Alma’s Volunteer Corner: Danny & Sam

July2In earlier blog posts, I mentioned that I have two CASA cases. We went to court this week for the case that deals with two brothers. We’ll call them Danny and Sam.

This hearing was for Danny. He is going to be adopted by his current foster family. His brother, Sam, is developmentally delayed and is going to be in permanent foster care with the same foster family to ensure that the siblings remain together and that Sam can continue to get services he needs.

My report for this court hearing was written a week earlier and it contained my support of this direction, updates on Danny’s placement and my observations of his well-being. As for Danny’s adoption, we were waiting for the paperwork to process.

When I arrived in the courtroom lobby, I went to chat with the kids’ foster mom who informed me that the adoption paperwork was received the night before and that she was officially Danny’s mom. This was great news! I wanted to do my high-pitched-squeal-hand-clap happy dance but I’m an adult, representing a professional organization so I contained myself – which meant I gave foster mom a crazy smile. I hope I didn’t freak her out. I knew there would be no reason for the adoption not to be approved but having the official confirmation is a relief!

After a few more minutes of chatting with mom, I excused myself to review the court docket to see when Danny’s case would be called but I didn’t see Danny’s name. Sam was listed as the child I would be representing that morning. Oh my gosh! My entire report was written for Danny, not Sam. How could I have missed that? I reviewed my report to confirm Danny, not Sam. I checked my phone and saw that yes, the paperwork said this hearing was for Danny.

I searched the lobby for Danny’s caseworker but instead saw Sam’s caseworker reviewing paperwork. I bee-lined myself right to his side. I told him that my case was written for Danny and that I didn’t see any paperwork come in for Sam. He told me that since the Danny’s adoption was approved the night before, we would be focused on Sam that day. I was confused as to why I wasn’t contacted but I was relieved.

When court began, I apologized to the judge for having a report for Danny and not Sam. She didn’t seem concerned. Probably because she knew the changes was made at the last minute. The hearing went well and I was glad I didn’t do anything to jeopardize the children’s case or the adoption process.