On Good Friday, I took advantage of the fact that I had the day off from work, and my CASA boys were off of school, picked them up after lunch, and hosted an Easter egg hunt for them.
I spent the week leading up to the egg hunt looking for and purchasing baskets (they were sports-themed), Easter grass, stickers, trinkets, plastic eggs (that looked like bumble bees, carrots, lady bugs, etc.), and bags and bags of festive candy. And then, my girlfriend and I sat and filled 54 plastic eggs.
I hid them all Friday before I picked up the boys, giving them their baskets as soon as they got into the Jeep. They had never “hunted” for Easter eggs—making me so glad that I decided to do it.
Easter morning was always such a fun time for me, as a kid. My parents, and sometimes even my grandparents, went to great lengths so I would believe in the Easter bunny, who was very good at hiding eggs. We dyed eggs, too. And there was always a beautiful basket for me, that usually had two bunnies—one stuffed and one chocolate.
I don’t want to ramble on about CASA, but I’ll at least tell you a little about it. CASA—Court Appointed Special Advocate—came into my life a few years ago, when I read A Silence of Mockingbirds by Karen Spears Zacharias. It is the true story of a young girl who was beaten to death by her mother’s boyfriend—harsh, yes, but true.
I read the book because it was Baton Rouge’s pick for their One Book One Community that summer. The book was so good, I read it in just one day, and couldn’t wait for the book event where the author would speak. At the event, there was someone from CASA there, who gave a presentation and explained a little about CASA volunteers. She said a child paired with a CASA volunteer was 60% more likely to be adopted than one without.
It didn’t take long for me to visit the Baton Rouge CASA house and get more information. I signed up to go through the training—which was 40 hours long. I completed my training and was appointed by a judge at the end of January 2013.
I was assigned my first case, which is my current case, at the end of June last year. My job as a CASA volunteer? I am the voice for my three boys (brothers), who are in the state’s custody because their original home was unsafe. I pick the boys up from their foster home at least once a month, and take them out, we not only have fun and bond, but I also get their side of the story. I keep things moving on their case, and then write a report for the judge and other case parties each time we go to court.
I don’t want to ramble on about how great of an experience this has been for me, but it really has. If you have any questions or are the LEAST bit interested in becoming a CASA volunteer in your area, feel free to email me (Wittywriter7@gmail.com) or Tweet me @OrangeJulius7 and I’d be happy to talk to you about it.
Last Easter, I spent most of my day with my then-boyfriend, D, and his family. We went to church, hid Easter eggs for the kids in the family, and had lunch together. I was so happy to be meeting his family, and I was falling in love. But what I didn’t know, was that night, D had a date with someone else (read more here).
And it was the start of him being unfaithful to me for months. Although I got a book published out of it, it was the worst relationship I’ve ever had.
I cannot explain just how much relief and gratitude I felt this Easter, doing fun things with my CASA kids, instead of being stuck next to someone who was treating me poorly.