Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Redeeming the pain

Here's a great story about a child of divorce who used his experience as a catalyst to help other children.

As a 6-year-old, Steve McIntire was not a typical hitchhiker.

Trapped in a custody battle after his parents’ bitter divorce, he was out to escape. But an older brother found him holding his thumb out on the roadside and took him back home.

The family’s trouble boiled over into court the next year, with a judge weighing whether McIntire’s future would be with Mom or with Dad.

“I begged to talk to the judge, but nobody would hear of it,” says McIntire, 41.

Not until years later would McIntire fully realize the importance of what happened next, how close he’d been to calamity, how one person — his school principal — changed his life.

“I was not going in a positive direction,” McIntire recalls.

The principal, Trevor Russell, testified that it would take the boy days to settle down after visiting his mother. The judge sent McIntire home with his dad.

“I think it was because that principal stepped up and testified on my behalf. That was the swing. That was a voice for me,” says McIntire. “That’s what I see in CASA, being willing to step up and be a voice for a child.”

Read the whole story here. [Update: It seems the paper has taken this article off their web site already. You may still find the full text in Google's cache by searching on the first sentence I quoted above.]

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