She sat in the corner, quiet as a mouse. I watched her from the door as she looked out into the room. Her eyes darted back and forth in a nervous attempt to maintain control of her situation. I hated to tell her that though she watched and waited, being backed into a corner she would never be able to defend herself.
I couldn’t help but feel her fear. Those small eyes pierced my soul. My heart broke for her. She sat backed into that corner, her hair tussled and her clothes wrinkled and dirty. I wonder how long she had been wearing them. I noticed the bruise on her right eye. I did not doubt about from where it came. The bruise made me wonder what other wounds she had suffered during her young life.
I stepped into the room and slowly approached her. The closer I got the more I was able to see her at her young age of four. She began to stiffen as I approached her. I slowed my pace even more but continued to move forward never taking my eyes off her small body. I stopped in front of her and kneeled on the floor. I didn’t want it to appear that I was overpowering her. I wanted her to see me as a friend, not another threat.
This story is fictitious. However, there are hundreds, no thousands out there like this child that are very real. These children are the victims of adults, even parents that have lost sight of the fragile state of these children. The only hope for them besides the resilience that hides behind the fear is the CASA that will be their voice.
I am sure you have heard the statement “we are in an opioid crisis.” This crisis is affecting the children of the addicts at an ever-increasing rate. These children are going through the court system, some without an adult to support them and be their voice. CASA of New Hampshire is looking for good people to be advocates for these children. Every day people are stepping up to this challenge. However, it isn’t enough. CASA needs more good people to be the voice of the children in need. If you would be willing to consider stepping up to this challenge you will find a reward beyond words. The smile of a child who knows they are safe and loved is priceless.