Lindsey King: A Life Transformed
Before she became director of CASA for Kids Inc, Columbia County (OR), before she was a volunteer with CASA of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado, Lindsey King was a little girl in need of help.
"In the first 11 years of my life I lived in 27 different places, in between being returned to my mother's care periodically. Sometimes I would get lucky and live with a family for 6 or 7 months, usually it was much shorter than that."
Unfortunately for Lindsey, her mother could not commit to being a mother-or to giving her up.
"My mother had this habit of going from one boyfriend to the next. She would meet a new boyfriend, have a baby, and leave it with DHS. But then she would fall in with someone or some group that would make her think she should try to be a parent again. During those times she would take me back, but only for a while."
Lindsey was appointed a CASA volunteer in the midst of all of the moves, when she was about seven years old. She does not recall the woman's name, only that she called her "Auntie." And that Auntie always seemed to be there-during every move to a new home, every birthday party, every time that Lindsey needed support.
Lindsey's CASA volunteer advocated strongly for ending the incessant moves and identifying a forever home for her. At the age of 11, Lindsey was finally adopted by a caring couple from Oregon. They later moved to Montana.
Lindsey's transition to a forever home was a rocky one. She suffered from severe trust issues, abandonment issues, and attachment issues that plagued her childhood-and beyond. But her adoptive parents stood by her, then and now.
When Lindsey decided to deepen her involvement with CASA by applying for a job with Columbia County CASA, her adoptive mother was the first person she called for advice.
"We talked for a very long time about the possibility of the CASA work bringing up issues, of my re-traumatizing myself. My mother knew that as a child, I had wanted to be a caseworker. I wanted to make a difference in some other child's life. But as I got older, I realized that I did not want to be the person removing children from their homes. I wanted to be the person who could help them find a safe forever home."
By the time the phone call ended, Lindsey was confident: if it were meant to be, she would get the CASA job and fulfill her childhood goal of helping other children. Lindsey was hired to be the program coordinator of CASA for Kids Inc. in Columbia County last December. In May, she was promoted to director.
"My CASA volunteer put so much into me; she helped me become who I am today. She would always tell me: 'Don't let the things that have happened to you hold you back.' I am incredibly thankful for where I am today, being able to help and give back to other kids. I love being a part of other children's happy endings."