Amy: I grew up in a KKK family. I was made to drink beer at age six. I was made to smoke my first blunt at the age of eight. I’ve been abused with electric cattle prods, thrown into a stove, electrical cords… Most of the abuse was by my brother’s father. 

My mom decided to leave him so she did. We went to a bar and we were staying in a room at the end of the bar.  I was nine years old so I was in the room waiting on her to get back from the bar. She came back later that night with a man. They were on one bed messing around and I was on the other bed watching TV or whatever, trying not to watch them. 

Then, out of nowhere, my step dad busts in the door. He takes my  mom and beats her to a bloody, naked, pulp. She was completely red. I drug my mama down the stairs to the manager’s office. I drug her in there and told him to call 911. 

I went back upstairs to get my mamas dog. By the time I got there, my step dad was gone and the man my mama was with was in the tub, bloody, shaking and flopping around. I crawled into the tub and was trying to hold him. But, by the time the ambulance arrived, he had died in my arms.  

— about twenty years later —

Amy: I was addicted to cocaine, extremely bad. I’ve got three kids. The first two are girls and the third is my son. When I was pregnant with him, I was really messed up on drugs. I was using real bad with him. Something in my mind was playing like I was gonna give him up for adoption. I had the people picked out and everything but I didn’t follow through with it. I went into labor with him, two weeks early on Super Bowl Sunday. Unfortunately I’d done $700 worth of cocaine the day before. 

My life was crazy at the time. I was going through a bunch of stuff with my family and I was getting a divorce from my husband,.. I should have stopped and realized what I was doing to my kid. Everything in life just overpowered me at the same time. 

I gave birth in Chatham County and they tested for drugs so, I never got to take him home. The worst feeling as a mom is to walk away from the hospital without your baby. 

I fought really hard to get all my kids back. I was going through a court program and everything. But, I started thinking a lot about how my family is and how I didn’t want then to grow up like that. The only way the family chain could be broken is allowing them to be adopted. 

So, they were. They were all adopted by the foster lady who picked my son up from the hospital. All three of my kids have been together since my son was born. 

The hardest thing I ever had to do was leave my kids at that DFCS office five years ago. I was crushed. I was devastated. I didn’t leave the house for about six months.

BW: Are you able to stay in touch with them?

Amy: It’s not an open adoption but me and the foster mom had an agreement with each other. For like the first three years I couldn’t see them Finally we got to a point where she’d let me see them periodically for birthdays and things like that. 

I understand completely. I’m the biological mom but she’s the mama. She does everything for them and I’m grateful for her. My kids can be anything they want to be right now instead of being a statistic. My two girls are straight A students and my son is doing really well.