’s pain and Jenny’s pain is actually being explored on the show through their eyes.
These two were in and out of foster homes and according to Abbie, they finally landed in decent one right before the incident in the forest occurred. I think the audience can safely assume that they didn’t have the love, support and security they needed after their parents lives fell apart. I think we can also assume that they suffered some neglect and abuse in those homes.
The confrontation emphasised why she and Jenny could only rely on each other, clarified why she lied about what happened to them, and why she held onto those lies for so long in order to keep some semblance of normalcy in her life. Lying wasn’t just about her own self-preservation, but Jenny’s as well. She was right, who would believe this bizarre testimony from two fostered black teenaged girls who had been drinking underage in the forest? Where would they be shuffled to next? Abbie truly believed that she was doing the right thing, but once she lied and betrayed Jenny, things spiraled out of control and she couldn’t take it back. She continued to justify her decision, which is part of why it was so difficult for her to come to terms with the truth in For the Triumph of Evil, even to the point of risking her life for the lie.
I will say though, one thing that disappoints me a little is that I feel like the narrative places the entirety of the blame and pressure on Abbie; I don’t think we’ve seen anyone acknowledge that they understand the choices she made. Even Corbin seemed to focus on Abbie’s fear about what she saw in the forest as opposed to her convictions (e.g. you were young, you made a mistake and thought that what you did was the right thing to do). I do think that in this instance, the narrative subtly acknowledges why Abbie felt justified. You could just imagine her recalling a similar situation and her picturing Jenny in the place of that neglected young girl lying on a cot on the floor, especially when the woman says to her, “I put a roof over your sister’s head; no one else wanted her,” as if that’s all that’s needed to parent a child.
Seeing Abbie finally being able to speak out and finally being in a position where she has the power to get justice against people who abuse this system and the kids in that system was very validating.
/PRESSES FACE TO SCREEN
srsly tho as a RL transracially adopted foster care survivor (we haven’t seen all of Abbie & Jenny’s foster/surrogate parents but the ones we have seen are all WHITE, which again is in keeping with the actual realities of the system so again well done TV writers/casters), THANK YOU for this post.
Amazing how a show about biblical prophecies, witches, and f’ing time traveling aristocrats has come up with the most accurate, relevant portrayal of foster care than any other current “gritty” TV series with the requisite tragically orphaned(TM) protagonists.
Bolded the parts that hit closest to home. omg what other excellence is waiting in your wings X
EVERYONE SLEEPY HOLLOW IS ON AIR AGAIN FOR SEASON 2 AND THE PREMIERE IS A GLORIOUS DOOZY CLASS BASTARDS WATCH THIS PLEASE
*GO-GO DANCES TO CONVINCE YALL* <3 X
It bears knowing that this Haitian child was branded “attachment disordered" and subjected to an intense regimen of "attachment parenting" in which children are forced to ask for basic necessities like water and food.
One of the leading proponents of this brand of “parenting” is American adoption expert Nancy Thomas, whose standard for good adoptive parents is as follows:
"If you don’t know if a parent’s a really awesome parent or not, we have a little test. You look at the child. If the child has their head and their arms and legs still attached, that’s it! It’s an awesome mom, an awesome dad. And you know, it’s just proof right there. Because if they weren’t an awesome mom and dad, they would have ripped the child’s head off by now, or at least an arm." — Healing Trust: Rebuilding the Broken Bond for the Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder [X]
Reporter Garrett Therolf’s unflinching look at the tragic problems within California’s private foster care program isn’t an easy read, but it’s crucial for increasing awareness of the children at risk of abuse within the state’s system. Read the full story here.
It bears knowing that the nightmarish child abuse disbelieved by the masses is not only institutionalized in adoption and foster systems, but literally recommended and often mandated:
The “Bibles” of the North American Adoption & Foster Care System
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