by Danni Murphy
I was distracted by my three-year-old son and when I turned around my daughter was gone.
| My step-father is an idiot. He is an ex-alcoholic/drug addict who is heavily involved in several Catholic churches and the local Alcoholics Anonymous community. The drugs and alcohol must have seriously fried his brain because he still has really bad judgment and decision making skills, especially when it comes to people. He has brought so many sketchy people into my life. Thank God nothing serious happened. I get it, he's trying to help others who are struggling with the same battle he went through and maybe he is making a difference in some people's lives but he's been bringing these kinds of people into my life since I was four years old. Some of them even lived with us for a while. Because of my step-father's poor decision-making skills, I believe my daughter was almost stolen.
I had kids young. I was 20 when I had my son and 23 when I had my daughter. When my eldest had his first birthday my step-dad and mom retired. My mom had me when she was 40 so she was older when I started to have children. They decided to travel, going on mission trips with their church and moving to another state. They started working with this Catholic organization that specifically helps people who struggle with alcohol and drug addictions. The church gave them housing among their nuns and priests and paid them a small amount of money to buy food and necessities while they worked with them. That was where they met this nun. She worked with their organization and was introduced to them by another nun and priest they know. She frequently worked with them where they lived setting up retreats and meetings for addicts. At one point the nun had planned to go on a mission trip with my mother but something came up and it didn't happen.
One year around Christmas time my parents came home for the holiday and brought an older nun with them, she was probably in her 50's. My family got together and went to a Santa's Workshop which was extremely crowded. My mom, step-dad, their nun friend, and my sister's and their kids came too. My daughter was about 6 months old maybe less. She is a beautiful red headed baby. I have received many comments from family and strangers on how beautiful she and her red hair are and probably have a few other stories of people who don't understand personal boundaries regarding children. The nun was immediately taken by how beautiful my baby is and kept touching her, talking to her and wanting to hold her, it was immediately uncomfortable because this was my first time meeting her. She made some weird comments about how if she hadn't become a nun and had children she imagined they would look like just like my daughter because red hair runs in her family. Another small but interesting detail is my oldest sister who was there too with her three kids also had a baby girl who was only a couple months old at the time. I don't understand why the nun latched onto my daughter in particular. She wasn't acting this way with any of the other children that were with us.
My son who was a three-year-old at the time and has since been diagnosed with ADHD was a handful and running all over the place, getting into everything. It was so hard going places with both children and not their dad. He didn't come with us because he was most likely working. I was distracted because my son was getting into something he wasn't supposed to and I let go of the stroller for a second and the nun immediately took it. She told me she would give me a break and since she was a friend of my parents and my family was all around us I decided to let her push my daughter in the stroller. Another incident happened where my son was getting into something and I was distracted again for less than a minute and when I turned back around the nun and my daughter were gone.
I freaked out and my whole family was still around me no one knew where this nun went, she didn't say anything to anyone about leaving. My family and I immediately started looking everywhere, luckily there was so many of us we found the nun at the front of the building right near the exit. It was terrifying. When we found her she just said she was just taking my daughter on a stroll. I decided to leave right after that happened and so did everyone else in my family. Luckily I haven't seen her since. My parents do not work with that organization anymore. My mom doesn't think there was anything weird about the situation; that it was no big deal the nun took my daughter on a stroll and didn't think to tell anyone where she was going. I disagree.