Kienan’s home,” announced his brother Calub, as he wrapped his arms around my neck the moment I arrived at the Hebert’s home.
Next came Kienan who gave me a hug that made everything else in the world disappear.
The Hebert family and Sparwood are joyously celebrating Kienan’s safe return.
“It is truly a miracle,” says Kienan’s father Paul. “People always have been asking me, am I mad or angry with Hopley? How can I be mad? My son has been returned safe and unharmed. I am grateful.”
In the early hours of Sunday, Kienan’s mom Tammy was unable to sleep. As she paced back and forth she glanced out the window noticing flashlights around her home.
“I was stunned, I thought who could be around our home now, so late at night. I ran and woke up Paul. He snuck up to the house and realized it was the police. “
Paul continues: “They told us, they had just received a call saying Kienan was home safe. “We went in the house, there was Kienan fast asleep on the couch in his blankets. I grabbed him and held him. At that moment all of my strength disappeared. I broke down and held my son.”
Paul ran across the street and yelled for Tammy.
“It seemed like I couldn’t get there fast enough,” said Tammy. “My legs felt like Jello. I wondered if I was dreaming.”
Paul and Tammy do not have strong enough words to describe that moment they held their son.
“We were grateful, thankful, happy, of course, but those words do not do our feelings justice. The feeling of joy was indescribable.”
Now that his son is home, Paul has directed criticism towards the courts.
“I realize many people are very angry with Hopley or maybe the RCMP,” says Paul.
“I am angry with our justice system, how can a person with so much history of these types of occurrences be released into our community with no one knowing. He never should have been released.
“The justice system not only failed us, they failed the entire community. Their actions are inexcusable.
The RCMP have been doing their jobs and doing it well, they should be commended for that. Hopley, he is a man that is sick, very sick and needs help.”
Kienan, a quiet three-year-old, spent time playing with his brothers, sisters and family members and it was quite apparent he was thankful to be home.
“He does have some trauma,” said Paul. “Sometimes he will be doing ok, and running around like nothing ever happened, but there are moments when he becomes different, and you can tell there is a change in him. But after everything he has been through, he is doing really well.”
The other children are coping well with the experience. “Bedtime is a bit hard,” says Paul. “But that is to be expected. Our children now have a bit of an apprehension towards strangers as well, where they never did before. They were all outgoing and friendly. Children should not have to be fearful. We will all work on the experience to cope and heal as a family, and a community.”
To the community of Sparwood, Paul paused and thinking of words effective enough to describe his gratitude.
“I cannot just say thank you. It is so much more than thank you. I am indebted to every single person that has helped in the search for Kienan. To the community of Sparwood you have shown who you are. People that will be there to help, take action when wrongdoing is done, to support and strengthen each other. If any of the volunteer searchers feel like what they did, didn’t really make a difference, it did. They were the ones who put the pressure on, that is something I believe made a huge impact,” said Paul.
“The support Kienan and our family have received has been amazing. I am happy we live in Sparwood and thankful for what a wonderful Valley we live in. Our family has truly lived a miracle.”