by Max Brantley
Remember the mother charged with endangerment after a carjacker stole her SUV, with a child strapped in a safety seat, when she dashed into the Children's House Montessori School on Lee Avenue to pick up another foster child? The car and unharmed child were found a few blocks away. She's lost custody of both foster children. A friend of hers thinks an injustice has been done and has sent me a letter on the subject. Read on and see what you think.
UPDATE: Added on the jump is another letter in defense of the mother.
LETTER TO THE TIMES
This is a matter that concerns the treatment of a mother and her two children by the State of Arkansas. Please, for the sake of this family, do not delay in giving this your immediate attention.
In 2005 Miriam Ashley Moore became the foster mother of Cheyene when she was 11 months old. Cheyene was the child of a cousin who had lost custody due to drug charges and child abuse. In 2008, Ashley was granted permanent custody of Cheyene.
Two years later, foster care called Ashley and asked if she would please provide emergency foster care to Kaiden. His mother was in prison. She picked him up from the hospital when he was a day old. They never moved him from her home. After a year, his birth mother’s rights were severed. Ashley has been anxiously and patiently waiting to adopt him since that time. Ashley has never been in trouble with the law. She is not cohabitating. She does not use drugs or alcohol. She takes excellent care of her two children. She is exactly what our foster system in asking for.
At 4:45 on a Monday, Ashley pulled into the courtyard of Cheyene’s daycare on a cold day and noticed that Kaiden was asleep, secured in his car seat in the backseat of her car. She put the car in park, ran in the door of the center, and got her 4 year old. All in under 60 seconds. While she was out of the car, a man jumped in and drove off with Kaiden inside. The car was subsequently abandoned a few blocks away and found 90 minutes later with Kaiden unharmed. How many parents have run in to pay for gas, returned the grocery cart, or dropped off the cleaning? Isn’t having your child kidnapped enough of a consequence? We have all learned from her mistake.
Ashley was charged with felony endangerment of a child and has never been allowed to see Kaiden again. She has been told that she will most likely lose custody of both children. This is a ridiculous overreaction Laws are not black and white. Unnecessarily removing children from a loving environment is abusive. These are the decisions that discourage good individuals from becoming foster parents and bring a deep sadness to us all.
As the adoptive mother of three children, I am outraged by this action. No one, parent or child, genetic, fostered or adopted, should ever loose their family due to this type of incident. It implies that those making decisions regarding our foster children have lost touch with common sense and compassion. Who benefits from this type of action? The children? The citizens of Arkansas? The mother?
Please do your part to let the public know the whole story and help this family get reunited.
LETTER TO THE TIMES AND OTHERS
I am writing regarding the incident that happened on January 12, 2009 involving Miriam Ashley Moore and her son. At 4:45 pm Ms. Moore went to pick up her daughter at the Montessori School on Lee Ave. in Little Rock. The local news totally blew this out of proportion. The car was not parked on the street, it was parked in the line where all the parents stop (in the courtyard) to leave their cars to run in to retrieve their child (children). As she did this a “person” decided to take it upon him/herself to steal her car apparently not realizing the child was still inside. As you know, the child and the car were later found and thank the dear Lord the child was safe.
My point; is we all make mistakes or have a lack on judgment at one time or another. Normally, it doesn’t have the consequence this one had, but to remove her child (and possibly children) is a horrendous mistake on the part of the state of Arkansas. Every single parent at one time or another makes mistakes. Not too long ago I witnessed a child falling out of a grocery cart, banging his head on the floor at Kroger’s, the basket came down with him and the mother was nowhere to be found! The customers including (myself) and the employees rushed to the child to attend to him. The mother finally showed up seemingly not with a care in the world. There are so many people in the world such as this mother at Kroger’s who don’t seem to care in the slightest bit, but Ms. Moore does care! Here is a woman willing to not only care for children who are not biologically hers but she has adopted her now daughter whom she loves dearly. She has had her (foster) son Kaiden since birth and was in the process of adopting him. It is quite obvious she that she couldn’t love these children anymore than she could love any she would have given birth to. To punish her for the rest of her life is horrific for herself, her daughter and her son. Do you not believe she will punish herself for the rest of her life for this innocent mistake? This is the only mother these children know. I believe it is outrageous that the state of Arkansas is not only charging her with a felony but taking her child away? Are the people at Department of Human Services (DHS) trying to score “brownie” points because if they are they are going about this entirely the wrong way. DHS already has a horrible reputation and to handle this case the way they are handing it is ludicrous and embarrassing for the state of Arkansas. Please step in and do your part to reunite this family. Thank you.
P.S. It’s odd we haven’t heard if the Police are trying to locate this person who kidnapped and stole her car but we certainly are hearing about what a horrible mother this lovely lady is. Seems to me their priorities are backwards doesn’t it?
Melissa "Lisa" Cable