Tag Archives: children

Missing.

I’ve been somewhat following the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway from Westminster, Colorado. When I saw the news a body had been found but not identified I had the sinking feeling it was her. There were tons of comments on a Facebook page along the lines of “oh praying it’s not her” etc and I’m sitting here thinking well, even if it isn’t her – it’s still someone!

My senior year of college I was offered a job in Denver and took a crazy road trip with my parents there to interview and check the place out. The apartment that I found was in Westminster and it was such a pretty area. Ultimately, I was talked out of that great journey but that’s a post for another day.

Prior to coming to the adoption side of CPS, I worked with kids still in the home with their biological family. I saw a lot of neglect and occasionally horrific abuse. And more often than I like to recall – abuse or neglect that ended in the death of a child.

A child dying is terrible no matter what the circumstance. But a child ripped away at the hands of a predator makes me sick. I think as a country – we’ve seen so many cases of parents killing kids, or step-parents, or mom’s overnight friend or whatever being responsible that we’ve become complacent that crazy people are still out there. There’s definitely a chance that the perpetrator is someone she knew but at this point it could have been a total stranger.  I’ve seen several comments and articles that there has been a man attempting to lure children in the area for awhile.

Bad things can and do happen. Any parent that is naive to this needs to wake up. Stories like this make me sick to my stomach and make me think that I’ll never let Katelyn more than a few feet away from me until she’s 50. Stranger danger needs to be taught to kids as early as possible. There’s got to be a way to teach your kids to be safe while not terrifying them of life.

I don’t know how or when I’ll find that balance but I pray that I am able. I don’t want to be a “helicopter” mom and Katelyn to never learn independence but I will also ensure her safety as much as I possibly can, for as long as she’ll let me.

And I should clarify I am in no way blaming her mother in this as I’ve seen others do. She will live with an unimaginable horror for the rest of her life and I won’t add to that. I truly hope this baby girl didn’t suffer for very long. This has got to stop. We shouldn’t be burying babies because monsters walk among us. We need to step it up. Report suspicious people, watch each other’s children. Ensure children who are too young to protect themselves are protected.

If there’s one thing that gets me going it is child abuse. And that’s probably why I do what I do. And the death of a child at the hands of a human is inexcusable. Period.

I hope they find the person(s) responsible quickly. I fear that if they don’t this neighborhood will forever be fearful. But what I do know is that what I’ve seen the past few days is that this community has come together in the most beautiful, supportive way possible and had I decided to move there – I would have been proud to call it home.

Rest in peace Jessica. May your death not be in vain.

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Birthday letter to my (not so) Little.

Katelyn Anne,

Tomorrow you will be 4 years old. 4 years ago tonight I was pacing our house nervously staring at my bulging baby belly trying not to panic about my looming C-section. I was technically supposed to be on bed rest but at that point I just couldn’t stay still. I remember sleeping about 2 hours that night because I was so excited to meet you. I was worried about the surgery, I was worried about myself, but most of all I was worried that my body was no longer a safe place for you. I couldn’t believe it was finally time to meet you. And I have to admit I was a little excited that your very large baby head would no longer be stuck in my ribs.

It was a long horribly scheduled morning with more waiting and eventually panicking nurses because my blood pressure was so high they thought I was going to have a stroke.

And it was finally time. Your dad and I walked down the hall and close behind were Mimi, Papa and Grandpa Tom and Grandma Susan. Everyone was so anxious and ready to meet you.

Daddy didn’t get to go back with me while they got me ready for the surgery and I think that was the scariest few minutes of my life. They got me ready and had me on the table and I told the anesthesiologist I thought I was feeling nauseated and then they flipped me over and it was pretty much a blur.

Daddy came in and sat with me. Your dad swore he would not look (he has a weak stomach sometimes as you now know…) and I looked up and could see the reflection of my prepped belly in the lights above me so I told Daddy to make me look at him. Once they got started, Daddy lost his mind and stood up to watch.

Daddy saw the whole thing. Surprisingly he was not that traumatized. Pretty soon my doctor was saying “big butt!” and I was warned I would feel some pain when they lifted my ribs and you were out. And you cried. And I cried.

I barely got to see your nose before they made you and Daddy leave. You were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. So much more beautiful than I had ever pictured you would be.

And in that second I saw your nose I knew I was more in love with you than any person or thing that I’ve ever loved.

And then I didn’t see you again for almost 8 hours.

The next time we met, it was love.

And it’s never stopped.

Every day you’ve done something that’s made me smile and laugh. You are one of the most intelligent kids I’ve ever met (and that’s not even me being biased!) You are funny, you are strong willed and I cannot wait to watch you grow up to be the amazing woman I know you will be.

I’ve tried to enjoy every day, every milestone because I know life moves so fast. And to think Mommy never believed people when they said how fast children grew up until I had you.

It’s bittersweet for me because you’ll probably be my only little and I think that’s made me selfish sometimes because I just don’t want you to grow up too fast.

I want you to run and play and be captivated by rain, and stars, and everything you think is magical right now. Pretty soon you’ll be old enough to think that I’m not silly anymore and I think that’s probably when I’ll know I’ve done a good job. You are such an amazing child (I can’t say toddler anymore!) and I am so, so proud of you.

And I can’t wait to see all of the amazing things you will learn and do now that you’re 4!

Happy Birthday my not so little anymore.

 

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