DEAR ABBY: Some time ago, my husband and I became foster parents to a little girl who had been seriously abused. After we had cared for her only seven months, she was returned to her parents. Shortly after that, the mom signed guardianship over to the grandmother and now the grandmother is considering putting the child back into the system. This is a girl with "difficult" issues.
Although I deeply loved her, the time she was with us was very challenging and hard. Do I sign up for a life filled with uncertainty and give this child a shot at stability? Or do I pray that she will find the perfect home to meet all her needs? -- UNCERTAIN ABOUT THE FUTURE
DEAR UNCERTAIN: Only you decide about whether you are up to the challenge of trying to fix this damaged girl. There are no guarantees, and it is no disgrace to admit this is more than you feel you can manage.
However, if you feel that you and your husband can make a difference, it is important that you know you won't be alone in trying to handle her emotional issues. In this country, support systems for children are better than they are for adults. Your county mental health department can guide you, and if there are medical schools nearby, they may sponsor programs to train young psychiatrists who can also help you.