Of all the episodes of CSI that I have watched over the years, none of them have affected me as deeply as No Humans Involved. As I watched Sara throughout this episode, my heart began to ache. Foster care was something I had never really been exposed to, and I found I could not stop thinking about these kids with no one they could depend on, no one to love them just floating from home to home, never finding the place where they could truly be home. Discovering Sara had been a foster child made me even more curious.
It was with some surprise that I discovered I wanted to be a foster parent. Somewhat selfishly I had always thought I could never love a child that was not mine as much as one I gave birth to. It's no secret that foster kids have bad reputations for being problem children--almost every person I talked to about foster care reminded me of this. Often times they don't know love, and subsequently don't know how to love. Many of my friends questioned my sanity, but when I told my partner what I was thinking, she said "Where do we sign up?" That was the only vote of confidence I needed.
About a year later, we had moved to Oregon (from California) and bought our first house. Right after we moved in, we took all the necessary classes and received our certification. The ink was barely dry on our certificate when two little boys turned up on my door step late on a Friday night. Reeking of cigarette smoke, they had no shoes, and a tiny bag of clothes that didn't even come close to fitting them. At ages two and four, they had no idea what had happened to them or why they were suddenly stuck with me. Looking at them standing there, I had no idea how much I would come to love these little boys, or how much my heart would break a year later when their mother successfully completed treatment and they were reunified with her. (This, however, is the outcome that is desirable, especially for kids who are bonded with their bio parent.)
Hearts do heal, though not as quickly as they fall in love. When I tell people I am a foster parent, they often say "I couldn't do that. I could never give them back." But the first thing I learned from these boys is that it wasn't about me. In the year that we had him, my 4 year old never said I love you, in fact he regularly told me "I don't love you." But that couldn't stop me from loving him; I learned to love without expectation or conditions. It is the hardest thing that I have ever done in my entire life. And the most amazing. I will never forget the first time he let down his guard and gave me a real hug.
Those of you who know me, and my work, know how much I love Sara. I don't think that I could write her (or even Grissom) with half of the love I do without the things I have learned from my foster children. Like many of you, I am deeply saddened by the recent reports that Jorja is no longer going to be a part of CSI. Her intimate, moving and real portrayal of Sara has given me a great gift, one that has brought immeasurable joy to me and to my family and for that I am grateful.
While not quite as life altering, Sara was also the character that brought me to writing. I found her character endlessly fascinating, and after reading story after story, I found myself unable to resist writing my own. Now writing is such an integral part of my life, I can't imagine a day without it. Nor can I imagine my life without the many friends I have made in this fandom. I have never known kindness like I have found among my fellow writers. Many miles separate us, and in some cases even oceans, but I feel as if we live on the same block, and I would not be surprised in the least to open my front door and find any one of you standing there.
I cannot even begin to imagine CSI without Sara. Just as I could not imagine my life without the gifts this show has brought to me. I suppose it's somewhat odd to be this invested into a tv show, but when I look back over the years, it has become much more than that to me. CSI has had a hand in bringing me my children, my friends, and my love for writing. Over the past two days, these things have been running through my head on a constant loop, and I just needed to set them free. To lose Sara, to me, is like losing a friend.
For right now, I can't give up on the hope that this is some lame media game that CBS is playing, but if you have not already done so (and I am guessing you have) please go over to YTDAW and participate in the Dollar Campaign to let TPTB know what both Jorja and Sara mean to all of us.
*As an aside, and because I didn't mention it above (this is my OCD talking), after our first two foster sons were reunited with their mom in April, a 3 1/2 month old baby boy came to us via police escort in May. We are hopeful (I know this is somewhat wrong, but I can't help myself!) he will come up for adoption sometime next year. In September, our 4th child, a three year old boy arrived, bringing a whole new set of challenges. We expect him to go home to his mom, dad, brothers and sisters by the end of the year.
If you made it though all this, you probably deserve an award!
- Current Mood: contemplative
- Current Music:Jubilee - Mary Chapin Carpenter