The biological mother of 17-month-old twins says that postpartum depression and the overwhelming demands of child care led to her putting them up for adoption.
"I never had sleep deprivation like that before," Alison Quets said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America."
"In college, I would pull a few all-nighters -- but [for] one or two nights. But this was sleep deprivation that went for weeks even months because while I was pregnant I was throwing up at night," she said.
Now, Quets, 49, is accused of kidnapping the twins from their adoptive parents during the Christmas holidays and fleeing to Canada.
The babies, Tyler Lee and Holly Ann, were returned to their adoptive parents at their home in Raleigh, N.C., following Quets' arrest after a week on the run. A custody agreement with the adoptive parents had allowed Quets to take the children for a brief visit Dec. 22 to Dec. 24, but authorities say she never returned the babies and went to Canada.
The FBI said an investigation indicated that Quets had crossed the Canadian border with the twins on Dec. 23. She apparently spent five days tucked away with the twins at a bed and breakfast in Kingston, Ontario, before they were found on Dec. 29 in Ottawa.
Adoption Appeal May Continue
Quets, a single engineer who gave birth to the twins after undergoing in-vitro fertilization, was in the process of appealing the adoption in the state of Florida at the time of the alleged kidnapping. Though a resident of Florida, Quets kept an apartment in Durham, N.C., so she could see the children.
"I always wanted to be a mother. I always, always wanted to be a mother," Quets told "Good Morning America."
"You know they were my babies. ... That I dreamed of for so long," she said.
She says she regretted putting up her twins for adoption immediately and still wants to attempt to get them back. Besides postpartum depression, Quets says an inability to eat led to her putting up Tyler Lee and Holly Ann for adoption.
"While that's happening to you, you're not really paying attention to what's happening to you because there's always a baby that needs to be fed," she said.
Quets returned to the United States on Monday, days after she had been released by Canadian authorities to the custody of two couples following the posting of $15,000 in bonds and cash by her family and the couples.
Tyler and Holly are back with Kevin and Denise Needham in North Carolina. Through family spokeswoman Melissa Bennett, the adoptive parents said they're relieved no one had been harmed.
"They were concerned with the health and safety of all of them," Bennett said. "And without any communication, they didn't know what was going on."
FBI Releases New Information
More details of the events leading up to the alleged kidnapping have come out in a newly unsealed FBI affidavit.
The affidavit says that during a visitation, Quets tried to have the children's medical records transferred to a different doctor.
According to the records, she also had passports issued for them and talked about taking the children to another country that would not allow extradition.
In the days leading up to the alleged kidnapping, the Needhams noticed Quets acting "erratic, anxious, and verbally abusive," according to the affidavit.
Quets said she didn't think her children were thriving with the Needhams.
"It's not something I would have ever wanted to do, but I was really concerned for my children," Quets said.
Despite the mounting evidence against her and the prospect of years in jail, Quets remains confident that she will get her children back.
"They are my whole life. I love them very much," she said. "I will never stop fighting to make sure their lives are as good as they can be, and they need to be home with their mother and I'm fighting for them."