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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 4:56 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor: Re Rosie deManno Sun Feb 20/11
Re: "I am praying to God for me to come back.", Rosie deManno, Sunday February 20, 2011
We are neighbours of Daniel, Rebecca and David. We first met them when they moved to our neighbourhood two years ago, and my kids were thrilled to have another child living on the street. This family opened their home for holidays; we spent time with them in synagogue, in the park, on the street, potlucks... everywhere. Daniel came and read to our younger children every single Shabbat afternoon. What should I tell them when they ask when he will be back?
We all miss him so much here, where he should be growing up; instead, he's in a group home downtown, cruelly barred from his synagogue, his rabbi, his community - and the only people he has ever called Mom and Dad. I thought there were laws against treating people, let alone kids, this way in our civilized society.
When they first moved here, I felt honoured to be part of a community that would take in a child and give him a "forever home" where he felt safe and loved. Rebecca and David are the kind of parents any child would want: cautious and attentive but never hovering. Not wealthy by any means (and now down $50,000 in legal fees!), what they lack in material lifestyle, they make up for with the clear message that Daniel is their most precious possession.
A few months before Daniel was taken, after a wonderful Shabbat afternoon visit with him, I wrote, "It's a relief... that the system sometimes works...and everybody benefits." Now - to be separated from one's child; as a parent, this is my worst nightmare. For Daniel, life these days must be far worse than any nightmare - and he has little hope of being allowed to wake up until someone intervenes and strips Jewish Family and Child Service of its vengeful power over this family's lives.
He cannot possibly be in a safer, more nurturing place now than he was in his cozy home a few doors down. Please let Jewish Family and Child Services know that Daniel belongs to our entire community, and we will not let go of him easily.
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