I haven’t been able to talk about this for a few years except to elude to things because there was always this fear that the woman who gave birth to my niece would find a loop hole and take her away from my parents. Today, however, I read an article about how she killed her infant son yesterday and that she is going away for a very – very long time and so with a breath of angry air am I capable of telling Gabby’s story. The story we can only pray she may one day be able to not only understand and find forgiveness for, but one we can only pray with our hearts that she can even speak.
My niece was born a little over two years ago this past September. She is beautiful, this photo is from her first birthday party where my whole family came to see her turn 1 – it was a monumental event. Here she is safe in my Mother and Step-Father’s care, but only months before she was in transition with a foster family because she was taken away from her Mother Jamie M. McAdams. This woman tortured her. Tortured her since the day she was born in ways that even though I want to scream out in my fingers to get people to understand, I still cannot bring myself to say. She came into our arms almost a year old, unable to walk, unable to see clearly, unable to eat food, her muscles having been those of an infant from never being taken out to be held from a car-seat through the months of her birth until this time. A car-seat, much like the one her infant half-brother died in and was covered with: “so she wouldn’t have to look at ‘it'”.
She came to us so hurt and so broken and my Mother and my Step-Father, thank god for them, fought for months through DFS politics, sacrificing their positions at their jobs, sacrificing their lives and thousands upon thousands of dollars to just take her home and keep her safe away from this person. It took everything they had in them because Tennessee, even with two reports of abuse (on her and her older half brother) they were still not going to do anything. My parents even went as far as taking her other child in, even though he is no relation or blood to us, until he threatened to kill his sister and tried a few times and after destroying much (and almost my Mother’s sanity) they put him back in foster care.
So here we are. Gabby has been diagnosed with severe autism on top of her disabilities. She is two and she is walking and running. She’s come very far from that day a little over a year ago when my Mother and Step-Father drove a thousand miles to save her. And my Mother calls me today, tears through words on a voice-mail, to tell me that her Mother killed her half infant brother.
I am so angry. Angry to tears. Angry at the politics, at her family for knowing all that she has done to her previous children and allowing her into their homes. Angry at the system for letting them keep him even though there are records of paper so high of her previous accounts of assault and abuse that it would make your heart crumble. Angry that another child had to die because they put him back, put him back into the care of a person they had to have known was capable of it. I am angry!
I, like many others think, thank god that Gabby is with us. Thank god we can scream out what happened to her now and stand up for what is owed to her – the break of silence. Thank god my parents have custody and can order safe guards around her for the rest of her life from this disgusting family that allowed this to happen. But I look at these photos of this angel that I call my princess and I think it’s not over is it? It’s not over. One day, many years from now if she gains the competence to understand, we will have to tell her the story. We will have to tell her what happened to her, what happened to her older brother, what happened to her younger brother and why her Father – through all of this – turned away.
I want to say I’m sorry, because when my Mother first came to me about whether or not to go after her I questioned it. I thought, my parents are getting older in age and they have health problems, they deserve to live their lives out without all this – she’s a baby, she’ll find a home somewhere. And now I know she wouldn’t have, because in the months following her Mother tried to get her back and she probably would have and I probably would have been reading a very different article. My Mother and Step-Father have very large hearts and somehow I think all that long time ago when the phone call came that began all this, I think those unconditional hearts knew something that my rational heart did not.
Gabby thinks I am a princess, from her stories. She smiles when she sees a book of the Disney princesses because she thinks it’s me, but princesses don’t save people though. We hold on. We wait. And we hope. My parents saved her from the evil of the world and I hope that inhuman evil stays locked away for the rest of her life.
And if her Mother’s family stumbles upon this or someone from the bureaucratic b/s that put that poor infant back into the arms of a dangerous and horribly disturbed person, you all have your own conscious to deal with and the knowledge of what you let happen. My niece lives everyday with the choices of people turning away from her, but thank god she lives. Thank god for that.