Ian and Alexander, ages 2 and 4, have been adopted together by a relative after spending most of their lives as foster children in her care. The boys’ mother came from a family with a long history of drug abuse, and she struggled with addiction herself. She left drug treatment programs multiple times without completing them, and was arrested for prostitution. The boys’ father was in jail. Although things began to look promising when he was released – he enrolled in community college and started visiting Ian and Alexander regularly – the father soon fell back into drugs and returned to jail.
Maryanne was appointed to be Ian and Alexander’s CASA volunteer. Each time she visited them at the relative’s foster home, Maryanne could see that the house was clean and the boys were on a regular meal schedule. The relative was organized, patient, stable, and clearly bonded to Ian and Alexander.
Maryanne observed each weekly visit between Ian, Alexander and their mother, attending even more often than the DHS case worker was able to. She noted that the mother spent more time texting on her phone than playing with her children. When the mother began to miss visits, Maryanne started advocating for the boys to be adopted by their relative. The adoption process can be a long road, and Maryanne did everything she could to help it move more quickly. Ian and Alexander have now been adopted by their relative and are thriving.
NOTE: Ian and Alexander’s story is real, but their names and picture have been changed to protect their identities.