For the weeks and months leading up to Claire’s departure for college, I struggled with “What’s next in my life?” I struggled, too, with the fear of losing my identity. I’ve been a mom for 23 years. Nurturing and caring for not only my three kiddos but countless others who have passed through our door. I thought with her departure, and the empty nest thing, I’d be rendered useless and obsolete. But I figured out the “What’s next?” part with the help of a friend. And now I have a whole new chapter to write…
I applied for, and have been accepted, into the CASA program. For the next several weeks I’ll be training to become a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate for the city of Richmond. My job will be to advocate for children who are in the court systems due to abuse and neglect. It will be my duty to ensure that these vulnerable kiddos have someone who is on their side and trying to make sure what’s in their best interest is known to the judge who will be overseeing their case. It’s a scary time for these little ones, and they need someone who is advocating just for them. Enter me.
I’m beyond honored to be able to do this. But…I can’t tell you how nervous I am at the thought of taking on this responsibility. Here’s the thing, though, I feel called to be a voice for the voiceless. Every kid deserves to have someone, just one someone, who wants to ensure that they’re safe, and their stories are heard and validated. I want to be that someone for them. I want to make a difference.
So, this is my next chapter. One big thing I’ve learned since letting Claire go is that I’m not obsolete or useless. I’m actually of more use now.
For the love of all the children…