"We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort."
Eleven month old “Liam” was left alone outside his home in cold weather. “Emma”, Liam’s mom, was drug dependent. Liam initially went into a foster care home than was moved to a kinship home (a relative willing to care for him). “Beth” was assigned as Liam’s CASA immediately after he was removed from his home.
Shortly after Liam was removed, Emma got pregnant and gave birth to “Noah”. After his birth, Noah was placed with his brother in the kinship home. Emma was determined to regain custody of her sons. She never missed a scheduled visit with the boys. She attended every court-mandated session – drug and alcohol rehabilitation and parenting classes. She moved into an out-patient substance abuse rehabilitation facility. She worked hard to stick with the reunification plan. She was dedicated to building a life that would allow her to live with and support her sons.
In advocating for the best interest of Liam and Noah, Beth was initially hesitant to support having the boys return to their mother. Over time, Beth saw Emma’s resolve demonstrated not only in her adherence to the court-ordered plan but also in how she responded to the difficulties of navigating family court – one hearing was terminated and rescheduled because a single form was missing. The rescheduled hearing was held five months later. Despite her disappointment and frustration, Emma continued implementing the court plan.
“Watching Emma interact with her sons during visitations was a game-changer for me.” stated Beth. “I expected a calloused and hardened woman. Who leaves an 11 month old outside and on their own? What I observed was a caring and nurturing mother – a mother who loves her children no less than I love mine.”
After two years in foster care, and additional time in a halfway house with their mother, Liam and Noah moved into an apartment with Emma. Occasionally, Beth receives a text or photos of the boys from Emma.
Because of some challenges with the kinship placement, Liam and Noah changed homes six times during the almost three years in foster care. During those three years, Beth was the only consistently present adult in the boys’ lives.