On behalf of our 135 employees and dedicated Mobius Inc. Board of Directors, I am pleased to share the story of Amrita, a longtime recipient of our services and an individual for which we are proud to be building a “home” at the Chandler House on Academy Hill Road in Newcastle. We strive to provide a sense of home that balances the inner self, desires, and hopes with the outer self and its needs and abilities.
Executive Director, Mobius Inc.
“Follow my voice. I’m right here.”
All is quiet, except for the sound of splashing and delightful giggles. From an orphanage in Calcutta, India, alone in her world of darkness, to home in Boothbay, Maine, Amrita Plante’s life would change forever, as would a woman’s life on a journey of self-discovery — this woman who traveled to India, inspired by a book on the life of Mother Teresa, this woman who would become “Mom.”
From November 1997 to May 1998, Serine Plante found herself in Calcutta, at Mother Teresa’s orphanage, wanting to work with underprivileged children. It was here she met 2-year-old Amrita, a toddler without sight and with a hearing impairment.
“I noticed her right away,” said Serine. “She was in a crib when I first saw her and I fell in love. She only weighed about 10 pounds. She was so tiny.”
Eventually, Serine began holding Amrita and realized that she could not leave her there. She returned to the U.S., seeking permission to adopt her, and thus began the long process to bring Amrita home to Maine. That following January, in 1999, she went back to India, and waited four long months to adopt Amrita, finally receiving permission on May 13, 1999, from the New Delhi court to bring Amrita to the USA. Serine officially adopted Amrita on July 25, 1999.
Once home in Boothbay, Amrita attended the Perkins School for the Blind, in Waltham, Mass., for the next 13 years. During those years, Amrita received case management and children’s services from Mobius Inc. in Damariscotta. Upon graduation in June 12, 2015, it was time for Amrita to come home to Boothbay and reconnect with the Mobius community.
One of Amrita’s favorite activities is swimming at the Boothbay Region YMCA pool. Heidi Kreft, the direct support professional who supports her during this activity, recalls one of the first times she was in the pool with Amrita, then 21. Amrita would cling to her and grab her hair, but after a while she noticed she “tilted her head to the side, putting her ear and part of her face into the water.
“Little by little, inch by inch, I would bring her farther into the water, first to her chin, then her nose, bringing her back up. She would clap her hands for more,” Heidi said.
Eventually, Heidi would be able to dunk Amrita under for longer periods, bringing her back up, which would be followed by laughter and clapping.
Amrita, now 23, has started to become braver, letting go of her grip on Heidi, and from a few feet away will swim to her. “When all is quiet, we can move across the whole pool as she follows my voice,” Heidi said.
The reunion at the end of the pool, much like the one with her mother in Calcutta and the most recent reconnection with her Mobius community, is a joyous one.
(“The Mobius Strip” represents our inner gifts and our outer selves working seamlessly together, creating a whole being. Mobius Inc. is located at 319 Main St., Damariscotta and online at mobiusinc.org.)