GRESSEN: Mrs. Kramer, can you tell the court why you are asking for custody?
JOANNA: Because he is my child. And because I love him. I know I left my son. I know that that is a terrible thing to do. Believe me I have to live with that every day of my life. But in order to leave him, I had to believe that it was the only thing I could do and that it was the best thing for him. I was incapable of functioning in that home and I didn’t know what the alternative was going to be and I thought it was not best to take him with me. However I have since gotten some help and I have worked very, very hard to become a whole human being and I don’t think I should be punished for that and I don’t think my little boy should be punished either. He’s only seven (7) years old. He needs me! I am not saying he doesn’t need his father, but I really believe he needs me more. I was his mommy for five and a half years and Ted took over that role for eighteen months but I don’t know how anybody could possibly believe that I have less of a stake in that little boy than Mr. Kramer does. I am his mother. I am his mother.