Disposable Motherhood–Leaving to “Find Myself”

It’s all over the news, but I couldn’t let the opportunity for another slippery-slope discussion pass.

The mother (Rahna Reiko Rizzuto) who left her family and children “to find herself” has elicited quite a stir.  If you aren’t familiar with her story, you can see an interview with her on MSNBC.

At first, her story seems shocking.  In a nutshell, Mara was a “normal” mother and wife who got the opportunity to go to Japan to research for a book.  While there, she says she “grew and discovered things about herself”, namely, that she never did want to be a mother anyway.  She says she had “lost herself” in motherhood and so decided to come home, divorce her husband and give him primary custody of their two sons, then ages 3 and 5.  (She lives nearby now and has joint custody with her boys–a few hours a week.)

But in another way, it’s not shocking at all; I think she simply has been more honest and that honesty is what shocks us.  Haven’t we been “disconnecting” with our children for a long time?  Becoming more and more comfortable with it?  Birth control made it easy to avoid motherhood if one chooses.  That swung wide the door for killing our babies to avoid motherhood. Many more are “finding themselves” while others raise their children, since we elevated “equal opportunities” to the status of “You do what makes you happy, regardless the cost” and simultaneously stripped the guilt away. The difference is that Reiko simply told the truth without apology:  “I like me more”.

And in the name of choice and rights, we are all expected to be OK with it. Because it’s HER choice, right?  But remember my favorite tattoo slogan?  “Your choices affect me.”

In the above interview, when asked “Do you think you would have left your family if you hadn’t gone to Japan”, she answered…

“I don’t think so…I probably would have never looked up and said, ‘Whoa…I did that thing that I didn’t want to do which was give up my life for someone else’.”

To be fair, this statement appalls me, but that’s only coming from a Christian perspective where the very essence of our faith is to “lose your life to save it”.  I don’t know if Ms. Rizzuto claims to be a Christian, so her statement really isn’t appalling if she is not.  It has become the mantra of our culture, like it or not.

The interview also asks the advice of a “relationship therapist” who throws in the guilt punch to those who may look poorly on Reiko’s choice,

“I think we can be very judgmental about what motherhood looks like…we think there’s only one way to mother…”

Huh?  As in, another “way” to mother is to not be a mother at all?

And the point of my post, I guess, is to reiterate what I hope is obvious–one small step leads to another.  One “harmless” shift leads to the next.  And soon the “unthinkable” is reality and we are supposed to tolerate it (because otherwise we are mean, narrow-minded and judgemental) which then leads to normalcy.

The most benign thing that will likely come of this mother’s decision is that in her old age, when she finds herself in need of comfort, or maybe simple companionship, or maybe she needs to be fed, or helped with her daily needs, her sons will most likely be “finding themselves” with no time to waste on “giving up their lives” for her.

And the spiral downward continues…we reap what we sow.



74 Responses to “Disposable Motherhood–Leaving to “Find Myself””

  1. Linnie Lues says:

    Thank you Kelly! Oh! I love your boldness, in a deceived world!

  2. Katy says:

    This is just sad on so many levels. On the one hand you have a family torn apart by selfishness, you have children hurt by desire for only one’s self. I feel so badly for those children who have lost their full time Mom, and by full time I mean in their lives full time.

    But on a bigger scale, it shows how far down our society has gone that a Mom feels safe in her decision to walk out on the people she has promised to be with until death, to give up care and protection of her young children when, not long ago, it was expected that parents would fulfill their roles. The old “she didn’t have to have children if she didn’t want them” comes to play here. She has a 3 year old, these feelings of me, me, me seem far too deep rooted to have come on in the last 6 months, so it begs the question, why have kids?

    She’s at least honest that her kids don’t matter much. We see it in society, even in the church. Put kids in another room and bring them out when it’s convenient and fun, or just get rid of them altogether. I just wish she had been honest before she got pregnant, and before she said, “I do”.

  3. I had to read the article more than once for it to all sink in. I thought surely I was misreading, or there was going to be a long part 2 full of regret and repentance (if not to God, than at least for her children). Nope, she seems pretty good with it all. The salt in the wound is that I would love to say her children are better off without her, but they’re not. They still need her, even in her selfishness, and she returns their love with ambivalence, that she’s willing to put into print. She’s willing to be a headline, proclaiming she does not love her children (I’m basing this on her ACTIONS) My favorite part: how she said they’re doing just fine – how could she possibly know that when she doesn’t live with them? They’re children, they change on a weekly (sometimes hourly) basis.

