Amarah's Corner: Grown-up ‘kid like me,’ Delia, shares her story: Part 1

Hi! My name is Amarah. Kids are important to me, and they’re important to Jesus, too.

Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 (KJV), “Whatever you’ve done unto the least of these (kids), you’ve done it unto me.”

“Kids like me” are kids and adults of all ages whose parents are, or were, drug addicts, and alcoholics; kids who have suffered, or who are suffering, abuse and neglect on multiple levels; and kids who are victims of bullying.

Hey, kids like me! I’m happy to tell you we were able to help about 140 kids like me in the San Luis Valley (SLV) have a better Christmas, 2017. Because of the generous donation of New Hope Church in South Fork, we were able to purchase new coats, boots, scarves, gloves, and toboggans for those who requested them, and Alamosa State Bank and Schulz Realty purchased multiple gifts, gift-wrapped them and delivered them to ACE Hardware! “Thank You!” to all businesses, and SLV residents (Thank You, Miss Birdie!) who delivered gifts and donations to ACE Hardware for Kids Like Me to distribute, Saturday (12/23/17), at The Church of Christ on Victoria Avenue, Alamosa. And, “Thank You!” to Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Martinez for allowing people to drop off donations at ACE Hardware, and for donating The ACTION Bibles that we gave to kids like me this Christmas. It was our best Christmas, ever!

I am glad to introduce our guest columnist (my first two columns of 2018), Delia. She is a young mother, a kid like me, with five kids of her own. I read Delia’s story and thought it was my story until the sixth sentence and it made me cry:

Hi kids like me, I am writing this to hopefully give people and kids like me some insight on how drugs destroy lives in so many ways. As a child, I was a victim of drug abuse, because both of my parents were heroin addicts and it affected me and my siblings, tremendously. From what I can remember both of my parents were physically abusive and neglectful to us and it was extremely unfair. I remember being 4 years old and being left alone at home for days, having to fend for myself and tend to my younger siblings. I never understood why my parents were the way they were until now that I’m older and understand drug abuse, first hand. One day, when we were left alone I heard a knock on the door and opened the door to police officers. We were instantly removed and separated by placement in different foster homes. We were malnourished and had head-lice.

For the longest time I blamed myself for answering the door that day and getting taken away from my Mom. I just wanted my Mom so badly, but after years of therapy I now know it wasn’t my fault. I grew up in California and I have two brothers and one sister. I had a rough childhood and wasn’t given the same chance to have stability for I was raised in a total of eight foster homes, while each one of my siblings was adopted. I don’t know why I wasn’t given the same opportunity but at first, I was okay with it because I had so much hope that my Mom was going to get me back one day and take me home. That was what kept me going each day.

But, when I was 8 years old I lost all hope of ever being reconnected with my Mom, because she died in a hit-and-run car accident. My Father never tried to get us back and I never heard from him my whole childhood. I grew up bouncing from foster home to foster home never having anyone as parents and living with people who I felt took me in for all the wrong reasons. I never had a normal childhood or stability for that matter. None of my family members could take me in because the Department of Social Services claimed they were unfit.

Drug addiction has taken a huge toll on me since the day I was born. I was brought into this world with addictive parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunties. I remember as I was getting older telling myself I would never do drugs and follow in my parent’s footsteps, yet it is exactly what happened. In my late twenties I started using hard drugs. I have been told I have an addictive personality/behavior. I first became addicted to cocaine after inpatient treatment and was told I could overcome it. But I exchanged one addiction for another when opioid pain pills were prescribed to me. When that stopped, I started buying them off the street. When it became harder to find them I switched to heroin, because it was cheaper and stronger.

Thank you, Delia! Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.