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Authorities have placed tiny Adam...
By Dustin Brown
A 3-year-old boy who wandered from his mothers Long Island City apartment to Queens Plaza in the middle of the night has been removed from her custody as the city investigates why he was able to strike out on his own.
Authorities have placed tiny Adam Ibrahim in the care of his Bayside uncle as they investigate the parental suitability of his mother and her boyfriend, who were home asleep during the boys unchaperoned excursion, his mother said.
Adam was found unharmed at the corner of Crescent Street and Queens Plaza South by a passing driver at 3:50 a.m. Monday, police said.
The child had apparently let himself out of his mothers 41st Avenue apartment and wandered a few blocks to the plaza, which carries traffic to and from the Queensboro Bridge and is a notorious haven for prostitution.
His mother, 37-year-old Eileen Vanderborg, said she woke up around 8:30 a.m. and thought her son was playing hide-and-seek until she failed to find him in the apartment, which she shares with her boyfriend, Ihab Toubar, and a roommate.
I freaked out and started screaming, she said.
She only learned Adam was safe after contacting police and meeting officers from the 108th Precinct, which is based in Long Island City.
But Toubar, who told police he closed the apartment door after finding it open at 6 a.m., now faces charges of endangering the welfare of a minor because he failed to check on Adam.
He thought my roommate came in, which quite honestly I felt was a normal assumption, Vanderborg said. My boyfriend had kept his eyes closed because he was tired.
Vanderborg said the city Administration for Childrens Services has put Adam in the custody of her older brother, Lance Vanderborg, who lives in Bayside.
She and Toubar both went to Queens Family Court in Jamaica Tuesday and were scheduled to return there Friday, she said.
Now all the sudden theyre telling me my sons not coming back to me for at least two to three weeks, she said. This is ridiculous.
Vanderborg is currently divorcing Adams father, Hosham Ibrahim of Astoria, to whom she was married for six years. Their custody agreement allows Adam to spend the weekends with him.
But she said Toubar plays a strong paternal role for Adam.
Adam loves him like it was his father, and he loves him like he was his son, she said.
Vanderborg defended her suitability as a mother, indicating the only change she needs to make is putting another lock on her front door.
My house is filled with kids toys. He has a better wardrobe than I do. My refrigerator is filled, she said. I have everything here for my son.
Now forced to enlist the help of a lawyer, Vanderborg said she simply wants her son back.
Im just worried about him because hes out of the house, she said. Hopefully, well get out of this and just get the baby back.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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