    I was reading at another site today about something similar – I hope you don’t mind the link, I think it dovetails with this same disregard for children in preference for self (I don’t always agree with this writer, but her stand on life is admirably immovable). http://redcardigan.blogspot.com/2011/03/fear-of-babies.html

  4. Joy Horton says:

    Ah, yes – mean, narrow-minded, and judgmental – called these things many times for speaking the truth in love. Glad it’s not just me!

    I love your posts and am praying for your coming labor and delivery, Kelly! Blessings to you!!!

  5. Melissa says:

    This woman is disgusting and frankly a disgrace to all of motherhood. What are we supposed to pray for regarding her that she “lose” herself again? All I know is you are right, if nothing else she has set a (media fed) precedent for others to do the same. This is one deteriorating world folks.

  6. Kelley says:

    I find this very sad. Leaving two small children without a mother in the name of “finding one’s self.” On one level I can understand a need for reaching out for a life beyond the home, but not at the price of your children. What message does that send to your children? Oops, mommy changed her mind?? It’s ok to walk away from moral obligations? I became a mother at 44 only after a dozen miscarriages. Life before my child was working with families who had children with severe autism- I was a doctor. I loved what I did, but the hours were long and I did not want to be away from my son. Working and birth control did not “cause” my fertility issues- I have a medical condition which makes pregnancy very dangerous to my heath. Having children was so important to me that I never used birth control. I “retired” to be a SAHM. I now do consulting to contribute to the household and when I travel my family comes with. When my son is older our destinations become part of our homeschooling curriculum.

  7. Laura says:

    The poll on the Today Show Mom’s Blog said 72 percent of moms could not leave their children for 6 months or more. People are very angry at this woman, calling her selfish etc…

    BUT what about the military moms that leave their children for 6 months or a year or 18 months or and maybe more. We have such a hero worship of the military, that everyone jumps to be critical of this ONE lady- yet thousands of mothers do it every single day. For money. To find themselves. For careers. Tell me what is the difference between this woman and military moms that deploy for a large portion of their children’s childhoods? Why is she the only one being interviewed and criticized? I think there is a huge double standard and it points out our nations hero worship of all things military.

    I have a friend that is getting ready to leave for the second time to go to Iraq for 1 year +. She has 2 children under 10. Nobody does anything but encourage her. She is not subject the same standards as this woman. Why?

    • Word Warrior says:


      No, there is little difference, except in the public’s eye. A deployed mother is “sacrificing for the greater good” and not publically claiming “she doesn’t want to be a mother anymore”.

      You have a comment awaiting moderation accusing me of “not daring to criticize a military mom”…what are you talking about? I do NOT believe women should be serving in the armed forces, regardless of whether they are even married or mothers. And I have no problem saying that. Though I don’t intend to jump off on a military rabbit trail. You may want to get to know me a little better before you make such assumptions.

      The point of the post is simple…we are ALL called to take responsibility for our families–mothers and fathers–and parenthood is not disposable, which is why we have to be so careful with the steps we take in the direction that allows society to believe it is.

      • Laura says:

        I’ve been reading this blog for years. I have seen plenty of mothers that are office workers, nurses, cashiers, etc.. critized. Yet never military mothers. Doesn’t it make sense that is better to work a “normal” job and get to home at night than being gone for months on end? Even this woman at least gets to see her children once a week or so. Why no posts about the effects of war on deployed mothers?

        • Word Warrior says:


          I don’t know…but the lack of posts on the subject doesn’t mean I support it! I suppose it’s not as “in my face” as the other crises I see, so it’s not a subject I often think about. Why are you so insistent on that one particular topic? The truth is, it all stems from the same problem–the notion that women can do what they want to do even at the expense of their children.

      • Stephanie says:

        While I can’t speak for every case, I *can* speak for my own personal experience. I am 25, married, and a mother to the most beautiful blue-eyed, flaxen-haired one-month-old boy in the known universe (not that I’m biased or anything). I’m also trapped in a contract with the Navy and stationed 550 miles away from my husband. I enlisted because my parents insisted I had to “do something with my life.” It’s a decision I and many female sailors I know struggle with every day — from having to drop him off at daycare for someone else to raise him, to wondering when the day will come that I have to ship out to some undisclosed location over in the Sandbox to risk getting blown up for my country. In the time between my pregnancy and now I have cried myself to sleep more times than I can count. For the next 3 years before my contract is up, all I can do is pray that God will forgive my selfishness and misguidedness and that my beautiful son won’t hate me forever for doing this to him.

    • Jennifer says:

      “thousands of mothers do it every single day. For money. To find themselves. For careers”

      How dare you make such nasty comments about them. Money? Careers? These aren’t bank jobs or beauty parlors, Laura, they’re fighting for their lives and others’. These words and the fact that you also make aggressive assumptions about Kelly, since she’s never addressed them, show you are indeed a person for rabbit trails of logic. No woman here, knowing their conservative views, would support military moms for a MYRIAD of reasons, so Kelly would be preaching to the choir anyway.

