The following story is from one of our CASA volunteers:
My last CASA case involved three children who had witnessed many episodes of domestic violence. Their mother had relationships with two men, both of which were abusive relationships involving substance abuse. The boys told me they held each other close at night in their bedroom upstairs with the sounds of breaking glass and screaming below. The oldest child tried to intervene in the arguments, believing he could protect his mother. As a result of the abuse, he became a quiet and sad child who could cry at the slightest disappointment. He had been let down so many times by those he loved. The middle child developed severe behavioral problems, often mimicking the aggressive behavior modeled by the adults in his life.
As their CASA, the boys and I had many fun adventures! The oldest child shared with me his love of music, so we went to see a free symphony performance. The middle child was a talented miniature scale sculptor. Together we visited the Benson sculpture park in Loveland. When I would arrive for a visit, the youngest would call out my name, hugging me around the knees. My name was one of only a few words he knew.
The grandmother provided respite from the violence, but was not able to care for three active young children due to health problems. Remarkably, relatives arrived on the scene and gave up their life in another state, to ensure a safe and happy future for all three children. Finally, they gave the greatest gift of all: a loving and permanent home.
I know I’ve made a big impact on the children’s lives. Every now and then, out of the blue, I will receive a text from the oldest child. The last text asked what my favorite color was. “Magenta,” I replied. I asked if he was working on a special art project. He texted me back, “No, I’m just asking all my friends what their favorite color is.” I smiled to myself. I am so lucky to be remembered as a friend.