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It's the Simple Things

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June 10, 2019 | By Washington County Community Foundation

Casa Photo

I always knew our time together would be limited. And it’s been a long journey for her.

Two and a half years surely feels like an eternity for a child. In a few minutes, we must say goodbye for the last time. Suddenly, my mind flashes back to the circumstances that brought us together.

Nina’s parents were struggling with substance abuse and domestic violence issues when she was removed from her home. Her first foster placement didn’t work out. Neither did the second.

I was assigned to her case not long after. Nina needed a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).

My first step was to learn as much information as I could about Nina. I researched her case thoroughly and spoke with every service provider. Finally, the time came for us to meet.

I thought that a coloring book might serve as a nice ice breaker for someone her age, so I was sure to bring one along. It had dogs on the cover.

Initially, Nina was cautious. How could this little girl ever trust adults again? But as soon as I pulled out the coloring book, her eyes filled with delight. “I love puppies!” she exclaimed. We bonded over canines and crayons.

I asked Nina what she wanted me to tell the Judge in court. She said, “I just want a family who loves me.”

Her words too my breath away.

Then, with all the innocence of a six-year-old she added, “Can you tell the judge I want a puppy too?”

Tears were not uncommon during our monthly visits. The more I learned about her story, the more I wondered how a beautiful little child could be so resilient. She had experienced so much at such a tender age.

I traveled with the caseworker to take Nina to her fourth placement. When she was greeted by a family full of smiles, kind words, and a basket of puppies, in my heart I knew she had found the life she deserved.