Amado — Sobriety Gave Me a New Lease on Life

I was literally one day away from death when my adoptive mother rescued me from The Children’s Hospital in Panama City, Panama. I was 9 months old and only weighed 9 pounds when she found me and nursed me back to health.

My birth family were Guaymi Indians, descendants of the Mayans, who were desperately poor. They were happy to give me a chance at a better life with my new American family.

When I was 3 years old, we moved to America. My American mother died three years later. After high school, I moved to New York, where I tried to make a life for myself. Unfortunately, I became addicted to alcohol and eventually ended up in an apartment full of rats, cockroaches—and crack heads.

No one should have to grow old alone and afraid.

The Next Chapter

Three years ago, I regained my sobriety. With the help of my sister and brother-in-law, I moved to Loudoun County.

It was extremely painful to move away from my life and friends in New York. Thanks to my family, I now live in a nice, fully furnished apartment. With the help of friends, family, the local food pantry, and a nonprofit health center, I am rebuilding my life and my spirit. The center is both convenient and helpful. It is so close that I can walk to my doctor’s and dentist’s appointments.

I am very happy now, but that’s a weird feeling for me. I am proud that I made it through the difficult times. My home is safe and comfortable. My sister and I have reconnected, and I am making new friends. It’s a whole new chapter of my life, and I am so grateful. My family and these nonprofits have helped to End the Need.