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Parents Forgive Babysitter Responsible for Their Baby's Death -- Could You?

Posted by on May. 2, 2013 at 1:19 PM
  • 16 Replies

Parents Forgive Babysitter Responsible for Their Baby's Death -- Could You?


by Kiri Blakeley

Could you forgive the person accused of killing your baby? Most of us would say Hell to the No, but Deniele and Todd VanLeeuwen have found it in their hearts to do just that. Their nightmare started four years ago when they got the kind of call every parent dreads -- their babysitter, Megan Martzen, was frantically calling to say that something terrible had happened to their baby, Ella.

The couple rushed home to find Ella limp, bruised, with her eyes rolled back and her breathing labored. They rushed her to the hospital but ended up taking her off life support. During that time, they comforted their babysitter rather than being infuriated with her, because they believed that the fall had been an accident. Megan seemed just as distressed as they were.

But then a police officer got down on his hands and knees and begged the VanLeeuwens to file charges -- cops believed the fall was no accident. The VanLeeuwens refused to believe it.

But Megan eventually went to trial. The trial ended in a hung jury with 10 voting not to convict. The prosecutor wanted to retry, but the VanLeeuwens have decided not to. They have decided to forgive Megan and concentrate on honoring Ella's memory and raising their two other children.

"Had they gotten the fullest conviction ever, nobody would have won," says Todd.

It is truly inspiring that this couple have chosen to forgive Megan. I think a lot of people confuse the word "forgive" with "condone." Forgiveness means letting go of the anger in your heart. It does not mean believing that what someone did was okay, or thinking it was right, or suddenly becoming buddy-buddy with that person.

Given that it seems like the fall could have actually been an accident -- after all, that is what 10 of the jurors believed and what the VanLeeuwens believed initially -- perhaps made it somewhat easier for the VanLeeuwens to forgive.

Something as totally heinous as what the Krim family had to endure with their nanny allegedly stabbing two of their children to death -- that would be much harder to forgive. But the death of any child, no matter if it was accidental or not, is horrific and it must take every ounce of strength this family has to let go of their resentment and anger. There must be a million questions they ask themselves about how this could happen with their trusted babysitter.

But no amount of anger or blame is going to bring Ella back. The family says they have decided to "Choose Joy" and wear bracelets with that motto. It's something only the truly strong can do. I'd like to think I'd be this strong, but since I tend to cling to wrongs a lot less severe than this one, it's rather unlikely!

Could you ever forgive?

by on May. 2, 2013 at 1:19 PM
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Replies (1-10):
KylersMom8-16-7
by Gold Member on May. 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM
Never ever!
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lismore
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2013 at 1:58 PM
No way!! Never
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erinsmom1964
by on May. 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

HELL FING NO.  I get why people do this ist more about healing and being able to move forward because you can't with the hate in your system but HELL FING NO

proudmama11212
by on May. 2, 2013 at 2:09 PM
Theres no way in hell i would
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Britty1987
by on May. 2, 2013 at 2:14 PM
Yes. As a Christian thats my duty to forgive. I always feel better when I forgive. Forgiveness is not just for the forgiven, but also the one forgiving. It might be a long hard road though
YzmaRocks
by Platinum Member on May. 2, 2013 at 2:14 PM
I hope I would be able to forgive. I can't say for sure whether I could or not since I have never been in that situation.
lauratupper
by on May. 2, 2013 at 2:18 PM


Quoting YzmaRocks:

I hope I would be able to forgive. I can't say for sure whether I could or not since I have never been in that situation.




KRIZZ25
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not everyone's child should be treated special ..
Yesterday at 10:56 PM
by on May. 2, 2013 at 2:21 PM
FORGIVENESS IT NOT FOR THE OTHER PERSON ITS FOR U..HOW A WE TO JUDGE WE ARE SINNERS AS WELL..THAT DID A GRATE THING FORGIVING THAT GIRL..HAS SHE FORGIVEN HER SELF .
IrishIz
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2013 at 2:50 PM
If it was truly an accident....yes. Why would I want to remain angry and hate somebody over an accident?
1CrazyCajun
by on May. 2, 2013 at 2:55 PM

 I can't say yes or no.

I don't think someone can really make that decision unless you've actually had to experience it.

 

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