April's mom blog

by umer | 3:41 AM in |

April's mom blog

April's mom blog_The story was compelling: An unmarried Illinois mother chose to carry her terminally ill child to term rather than have an abortion because of her deep Christian faith.

It was all a hoax.

For two months, the suburban Chicago woman wrote about her pregnancy, her fears and her hopes on a blog that drew nearly a million hits to her Web site. Followers promised to pray for her and her baby, April Rose. They sent letters and gifts to a post office box she listed online.

But when "April's Mom" wrote on Sunday that her baby had died hours after being delivered at home - and posted photos - supporters soon realized they'd been duped.

One of the followers recognized the "baby" swaddled in white blankets as a lifelike doll that she had in her own home.

"As soon as I saw that picture, I knew it was a scam," said Elizabeth Russell, a doll maker from Buffalo.

There never was a pregnancy, only a 26-year-old social worker named Beccah Beushausen from suburban Mokena who said she always liked to write. Angry followers on dozens of Christian parenting Web sites helped expose Beushausen's identity.

Beushausen's Web site had been removed by Friday, and an address listed for a Rebeccah Beushausen in Mokena didn't include a phone number.

Beushausen said she started the blog in March to help recover from the loss of a son shortly after his birth in 2005, but then became addicted to the attention it was generating.

"Soon I was getting 100,000 hits a week, and it just got out of hand," Beushausen told the Chicago Tribune for a story Friday. "I didn't know how to stop. ... One lie led to another."

Supporters said they were drawn by their own beliefs, a desire the support the woman, known only as "B" or "April's Mom," and her beautiful writing. Now they just feel used.

"I feel emotionally exploited," said Jennifer McKinney of Minnesota, who now said it seems Beushausen seemed overly concerned with attracting hits to her Web site. McKinney, who writes a Christian blog, said Beushausen asked for help promoting her blog.

There is no evidence Beushausen committed a crime or received any significant financial gain.

She said she plans to write one final blog, to apologize.

"I know what I did was wrong," said Beushausen, who said she's been getting hate mail. "I'm sorry because people were so emotionally involved."

source: huffingtonpost