In 1978, Mary and her husband, Clement, became foster parents after suffering numerous miscarriages and a stillborn child. When 2-year-old Tamisha came to live with the couple, she healed their hearts and lit up their lives. "I just fell in love with her," Mary says. "She was mine. I took care of her like any mom would, and she called me Mommy." The family lived happily for five years—and expanded when Mary gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Mary says she wanted to adopt Tamisha. "We wanted to but we weren't able to," she says. "At the time we were always under the impression that [social services] was going to place her back with her biological mother."
Then, Mary received the shock of her life. Social services told her 7-year-old Tamisha had been adopted by another family. Tamisha was forced to leave the only home she could remember. "They took her out to the car. She was crying, and they told me to wait in the house," Mary says. "If I'd have went out there, I would have just snatched her back. It was a date I'll always remember, and I've carried this many years because I felt like I didn't get a chance to explain anything to her."
Later, Mary says she tried contact Tamisha. "I called social service on a couple of occasions, and they told me she was doing fine," she says. "But they said that I could not speak with her."
Mary hopes Troy can help her deliver one message to Tamisha: "I just want her to know that I loved her from the day she left my house and I love her today."