I remember growing up where it was safe. Bad things still happened but we could actually walk to school without the general fear of something happening. The kids could be home alone while our parents worked and it wasn’t cause for concern. We could leave the doors unlocked because we didn’t have the fear of a crazy person coming in. Our worst worries were how to get up and down the steep hill in the snow while delivering papers, being freaked out by giant Komodo Dragons, or who’d be the first one out to check the mail. Those were my childhood days. Free of concern and worry.

These days there is no such thing. These days you need to watch your children while they play five feet away from you. You need to watch your child climb the bus to school and climb back down after school. You need to educate your children about stranger danger and gun violence. Parents are extremely more protective because of the scary actions of today’s world. With school shootings, sex trafficking, kidnappings and domestic violence the children of today need to face the reality of the intense possibility of something bad happening as they turn the corner.

I’m writing this to you because this morning I was wakened by a startling text of the possibility of my niece being kidnapped. It’s okay though. She is safe. At first, the thought of her being kidnapped was scary. But, what is of most concern is the events of today that explained what has happened leading up to her being taken from her father and the reactions of my family.

I’m a huge family person. My family means everything to me. However, I still believe in what is right and wrong. Blood or not. I’m deeply saddened on how things happened with this poor girl. She didn’t deserve the way she was living. She doesn’t deserve the difficulties of that type of life. But, at that same time, she doesn’t deserve what is to come next. A child doesn’t deserve domestic issues with their parents to become public. A child doesn’t deserve to be thrown into the middle of a dispute for custody as bad as this will turn out. Yes, this girl is as safe as she can be where she was taken. But, I believe in understanding the circumstances and the consequences of an action. My family members did not think of those consequences. This girl could suffer because of the lack of maturity in my family.

I listened to conversations going on about what had taken place. I am embarrassed to be a part of this family the way they laughed at “winning” and having the young girl in their home. I am disappointed with my family for exclaiming “good for him” in regards to the way the father lost his daughter. Fifteen minutes of fame? Yes, they are happy to have their faces plastered all over social media because they “kidnapped” this girl. How can you be so insensitive to the situation? Maybe it was in the best interest of the child, but it should have been done the right way to protect this child from so much pain.

I’ll probably get a lot of heat from my family for this. But, I’m okay with it. Y’all were wrong. Dead wrong. I understand you wanted to protect the child. I understand you wanted to have her live a life that she deserves. I understand you love her. But, the consequences should have been thought out. We are the adults in this child’s life and we just proved we have a lot to grow up on.

To you my dear niece, may you be protected from the fight between your parents. May God protect you from the hurt and pain that is caused in custody cases such as you may face. May God keep you safe and comforted. And mostly, may you be given favor with all those who will touch your case to ensure you are given to the best person that has your best interest in mind. xoxo