Nearly 37 years ago, her birth mother placed her in a dumpster. Now, as a mother of three, she wants to thank the rescuers for the life they gave her.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 23, 2019. It has since been updated.
There have been many stories of newborn babies being dumped in various places, including dumpsters. A few of them have had the good fortune of being rescued by well-wishers and being raised by families that love them dearly. Now, there's a 36-year-old woman who is requesting the public's help in finding out who rescued her from a dumpster in Georgia, where she's been abandoned as a baby.
According to People, Amanda Jo Jones was a newborn baby when her birth parents wrapped her in a blanket and placed her in a dumpster near an Atlanta mall. Thankfully, Amanda was found by some good samaritans and was then brought up by a loving family.
Intensely grateful for the act of the people who rescued her, the now mother-of-three is searching for them. A week ago, she shared a picture of herself propping up a sign on her hip with her request on Facebook.
Along with this sign, she also put up a newspaper clipping regarding her rescue shortly after the incident as well as a baby photo.
Amanda was never kept in the dark about her abandonment. Though she only has limited information about the incident, her time in foster care and adoption, she told Yahoo! Lifestyle that Kay and Wayne, her parents who adopted her as a 3-month-old, were never secretive about it. “They were told ‘something about a dumpster,'" she said. “My mom read me a book called The Adopted Family, and she shared bits of information. I kept asking questions and by the time I was 6, I understood that my mom didn’t birth me.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC News), she was initially called “Jan Winter” by the nurses at Northside Hospital after she was brought in. Then, when she was placed in foster care, she was given the name Crystal Alicia Fairchild for a while. But then when she got to her forever home with Kay and Wayne of Palmetto, Georgia in April 1983, she was given the name Amanda Jo.
“Through my life, my mother, to tell me my story, referred back to that article [a Parade article that referenced her story],” she told ABC News. “Years ago I moved and lost that Parade magazine and it was the only thing I had left of my story.”
Retrieving her adoption records was also tough as they were sealed and difficult to uncover due to the fact that it was not stored electronically at the time. Added to that, not many other officials were able to provide details of her rescue. “Imagine if you were to walk into a library to get a book that you really wanted to read and the last chapter was missing,” she told AJC News. “That’s what my life has been like.”
In order to find out more about her past, she mentioned that she had some DNA tests done and was able to find out some of the identities of her relatives but she isn't invested in locating her birth parents. “I have done some DNA testing and have decided to respect the privacy of those involved who wish not to communicate with me,” she wrote on Facebook when the question arose.
But it wasn't until June 2019 when there were reports of another baby in Georgia was cruelly left in a plastic bag in the woods, that she really found the motivation to find out who rescued her as a baby. “I saw that baby on TV and wished I could adopt her,” Amanda told Yahoo! Lifestyle. “One less child would grow up feeling abandoned,” she said.
According to AJC News, her first step was to contact the Fulton County Police Department and try to obtain a report from 1983. She found some success due to Fulton County Police Lt. Scott McBride and was able to retrieve a file on microfilm. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to be gained from that as it wasn't very legible apart from a few words like “Braves blanket.”
A lot of her choices were exhausted by this point and so Amanda decided to turn to Facebook in the hopes that there would be someone who could help her find out more about her past.
“I really want them to know how thankful I am,” Amanda told Good Morning America. “The person who found me is the only person who knows exactly how I was found and I would really like to know exactly how I was found.”
“I want to thank whoever found me because they changed so many lives by being in the right place at the right time,” she added when talking to Yahoo! Lifestyle. “I would like a first-hand account of what happened because it would brighten my life. I’m hoping one person reads this and says, ‘Oh my gosh, there she is!'”
The married mother of three continued to emphasize her gratitude as the people who found her have made a huge difference in her life.
“I want to thank the people who found me, from the bottom of my hearts and my parents’ hearts,” Jones told AJC News. “Whoever found me could have turned their back and said, ‘I’m not getting involved.’ They didn’t and as a result, they changed so many lives.”