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Regarding your story Sept. 5, 2010, about the baby found on Blackjack Road, I am the baby's mother. Details about the case are incorrect or missing in this article. My son is 25 months old. We had three locks on the door already. The first time he got out is the first time he figured the locks out. I was in the kitchen cleaning the table and saw him run by the window in the front yard. I got him before he even got into the neighbor's yard and that very night installed a door alarm and another lock on both doors; that made four locks. But two months later, he figured out the new lock and the alarm malfunctioned.
The newspaper didn't report that for the three previous days, everyone in my family including me had the flu. Even with a fever of 103, I was up every day cleaning up vomit and diarrhea from six people all over the house. I kept having to clean it off the furniture and bed sheets; all the while I was throwing up, had a high fever and terrible chills and body aches. Even still, I was taking care of everyone, up all night with a sick 2 year old, making soup for everyone, getting Gatorade and crackers, etc. Thursday night, I was up till 2:30 in the morning waiting for a friend to come pick up her child. I got up with the kids and got them onto the bus at 6:40 a.m. I went back to bed once they were on the bus and next thing I know the police are banging on my door.
I took the necessary precations the first time he got out, but he figured out how to get around them. That very day, we installed two more locks on the doors and replaced the batteries on the door alarm. So now, there are six locks on each door and a functioning door alarm. I caught him this morning trying to use a broom handle to open the chain and flip lock at the top of the door. Now as I type, my husband is in the process of installing a deadbolt that requires a key and slide bars on the windows and when we get paid, we're getting knob covers for all the doors in the house.
I am upset that the newspaper chose to print this story and vilify me and run a story filled with half truths and misinformation.
I love my children and spend all day, every day, loving them, teaching them, making sure they have the proper servings of fruits and vegetables, they brush their teeth three times a day, do their homework, their chores, have clean clothes, clean sheets, are each read to or with 30 minutes a day, I sing each child to sleep every night without fail, they are never exposed to media above G rated and my stict personal policy is that all four of them gets a minimum of 10 hugs and 10 kisses a day each and at least five compliments. I'm a good mother who works hard at being a good mother every minute of everyday; always at the expense of my own needs or wants. There is no way I could have forseen this situation. How many Moms out there know what it's like to be sick as a dog and still get up and take care of the family? To those of you who think that I should have my children taken away from me ... your words wound me deeply. I cry everytime I think about Friday; and I still think about it all day long. I have panic attacks all day and run to check the locks on all the doors and windows hundreds of times a day now. I should not lose my children because I was sick and exhasted and have an incredibly smart 25 month old. I'd also like to say thank you to the bus driver who found my son. It makes me sick to my stomach to think what could have happened to him if you hadn't found him. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving him. I have been thanking God for you every day since. Please print this letter so that my side of the events also is presented to the public. Juliet Henderson
Editor's note: The reporter who wrote the local hero story focusing on the bus driver made multiple efforts to contact the Henderson family by phone and by visiting their home prior to publication but was unsuccessful. The letter exceeds our typical length limits but the policy was waived in this circumstance.