Amarah's Corner: Symposium provided great information

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 attended the 2017 Neonatal Substance Exposure Awareness Symposium IV in Alamosa last Thursday and Friday. All of the information was good, but I really liked Dr. Pam Gillen’s presentation about alcohol and its horrible effects on an unborn baby during the different stages of pregnancy, and even after it becomes a child/adolescent. I’ve never heard anyone talk about alcohol before and it was really interesting. It also made me mad because of the number of babies and kids like me that alcohol has affected, including me!

How does a pregnant woman (and father) not endanger the baby/child with Alcohol Fetal Syndrome (AFS)? Don’t drink alcohol and don’t use drugs! AFS damage is with that baby/child all of its life! And you know what that means? Among other things, teachers (and other people) yell at you, “If you don’t focus you’re never gonna be successful!” and classmates laughing and making fun of you. That happened to me day after day and it broke my heart. I didn’t understand why or how it was happening to me and I didn’t want to go to school because of it - oh, yeah, they kicked me out of band because of it, too!

I learned that the spatial area of my brain had been affected by the alcohol my parents drank and by the drugs they used before I was born (the abuse and neglect after I was born didn’t help). I struggled in school especially with numbers, math, telling time and counting money. I just couldn’t get it and it felt like my brain just got all twisted and I couldn’t figure it out. It was so embarrassing and it made me feel like a failure and a freak. But, my grandma gave me a really cool digital watch that helps me not be embarrassed when someone asks me what time it is. (Remember, you can’t tell what someone struggles with just by looking at them! People can be so judgmental, stupid and mean).

At the symposium, I saw some old friends from last year and made new friends this year. And, my friends, Creed de Avanzar, Sandra Goodwin, and Danny Fox told us about the new “Healing Hearts” substance abuse treatment center (198 beds) they are working on for everyone who needs it here in the San Luis Valley (SLV). If you haven’t heard about this, you need to know about it! Call them at (719) 589-6438, and get the details. It’s for anyone/everyone struggling with addiction - veterans, pregnant mothers, anyone who needs it! Thank You, Jesus.

I wish Dr. Troy and Healing Hearts Treatment Center had been here when my mom was here. I love her, I miss her and I pray for her every day. And, I miss my baby sister. I’m standing on Mark 11:24!

And, five volunteers signed-up for the advisory board for Amarah’s Hope For Kids Like Me, 501©3! (Dr. Ali, Jason, Sierra, Ivette, and Mary)! I can hardly wait to see what we do! If you are interested in being on this advisory board, PLEASE, write to me!

Thank you Dr. Troy and Ruth Horn for the Symposium! Thank You to everyone who encouraged and supported me! I appreciate you! And, thank you for reading my column. Write to me at Amarah’s “Kids Like Me” P.O. Box 354, Alamosa, CO 81101. If you know a kid like me, or parent, who is an addict/alcoholic, please tell him/her about “Amarah’s Corner, Kids Like Me” in the Valley Courier. Tell them to contact me, or you can contact me on their behalf. If you know a kid like me, or parent, who doesn’t have a Bible, but wants one, please, contact me. I’ll make sure he/she gets a Bible, “…and all the earth may know there is a God…” (1 Samuel 17:46, KJV).

Amarah’s “Kids Like Me” offers non-denominational World Bible School (WBS) Bible Correspondence Courses (free/postage paid) in English/Spanish to kids like me (ages 8-12), their parents, and even if you’re not a kid like me! Teens/adults take the WBS Master Series Courses so if you would like the WBS Courses, send your name/age/address and I’ll get you started ASAP! I hope to hear from you soon!

My goal is to help kids like me, and I want to help their parents, too. Until next time, remember, Jesus Loves You, and JESUS IS LORD!