Baby with toy bunny, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/floridamemory/6520748155/, Author Florida Memory (PD)

WARNING: Graphic Images

  • Joseph Milano and Lauren Semanyk, a Maryland couple, have been charged with third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of their 10 month old daughter [1].   Other charges pending include possession of drug paraphernalia.  The couple waited over 6 hours to report that the baby had ingested fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50-100 times more powerful than morphine.  They described Angelina to emergency personnel as having drowned during a bath.
  • A 16 month old Pennsylvania toddler is in guarded condition after having chewed on a discarded baggie that held heroin [2].  Narcan saved both the baby’s life and his mother’s, both found unconscious.  A search at the home turned up a dozen empty heroin bags.  The mother is expected to be charged.
  • Antonio Floyd and Shantanice Barksdale, a Michigan couple, have been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter in the death of their 18 month old daughter [3].  The toddler, Ava, died after ingesting some 15 times the amount of fentanyl commonly seen in overdose deaths.  Drug residue, baggies, scales, herb grinders, and guns were found in the couple’s home.  They have two other children.

We mull over baby names.  We paint our nurseries pink and blue; decorate them with bunnies or friendly cartoon characters.  We buy sound machines, cashmere receiving blankets, teddy bears 3’ tall, and designer baby clothes.

Amid all the excitement, we overlook only one thing in preparing for the birth of a child.  And that is the very thing a child needs most:  loving and responsible parents, capable of putting their child’s needs first.

Not all parents, of course, welcome the birth of a child.  And not all have equal resources.  But children come into this world, welcome or not.  At that point, their needs must be paramount.  They are precious and vulnerable.

This nation is experiencing an opioid crisis, and the youngest members of our society are on the front lines.  Sadly, bunnies are no defense.

[1]  Daily Times, “Upper Darby mom, dad charged in fentanyl death of 10-month old” by Kevin Tustin, 12/7/18, https://www.delcotimes.com/news/upper-darby-mom-dad-charged-in-fentanyl-death-of-/article_591d98b2-f973-11e8-b130-5b5d758e1a14.html.

[2]  Fox 8 News/Cleveland, “Toddler chewed heroin baggie while mother overdosed, police say” by Tribune Media Wire, 2/6/19, https://fox8.com/2019/02/06/toddler-chewed-heroin-baggie-while-mother-overdosed-police-say/.

[3]  Washington Post, “An overdose victim had more fentanyl in her than officials had ever seen. She was 18 months old” by Kristine Phillips, 1/15/19, https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2019/01/15/an-overdose-victim-had-more-fentanyl-her-than-officials-had-ever-seen-she-was-months-old/?utm_term=.453a42ae70da.



Filed under Child Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse

19 responses to “Bunnies

  1. My heart broke this week because of the soullessness of New York and Virginia.

  2. Thank you, Anna, for this sobering reminder.

    • I try not to focus on the negative. But we need reminding of the urgent need that surrounds us. This is a broken world. We are Christ’s hands and feet. It is important that we reach out, and do the work He would have us do to mend wounds.

  3. This is shocking. Some people should not be allowed to have children they are really unfit.

  4. I once attended a seminar Anna where law enforcement officers gave a presentation on how bad the opioid crisis was in Montgomery county, Ohio. It was so bad that the national news networks came to see for themselves. At any rate, they showed us a picture of a young man and young lady passed out and nearly dead in the front seat of their car. In the back seat was a little boy, trying to get his parents to wake up. I will never forget that haunting photo.

    There is something horribly wrong when in the richest nation on earth people are still not satisfied with their lives, and thus seek joy,happiness, euphoria, or some other type of “high” from these drugs. How empty inside one must be to destroy not only their life, but those of their children as well in such a manner as this.

    • As you say, Ron, the drug epidemic is a terrible indictment of our society. Christ offers so much more than a temporary “high” or even temporary relief from pain. ” ‘…[B]ut whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life‘ ” (John 4: 14).

    • When I moved back to my small city in Ohio, after having been gone for quite a while..I noticed a serious change. When I came back, there was a rehab facility, it seemed, on every corner. For me, 4 is a lot for a small city. The opioid problem in Ohio has grown significantly. My town that I knew as a child, was home to a growing population of addicts and recovering addicts. It broke my heart. It still does.

  5. This is heartbreaking Anna..
    Children need protection and it is in short supply.
    May God protect them from the evil in our day.

  6. Reblogged this on Pennies For Dreams and commented:
    By Anna Waldherr at A Voice Reclaimed.

  7. It is heartbreaking and totally inhumane.

  8. Those are disturbing stories. Very sad when an innocent child suffers.

    The men who sold those drugs also deserve blame, and in my view, capital punishment if they knowingly sell drugs laced with fentanyl.

    I don’t believe that Jesus objected to the death penalty:

    It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” Luke 17:2

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