An Open Letter to Katie Garheart (aka the girl who stole my children’s photos and is pretending they are hers)

My sons

Hi Katie,

I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But we certainly have something in common – our children. Rather, MY children, whose photos you appear to have pilfered in order to post to your Facebook timeline and claim them as your own.

Perhaps you are a misguided teenager a bit too swept up in the MTV “Teen Mom” cultural phenomena. Perhaps you had to complete one of those fake-baby class assignments where you needed to tote an egg around to theoretically teach you how difficult parenthood is. And then when you prematurely dropped the egg you took to social media to earn extra credit (in which case you fail for neglecting the disclaimer). Maybe you’re simply misguided and thought no one would notice.

Maybe you’re not even really Katie, and you stole her photo too, in preparation to build up a huge group following of sympathy and then set up a fake fundraiser or sell the group for pennies on the follower.

In any case, I wanted to clear a few things up. Because as annoyed as I am (and trust me, I’ve filed as many copyright claims as possible right alongside numerous Facebook reports and those legal cease and desist notices you received via Facebook message), I also find myself exceedingly peeved at how much you got wrong.

Let’s start with some basic math. Per your most recent cover photo it appears you’re claiming Sept. 11, 2013 as the boys’ birthday. Yet a previous photo notes Nov. 14 as your due date.

Stolen Cover Photo

Fake Due Date

In the fake prayer group set up it is (correctly) noted that the tiny ones were born at 27 weeks. Given the info as stated above, babies born Sept. 11 who are due Nov. 14 are 31-weekers.

Don’t get me wrong, a 31-week baby is still very much premature. But when it comes to the art and science of growing babies, that extra month is huge.

You further prove your ignorance of potential complications of prematurity in the stolen photo compilation of Oct. 5.

Stolen Photos

That photo of them at 5-days old? They are already over a month old here. This photo was the first time the brothers actually met one another.

That photo of them at 5-days old? They are already over a month old here. This photo was the first time the brothers actually met one another.

Here is a real photo of my 5-day-old son. It was the first time I ever held him.

Here is a real photo of my 5-day-old son. It was the first time I ever held him.

I notice there are no pictures of you alongside my sons. Granted that is because you’ve never actually laid eyes on them. And they’re 3-years-old now. But kangaroo care is hugely important. You really should have been holding your preemies. (Especially since they’re 3-months-old in all those pictures.)

Now, as for the children themselves. Perhaps it’s the lack of holding them, but you seem to be rather confused as to who is who. (Out of kindness I’m not even going to get into the ridiculous matchy matchy names you came up with.)

Contrary to your belief (as noted on another pregnancy announcement photo), the children you chose to feature are not identical. They are fraternal. So your fake ultrasound is inaccurate; they would not have been positioned as such in the womb.

Given this lack of identical-ness, it’s even more of a shame that you keep getting them confused. “But they look alike!” you’re thinking. Kind of, although I don’t really think so. But then again, I’m their mother. I bet you’d agree if they were really your children.

I do not know what caused you to put so much effort into creating photomontages of my muppets. (That’s what their father and I have always called them. Did you read any of their backstory or simply drag and drop Google images?)

I don’t know what ultimately possessed you to create your little fairytale. Or, more accurately, a nightmare.

It is clear you have no experience with prematurity. And I sincerely hope you never do. It is a terrifying physically and emotionally scarring experience. No parent should mourn the birth of their child. No parent should stand in the doorway to an unfinished nursery with the idea of “if” echoing through the empty room.

According to the March of Dimes, our country’s premature birth rate has risen by 36 percent over the last quarter century. From what I can glean, you appear to be from Kentucky. In 2012 your great state earned the grade of D for premature births; 13.4 percent of babies are premature. In high school D may equal degree. But in the NICU, D stands for danger.

November 17 is World Prematurity Day. That’s pretty close to your imagined due date. Do me a favor and think about all the little ones born too soon this year and what actual parents are going through.

Stop playing pretend. It is demeaning to the little ones actively fighting and belittling to the family and friends of those who wish nothing more than to stay pregnant just one day more.

 

**********

Update: Due to the multitude of reports and copyright claims from all you wonderful readers, these photos have now been removed and Facebook has recognized the account as an impostor.

6 Comments

Filed under Prematurity, Seriously?

6 Responses to An Open Letter to Katie Garheart (aka the girl who stole my children’s photos and is pretending they are hers)

  1. Melanie Arroyo

    Oh my!! How did you find out that this had happened?

  2. Ashley Pearce

    VERY VERY well said Tricia… very well said. I love you:)

  3. Unreal – I can’t imagine. Thanks for putting this out here for all of us to be aware. I hope this girl realizes how wrong her actions were. But I doubt it.

  4. For real? Surely not????? Some people really are sick and twisted.

  5. Lois

    What a nightmare for you, Mama!! That is very creepy. I hope the issue is fully resolved….I don’t even have words for how crazy this is. Makes me not want to post pics of my little. Thank you for sharing!

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