BY JERÉ ANTHONY
She looked into her mother’s broken eyes and repeated the phrase that she was forced to recite to her, “Nobody loves me as much as you do.” This was not the first time that her mother made her tell her things during her family visit, and it wouldn’t be the last.
For this 11 year old girl who has been in care for the last five years, along with her three siblings, this routine was all too familiar. Coming from a home full of dependency issues, which resulted in neglect, was not easy. Many times she found herself wondering during supervised visits if her mother would ever look at her the way she looked at her baby sister. She craved the same attention and love that she saw her mother give her siblings and couldn’t understand why during these rare moments where they were able to see each other, her mother spent the entire visit scolding and criticizing her.
Family visits were always volatile and her biological parents weren’t the most dependable when it came to showing up for the visits. One particularly sad occasion when the children were stood up, took place on the morning of their first day of school. They waited in the lobby of the visit for over 30 minutes holding on to the hope that maybe their parents were just running a bit behind, only to feel the sting of rejection once again.
Mrs. Christy Bailey, the children’s CASA, sat back and watched time and time again as the biological parents proved their inability to care for their children. In her court report she wrote, “She leaves visits feeling upset and if they don’t happen, she is equally upset that her family didn’t make time for her.”
Although Christy was that steady presence for her CASA children, she knew that they needed stability, they needed a home. Christy has been advocating for the children to be adopted for over two years. We are so happy to report that the two girls are currently placed with Foster Parents that are making a safe, permanent home a reality for them. On top of adopting the two girls, the Foster Parents are working to maintain their open home status so that the brothers can come and visit as often as they want.
Christy says, “Imagine coming from a life of chaos and neglect and finding yourself not just with a great mom and dad, but among a HUGE, loud, loving family of aunts, uncles, and cousins who treat you as if you have been there all along! That is what my two girls have now.”
We are so happy to hear of successes and hope that these children thrive in their new home. We know that they won’t take having parents that are truly present for granted, ever. We are so happy to have played a role in their stories and are so proud to have someone like Christy as a representative.
Thanks for not giving up as cases drag on, and thanks for showing up when you say you are going to, like Christy. You never know how much it is needed.