This past weekend Sergio and I traveled east about 4 hours to visit my CASA child. And even though I have spoken to her many times on the phone and represented her in court several times, I did not know what she looked like. It's funny how we can form images of people when we speak on the phone and many times those images of what they look like are totally wrong. Such was the case with this child, whom I will call Mary.
Mary has had a rough childhood. She was neglected, abused and found wandering around a motel in the middle of the night as a toddler while her parents got high somewhere inside. She and her sibling were later adopted by her foster parents. Later it was found that Mary has paranoid schizophrenia, learning disorders among other issues.
She lives in a special place (CASA regulations state that I cannot give too much info on the child) pretty far away where they can care for her.
So this past weekend Sergio and I decided to go see her. Well actually I can only see her. Sergio cannot have contact with the child since he is not a CASA.
When I first got to the city where she is in...I was wondering what shall I say? What will I talk about? She is 16 but with the mind of a 10 year old. When I finally saw Mary, I saw a beautiful, vibrant African American child. I was overjoyed to finally meet her and so was she to meet me. We spent some time in the room she sleeps in with 5 other girls and she shared her love of the Twilight books, her favorite music, her favorite subjects in school, how's she doing health wise and many other things. As I type this I can't help but smile. You see, Mary brightens up my life. She is like a ray of light in my life. Sometimes I feel so down and sad going thru the motions of everyday commoness and how the world is so bad, blah blah blah, that I feel that I should be doing just a little more. Especially for children. They truly brighten my life!
It's funny because when I was younger I never saw myself as being a wife let alone a mother! I didn't want children. I just wanted to work. It's amazing what a few years will do to you. That plus having 3 kids of my own.
Anyways, as I was saying goodbye to Mary, she just stood there waiting...I wondered, would she mind if I gave her a big hug?? I went for it. I took her in my arms and held her. I loved her.
I could, in that instant, feel my Savior's love. For myself and for her. It's as if he said to me "here I am, feel my love". I left that place feeling completely uplifted. I have never felt that feeling before. I can't really find words to describe it, except that Jesus loves Mary and he loves me too :)
I can't wait to go see her again.