Amber was a “church bus kid.” She remembers dressing herself in the best clothes she had – a pull-over shirt, jeans and sneakers. The finishing touch every Sunday was always a beautiful smile. She stood at the curb and waited for the old, yellow school bus the neighborhood church used for their bus ministry. Going to church was a highlight of her week. She loved being with the other children. She loved the Bible stories. It was a respite from her home life.
Amber is all grown up now, and is a single mom. Her five-year-old daughter Isabella flits from room to room. The couple has found a safe place at Moody Home near Franklin.
“When I first walked into Moody Home, I thought wow!” Amber remembers. “We had our own rooms. It was so clean and no smell of cigarettes. The house is so big.”
Amber learned she was pregnant near the end of her junior year of high school. “I was scared. I didn’t know what I would do.”
It was more hopeful when her mom and brother rallied and the A-B student continued her education. She had Isabella only months before she graduated with honors.
Amber began attending a community-based adolescent parenting program and the teacher became an advocate for the new mom.
“I didn’t have anything else to keep me from attending,” she says. “Some of the girls never showed up, but it was helpful. I learned first aid and infant CPR. They taught me things that helped Isabella.”
The teacher felt the time had come for Amber to move on and she referred Amber to Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) Family Care program. After a few phone calls and completing the written application, Amber had a very positive interview. “I accepted as soon as they offered me a place at Moody Home.”
Amber’s hometown is not big, but major shopping malls and attractions are only a short drive away. So, the Family Care home near Franklin seemed remote. “I thought we were lost,” Amber laughs. “I had been to tourist spots in the mountains, but I’d never been off the main highways.”
Amber says her first days were hectic as she was connected to services that could help her
and Isabella. Signing up at the community college also became a priority for her. “I wanted a different life from what I had known,” she says. “I want more for Isabella and I knew getting an education was the way to make things happen.”
Amber is on schedule to get her associate degree next May. She plans on entering estern Carolina University to further her education and become a teacher. She works part time and has bought a car. On New Year’s Day, she became engaged.
“I remember those days when I was a ‘bus kid,’" she says. “Even though there have been times when I couldn’t see or feel God in my life, I now know He has always been there. God was important to me as a kid and He is important to me today.”
Amber has turned to God and has been saved. She is making plans to be baptized. She says, “I had no future. There was no future for Isabella. Now, we have hope and a future.”