The knock at the door




It was the month of May back in 1987.  My youngest son had just been born.  I already had 3 boys at home. but was happy to welcome this new little bundle into our family.  After a few days in the hospital,  I brought my new baby home to become the newest member of our family.

It was about a week after I had given birth and I was home with my new baby and the 3 year old.  The two older boys were at school and so was my husband who was a teacher in our town.  They weren't due to come back home for a few more hours.

I was just sitting on the couch enjoying a few quiet moments with my new baby when there was a knock at the door. 

I grew up just south of Detroit.  However,  I now was living in a more rural farming type community far from the big city dangers of Detroit.

I heard the knock at my front door.  I was holding the baby when I answered the door.  I found a nicely dressed couple in their late 30's or early 40's standing there.  I had no idea who they were.  The man began talking.  He explained to me that he was a police officer from Albion, Michigan.  He explained that someone told his wife that he had had an affair with me and he was the father of my baby!  The woman never really changed her demeanor upon hearing this statement.  I never expected to hear something like this as I answered the door.  Who were these people?  

I immediatly tried to convice the wife that I had never seen her husband before and he was absolutely not the father of my baby.  It was starting to cross my mind that there was something fishy going on here.  A few days earlier, the baby's birth photo was published in the Marshall, Michigan newspaper along with the other recent births.  Along with the baby's  photo,  the information included the parent's names, number of brothers or sisters at home, and the town where the baby's family lives.  Marshall, Michigan is about 15 miles from Albion.  They had to have seen the newspaper.

But why were these people at my door?  They never asked to come in to talk.  I never would have let them in anyway, not after growing up near Detroit!  Why would a man drag a woman to another town and bring up the story that he was supposed to be my baby's father?  My brain was really starting to question what was going on.  I realized to late that the police officer didn't show me any badge. 

They left and I was stunned at what had just happened to me.  I was so stunned I never called the local police to report it.  That was the first thing I should have done.  I didn't even catch the type of car they drove. 

I kept thinking about what had happened to me for the next several days.  I started to think that maybe this couple may have had a plan to try to take the baby from me.  Telling me the man was a Police Officer was intended to put me at ease and to get me to trust them.  When they didn't get into my house, they finally left.  I figured that this may have been their one and only attempt to secure a baby that wasn't theirs.  They may have gotten scared as they stood on the porch looking at me through the screen and that kept them from asking me if they could come in and talk.   I figured that maybe this couple just went back home and lived as if they never had concocted a plan to take a baby that wasn't theirs.   I never heard of any area baby being kidnapped during that time period.

I can still see them standing there on my porch.  Of course, I never would have let them in.   As the years have past, I have told a few people what had happened that sunny day in May.  The reaction is always the same.  There is a gasp and people are stunned at what I tell them.  Our lives could have been destroyed that day, but we will never know why those people knocked at my front door.

 

I'm amazed that in the new millenium, people still claim some roots in an urban area to give some indication of 'street smarts' then smugly announce they've moved to 'suburban' or 'rural' areas which they believe connotes 'safety'.

Urban communities are plagued with crimes like murder, rape, robbery. Suburban communities are plagued with the same crimes. Because crime is present wherever HUMANS ARE PRESENT. Growing up just South of Detroit didn't teach you not to open your door to strangers? Especially when you are vulnerable (with a new baby) or defenseless or alone?

I'm going to hazard a guess that this couple looked like you, therefore, you abandoned all common sense, opened the door, showed them your child, didn't ask to see a badge, and didn't call the police afterward. I guess you didn't want to get them in any trouble.

Have you never heard of Elizabeth Smart - suburban, rich neighborhood, kidnapped by humans of the same skin color

Do you not buy milk in cartons - they have pics of missing kids from rural areas every day

Do you not watch Dateline NBC, PrimeTime, or any Lifetime Movie? Every story deemed worthy enough to be filmed is of people (usually women) being victimized by people of the same skin color (and usually a family member or close friend).

So stop thinking property values are going to protect you.
Stop thinking 'those not like us' are the only ones who commit crime.

Remember: Cain slew Abel when there were only four people on the planet - and Abel never saw it coming from his brother of the same skintone, in the original 'good' neighborhood, the Garden of Eden with his parents who actually KNEW GOD!