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Melissa Come Back, by Patrice Keet and Melissa LaHommedieu


“Is that our Melissa?” Patrice cries when she recognizes the woman at the speaker’s podium. It is their Melissa—the foster child Patrice and her husband, Bob, haven’t seen since she ran away from their comfortable home at the age of eleven.

Now, she’s a thirty-year-old woman at a fundraising dinner, describing her journey through foster care, teenage pregnancy, abuse, and the loss of her own children to the social services system. In an instant, two decades of buried shame and guilt come roaring back to Patrice: If only she hadn’t failed Melissa as a foster mother. When they are finally reunited after twenty years, Melissa and her pre-teen daughters are facing eviction, presenting Patrice and Bob with the opportunity to make Melissa part of their family once again.

Melissa Come Back is a true story of resilience that sheds light on the cycles of poverty, abuse, and addiction that plague our nation.

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