  8. Katy says:

    I don’t know why. I am in the minority in my community with saying women should not serve in the military. I am a woman with a long history of family that served. My cousin is currently serving in the Air Force, my step brother in the Army, my Dad in the national guard, my grandparents in the Army (where they met and fell in love, funny story on that one), and so on.

  9. Kim M says:

    Did you notice how they mentioned about men doing this all the time? It kills me how they try to “soften” it by saying that men do this all the time (or something to that effect).

    • Bethany says:

      Kim M – I totally agree. Feminists have a bit of a point in asking, “Why is it so much more shocking for a woman to leave her child than for a father?” Barring men who didn’t even know they’d gotten a woman pregnant, I think it’s a question worth asking. And, I know there are supposed to be scientific differences that make a woman more attached to the children, blah, blah, blah. But, seriously people! Why in the name of Heaven is it acceptable for ANY parent to abandon their child for ANY reason??? Why, why, why???

      Even when the children are grown, they feel the sting of abandonment. (Not saying that parents should indefinitely SUPPORT their children, but there are other ways to be abandoned.)


      • Word Warrior says:

        Totally agreed, Bethany. I had the same thoughts when I watched the interview.

      • Randi says:

        Yes, even adult children still feel the sting of abandonment. I was abandoned by my biological father when I was 6 years old. My stepfather wanted to adopt me, and so my FATHER gave me up, never to see me again until I searched for him at 18. By then, too much time had passed, I guess, because he didn’t care to have a relationship with me at that time. I searched and found him again at age 28, when my oldest daughter was still a baby, because I wanted her to at least know her grandfather. We met a few times, and then he stopped returning my phone calls and ignored all the greeting cards and baby portraits I sent. He has never met my two younger children.
        Now my stepfather decided to practically disown me at age 18, despite the fact he was so insistent upon adopting me 12 years earlier. Then, when he and my mother split up, he dumped our relationship entirely. He doesn’t return my phone calls or acknowledge my greeting cards or baby portraits that I send either. He has met my middle child only once, and has not met my youngest.
        All of this repeated abandonment has left a gaping wound in my heart. If my heavenly Father had not sent my husband into my life when we were 14 years old, and had we not eloped at the age of 19, I would probably have ended up one of those broken and used women, who wantonly give themselves away to lots of men, desperately hoping someone will love her. It happened to my half-sister (my stepfather’s biological daughter who was born after my adoption). I look into her eyes and see nothing behind them, except pain and emptiness.
        So yes, abandonment still hurts as adults. The pain never goes away, and I can vouch for the fact that it doesn’t even dull over time. But I have hope, hope for what I do not yet see. The hope I cling to is that when I get to see my Savior’s face in heaven, my two fathers will be there, too, ready to welcome me with hugs and kisses and a look of fulfilled joy on their faces.

        • Word Warrior says:

          Oh Randi, aching for you, but so glad that the Lord has already brought some healing to your heart.

        • Bethany says:

          Randi – My heart goes out to you. I wasn’t going to share my story here, but you inspired me to reach out heart-to-heart to a sister hurting.

          I was blessed to have many wonderful years with my father. Then, alcoholism and mental instability took him from me. Guilt from various sins (“life choices”) drove him mad. When I was in college, he abandoned my mother and moved away from our hometown. I saw him about once a year after that, but we talked often, though it was hard for me. I couldn’t trust him. For a long time, I didn’t even like him. Then, he married a woman not much older than me and said that her son was “his child” now (though he never adopted him). As an only child, I cannot tell you how that hurt me. Finally, about a year ago (less than a year after obtaining his “new family”), my father committed suicide. The final abandonment. The worst of it: he wrote a letter to his new wife before killing himself, but left me nothing. Nothing. He had cut me out of his will by writing a new one that morning that left everything to his new family. I do not begrudge her. She was an immigrant without even a work visa; if he’d left me anything, I probably would have used it to help her! But, it was the final statement: I want them, not you, although you are my only biological child and you tried SO hard to heal our relationship.

          I have forgiven my father (for the final time, it would seem, in a long life of forgiving), and I am at peace, but that does not entirely take away the pain. Still, I know–and have known for years now–that God is truly the most wonderful father, and I do not feel orphaned because I know He is with me, He is proud of me, and He will never leave me or replace me.

