The months I spent involved with CPS were among the most horrendous times of my life. I made unspeakably poor choices and suffered the most severe consequence: temporarily losing custody of my beautiful children. On paper I appeared to be a junkie, with no respect for authority, who didn’t care about myself or my children. I was treated as such by law enforcement and social services. However, my children’s CASA/Guardian ad Litem chose to see me as a real human being. I was leaving an abusive relationship, struggling with addiction and did not know how to manage my own life, let alone be a good mother. I needed help. I took the steps to get help and our CASA/Guardian ad Litem showed me support along the way. She visited me and observed me spending time with my children and got to experience who I really am. She saw the way my children’s eyes lit up as we played, how much love I had for them and for our family. She was able to take time to get to know me as the strong and committed parent I am and not a person defined by the past mistakes I had made. She was a voice for my children who were too young to have a voice in court. I believe having a neutral, outside opinion, one based on actual experience, gave my children and me a fair second chance. I will always feel indebted to the CASA/Guardian ad Litem program for believing in me, supporting me, and helping me and my family to start our best lives.