The Beautiful Island
You are born in a country with breathtaking beauty. At five years old life is good. You live with your mother on a small island and you have relatives, including uncles, who are good role models for you. You don’t know your father’s story.
When you are seven, unfriendly people start coming around. They are bothering your mother. Later in life you will look back and remember your mother as good, maybe as even spoiling you a bit.
Your mother has heard stories of how other little children are taken by these bad people. She decides to move from the beautiful Island to a country where she thinks you will be safe.
You are nine years old. You don’t want to leave everything you know but you are obedient to your mother.
Your mother is a hard worker and finds work quickly in the new country. You are staying in a hotel. You and your mother have only been in the new country two weeks. Your mother is at work when, suddenly, police officers storm the hotel and forcefully remove you. You never find out the real reason that you were taken.
You are taken to a terrible place and you are locked in a dark bedroom. Afraid, you start screaming and crying. Adults threaten to beat you if you are not quiet. You look out the key hole all night just to see some light. Here, you will be beaten for not brushing teeth the right way. Moved to a different and larger place, you are put in a school that is very big. The language is different. Still scared and not understanding the language, the bullies of the school target you. You fight back, get expelled, and get moved again.
Now, you think you are in hell. Physical and sexual abuse are common in this new place.
Your mother comes and tries to rescue you. You are eleven when you find out that you have a new little sister. You tell your mother about some of the abuse during visitations but, of course, you don’t mention the sexual abuse.
Your mother is finally successful and is able to get you back. It is wonderful but inside you feel dirty. You feel like your life has been ruined. You are angry and your mother has a difficult time controlling you.
You are moved away from your mother again and placed in a foster home. You never find out why you have been moved away from your mother for the second time. You are not placed with loving relatives who may have gladly taken care of you in the country with the beautiful Island. It is not even considered.
You are now a teenager and you understand that your foster parents don’t love you. You are simply a tool for them to make money so that they can have their own family. The anger continues to build in your heart. As soon as the home they are building is complete and they have their own baby, you are thrown out. Two others are thrown out with you.
You are moved to another “institution.” You have come to hate these places. At 16, you are kicked out and the bad people pay for your own apartment.
You are very excited to have your “freedom.” However, years of neglect and anger have its effect.
You make bad decisions, wind up in jail, and receive an 18 month sentence. You are then “sold” into a new foster family. You now understand that your only importance is for others to profit off of your life. The anger continues to build. This foster home is like most of the others. It is not a happy place and the marriage ends in divorce.
You are 18. About this time, you find out that your mother became a heavy drinker after you were taken by the cruel people. You also hear the sad news that your mother has fallen out of a window and died.
You have little respect for authority figures and wind up in and out of trouble. You become involved in criminal gangs and drugs. You spend more time in jail. In jail, you notice that many of those serving time have a story similar to yours. Later, you will discover that the majority of those who are taken from a loving family end up in the same situation.
In 2004, you are sent back to the country with the beautiful Island. You are almost 30. Despite all of the money “spent on you” by the bad people (you now know they are called the Barnevernet), you know that no one really cares. You have been sent back to your country to complete a prison sentence.
When released, you finally find a place where you are excepted. You join the motorcycle gang that respects your abilities. They become the first family you have known since you were taken by the Barnevernet of Denmark when you were nine.
You meet a beautiful young lady and fall in love. She becomes pregnant with your child. For months you prepare for the coming of this child. Everything is ready, even the crib. The nightmare that has been your life for over 30 years is over.
Your daughter is born on January 13th, 2015 at 10:53 am. You have never experienced such joy. Memories of your own childhood return. You now have your own family. You realize that you have made mistakes in the past and take responsibility for them. You are determined that your daughter will have a better life than you have experienced. You leave your past behind. You will be better than those who have wronged you.
Your daughter is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen, equaling and possibly even surpassing the beauty of her mother. She is much more beautiful than anything in the beautiful land you remember growing up in. You name her Aria.
After only two days in the hospital, the Barnevernet comes to the hospital and takes Aria away. The nightmare is not over; it has only become worse. The anger that has been stilled during the days of waiting for the birth of your daughter returns stronger than ever.
Aria’s mother and Aria are reunited and sent to a “home” for observation. You are not allowed to have any contact with them.
Aria is taken from her mother by Norway’s Barnevernet on January 22nd, 2015. She is not even 10 days old.
You ask for a reason for such cruel and evil treatment.
You are given a reason. You are told that children brought up in Barnevernet care “will not have a chance in the future to be able to be caring enough to have a child.”
Eventually, after many court hearings, a decision is made that you get to see Aria four times a year. Each visit will be two hours.
You are now beyond anger. You know what happened to you in Barnevernet’s “care.” You have several choices. Most of them are not good and will put you right back in prison, unable to be a voice for Aria and others like her.
It is difficult to sleep but you decide to do everything you can, the way a good father would, to put an end to the cruel CPS system that has controlled so much of your life. Your daughter has changed you. Your integrity is important to you. You know that the Barnevernet is looking for any reason to take even your visitations away from you. You do everything you can to try and get the cruel system to give you your daughter back. You speak at protests and educate others about your story, hoping that it will lead to opening the eyes and hearts of so many blind and evil people.
You are aware that people outside of your country are shocked to hear stories like yours. You do what you can to educate foreigners about the evil system that has taken hold in Norway.
You find out that some things about the Barnevernet have changed since you were in the “system.” Some things have gotten worse. The Barnevernet is now allowing foster parents to change the names of children. You find out about a child who was taken from his mother for no good reason before he was two years old. He has had his name changed at least twice.
No one will change Aria’s name. They may try but it will always be Aria.
Your daughter will be two years old in a few months. You will fight with the last fiber of your being for the rest of your life to have the family that God has given you. The Barnevernet has denied you the best gift that God has ever given you. You have heard the Bible verse: “You reap what you sow.” You know it is true. In time, and with the prayers of your friends, you hope to reap the good reward of all of the sacrifices you have made to bring the criminals to justice.
Until then it will be…always Aria.
Places to follow this true story:
BABY ARIA AND THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
JUSTICE FOR BABY ARIA AND HER FAMILY
Ken, Aria, and Vibeke