          God bless you,

          • Randi says:

            Thank you for sharing your story. As I read it, I could feel your pain, and tears came to my eyes. One of the beautiful things God has brought into my life that has helped me tremendously is a wonderful family-by-marriage. My husband, his family, and our children are the greatest blessings in my life. And because of what happened to me as a child, my husband and I stay keenly aware of how easy it can be to break a child’s spirit. So I feel thankful.
            I am so sorry that your father chose to end his life. He must have been acting out of a lot of pain, and the finality of his act could only have added to your already tremendous pain. I will pray for you. God can bring such beauty into the world through our suffering. (((Hugs)))

          • Randi says:

            I had no idea it was you I was conversing with here! I have your blog “Apple Cider Mill” bookmarked as one of my favorites. That’s why your story sounded so familiar to me. I kept thinking to myself, this reminds me of someone…and it was you!
            You have a wonderful blog, it has been a blessing to me as a new Catholic. Thank you so much for your good witness and example.

      • Kim M says:

        Bethany, I completely agree!
        It reminds me of children… when they are being selfish and pointing fingers at each other and trying to justify their sinful actions – “Well, HE did it….”
        Oh… so that makes it o.k. then? hmmmm

        • Kim M says:

          There is an ache in every child’s heart for her daddy. I think when God said He would Father the fatherless, that He also meant abandoned children as well. Cling to Him. I was a fatherless child too…

  10. Kelly L says:

    Sin, when glorified, begets more sin. So should this be surprising? Yes. Is it? No. You are right, women do this everyday. People who take their kids to daycare even on their days off so they can shop, have me time, down time. The sad thing is they brag about it on FB or to other people, like it is right and normal.
    What are we tolerating now, that will lead to more horrors in our children’s time?

  11. Jess in Peru says:

    In the article, she actually says that her relationship is better with her kids now. REALLY? I was shocked at that statement. And it was justified in the article, that men run off all the time and pursue careers, get divorced, leave the kids with the woman, so why isn’t it acceptable that a woman does it? Again….REALLY? It is ironic that you posted this article because when I read it a few weeks ago, I immediately thought about you doing a piece on it. It really is very sad, very glorified and just plain troublesome. Just another example of the “me” mentality that we live in.


  12. Charity says:

    Gracious! I really don’t even know what to say. I read an article about this woman last week, I believe, and nearly gagged! I hate that this whole story has been given so much attention by the media. I pray the understanding and support this woman is given doesn’t breed thoughts of the same actions in other mothers. I do have to wonder also, what her children’s father would say about all of this. Where is his interview, support, and understanding?

    Thinking of you Kelly, and praying for a safe delivery for you. Any time, if not already 😉

  13. Mrs. Armstrong aka PuddingsMom says:

    I know plenty of adults who resent their parents for their childhood -even while the parent raised them full time. Can you imagine the resentment and other feelings these children will have for their mother when they become adults? The media and this mother think it’s all good now because the kids are small and can’t truly voice their feelings…

  14. Magriet says:

    And there are mothers who’s only comment, when their kids cry when being collected at the crech, is “Hey, he do love the daymother, she must be good.” Wow, I’ll feel wretched — my baby doesn’t know me, doesn’t care for me anymore!
    And then, what about the old english Nanny, employed to care for the children as their (unbiological) mother, the (biological) mother meanwhile striving to be a “social success” and only seeing her kids when nanny sends them downstairs to say goodnight to her guests? Couldn’t have been a good thing?

  15. Brenda says:

    I personally know several women who have done this. Women who I thought were following Christ, good examples of motherhood. It seemed like they all left around the same time. They left to pursue their dreams. One got into acting, one finished her degree, one started a business. It really devastated me. These were women I looked up to. They had all had between 4-7 children. I thought, “If it can happen to them, it could happen to me. What in the world would make them think like this. That it is okay to leave their family and not care about the consequences.”
    I tried to examine my own heart to see if there were any seeds of discontentment there. I dealt with this issue 13 years ago when I had my first child. I decided to stay home with her and for the first year, battled with a severe identity crisis. The world tells you you should “be” somebody. Women should work and climb the career ladder. But when I held my sweet baby in my arms, it killed me to think of leaving her. So, we made sacrifices, I quit my job and my husband continued working. My crisis that first year, was because I had to change my mindset, from self-love to selfless love.
    I have had problems and hard times since then, but have learned where my strength comes from. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. 13 years and 6 beautiful children later, I am still loving my life. God makes all the difference.

  16. Sorry to be OT, I keep popping over to see if Mr. GC might have posted a baby pic, or an “it’s time!” post…anything?

    • Word Warrior says:

      Nothing. But I did just eat a whole pineapple and the induction methods are in full swing 😉 But thanks for checking up…not a big fan of “due dates” just now…(I was “due” yesterday.)

      • Lena says:

        This is a crazy world we live in. Being selfish is the ‘thing’ to do. Jesus came to serve, and thats what he wants us to do as well.
        ps: doing squats, as you hold on to something is really beneficial in getting the baby lower to bring on the labor..:)

      • Sarah says:

        The fresh pineapple didn’t do a thing for me, but it was certainly the most enjoyable effort to induce labor that I’d ever tried. :~) Praying for you!

