Thursday, February 18, 2010

CASA Ventura County

Tonight I had the opportunity to speak at CASA of Ventura to an audience consisting of foster parents, young adults in the foster system, and CASA volunteers. For those of you who are not familiar with CASA, it stands for Court Appointed Special Avocates. Each advocate is a sworn officer of the Juvenile Dependency Court. These advocates volunteer their time to act as a voice of their "Casa" child, and help to develop a positive long lasting adult relationship.

After I shared my story with everyone there was a Q & A period where the attendees were able to ask my mom and I questions in order to get both of our perspectives on the events that lead to my adoption and what trials and tribulations we faced during the process. Afterwards all the attendees had the opportunity to talk with me one on one. I was very touched and honored that so many of the teens were open to sharing their own personal stories with me. My heart goes out to them as I truly understand what they are going through.

I want to thank CASA of Ventura County, Andrea and Bernadette for believing in what I do and allowing me to share my story with the group..... but most of all I want to thank all of the young attendees for this opportunity. I hope that you were inspired to not become a statistic, instead I wish and pray that you go on to do great things. Never give up no matter what. You are the ONLY person who decides your fate not anyone else. Embrace your past for a better will only make you stronger. I believe in you and I am only a phone call or email away.

*Due to confidentiality reasons the pictures below are limited and show no faces*

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