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Heart Strings Pulled for Children, Not Homeless Couple

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I have admired your writers' nonjudgmental approaches to telling your feature stories, but the romantic tone of “Homelessly in Love” (Cover Story, Dec. 10) pushed me to the point of exasperation.

As a former foster-care worker with years of experience working with abused and neglected children, I have never held to the sweet theory that “angels or God gives you children for a reason” since I can't believe in a God that would ordain unspeakable suffering for children at the hands of their parents. Joseph Crull and Stacey Speairs' stories are terrible and also too familiar; many times I had to tell children's biological parents, “I am so sorry that happened to you, and we cannot allow it to happen to your children.”

Absent from this story about Joe and Stacey are the stories of her existing six children. They are waved away with one sentence: “Stacey keeps up with them the best she can.” Are they with family members? Social Services' custody? Perhaps left with some of those abusive partners? And what reason does a reader have to believe that their fates, and that of her son not yet born, will be any better than those of Stacey and Joe?

I disagree with Kelly King Horne's statement that Stacey Speairs shouldn't have to leave the hospital without her newborn baby. It is not simply because she is homeless, it is because she has demonstrated with six other children that she is incapable of adequately caring for them. Speairs' past is tragic, but it is not an excuse for making her seven children repeat it.
Laura Kitchin Greenleaf
Richmond

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