  17. Kelly,

    Today I ran into an old friend, she is a 54 year old mom of 6 and still has about 9 years of homeschooling ahead of her. I was so discouraged by her comments, groaning of the day she can “do the things she wants to do”, one of those things being a Bible study. (?????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    I walked away so sad, because it all boils down to one thing, “SELF”! Sure it is OK to get tired, frustrated, weary, but we have to remember what we were created for, Who we were created for.

    It is sad for women across the board to reject their own flesh to search for emptiness.


    • Jennifer says:

      “I was so discouraged by her comments, groaning of the day she can “do the things she wants to do”, one of those things being a Bible study”

      I don’t find that a big deal at all. Kathy, everyone groans of having some time to themselves at some point, and a Bible study is one of the least offensive things. Apparently she’s feeling overburdened, and this is not a “SELF” sin.

      • Kelly L says:

        I do think it is a big deal.

        1)If a mom is feeling overburdened, she needs to talk with God and her husband.
        2) If a mom is still feeling overburdened she needs to talk to 1 or 2 close friends, not acquaintances. It is a controlling your mouth kind of thing.
        2) If a mom is still feeling overburdened and other’s advice has not helped her, she needs to check her heart. Maybe this should be #1. See if she is longing for things that are not scriptural. Or maybe focusing on self. Or maybe buying into the lies of the world that we are to be dissatisfied with our calling as moms. (I’ve been here.)

        Also, being part of a Bible study has nothing to do with your calling as a follower of Christ. To study it yourself does. To not forsake assembling together does. But that is certainly not only meeting with other women and excluding children or husbands. I am not saying Bible studies are bad. Just not important unless God has told the person to be involved.

        I remember feeling badly when my daughter was school aged and there was no more childcare for the morning women’s group. But really, it was more of a social club (much like many churches) than it was a Bible study. I got over it. Made friends with other HS moms and met with them while our children played. This whole time alone thing is overrated. (Unless it is for 1 minute in the potty, for goodness sake!!!) LOL

        • Randi says:

          Kelly L,
          Maybe she was afraid of sharing her feelings with her husband or close friends because she didn’t want them to feel as if they were overburdening her? Or maybe she was hoping your friendship might deepen, so it might be okay to sound off a bit on a bad day? I am sure she never would have anticipated upsetting you.
          I am a person who tends to invite confidences when I do not mean to. People will just spill their deepest secrets and fears and feelings with me (face-to-face, not just by benefit of anonymity on the internet), leaving me hoping to respond appropriately. Maybe you are the type of person people feel comfortable sharing with?
          Anyway, I think mothers really DO need time alone. It doesn’t need to be very long. Five or ten minutes for a hot shower, or a half hour for bible study alone, or an hour for a coffee break with a friend. In the past, I have felt too guilty to tell my husband that I needed a break, and I would end up in tears at the end of a long and difficult week. But my dear husband, who is very perceptive, starting to notice all the signs that I was overworked and emotionally underfed. Now we set aside time on a more regular basis for me to run a quick errand alone, or have a date with him, or even do a Lenten women’s bible study (five Saturday mornings during Lent). I am so thankful to have this time to fellowship and worship and be filled up so I can be a better wife and mother for my family.
          I hope you rethink your perception of the woman. It was probably just a very bad day. I think wanting (even feeling a need for) a bible study is a legitimate need. Who knows, maybe she went straight home and told her husband “I need to have some bible fellowship time. I am responding to God’s prompting to talk to you about this. How can we arrange our schedule so that I can do this, so I can allow God’s grace to work in my life?”

          • Jennifer says:

            “If a mom is still feeling overburdened and other’s advice has not helped her, she needs to check her heart”

            Yes, perhaps her heart isn’t getting fed what it needs to. Being overburdened can do that. Some women do need more time with others than they have already, or more feedback from others in Bible matters. It’s not always just a case of being selfish, anymore than being hungry is.

            Randi, those are wonderful comments and suggestions. Thank you.

  18. Danielle says:

    Wow. I had not heard this before. I just watched the news clip. I can’t even begin… there were so many statements in that that troubled me! Sick. to. my. stomach.

    I must admit there are times that I get frustrated with not being able to pick up and go somewhere… but really, I have so enjoyed growing where I am. I have so many hobbies that my kids and I have enjoyed together. She is really missing out.

    I was hoping today’s post was baby related:0) Maybe tonight is the night!

  19. Kim M says:

    Wow… just.. wow!

  20. Valerie says:

    SO sad. Yet I rejoice because you are SO bold! I’m thankful that you continue to speak out on these difficult issues.

