Diane, June 2010 GAL Volunteer of the Month
Diane has lived in Miami for over 30 years. As a long-time resident, Diane felt compelled to become involved in something greater than her own self-interest and decided to become a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). Since 2000 she has worked on many cases, some difficult and some less challenging. However, the children have always served to remind her of why she became a GAL and why she loves Being A Voice.
When asked to recall a memorable case, Diane tells the story of a newborn baby boy, recklessly abandoned in a dumpster. He still had his umbilical cord attached when he was found. The baby was placed in a foster home where the foster parent felt an immediate connection with the child. “On my first home visit,” says Diane “she expressed the desire to adopt him.”
With every home visit Diane made, she was elated with joy to see the love the foster mother expressed for this child, who while still so young had already had such a difficult life. She noticed the home slowly filling up with a car seat, a bouncer, toys, books and baby clothes. “When I held the child during my visits, I was often dumbfounded,” Diane recalls, “how could a person literally throw this child away?”
Diane continued to visit with the child and foster parent while the court completed diligent searches to locate the unknown mother and father. In observing the foster parent with the baby, Diane believed that the foster parent could give him all the necessary tools to eventually become an asset to his family and the community. “This was the opinion I voiced to the court,” explains Diane.
Every effort was made to reunify the baby with the parents but as the department completed its diligent searches, the parents were still unknown. The foster parent filed for adoption of the child and his adoption date was set. “The judge’s chamber was full of everyone who was involved in the case and there was not a dry eye in the room.”
Voices For Children, in conjunction with the Guardian ad Litem Program, is proud to name Diane as the June 2010 GAL Volunteer of the Month. Her commitment to the program and strong sense of duty are exemplary, and it is the commitment of volunteers like Diane that allow our program to thrive.
For more information on Voices For Children and the Guardian ad Litem Program, please visit www.BeAVoice.org.