“My mom was reported for drug abuse and neglect,” she says. “But then she decided she couldn’t get straight, so I stayed in foster care.”
Mary remembers her early years with clarity. How could she not? “I was taken away from my home on Christmas Eve and I spent the next two months in a foster home” she says.
Her mom gave up her rights to her daughter in February of 2004, and Mary was quickly adopted by a family friend.
Happy at first, the adoption was welcomed by Mary — she knew the woman, so the transition wasn’t as complicated as it could’ve been. But after approximately one year, things began to change.
Mary’s adoptive mother got divorced, and with a new boyfriend in the picture, her adoptive mother’s demeanor changed. “I was physically and verbally abused,” Mary says. After a year, the neighbors reported Mary’s adoptive mother, and she was placed back into foster care.
Mary decided she never wanted to be adopted again. Before deciding, though, she did go through with other adoptions — they just weren’t a good fit. No more adoptions, Mary thought.
And so by choice, Mary lived the rest of her life in foster care. “I’ve been through seven foster homes,” she says matter-of-factly.
There’s a certain sense of assuredness in Mary’s voice — as if she has her feet planted firmly on the ground while talking. She’s candid, and eager to answer our questions over the phone.
It would take six years before she would meet the woman who changed Mary’s life for the better.
Find out who Mary’s hero becomes in Part II of our series.
Just joining in? Read the series intro.