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Stuart donates a portion of his commission to Child Advocates
Child Advocates recruits, trains and supports volunteers who provide a voice for children in foster care. As Harris County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, we provide lifesaving advocacy that helps abused and neglected children exit foster care to a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible.
Every 8 minutes, a child in Texas experiences abuse or neglect. Nearly 4,000 children in the Houston area have experienced such life-threatening abuse or neglect that they had to be removed from their homes and placed in foster care. Child Advocates trains everyday people to advocate for the best interests of these children in court so they can find safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.
I was removed from my home, taken away from my brother and sister and placed into the foster care system due to abuse. My brother and sister stayed behind in the home, but we did get visits sometimes. Unlike most children that enter the foster care system, my time was as good as one could expect under the circumstances. I stayed in the system until I was adopted when I was 5.
Being adopted will always be one of the best days of my life. However, it was bittersweet because I thought I would never see my brother and sister again. I’ve always known I was adopted and have often felt out of place because of this. As I got older, I wondered if my brother and sister still remembered me and if they ever thought about me. This always left a void inside and unanswered questions.
Thanks to this thing called the internet and to the awesome Mom that adopted me, that void would soon be filled. I had last seen my brother and sister when I was around 5 years old and it would be 15 years later that we would finally see each other again. It was an overwhelming feeling that is hard to describe. As we got to know each other as adults, it was a great feeling to know that they had not forgotten about me over the years. It almost felt like we were never apart. The best part was I found out I had another sister that I didn’t even know about.
Later in life when I got married and had my daughter is when these tough feelings and memories as a kid started to come back. That’s when I knew I had to make some changes and give back to those who made a difference in my life as a foster child.