A former Williams Lake resident is hoping to reconnect with her firstborn son, who she believes was adopted in 100 Mile House just over 20 years ago.
Amanda Marty lives in Edmonton. In the ’90s, her father got a job at the Nenqayni Treatment Centre and she moved with him to Williams Lake, where she stayed for about nine years.
The centre is on the Soda Creek Reserve and offers cultural activities as well as services for youth and elders, and families dealing with drugs and alcohol.
While in Williams Lake, Marty found herself in an abusive relationship, and started using drugs and alcohol herself to cope. She got pregnant at 17 and the boy was taken by Child Protection Services about a year after she gave birth.”
“He was taken from me because I was involved in an abusive relationship,” Marty told the Free Press. “The guy was on all sorts of pills. I tried to fight back, [but] I didn’t have enough support systems in Williams Lake.
“I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. I went to a dark place and started drinking heavily.”
Marty recently contacted the Free Press because she has been sober for three years now and is trying to locate her son.
“Every day is a battle to be sober,” she said, adding that she has created a stable home for herself and her two children –half-siblings of her firstborn.
She is a single parent and unemployed, and is participating in a women’s program at the Candora Society in Edmonton where she is receiving resume and interview skills training.
She said she is working hard to raise her two children, ages 10 and 14, properly.
“They go to school every day. I make sure they go to school,” she said. “I have changed a lot.”
It was a family member who heard that her son, who would be 21 years old now, may be in 100 Mile House.
She believes she knows his name, but the Free Press is withholding his name to protect his privacy.
“I just want to know if he’s alive and well and if he thinks of me as much as I have been thinking about him all my life,” Marty said. “I just want to have that closure and know that he’s OK.”
She said she understands he may not want to have a relationship with her.
“I know he may be mad and curious as to why I left. I just wanted him to have the best life I could give him because I was young and I was stupid.
“I just hope that we can talk and have some kind of connection again, and just see where things go from there.”
If her son reads this and wants to contact her, he can do so by phone at 780-477-0733 or 780-203-7205, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m not really expecting anything big,” she said. “I just want to say that I’m sorry to him. I want to say that I love him still and I think about it every day.”
A representative of the Adoptive Families Association of BC told the Free Press that adoptive parents, birth parents and relatives of an adopted child who are interested in a reunion can contact the association for more information, or the Forget Me Not Family Society, which helps plan adoption reunions.