    Thanks again for allowing me to quote you… Here it is:

    Awaiting news of your newest little one!

  21. There are only 2 ways of being at the same time mother and career woman/woman findinf herself or similars:
    1. You clone yourself.
    2. You cut yourself in two with Salomon’s sword.

  22. Erin says:

    I was shocked at first as well, but there is more to the story, much more. According to court records, the refusal to consent to the c-section was not counted as grounds for removing the child, there were other actions on the part of the mother during delivery and after the birth of the baby that led to it’s placement in foster care. This Daily Mail article is extremely misleading.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Actually, the report I read included the fact that the mother “had been in psychiatric treatment” years prior to the birth, which has nothing to do with the actual incident. It also included that she displayed “erratic behavior” during labor. Hello…she was in labor. We’re all prone to erratic behavior, especially if we think the doctor isn’t acting on our best behalf.

      According to the story I read, the only *reason* given for removal of her child was the refusal of the c-section and the behavior. The Youth and Social Services deemed her “abusive and neglectful”.

      Not only do I think it’s a bizarre accusation, but it angers me to think about how easily this mother could have gotten an abortion but then have her child permanently taken over a medical discrepancy? Where’s the logic in that? It’s “her body” to do as she wishes if she wants to rip her baby apart, but it’s abuse if she’s acting on, what she feels, is her and the baby’s best interest?

      • Erin says:

        Here is a link to pdf file of court papers. http://kidjacked.com/pdf/nj_a4627-06.pdf

        I agree completely with what you are saying, especially about the abortion angle. I’m NOT making the case for CPS, taking a child away from it’s mother is not a “neutral” act while CPS investigates. It potentially harms the child more than leaving the child with abusive parents.

        I wanted to find out more about this case because I thought it was crazy that a child could be taken away simply because the mother refused to sign a consent form for a c-section. It makes for a sensational news story, though, and it had me going from tears to anger and back to tears again. Knowing the details has calmed my spirit 🙂 and I hope it does yours before you go to the hospital to deliver your next beautiful blessing.

        • Word Warrior says:

          I’ll read this–thank you. I was actually having a little anxiety about this story because if I go into labor this weekend, my doctor will not be on call and I’ll have a stranger who doesn’t know me or my family. But…God is sovereign, this I know!

        • Lori says:

          Oh. My. Gosh. “Knowing the details has calmed (your) spirit?!” How nice for you. (no, really, that’s a little sick)

          This woman had her child taken away because she refused to consent to a c-cection, apparently she was not convinced of the ob’s allegation at that time of the baby’s so called distress. And the judge agreed w/ DYFS that this constituted “abuse and neglect.” This allegation is not in question, not even from the paper you posted. The judge thought that what made it questionable was that the woman (in his opinion) changed her story about refusing to consent, then agreeing to consent – this is easily explained – mother in labor says “I don’t want a surgery yet, X is not necessarily an indicator of distress, but if another sign comes up I’d be ok w/ it.” (this is one possible explanation) In fact, she was *correct* in her assesment. And even IF the real reason for removing the baby was because the mother’s suppesedly changing story (your posting does not support this however), I still say “so what? That’s not against any law, and is NOT support for ‘abuse and neglect.'” It furthermore gives DYFS precedent to remove children for far less offense than medical intervention or lack thereof: it gives NJ DYFS legal precedent to take children based on how open any given parent is on their private lives.

          THE REAL CRIME? The one person (mother) “was not forthcoming about her treatment
          or diagnosis” and “B.G. also refused to cooperate with DYFS’s
          efforts to obtain information.” It’s all right there in the paper you posted.

          I repeat: it gives NJ DYFS legal precedent to take children based on how open any given parent is on their private lives.

          Oh, so the fact that she was previously under psychiatric care makes it ok then? We don’t know why she was under care – or who’s idea it was. It might have been completely benign. All we know is now mothers who seek care for mental health are now legally stigmatized, and have a higher risk of losing their children. Oh, but “she was not forthcoming” with that info. Well, she doesn’t have to be. CYFS shouldn’t have the legal authority to require that info. But as Jill Farris (http://www.generationcedar.com/main/2011/02/before-you-lose-your-parental-rights.html) has pointed out, they have their own legal standards. W/ CPS or DYFS you’re guilty until proven innocent, and people like you just say “Oh well, I’m sure they had a good reason. As long as it’s not likely to happen to me, I’ll have peace in my spirit.” I read your post. The Daily Mail article was not “extremely misleading” as you alledge. If anything, the writer did not address the full offenses of DYFS.

