Looking at him now, it’s hard to remember a time when Justin was little. He’s my baby…15 this coming Sunday…but he loves to remind us that he’s the tallest in the family these days. He wears a size 16 shoe. Can you picture that? The average shoe size for a man in the US is a 9. The average shoe size for an NBA player is 14.81. This is ONE BIG KID. He’s 6’1″ and still growing.
But that wasn’t always the case. I’ll never forget the day that the little girl from up the street knocked on the door and told me that she and Justin had walked to Flat Rock Park and some men had put him in the truck and taken him away. He was in 3rd grade and pretty defenseless against strangers in a truck. I was terrified and nauseated all at the same time. The little girl had alerted the policeman who lived across the street before she came to me so he was at the door right after her. All I could think was…Find. My. Baby.
He asked me if I had a current photo of Justin and thankfully, school pictures had come back the day before. I shoved the whole package at him in a panic. I couldn’t remember details. I couldn’t think about anything but getting him home safely.
He drove around Flat Rock and found him sitting on a picnic table, crying and scared to be alone in the park. He recognized the officer as a neighbor and accepted his ride home. There had been no men…just a little girl with a vivid imagination who had told him to “wait right here” while she came to tell us the story. I was so relieved that he was safe, that he probably didn’t get into trouble for following the little girl to the park in the first place.
Here’s what I wish I had been able to give the officer. If I had had this on hand… it would have saved critical moments that would have been vital if Justin had been in serious danger.
Grace and Charm Events is teaming up with Steven O Photography and Bobby Cochran Photography to make these available in honor of Justin’s birthday. For each child you bring in you’ll get three identical cards for only $15. (Additional sets of 3 cards are available for $5.) If you sign up before September 20, you’ll also recieve a free 8×10!
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children(citing U.S. Department of Justice reports), nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year. That’s more than 2,000 a day. The NCMEC says 203,000 children are kidnapped each year by family members.
Let’s keep our kids safe. Order now to reserve your space!