Raising Baby Aubrey

I took this picture of Aubrey on Saturday, May 26, 2004. She was just six weeks old. I had just strapped her into her baby carrier. My wife, Sandy, and I were both sobbing. We did not know when we'd see Aubrey again.

Sandy gathered up a portion of Aubrey's favorite things. How do you gather up everything a child needs in a few minutes? Diapers, a pink blanket, formula, onesies-it was a blur. But we had to keep moving, the police were right outside our door.

Sandy and I prayed over Aubrey and then I snapped the picture.

As I handed Aubrey over to the police officer, my anger grew. The officer then handed Aubrey to her mother, my stepdaughter. Then she was gone. She had the law on their side. Looking back I see how situations like this can quickly grow out of control.

The officer said some stuff, at least his mouth was moving, but I couldn't hear. Then he was gone too. Sandy and I stood in the driveway. It was over. All we felt was a huge hole in our hearts. It was positively awful.

But after only a few hours, Aubrey was back in our home. Safe. Secure. Sleeping. Apparently, my stepdaughter had thought better of trying to take care of Aubrey and brought her back. She mentioned something about "no money for diapers or formula." Sandy and I were grateful for the good judgment. The following Monday, we filed for emergency custody.

A few weeks later, when my stepdaughter wanted to take Aubrey for a few hours of "show and tell," I refused, like I did the last time. My stepdaughter called the police, like she did last time, and the police did what they were legally bound to do – like they did last time. Put the child with whoever had legal custody. But this time, it was Sandy and