"Baker, 38, was sentenced to 65 years in prison last month in the April 2006 suffocation and drugging death of Kari Baker, the girls’ mother. He remains in the McLennan County Jail awaiting transfer to prison.
The Dulins pledged to seek custody of the girls and make them their first priority at the completion of Baker’s trial." (read more)
Below are two more quotes from Tommy's article and my comments are bolded.
“They have a good set of friends that they have had for nearly four years now in school, and they are in good classes with good friends,” Barbara Baker said. “They are involved in sports, community activities, church activities, and the thought of changing all that terrifies them.”
Well, three and a half years ago the girls were uprooted from where they had been living, pulled out of good classes and away from good friends. In Hewitt and Waco, they were involved in sports, community activities, church activities. After killing their mother, Matt uprooted the girls' world and moved them to Kerrville. And you know what, that's okay with me. There were other grown-up issues the girls weren't old enough to understand. Matt wanted to be with his family for help. Moving happens all the time. Adults have to decide what is best. There are reasons that children don't make such huge family decisions.
The girls are convinced that their mother committed suicide and that their father has been wrongfully convicted, she said.
This is HUGE. We can't know at this point in time know what the girls would want if they were allowed to know the truth, work through it, heal and grow from it. Barbara Baker will not allow the truth in that household. She says it adamantly, wholly, time and time again. TRUTH IS NOT AN OPTION in the Baker household. And even if there is that seed in the girls hearts and minds that they do believe Kari didn't leave them of her own choosing, they would not be allowed to show it, verbalize it, question it. TRUTH IS NOT AN OPTION in the Baker household. I could live with moving and uprooting. It sucks for kids. Sucks for kids all around the world that are moving for the family's (and their) best interest and wellbeing. What I can't stand is a murdered woman's children being force-fed lies for years and years and even in the face of the truth and conviction of their mother's murderer, can't embrace the truth and begin to finally heal. How can they be free to express their true feelings and thoughts in a household that simply will not allow it. Without truth, there can be no healing. I don't care if you show up to every basketball game, school play, church on Sunday, etc; if truth is barred from your home and harmful, disgusting lies piled upon these girls year in and year out ON TOP OF the complete desecration of their sweet Mother's memory and continual murder of her spirit year after year, you are not spiritually and emotionally fit to raise these two girls. Period. Without truth, what do you have? The absence of truth raises what?
I will close with a comment from the article that is left by "hb." It is worth sharing wherever it can be shared:
"This whole situation is tragic. These girls have had their lives shaped by the tragedy of the loss of their mother and now the loss of their father. The main issue must be the ultimate welfare of the girls - not just for today, this school year, but for their entire lives. The only way they can begin to heal is to honestly face the tragedies that have occurred. Living in Kerrville, I know that the girls have many good friends and are secure in their lives. My niece is one of their good friends. However, I do not believe that the Baker's will give them the counseling that is needed for the healing to occur. They still refuse to admit that Matt did anything wrong. At this point, that shows not only mindful ignorance, but neglect as well. While it may be hard to uproot them, it is better than leaving them to grow in a toxic household. That is not to say the Baker's are evil people, I am sure they are not, but there is line between support of your children and indulence [indolence] in harmful behavior. I think they have crossed that line. And looking at this from the perspective of the Dulin's, would any of you be willing to let your grandchildren stay with the family that was responsible for killing your daughter? As a parent, I would never do that and neither will Linda and Jim."