Most of us have gone through something painful in our lives. If not, it is a safe bet to say that we will. In Ann Pettaway’s case, her pain led her to commit a horrible crime in 1987. After years of trying to conceive her own child and countless miscarriages, she kidnapped a baby girl from a hospital in Harlem, N.Y. and raised her as her own.
After 23 years, Carlina White now knows the truth of her origin and how she came to be a part of Pettaway’s family. The sad thing about all of this is Pettaway was a woman who was past her breaking point when she committed this crime that now, according to the FBI, will have her facing a minimum of 20 years in prison. Some people are put under so much pressure that when it becomes too much they make wrong choices.
I do not in any way condone Pettaway’s actions, but I do feel that she had other options, such as adoption. But instead of focusing her pain into something positive, say becoming a foster mother, she kidnapped someone else’s baby girl, and caused pain in someone else’s life, including White herself. White now has to know who her true family is after years of being separated from them.
I do feel that Pettaway has come to accept her fate with the federal courts. She has not posted bail, even though she reserves the right to, and she said that she felt remorse for kidnapping and raising White as her own.
But how can one be remorseful after 23 years? I do not doubt for a second that she feels bad, but I question why she felt bad. Was she remorseful because she got caught? Or was it truly because she caused the pain of losing a child to someone else?
Truth be told, that could be a question that probably won’t be answered until Pettaway’s trial. I guess, like White’s family, we will all have to wait until then.