Tonight's special guests are Alan and Barbara Cohen from Connecticut, husband and wife. He's an attorney and author (aka Avi Morris) who's written about the experience of being a foster father in his book "Crocodile Mothers Eat Their Young". Barbara's a now-retired teacher, a middle-school language arts and literacy specialist who continues to teach adult literacy classes. It was her observations of children being removed from abusive homes that led the couple to become foster parents. They began fostering teens after their own three sons were grown and on their own. Their experience with a girl and her sister became the models for the novel's main characters, which has led them to become speakers at various foster care foster care and child abuse advocacy groups. Alan and Barbara's family has not been immune from the ravages of child abuse and trauma. Their niece survived the abuses of her grandfather, but is now a major success story. There were extreme bumps along the way, including she and her younger brother becoming wards of the state after falling into drug abuse. She attempted suicide twice before age 17, and was sent to a year long rehab. When she emerged she was dedicated to sobriety, finished high school with a GED, and got straight "A"s in a community college. Her brother, who Alan and Barbara fostered, is the other side of the coin. He is still struggling with drug abuse and in the process lost an academic scholarship to a good university. "In the meantime," Alan reports, "the grandfather's abuse pretty well tore apart the whole immediate family. There are many victims of one person's abuse."
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