|Michaela with her little brother and sister.|
I guess I should let you know that the lead regarding the “headed home” e-mail has been resolved. After sending a couple of e-mails with no response from the sender, I sent him one laying it all out there, that I was the mother of a missing child and that when I get an e-mail with the subject line “headed home” from someone I don’t know, I just automatically jump to the conclusion that it is my missing daughter who is headed home. So this time I got a reply, which was that it had been sent to the wrong person. It was a bit of an odd thing that he said he didn’t know how my address got into his e-mail. But it is also true that the e-mail wasn’t addressed to my correct address. If I tell you my e-mail address, I will tell you that it is firstname.lastname@example.org. This was sent to simply email@example.com. The g-mail system explained to me that dots really don’t exist in their world, so that this address actually belongs to me also. If someone had got my address from my blog or facebook or somewhere, it would probably have been the correct form, I’d guess. So it must have been some sort of mistake.
Anyway, I wanted to address something else here … and that is the privacy of the people who post comments on this blog. There have been a few suggestions lately that I should start tracking down IP addresses of people who post various comments, because they could by some remote possibility be Michaela, or her kidnapper, or “the advocate.” I have said that comments don’t come with the IP addresses of those who post them, so it would not be easy to do that, but the other thing is that I want people who post comments here to feel safe. I don’t want them to feel that if they say the wrong thing that the police are going to come knocking on their door.
More to the point, if Michaela wants to post anonymous comments here, I want her to feel safe in doing so. You can agree with me or disagree with me all you want, but she is my daughter and this is my choice. If she is out there somewhere and does not feel safe enough to make contact, does not feel safe enough to come home, then what I want to do is to make her feel safe. If she thinks we are going to be tracing the IP addresses and knocking on the door, she might not post comments at all. And I would rather have just a tiny bit of anonymous contact with my daughter than none at all.
I’m a paralegal, so I’m good at anticipating counter arguments, so I know you could say that perhaps Michaela is being held somewhere and wants to be saved and I am letting her down by not visiting the IP address of all the people who post on this blog, but what if that were to put her in actual danger? Take the example of Jaycee … if the police had come bursting onto the Garrido property and said, “We think Jaycee is posting comments from this address,” there is a chance they may not have found her. That back yard was very well concealed. But there are many, many other ways to conceal a person, so what we are looking at here is that somebody has a really good way and the police don’t find her. If she is in the company of some actually violent criminals and they go through this close call because she has been commenting on her mom’s blog, she could face violent consequences.
Well, I feel a bit like I’m writing a mystery novel here, but I’m just saying, if Michaela is reading this blog, if Michaela is posting on this blog, there is only one thing I want her to know — that she is safe here, and the reason she is safe here is because she is safe with me, because I have only her best interests in my heart.
Shawn Hornbeck made anonymous comments on his parents’ website for him, I understand. I understand he asked them if they would even want their son back, and that this is because he felt shame because of what had been done to him. But they did want him back. Nothing that had been done to him changed him in the least in the eyes of those who loved him. The same with Jaycee and Elizabeth Smart. They are loved and cherished as survivors. Michaela, you are loved and cherished as well.
Before comments appear on this blog, they come to my e-mail for my approval. So if ever anybody wants to communicate with me anonymously and not have the rest of the world see their comments, just ask me not to publish them. Sign them, please, with a code name if you want, so that I can answer your e-mails on this blog without publishing what you have said. Whether you are Michaela, or whether you are someone with information about Michaela, I will give you the space and time that you need to safely give me what I need … my daughter back, a resolution to this crime.
I love you, Michaela.