BY JERÉ ANTHONY
One of my favorite things about the CASA program are the paydays. Since this program is driven by volunteers it may surprise you to hear the word payday, but my view is that paydays come when children overcome their time in the Foster Care system and are finally placed into their safe, permanent homes.
For a 9 year old little boy, the road has been long and hard. The child came into care when he was only 6 years old, along with 2 sisters. Their teachers reported the claim after the children repeatedly showed up for school dirty and hungry. As a result of the neglect, the children were removed from the home.
Mrs. Sandy Pratt was assigned to the case in January 2014. She said the children behaved like little feral animals and could not be controlled, but mostly the problematic behavior came from the male child. Because of his terrible behavior he was transferred into two other foster placements, eventually ending up at The Baptist Children’s Home.
Mrs. Sandy said, “Being placed at the children’s home was the best thing that ever happened to him, the cottage parents were really able to provide him with the perfect balance of guidance, love, and discipline.”
Some time went by and when the boy was a little older he attended a church camp where he made a great friend, a friend that would eventually become his brother. When the little boy learned that his dear new friend was available for adoption, he knew that he had to do something to help. He went home and told his father, who is a Pastor, “He has no mom and no Dad… we need to take him home because we have such an amazing family”.
Unlike times in the past where he felt that families where coming to “shop” for a new child, Mrs. Sandy could tell this time was different. The child was excited about the possibility of having a family and began to perk up when talking about them. She said she could tell it was the perfect fit, one that was even better than she could have ever imagined.
I cease to be amazed by the stories of hope that I hear day in and day out from our wonderful volunteers. I am happy to report that this little boy will begin the adoption process by moving in with the family for the next 6 months. This was certainly a joyous payday for Mrs. Sandy, I hope that this little success story gives you hope for some of your cases.