Why Michelle Knight decided not to fight for custody of her son

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Michelle Knight’s love for her son Joey helped her get through 11 torturous years in the home of kidnapper Ariel Castro, but she still hasn’t been able to see him after being released for 2 years. In fact, her son, who has been with an adopted family for most of the time Michelle was missing, probably doesn’t even know that the courageous woman sharing her story with the world is his mother.

“Sometimes in life you have a dark past that makes you who you are but it doesn’t define who you are,” Knight has said about her horrific experience being chained and starved in a small room. “It just makes you stronger.” When she and the other two captives, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, were finally released, she learned that her son’s adopted family didn’t want to complicate his life.

Because of her particular situation, Michelle could have used the legal system to fight for Joey, who’s now a teenager, but she decided to not do that. “I won’t try to take him away. I am just hoping you can help me fill the hole in my heart with whatever photos or stories you are willing to share with me,” she said to the adoptive family.

Like it was depicted in the Lifetime movie Cleveland Abduction which aired Saturday night, his adoptive family did send Michelle photos. According to Michelle, her son looks just like her.

“People ask me all the time where my strength came from during those eleven years in hell,” Michelle wrote in her memoir, which she decided to Joey. “The answer comes down to one word: Joey.”

“I don’t know if I will ever see Joey again. I miss him more than you can imagine. At the same time I love him so much that I don’t want to interrupt his life,” she said. “I would never rip him out of his world just so he can be in mine. Sometimes you have to care about people the way they need you to care about them. I have to love Joey enough to let him go. And that is what I’ve done.”

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