          Shame on you. There is no evidence of “abuse or neglect”, just a doctor (who makes more for c-cections), a judge, and a bunch of DYFS agents (who also make more money for extra cases), who are all busy playing God. But you feel better in your spirit. I could just cry for that family. But you feel better. I feel ill.

          • Lori says:

            Correction: we do know why she was under psychiatric care:

            “Dr. Seltzer related
            that she initially treated V.M. for post-traumatic stress
            disorder but later began to appreciate that V.M. suffered from
            either a schizoaffective disorder or a bipolar disorder.”

            Still – not evidence of “abuse and neglect.” She was allegedly seeing her psychiatrist regarding her past history of childhood abuse, and a few other things. If she was abused as a child, or elsewhere, it’s a *good* thing to get help about it, to get over it (though I doubt a psychiatrist is a good source for help, but she couldn’t have known that). And she’s being stigmatized.

            By the way, did you notice this?
            “The first time he (the anethesiologist) tried (to administer the epidural), the nurses were pushing her (the patient)
            back and forth so violently that he could not administer the
            injection.” —–Wow, sounds like a great, supportive environment for birthing a baby. I’m sure she was convinced that the staff at that hospital had her and baby’s best interest at heart, and not protocol (very expensive protocol).

            Worse and worse. This poor woman.

            • Erin says:

              Again, I’m not saying that the baby should have been taken away, just that it wasn’t simply not signing the paper that caused it. Also, the patient accused (apparently falsly)the nurses of rocking her back and forth thus preventing the epidural to be administered later in court. Believing that the nurses would agree to literally torture a woman in that manner with the full cooperation of the anesthesiologist requires me to momentarily suspend rational thinking.

              We have friends whose 8th baby was picked up from the maternity ward by police based on false accusations by a social worker. Please believe me when I say I am not condoning the actions of social services. What that document and other more detailed articles showed me was that simply refusing to sign one paper wouldn’t result in your child being ripped from your arms at the hospital. The mother called police accusing them of not giving her the very treatment she was refusing. She threw objects and screamed at the staff. She accused them of being racist and not giving her treatment based on that. I find it hard to believe that an entire ward of the hospital would conspire to falsely accuse this particular woman. She then failed to show up at the hearing which would have given her the custody of the baby when it was released from the hospital–the baby remaining at the hospital b/c it was a preemie and not ready to go home.

              Perhaps having very good friends who are OB nurses and docs have clouded my perspective on this, as I have heard some incredible stories. As a rule, I don’t trust social services at all. My point was that it took a great deal more than just refusing to sign this one piece of paper to lose her child. That’s all.

              • Word Warrior says:

                “Please believe me when I say I am not condoning the actions of social services.”

                Erin, I know this and I didn’t think that at all.

              • Lori says:

                In general I would agree w/ you. But hospitals have very strict policies about covering their butts. In NJ there was a nurse who went around killing ill patients, but the hospitals just kept quiet. “Employers feared to investigate incidents or give a bad employment reference for fear that such actions might trigger a lawsuit. According to detectives and Cullen himself, several hospitals suspected he was harming/killing patients but failed to take appropriate legal actions.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Cullen)

                Whatever your take on the hospital personel is, this case is extremely anti-family and anti-Constitution (innocent until proven guilty). Please note all the bigotry:
                -stigmatizing her for getting psychiatric treatment;

                -for being a stay at home partner wife: “V.M., who is college educated but has not been gainfully
                employed since a workplace accident in 1993…” (pg 7)
                She’s apparently been a stay-at-home partner/wife (married since 95), but that’s bad. That’s not being “gainfully employed” as a good little citizen (comrade) should;

                -for not accepting the god-doctor’s word;

                -and then they stigmatize the husband w/ mental illness also for believing his wife instead of the god-doctors (pg 14).

                OK, so maybe you have medical professionals you highly trust. So do I! But I also know that
                A. NJ is an *extremely* legally invasive state, espcially where the family is concerned, and
                B. Medical mistakes are common, very common. In fact, many of us are aquainted w/ people who were badly injured, even killed, due to medical mistake. The point is not to demonize health-care workers, but to say that they do make mistakes, and dread law-suits (one of the issues w/ this lady’s follow-up care is that she wouldn’t sign a waiver to not sue the psychiatrist). So they will in fact cover their butts at the expense of patients (or their families).

                But we’ll now be stigmatized for objections.

                • Erin says:

                  Lori, I have to admit that your first reply had me running and ducking for cover :). Not being familiar with the apparently corrupt medical system of NJ I did give the hospital staff the benefit of the doubt regarding who was telling the truth when giving their statements. This also highlights the inherent difficulties of communicating with strangers through comments posted between diaper changes, history lessons and laundry 🙂 without the non verbal cues of talking in person. We also do not know each others’ life experiences that shape our interpretation of events. I had no idea that the NJ hospital system was so corrupt that it would even cover up murder. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when godless people do evil things.

