A few weeks ago, I read this news story about a woman whose daughter became a victim of international parental kidnapping 12 long, harrowing years ago in which time she hasn’t seen her little girl since:
Janet Greer can remember with devastating clarity the day that her 3-year-old daughter, Sarah “Dawsha” Elgohary, was supposed to return from a weekend visit with her father. And when Sarah didn’t show, she remembers the exact moment when she realized the child’s father, Greer’s Egyptian ex-boyfriend, had stolen the child away from her.
“Right then, I knew my life was over. I knew he had her. I fell down on the ground. I fell down, because I knew she was gone,” Greer told “Good Morning America” before beginning to cry uncontrollably, just as she had that day. Greer’s ex-boyfriend, Magdy Elgohary, had, without a word, taken the girl to live in Egypt.
She has kept every one of Sarah’s toys but cannot bear to look at them. Her little girl may not even speak English anymore, she said.
“I didn’t see the baby teeth come out. I didn’t see the first day of school. I didn’t do Mother’s Day. Nothing, nothing at all,” she said. “He took that all from me, and he robbed it from her too. He robbed her of her mother.”
It breaks your heart, doesn’t it? If you are a parent, imagine what you would feel if your child was taken from your side and moved to another country where you probably could never see them again. The country’s political system does nothing but throw out red-tape and excuses. They may even cite “what’s best for the child” as a reason to not reunite the mother with her child.
It happens here in the U.S. as well.
Last week the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that Maria Luis, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, should not lose custody of her children after she had her rights as a parent terminated when she was deported back to Guatemala in 2005 . . . WITHOUT her children, an infant girl and a then 6 year old boy:
In Luis’ case, the Supreme Court said it was not enough for the state to argue that the children would have fewer opportunities in Guatemala. The state also had to prove that Luis was an unfit parent — a burden the court said the state had not met.
The record showed that the state made no efforts to reunify Maria and the children, largely because the State Department of Health and Human Services “thought the children would be better off staying in the United States,’’ the court said.
“But so long as the parent is capable of providing for the children’s needs, what country the children will live in is not a controlling factor in determining reunification.”
Again, I imagined myself in that situation. My son is 7 and of course ZGirl is still just a baby. After five years, my son might still know me. My daughter? She not only wouldn’t know me, but she certainly wouldn’t be affectionate towards me. She wouldn’t understand me as she would speak a different language. I would miss seeing XBoy grow into a young man. I wouldn’t have experienced my daughter’s first laugh, first steps, learning to skip…just IMAGINE it, that total sense of loss would be perpetuated every day you were apart as well as every day after you were together. These little strangers you had loved all your life who may never love you back.
How could this have happened? The foster system will give every allowance possible to a biological mother and/or father who breaks every agreement, every promise, even the law, just so that the system can do “what’s best for the child”, which is reunification with the bio parent(s); and yet it was this same system who on their high-and-mighty moral pedestal believing that any third world country’s mother simply could not be better than one of our own born and bred citizens of this United States of America acting as a foster parent.
The state’s argument? the children’s American foster parents could give them a better life than they would have in Guatemala.
We are so fucking full of ourselves, aren’t we? Somehow automatic lawn sprinklers, disposable diapers and video games trump a the bio mother who fought the State of Nebraska for five years to get them home to be with her and her two older children. And hell yeah, she beat the big boys and will be (if it hasn’t happened already) reunited with her children.
She is said to be ecstatic about their final return, but will her broken heart ever heal after having her children ripped away from her at so young an age for so long? In Echoing Greer’s statement in regards to what her ex-boyfriend did to her, the state and the system’s overinflated by ego robbed these children of their mother. Care to guess who will pay the ultimate price for a county judge’s original ruling – no doubt based on prejudice and little else? It’s sickening and probably no one on behalf of the state learned a damned thing.