If you don’t want to be a parent, please tell someone

Emani Moss was 10 years old when she died.

Emani Moss was 10 years old when she died.

Eman Moss appeared in a Gwinnett County courtroom a week ago to apologize to his “beautiful princess.” He left facing life without parole for starving Emani Moss to death at the tender age of 10. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2013 starvation death of his daughter.

Prosecutors gave Eman Moss a plea deal in exchange for his testimony against Tiffany Moss, his wife and Emani’s stepmother. Authorities believe Tiffany Moss was responsible for the majority of the abuse and neglect Emani suffered. She could get the death penalty.

Authorities found Emani’s burned body in the garbage. She weighed 32 pounds.

My heart breaks just thinking about the pain and suffering that beautiful child endured throughout her life. What were her parents thinking, trying to hide her body by burning it?  Did they honestly think no one would wonder where she  was?

Any fool can have a baby. but it takes a caring and attentive adult to raise a child.

If you’re too drugged out, irresponsible or just plain uncaring to raise the child you brought into this world, please turn that child over to someone who will love and care for him or her.

Indeed, our foster care system is overburdened and in need of more adults to care for children. Those of us who can, should step in and take a child who needs a home.  Over the years I’ve thought seriously about becoming a foster parent. I’ve  considered my spouse’s views, as well as my age, work load and other factors.

Ideally, a child should be placed with a relative until their parents are willing and able to care for them. But sadly, that is not an always an option. Back in the day, extended families often stood in the gap for loved ones who didn’t quite have it together but had a desire to be in their child’s life. That still happens today, but with families scattered about it seems to happen less frequently.

Tiffany Moss had been arrested previously for abusing Emani.  Sadly, the child was allowed to return to her care.  Her grandmother, the mother of Eman Moss, tried to help the child on several occasions. The couple’s two younger children were placed in state custody after Emani was found murdered.

Emani’s murder should prompt serious soul-searching in all of us. When we see a family in crisis, let’s do something, even if it means reporting them to the authorities.

This is how we will begin to save our abused and neglected children.


If your life is a mess; don’t have children

What kind of people starve a child to death, burn her body and dump her remains in the trash? Emani Moss was a beautiful 10-year-old girl who lived in Gwinnett County, Ga. with her father and stepmother. Now Emani is dead and her father Eman Moss and stepmother, Tiffany Moss, have been charged with her murder.

Robin Moss, Emani’s paternal grandmother, told reporters this week that she begged authorities not to return Emani to her father and stepmother’s home. Tiffany Moss was convicted of child cruelty a few years ago for abusing the girl. Officials hoped that conviction, along with parenting and anger management classes would help the parents do right by their child.

Robin Moss said she wanted to care for the granddaughter she feared was being neglected and abused. Two other children lived in that same home.

Authorities believe the child died of starvation a few days before her remains were discovered last week.

Nearly a month ago, 12-year-old Eric Forbes of Paulding County, Ga. was found unconscious in a bathtub. His father, Shayaa Yusef Forbes, called 911 and claimed his child had accidentally drowned in the bathtub. But after signs of severe abuse were found on Eric’s body, Forbes was arrested for murder.

For most parents, hurting their own children is unthinkable. But thousands of children are neglected, abused or murdered by their parents or insignificant others who have access to the children.

Crimes against children happen so frequently they have become almost routine. We call ourselves a civilized society yet our children are far more likely to be murdered by people they know than by strangers. The most vulnerable children live in homes where they are exposed to deranged, addictive or dangerous people. A two-year-old left with a live-in boyfriend is diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease. A child comes to school with red marks caused by a beating. A baby is brought to the emergency room with an unexplained fractured skull.

Let’s face it: if your life is a mess, you are going to attract people whose lives mirror yours. Drug addicts hang out with other junkies. People who drink themselves silly, generally pal around with friends who do the same.

People in this condition shouldn’t think about having children. Unfortunately, they are incapable of thinking about anyone other than themselves. And many don’t have the good sense to take their children to someone who will look after them properly until they can. Instead they are living in a state of deep denial and children are dying as a result.

Expose broken people to your children, and your children will suffer.

Emani Moss, a sweet-faced little girl with pigtails, died too soon because the people who were supposed to love her starved her to death and tried to cover it up by tossing her burned remains in the trash.

Eric Forbes, a handsome middle-schooler who liked to play football, had severe bruises and bite marks on his lifeless body.

No children deserve this fate.