Dymond in the rough proves to be a gem for adoptive family pi news williamsondailynews.com grade 9 electricity unit review

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"My mom left us for a year and went to North Carolina to get away from her kids and party," she said. "At that time, it was the most normal year I had had up to that point. She did come back and pick us up. It was great for that year because we got to play and not worry about all of this other stuff."

"My stepdad started sexually abusing me at that time," she said. "I was 6. It was always very angry, very intimate and it lasted until I was about 14. It went on three times a day, every day and if I didn’t do it I would be thrown, hit or torn down mentally and I felt that I had to."

"She was very violent towards me," she said. "We would get into fist fights. She started kicking my brother one day because she was angry that she couldn’t go out and party. He has three scars on his forehead from it. I’m glad he doesn’t remember it because it’s easier to get past it."

"Looking back, that was the only source of love that I knew," she said. "I figured I would have friends around all the time or go spend the night with them and it wouldn’t happen. It didn’t work and it became abusive and sometimes I wasn’t allowed outside. I felt I was stuck and I figured that if I was drunk or high, I’d be numb and not feel it."

After a motorcycle accident with her stepfather left him with major injuries and her with just a sprained wrist, she came back to Charleston. Her mother had moved into a new place and Dymond hoped for a fresh start. She moved back and her stepfather was in tow.

"It was an old futon frame and I piled bags of dirty socks on top of that," she said. "I didn’t have any friends at school or anyone to go to. I moved around so much, I didn’t know how to make friends. I never had good grades. Every time I moved, I was in a different (school) system."

"I lived with this wonderful woman and she took really good care of me for about a year," she said. "I was moved again because the judge said that I needed to be somewhere where I could have the opportunity to be adopted. I didn’t want to be adopted."

"At the end of the school year, my CPS worker called and said that someone in Boone County wanted to adopt me," Dymond said. "I was angry about it at this time. I didn’t want to be adopted. I was tired of moving. She told me that it was someone in Boone County that I used to go to church with. Little did I know, it was the mommy that I have now and her amazing family."

"I get this call and I’m told that the woman who wants to adopt me is Toni Mullins," Dymond said. "I loved Boone County when I was here before and I had a great support system. I felt like I was going home. She was going to the classes and giving up work days just so she could adopt me and that spoke to me. She jumped through every hoop that she had to.

"At the end of June that year, I got the call from her (Toni) and she told me that it was time to come home today. I started crying and I screamed and jumped up and tripped and ran down stairs and tripped some more. My foster mom was crying, but she was happy for me. I knew that not many teenagers get this opportunity. Nobody wants to adopt a teenager."

Dymond has written a book about her life. She hopes to see it published one day. She said the process felt good to her. She could finally let it all out and let it all go. The book is very detailed and includes the best and the worst of her 18 years.

"I always traveled light because when it was time to move, I didn’t always have time to pack my stuff," she said. "The flight bag has everything you need. I’m including a journal because it is a healthy way to express yourself. Talking to the book felt amazing to me. I don’t care if they are 17 or 18. There will be a toy or deck of cards or even a teddy bear in there."

Edward Smith is a social studies teacher at Scott High School. He and his wife make soaps of various fragrances and they have been contributing their homemade soaps to the flight bags and giving proceeds from the soaps they sell to the cause. So far, they’ve raised $140.

"When Dymond first got here at school, you could tell that there was something very special about her," said Smith. "There was just something there. I really wanted to help her and I began to realize what a story there was. She is a wonderful kid. We’ve been trying to help her find a good editor to work on her book. It could be a good young adult story but it has a very real, adult theme to it. She is very talented and when I read her story, I cried."

"She is a very inspirational young lady," he said. "She has overcome so many obstacles in her life. Many people will accept mediocrity or failure because of those obstacles and she has not done that. She is going to graduate and she is showing initiative with Foster Flight and is selfless and aware of what these kids are going through because she has been there herself. We’re all very proud of her."

"I think initially, we met her when she was attending church and the situation changed when she moved to another foster family," Tom said. "All of us really missed her and the church and the youth group feared that we’d never see her again. It really got us thinking and Toni approached me with the idea."