"Nate" and his brother, "Tim," were removed from their parent’s care when they were 11 and 13. Soon after, "Jim" was appointed to be their CASA Volunteer Advocate. Their parent’s rights were terminated and soon Nate and his brother began to struggle in the foster care system. Jim stayed with them and continued to visit as they sabotaged foster home after foster home, desperately hoping they would be “given back” to their parents.
Jim spent countless hours simply earning their trust. For months, Jim made sure to visit every time he said he would and called regularly to speak with Nate and Tim. Jim assured them, no matter what, he was not going away. It was during a typical weekly phone call, that Nate and Tim mentioned their Uncle "Andy." Jim asked more about Uncle Andy, they had never mentioned him before and Jim was sure no one else had mentioned him before. Nate and Tim talked about spending summers with Andy when they were much younger. Andy lived in Florida and they said they spent most of the summer with him – they both remembered going fishing on his boat.
Jim spoke with their caseworker and she also had never heard of Uncle Andy. Together, they began to track down the current contact information for Uncle Andy. When the caseworker called Andy and explained that Nate and Tim were in foster care, Andy was incredulous that his brother hadn't called to let him know of the troubles his family was having. Andy was emphatic that he wanted to come to PA and at least visit with his nephews – it had been years since they last saw each other.
Many months later, Nate and Tim went to stay with Andy in Florida for a couple weeks. The visit went incredibly well and eventually, Nate and Tim went to live with Andy permanently. Because Jim had the time to dedicate to Nate and Tim, because Jim took the time to slowly earn their trust and form a relationship with each child, Jim noticed and listened when they mentioned their Uncle Andy.