Can't help wondering... what you're wondering about? I'm wondering about pictures that don't tell the whole story. Pictures with missing pieces. Pictures that create more confusion than clarity. Pictures that seem really out of focus. Pictures that need far more than a thousand words to make any sense of them.
SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
The Picture as known at this time: 44 year old man turns 6 month old baby girl over to firehouse; claims baby abandoned in his cab by unknown man. Man and his 21 year-old girlfriend, who is actually the baby's aunt, are charged with criminal falsification; each can face year in jail. Man who "abandoned" baby in cab is allegedly the baby's 27 year old father. Baby girl, now called Baby Lourdes was placed in foster home. A 23 year old bail bondsman, another friend of the family, brought the 14 year old mother to the police because she was "depressed, scared, crying…loved her daughter…wanted to be with her."
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE?
The mother is a child herself, probably pregnant at 13 by a 26-year-old man. Statutory rape, at least, isn't it? What's wrong with that picture? Child Abuse and neglect by how many? Will any of them be charged?
The Baby-mommy gave birth to Baby Lourdes. She didn't have an abortion. She didn't let the Baby Lourdes drown in a toilette somewhere. She didn't smother Baby Lourdes and hide the evidence. Who knew of the pregnancy and birth? Parents? Doctor? Nurse? Hospital? Or did she have it home, alone? Who knew of Baby Lourdes existence the last six months and did nothing? Where was the help for that child and her child? What's wrong with that picture? Child abuse and neglect by how many? Will any of them be charged?
A concerned society offers a "Safe Haven" in this state for parents who can't care for a child to leave the child at specified places "without risk of prosecution," but only until the baby is 5 days old. Police haven't decided yet whether to charge this Baby-mommy… with what? Did that same concerned society fund effective life-education in schools, before puberty, including information about birth control, Safe Haven laws, other options for unintended mental and physical consequences of unprotected sex for children, services available for Baby-mommy and Baby Lourdes? How much public education like readily obvious and available ads, brochures, workshops, etc. exist, and not just as a good idea for some organization that lacks funds to pay for or workers to distribute stacks of materials gathering dust on back room shelves. What's wrong with that picture? Child abuse and neglect by how many? Will any of them be charged?
Whatever your feelings about all the aspects of this story, known and yet to be known, whether or not you agree with the plan and actions these people came up with, no matter your beliefs that most of them were old enough to know better, regardless of your beliefs about how things should have been/could have been/would have been if you were involved, what alternatives would you prefer these people with all their human limitations had chosen in this moment of time for Baby Lourdes? Abandon the baby, dead or alive, wrapped in plastic and stuffed somewhere? Far too often that is the option chosen by desperate people. Obviously those involved were not willing to see that as a solution to what they apparently perceived as a problem they had to solve. For whatever reasons, they chose to give Baby Lourdes a chance at life, apparently the best chance they could imagine for her. What's wrong with that picture? Child abuse and neglect by how many? Will any of them be charged?
Where is the sense in charging those who gave Baby Lourdes that chance? Why send them to jail? So others won't do what these people did? And then what? Desperate people make desperate choices…and none of those choices bode well for any babies and children involved. Why not assign a period of public service working in place like Ronald McDonald's house as a volunteer, rocking dying babies in local hospitals, doing anything that makes life better for the millions of children suffering today. What's wrong with that picture? Child abuse and neglect by how many? Will any of them be charged? Child abuse and neglect by how many? Will any of them be charged?
Judgment is so easy folks, and so useless. Don't kid yourself that however you see this picture, you aren't missing something still seriously wrong with it. The same might be true of many child abuse/neglect stories...
A Child is Waiting,
Take care...be aware,