Tuesday, Apr 26, 2022
Mia sits on the floor at home, with her parents, playing with the blocks and watching her favorite cartoon on the television. She is a happy toddler with loving adoptive parents and everything she wants. Life is good.
No one would ever guess that just one year ago Mia was being removed from her home due to inadequate nutrition and failure to gain weight as a result of severe medical neglect at the hands of her biological parents.
Mia’s court case was not an easy one. Her parents were in and out of her life with very little consistency in their own situations. Neither her mother nor father had adequate housing, employment, transportation, or the appropriate means to care for their daughter. But while Mia’s parents were inconsistent with their involvement in her life, she was never alone. Her CASA volunteer, Tami Martin, was always there - ready to do whatever was necessary to ensure that Mia’s best interests were met.
Soon after Tami was assigned to the case Mia’s father, Adam, relinquished his parental rights. Adam knew that he was not in a position to be able to adequately provide for Mia’s needs and felt the best thing he could do for his daughter was to allow her to be adopted by her foster family. A family that Adam knew would be able to provide for Mia’s every need.
Mia’s mother stayed involved for a short time after Adam relinquished his rights, but never made any attempts to regain custody of her daughter. Tracy’s visits with Mia were rare and she was distant and uninvolved in the visits she did attend. Tracy eventually made the difficult decision to relinquish custody of Mia so that she could be adopted by her foster family.
Life for Mia is very different now than when it began. She is happy, healthy, and thriving. “The bond that she has with her foster parents is so rewarding to watch,” said Tami. “I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to work with this family.”
Bridging the divide between foster care and adoption can be both challenging and rewarding. More CASA volunteers, like Tami, are needed to advocate for children who enter the child welfare system; to help ensure they have the best opportunity to thrive. Can you help? Volunteer today!