Meet Amari, HALO child who recently completed the HALO program. We are her family always.
“When I was 6 months old my mother was convicted of murder and sentenced to 13 years in prison. When I was little, I lived with my dad off and on and loved every bit of it. I could be myself, as good or bad as I wanted and he still accepted me. When I was in second grade, one day we pulled into the garage and my dad ran into the house, before he got out he covered his seat belt plug with his stocking cap. Me being a nosey child, I climbed up there to see what he was hiding, to find 3 guns stashed between the seat and middle console. Only days later, his face was broadcasted on the news for holding a family hostage and shooting a women in the back of the head. To this day I question whether he actually committed this crime, he was so loving, and caring and kind to so many! Whether he did or didn’t do it, it changed my life forever.
All my life I’ve wished for a stable home. A place where I could be myself, where I didn’t have to walk on my tip toes in order to be accepted. No matter where I went, I never felt I was a part of their family. I knew in my heart I wasn’t, and would never be. I was forced to bounce around from home to home more times than I can count. I always wondered what was wrong with me, why I wasn’t good enough, why nobody wanted me. At night I used to cry myself to sleep wishing my mom and dad would come home. Wishing they could give me the love and affection I watched every other kid receive. I felt so alone, so scared. I was always trying my best, to be who everyone else wanted me to be so I could maybe stay a little longer. It seemed every time I began to open up, it was time to pack my things and go to the next house.
When I was 13 my mother got out of prison. The life I’d always dreamed of was right in front of my eyes. But I soon realized it would be nothing like my dreams. I had to continue to be my own parent, fighting to wake her up to just take me to school. I also had a “boyfriend” and he was allowed to live with us. As everyone may have predicted I became pregnant at 16. Everyone including my mother told me I had to get an abortion, told me not to ruin my entire life for this little dot, little string inside of me, that I wasn’t ready for a child, let alone all the responsibilities. When I saw the ultrasound of this full baby with hands and feet I knew I couldn’t do it. I told my mother I wasn’t getting the abortion. She was furious. She quickly moved out and left me completely alone. When the eviction notice came, I was left searching for a place to live. That is when I became accepted into HALO. I finally had a place of my own, a safe place for me and my child to call home.
From that day forward I promised myself and my daughter Zari, I would never make her feel the ways I felt as a child. I will always be there for her, I will always love her whether she is right or wrong, I will be there to protect her, to accept her, I will be there every step of the way. I will never ever leave her alone.
I would like to dedicate this quote to Zari. “No matter where you go, I will be by your side. Our unbreakable bond means we will be as one forever and face the world together.”
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