In honor of National Adoption Month, we are featuring four short antidotes from CASA volunteers that highlight the joy of helping a child realize their “forever home.”
“For me, finding a forever family for a child means I have kept my word to a frightened/grumpy six year old who had experienced a removal from a possible forever home when her older sister was told by their resource Mom to “get lost” and ran away. The girls were back at an Aunt’s house when I went to visit them after this incident. The six year old was sulking on the top bunk bed in their room as I was sitting on the lower bunk talking with the older girl about her recent adventures. Despite my friendly “hello” to her, she’d already announced that she wasn’t going to talk to me. All of a sudden, this little face, upside down with pigtails pointed toward the floor comes nose to nose with me and she shouted “I just wanna know one thing – am I gonna have to move again?” I firmly stated, “not if I can help it!” At that point I would have moved heaven and earth to make my statement a reality. Attending their eventual adoption ceremony was, and always will be, one of the most satisfying moments of my life.”
“As a CASA, my experience with helping children find a forever family has been very rewarding and most of all humbling. The children that I have advocated for were so loving and so forgiving, and most of all resilient, as a volunteer advocate this process of gathering information and inquiring about certain situations and circumstances made it possible for my horizons to be broadened. Finding the forever family is an experience that is so uplifting that it encourages one to always better themselves therefore, always striving to better the life of the next child or children that have the great advantage of being advocated for by a CASA.”
“Yesterday I delivered two “adoption bears”, ending a long saga of three + years. It was great to visit these brothers, now six and five, and realize they are now part of their permanent family and that I had a role in this successful outcome!”
The day that Sandi was adopted is Carol’s most significant memory as a CASA volunteer. “She saw me and ran down the hall yelling my name and wrapping her arms around my legs.” Carol said. “I lifted her up, and she was all smiles. That experience was more than enough reward for my efforts.”
Many children, like Sandi, have no hope of being reunified with their biological families. Even if it is in the best interest of the children, “the voluntary surrender of the parental rights by the parents is a difficult process for me personally to witness,” Carol said. These children deserve a proper start in life, and without adoptive parents, they will be surrendered to growing up in the foster care system.
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Children’s mission to speak on behalf of abused and neglected children is central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation to protect a child’s right to be safe, treated with respect and to help them reach their fullest potential. For more information about CASA, visit AtlanticCapeCASA.org.