Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Little Girl Remembers Being Adopted

I decided to celebrate National Adoption Month by asking my friends and family members that have been adopted or have adopted, to tell me their story and let me share it with you fine people.  You may be surprised at how many people you're friends with, that are adopted.  One of my nearest, and dearest, friends Amie, jumped at the opportunity to share her story.  I have known her since grade school and she has always been a joy to be around.  Here is Amie's story:

When Hollie first asked me to do this, I was humbled and excited to share my story.  My name is Amie Marie Pemberton Helms and I was born Julia Renee Poindexter on February 10th, 1980 to Connie Poindexter at Cabell Hospital in Huntington, WV.  I had an older brother and a younger sister.  My sister was killed riding on the back of a motorcycle and my brother was adopted to another family.  When I was about 5 months old, my birth mother left me and my brother in a trailer wrapped in blankets in the middle of summer by ourselves.  Thank the Lord her sister found out or I may not be here to share my story today. She called child protective services and they came and took us away.

In a small town across the bridge called Chesapeake, Ohio, there were two people name Larry and Connie Pemberton that were very eager to have a child, but were told that it was medically impossible.  So they called and checked into adoption.  Their names were put on the list and they were told that it would take months or even years before a baby would be available for them.  They were both teachers and they enjoyed a lot of weekends at softball tournaments in the surrounding area.  For some reason Connie didn’t go with Larry this particular Saturday.  Later that morning she got a phone call from child protective services and they told her they had a baby for her if she wanted it.  The Lord knew what he was doing, by keeping her home that weekend.  She had nothing! No diapers, no wipes, no crib, no clothes. She was in a panic!  She called her good teacher friend, Debbie Dolen and they went to Kmart on the way to pick me up and bought the immediate things that I would need.  She called her parents and they came to her house and waited for her to come back with their one and only granddaughter that they would ever have.  She had no way to get in touch with Larry, because there weren't cell phones back then.  After she picked me up, she took me to meet him at his softball tournament.  They were both thrilled to finally have a child of their very own.  After a visit to the doctor, they determined that the only health problems I had were a little dehydration and I was malnourished, which was an easy fix.  My mom said I was a really good baby and happy all of the time.

Not too long after they adopted me, my mom found out she was pregnant, which seems to happen A LOT!.  They were thrilled! It wasn’t long and my brother, Adam was born. We are 18 months apart in age and we were really close growing up. I have so many fond memories of our childhood together.  Our  family was complete.  My parents wanted to two children and they got their wish. Life was good, until they got a phone call in 1985.   My birth mother wanted me back!  Back then, they didn’t have the same laws they do now for adopted children.  My parents called their lawyer and sure enough, she had rights! So the battle began.  During the time leading up to the court date, my birth mother had visitation rights.  She would come to our house to visit me once or twice a week.  She would sit in the same chair and never talk to me or interact with me.  I remember this very well.  My mom was told that she had to keep me in the room with her while she was there for the visit.  So she tried to keep me occupied with my favorite toys.  Week after week, she came and she sat and she didn’t speak.  The night before the court date was another visitation day.  My grandpa(My mom’s dad) took her upstairs to my bedroom and had a talk with her.  The next day she walked into the court room and said she would sign the papers and relinquish her rights.  To this day, I have no idea what my grandpa said to her, but it must have been pretty powerful.  I don’t hate her. I just think that she didn’t know how to take care of us, nor did she have the means to.  My uncle Mark says he still sees her from time to time, and that she is still alive and well.

As a parent, I don’t know how she made the choice to abandon and give up her children, but I am thankful for that, because I have had a blessed life with great parents who taught me and shaped me into the person I am today.  Not once did they ever make me feel like I was “adopted”.  They treated me as if I were their biological child and provided me with everything I needed.  Now I am a parent to the sweetest two kids I know and I thank God every day that he chose me to be their mama.  I know I could never choose to give up my children, but I am thankful for the ones who choose life and give people, like my parents, the gift of a child.  It is hard to imagine what my life would be like today if I had not been adopted.  To those of you that are trying to adopt, Don’t give up! There is a special child out there waiting for you!

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