Dylan, one of the children I represent loves baseball. He has an amputated foot and had broken his hip. Dylan would soon be having surgery to repair this injury. Dylan wanted to play on the school baseball team. Unfortunately, he was not picked to play on the school’s team. I wanted to help, I reached out to one of our board members. He had persuaded the Foundation Board to sponsor a recognition event for Guardian ad Litems (GALs) and the children they represent by attending a Blue Wahoo’s GAL appreciation night. He arranged for Dylan to throw out the first pitch and meet the team.
Dylan was so excited and told anyone who would listen that he was going to meet the team. I invited 10 boys from Dylan’s former placement a local group home and 3 of their caregivers. I invited all the children I represent as well as their caregivers, this included Dylan’s brothers and sisters as well as Dylan’s new adoptive family and their children.
Dylan had his hip repair surgery and was released 2 days prior to the game. Many of the board members visited Dylan in the hospital and were excited for him.
Finally, the big night arrived. Dylan and his brother Kanyon rode with me to the game. When we arrived, Dylan left to meet the team and get ready for his big pitch! I waited outside the stadium with his brother for their siblings, their caregivers and friends to arrive. We were fortunate to be seated together in one section. What a fun night. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to see the children we represent having such a great time. Dylan was so happy to be the center of all this attention. The board members and our fellow GALs were socializing with each other and the children. The boys from the group home who are low functioning and have behavioral problems were riveted watching the game and didn’t give us a minute’s trouble. The care givers were joking around and laughing. Dylan’s younger brother, who is so distant, was dancing around smiling and playing with his younger siblings. Even I relaxed and just took it all in.
It was such a delight to watch all the kids oohing and ahhing at the fireworks, their faces all turned up to the sky, eyes wide with anticipation. I hope we can organize events like this more often. As GALs we strive to give the children we represent normalcy. This one night, for these few hours, we could all forget the horror stories of abuse and neglect that brought us all together and just watch a baseball game. This event was really one of the happiest days I’ve spent as a Guardian ad Litem.