8 Kidnapped Foster Kids Found But Their Nightmare Isn't Over

mom kidnapped eight foster kidsThe eight kids who were kidnapped from a foster-care facility last week have been found in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. All of the children -- seven boys, ages 4 to 11, and an 11-month-old girl -- are reported to be in "good condition." Yet, it's almost impossible to be comforted by the fact that they were found safe. Why?

Because it was the children's own parents who did the kidnapping, and now the entire family will be separated once again.


That's not to suggest we automatically side with the parents, Shanel Nadal and Nephra Payne, and demand that the state return their children. After all, the kids were taken from them in the first place because of an abuse allegation that neither the state nor the authorities have expounded on. Therefore, it's unclear as to whether the children could be in danger in their parents' custody.

Still, it's difficult not to feel compassion for these kids: The seven boys (all named Nephra Payne after their father) and baby girl were initially split between three foster homes before being abducted during a supervised, scheduled visit at a child agency by their parents. They were on the run for nearly a week before police found the family preparing to spend the night in a cargo van parked on a Harrisburg street with no license plate.

It's obvious the parents were desperate to get their children back. Why else would they have resorted to such extreme measures? Moreover, the day before the kidnapping, Nadal sent one of the foster moms the following text message: "I cannot live without my children. I cannot breathe without my children." One can only infer from this that these parents very much loved their children.

Still, you've got to wonder why Nadal and Payne would flee with their kids and risk putting them in so much danger. Now that they've both been taken into custody, they are even farther away from reuniting their family. And as for the kids, not only have they already endured a traumatic experience, now they face the nightmare of being split up and separated from their parents all over again.

Image via ABC

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