“Body of Missing ‘Cupcake’ McKinney found”, “Body of missing 5-year old Naveah Adams Sumter found”...
Then there came my timeline... floods of posts to “hold your children a little tighter” and “I don’t know what I would do if this was my child”. The very same day when these headlines appeared, I was walking to pick my son up from school, I saw 2 children no older than both Cupcake and Navaeh walking home ALONE from the bus stop to their home.
As I witnessed this, I couldn’t help but to feel my blood boil and my ears went red. Less than 72 hours, the nation fell devastated by the stories of these two little lives gone to soon... and in the most heinous way possible. Fresh off reading their stories and then witnessesing 2 preschoolers wander alone was very similar to the feeling of peeling the skin off your cuticle further and further back. It was painful and gut wrenching.
Yes, crime rates have gone down in the US since 1990s. However “crimes” have many categories, to a parent’s demise- human trafficking rates are rising 7%+ within the past 3 years in America. To capture a child into this vile circumstance, according to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), children are often taken heading to and from school- in many cases non-relative abductors are more likely to grab their victims off the very streets they are walking on. As a mother writing this blog, I have high hopes that many will share this... because this is a plea to please hold onto you children ALWAYS.
The family of the two sweet angels are mourning and grieving at the hallow sounds coming from their bedrooms, the cold clothes in the dressers that will never be worn again, and the silence of the floors where their little feet will no longer pitter-patter on. Their stories are not just headlines or a hot topic. What happened to these two girls will be a haunting to their perpetrators, a devastating tragedy that’s not simply washed away, and a essence of distress that the families will feel for a very long time.
There is no such thing as ever being “too-safe” for your children. At any given moment, the safety net that we take for granted (ie safe neighborhood, good people) can change with a blink of an eye. I cannot help as I read these stories to think “what happened within their last hours”. I pray no one reading this will ever have to wonder or think about the last hours of their child.
Please don’t let abduction stories that you read on facebook or see on the news be the reminder for you to hold your child(ren) tight. Do it always, and if you see something not right- never underestimate your God given supernatural powers of parental intuition. Call the police and stand up for your (OUR) children.
Living over 18 places has taught me that every child deserves a home. Being a survivor of child abuse has taught me that every child needs to be heard. Growing up in foster care has taught me to bloom where I am planted. Being a mother and a wife has taught me to be resilient. Operating a charity has taught me that people really do want to help. Providing homes for youth in care has taught me that bad days does not mean a bad life. Advocating for children has taught me to be brave.