When addiction separated Stephani from her boy, Mason, Court Appointed Special Advocates helped bring them together again.
Mother and son were back together following her graduation from her recovery program with Family Treatment Court. All went smoothly for more than two years. Then COVID struck. And although neither mother nor son contracted COVID, the virus essentially tore them apart again.
“COVID was tough on us,” she says. “We were essentially isolated. I was getting unemployment, but because I was waitressing, I was only being paid half of what I made at work. The stress just built up, and last October, I relapsed.”
But her supports were in place this time. “I knew I could get clean and, with help, get him back,” she says. “I wasn’t so terrified the second time.”
Mason went back to his original foster “mom,” a compassionate woman who wanted to see mother and son reunited. A new CASA, Laura Bullock, was appointed to advocate for Mason. She too was taken by the mother/son bond.
“She is a person who struggled with addiction. But above all, she is a mom,” Bullock says. “She was like most people we know. Her life was fine, then she fell, and the state caught her and cared for her till she got it all back together again. It was her determination, plus her supportive foster mom, plus her support from CASA and family treatment court that reunited them.”
Stephani Kuykendall is a person who will always struggle with addiction Although she is in recovery, the addiction will always be there. But that’s not the whole story. The truth about her is that she is a mother who loves her son. And because she lives in a community where people saw that about her, she and Mason are together today.
DO YOU WANT TO ADVOCATE FOR A CHILD AS A CASA?
For community members ready to learn more about our volunteer opportunities we invite you to register for an information session or contact our Outreach Coordinator, Gwen Anderson at email@example.com.