Allison Quets has a lot on her mind. There's the battle for custody of the Apex twins she gave up for adoption. And there's the international kidnapping charge she faces for whisking them to Canada.
On Saturday, she wept as she described her longing for Holly and Tyler Needham, the 18-month-old twins at the center of the saga.
"I think of their faces," she told the Ottawa Citizen. "I think of their eyes. I think of how they look at me. I think of how much I know they want me to hold them. And I can't because I'm not there."
The interview -- posted on the newspaper's Web site ottawacitizen.com -- is believed to be her first since her arrest Dec. 29 for taking the twins to Canada without permission.
She was to have returned the toddlers to their adoptive parents, Denise and Kevin Needham of Apex, on Dec. 24 after a visitation.
Quets, who gave birth to the twins after in-vitro fertilization, has said through her family that she was fatigued and disoriented when she decided to give up the children for adoption a few weeks after giving birth. Quets filed a legal challenge to the adoption. She lost before a Florida trial judge and is appealing that ruling.
Messages left with Denise Needham were not returned Saturday.
The interview Saturday depicted Quets as a doting mother who cherished her court-ordered visits with the twins.
"They're the joy of my life," Quets said, sitting across from a reporter on a beige leather couch. "They're everything to me."
"They love their stroller," she continued. "... I rock them to sleep in their stroller because I can't rock both of them at once. And then I will put them to bed after I rock them. But we have a real connection, a real bond. They recognize me. They know me."
Quets, who is free on bail, is scheduled to surrender to Ottawa police on Monday for extradition to the United States. "I don't want to think a lot about those things," she said.
"I just want to focus on the kids. I am hoping to be able to see them again as soon as possible. I'm praying for that."