(JAMAICA STAR) – Two weeks before her graduation from a Family Court parent class, Nadine’s* 13-year-old daughter went missing. Nadine was among eight parents who successfully completed the Family Court’s Parenting School Curriculum … but so distraught, she was unable to celebrate the accomplishment.
The Kingston and St Andrew Family Court Parenting School was launched in November 2013 to assist parents, guardians and caregivers to understand and empower children and themselves.
“I was so sad. My eyes were teary and I wasn’t happy. I was thinking that I would find her back alive and I was also thinking that we would not find her back alive.”
Three days later, her daughter returned home, admitting that she ran away to go and ‘live her life.’
Nadine told THE STAR that the words that left her daughter’s mouth were disturbing beyond belief.
“She said she’s big and we don’t want her to live her life and she’s in love and we’re stopping her from having a boyfriend … at the age of 13. It’s taking a toll on me and her father. Yesterday, I had to go to the CDA (Child Development Agency) to speak with the officers. It is so stressful,” the Corporate Area resident said.
After the CDA got involved, the 13-year-old girl pleaded with her parents for trust – promising them that she would change.
“This was on December 9, three days after my graduation. I handed her over to her father. She said she wanted another chance to change and we actually gave it to her. She was here from the December 9 to the 12, going to school and coming home. December 13 she went away again … she just gone again.”
MOTHER OF SIX
Again, her parents were catapulted into despair. They have not seen or heard from her in five days.
“As a mother, I still love her. Knowing that I’m a mother of six, and out of the six, she’s the only one I planned for, this is hard. Yet, she caused me so much tears, heartache and pain. Honestly, it is so hurtful,” Nadine explained.
“At one year old, she was very quick. Her brain was very quick. In basic school, she could easily break a word in syllables and spell it. From a tender age, she would say that she want to be a doctor. I feel like she is just flushing her potential down the drain.”
Nonetheless, Nadine believes her daughter will return home for good in due time.
“With the help of God and the state, I hope she will get a chance to think and go to school and act on her dreams. The names we gave her are great names … her first name means victorious and her middle name means love. So we still are looking for great things from her. I am praying that one day she will change, because I know she can change. I won’t give up on her. I still love her.”
* Name changed to protect identity.