Connie and I were matched together in 2012, just after her 16th birthday. As I remember it, we were both very nervous yet excited to start this new pairing, as neither one of us quite knew what we were getting into. I still remember the first day we met very clearly. We sat across from each other on different couches letting our CASA supervisor do all the talking. I was super nervous and wanted Connie to like me and to see me as someone she could talk to and rely on. My personal mission was and still is, is to be able to answer her questions or at least point her in the direction of someone who could.
Connie and I remained a pair under CASA for years until she emancipated from the program. There were challenges and a lot of wondering whether my presence was making a difference. One such challenge was that as a CASA, it can be hard to be open but still keep boundaries. I always tried to share myself, but when it came to getting married, it was hard to have someone special to me not be a part of it.
With our CASA supervisor’s support, her emancipation did not end our story. Connie and I remain very active in each other’s lives. It’s been my privilege to watch Connie grow and transform into the most loving mother I have ever known.
In choosing to become a CASA, I was going to be there for my kiddo no matter what, but I never imagined having the benefit returned to me. Connie has taught me so much that I feel like the lucky one to be able to call her a friend.