        • Word Warrior says:

          OK…yeah, I’m more angry and disturbed after I read the actual case. And look at this blaring illogic:

          “Despite the medical opinion that the fetus demonstrated signs of distress and that the procedure was necessary to avoid imminent danger to the fetus, the child was born by vaginal delivery without incident.”

          “the trial judge found that J.M.G. was an
          abused and neglected child”

          WHAT???!!! When she was actually said to be in danger she was a FETUS. If that’s the case, how can the status of “abused and neglected child” even hold? They want it both ways.

          There is zero evidence in this case of the child being abused or neglected. Like Lori said, the precedent is horrifying. If her actions constitutes “abuse and neglect” then that definition could carry over into almost anything. And I don’t blame them either for “withholding information” as they had a perfectly healthy baby and there was no reason for the investigation.

          Oh, this story is pretty unbelievable. Thanks for sending that, Erin.

        • Word Warrior says:

          Oh and on the note of the double standard with baby vs. fetus…according to law, a “fetus” doesn’t have full legal standing and apparently there’s even a law on the books that state, “No one is required to consent to an invasive procedure even if it endangers the life of a fetus” (due to the lack of legal status).

          So, the Youth and Family Social Services deal with “people”. According to law, a “fetus” is not a person. They don’t represent fetuses. ????

          • Jennifer says:

            Isanity and control, the sick and corrupt abusing families. Unbelievable. They represent fetuses now?? Laughable and rage-worthy.

  23. I was taught years ago that God’s economy is the opposite of the world’s economy. The world tells us to look out for ourselves to succeed, while Christ bids us to lay down our lives for our brother. The world tells us to hold tight to what we own, while Christ calls us to freely give what we have been given. The world tells us to live for our own happiness and put others second to truly “find ourselves”, while Christ calls us to find true joy that comes from sacrificing ourselves to His Kingdom and others. It does not surprise me that this poor mislead woman believed the lies that have been told to her from every possible front, and that she in turn believes that her children must be better off from her selfish choice. It’s sad and heartbreaking, but not surprising. What truly surprises me is the number of women who claim to love and follow Christ who make a similar choice. They leave their little babies as soon as allowed to return to a job that provides for them to have bigger homes, a nicer car and more clothes. That really does shock and sadden me. How can we justify that bigger home when we don’t know our kids, and they spend 3x more of their day with strangers? That is a true tragedy in the church.

  24. Jennifer says:

    “I don’t know if Ms. Rizzuto claims to be a Christian, so her statement really isn’t appalling if she is not”

    I do. People often confuse giving your SELF and identity, and giving your life, for someone else. Any mother, anywhere, should be happy to give her life for her kids. Not surprisingly, I don’t agree with the birth control aspect, but this is just appalling.

  25. Lori says:

    You are right to guess at life experience shaping views, in this case. As it happens, I lived near NJ for 4 years, and heard many horrible stories that never made national news, both from local news sources and from aquaintences. However, while NJ has probably one of the worst track records for being anti-family (pro-state), these abuses are taking place all over the country.

    Beware. CPS (in all its forms, whatever it calls itself from state to state), and the judges who rule in their favor, are a threat to all of us. It funcitions outside the constutional “innocent until proven guilty,” and rather functions under “guilty until proven innocent.” And as long as they can stigmatize you, the parent, so that your neighbor says to himself, “well, it’s for the child; I’m not like that person so it doesn’t apply to me” then we are all in danger.

    “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when godless people do evil things.” I can *not* agree with this more. Thank you for being willing to re-evaluate this family’s case (plight!).

    Here’s another case of abuse by state family worker: Coerced 24 week abortion – “DHS worker, Cynthia Brown, told the pregnant teen that, if she refused to have an abortion, the minor would be separated from both her children.”

    Or – PA judge grants *hospital* legal custody of “fetus” because the mother declined c-section (the baby was fine, the hospital just wanted to do a routine section since the baby was big).


    Example of hospital covering its butt:
    Hospital cuts off a woman’s limbs after childbirth, and they say they won’t tell her why/how she contracted “flesh-eating” bacteria in their facility unless she sues them:

    These are just some examples from off the top of my head. There are many more.

  26. Jennifer says:

    There was the best episode on Oprah today; a lady whose husband left her dedicated her life to the three kids she just adopted. She sacrificed greatly for them, and now the three are grown and accomplishing their dreams; one of them is becoming a doctor. Today Oprah totally surprised the mom by giving her a huge dream vacation-with her kids. She was thrilled and so were they; Oprah is also paying for the kids’ tuition. This shows perfectly what real mothers do, and how God rewards sacrifice.

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