Tears ran down my eyes as I watched them leaving the courtroom – mother and child walking hand in hand, now legally a family. By just a glimpse, no one would ever know the struggle and heartache they’ve endured over the last two years. This brave little girl was forced to acknowledge and accept her own parents’ poor choices and battles with addiction. Her aunt stepped in as a result and took over the role she never knew she was intended to play. This is my testament of their adoption and the people who helped forge a new family.
Monday morning I was presented with the opportunity to witness an adoption, my first one. I was eager to learn about CASA’s role in the process and to see lives being changed. We drove to the courthouse and went to the 4th floor where the adoptions take place. There we waited in a small waiting room and I was able to see a young family walking out triumphantly holding what looked to be a blonde haired two-year-old boy. I will never forget the look on their faces as the attorney explained to them that his legal paper work would be just as if they had given birth to him. Catching the tail end of that adoption made me more eager than ever to see one in it’s entirety.
When the family arrived we followed Judge Marchman into her office. Reanna is very familiar with the Judge, as she has been inside a courtroom quite a few times in the last couple of years. Judge Marchman began to explain the legality of adoption and what that meant for both mother and child. I was amazed at her ability to convey such a heavy topic to a young child in a way she could understand. The whole ceremony was very sentimental and personal; there is something about a spoken promise that is very powerful. As the mother and child exchanged their vows of commitment to one another, I was left breathless. With a simple signature, a void was filled in this sweet little girl’s life. Her adoption was complete and she and her mother were made whole.
There was another person in the room with them that had a hand in their happy ending. She wasn’t the front and center Judge Marchman, whose signature changed their lives forever; she wasn’t their DCFS worker who developed case plans for her birth parents; her name is Darbi and she was Reanna’s CASA. Darbi has been a steady, dependent, key-player in Reanna’s life over the last couple of years. Thanks to her active participation in Reanna’s life, a family has been created and now this child, who could have been just another number in the overflowing system of foster care, now has a safe, permanent home.
I am beyond thankful for being given the opportunity to witness such a beautiful moment in these people’s lives. From this experience I am able to take away the powerful sentiment of one mother’s love, and will always remember the joy that filled the room after it was all said and done. I look forward to more moments like these that will leave me breathless, fill me with hope and give me courage to face tough days ahead.