The kids put their shoes on and we made plans for later on in the week. I hugged my children good-bye. The kind of hug you give your children when you will see them again in a few hours or a day or two — not the kind of hug you would give them if you knew it was the last time you will see them.
I hugged them good-bye, not knowing that their mother, instead of taking them back-to-school shopping, would be taking them on a flight out of Chicago in only a few hours; a flight that would take my beloved children completely out of my life and into a country that is well-known to be a black hole for child abduction. My children’s mother kidnapped them to Japan.
I think about my children every day.
Isaac and Rebecca were, by all accounts, very happy in Tennessee. They had friends, hobbies, favorite teachers…. they had the benefit of enjoying what it is like to have a mother and a father in their everyday lives. Unfortunately, Isaac and Rebecca’s mother rather than abiding by the laws of the United States and the State of Tennessee, simply fled the country with my children—in the absence of all accountability….stealing the children away from a very happy home, and away father who loves them dearly…. without so much as a good-bye.
Albert Einstein once said: “Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children”
I want to live again. I want to live again through my children.
Isaac and Rebecca, in case you ever watch this, please always remember that I love you both so very much. Your Daddy will always love you. Forever.
Honourable Members of Congress and members of the press, perhaps today you may be able to feel some of the pain that I experience every day, every time I weep for my children. When I wake up in the morning, I still can’t believe that I will not be able to see my son or my daughter, and that I am forced to live with the tragedy that is my reality.
Parental abduction to Japan HAS TO STOP, and I respectfully implore you, Honourable Members of Congress, to consider the importance of this House Resolution today. The youngest citizens of this great country do not have a voice with which to speak, other than through the victim parents who are often much too aggrieved to walk the halls of Congress asking for much-needed assistance with this inter-continental problem. That is why I am so thankful that today we are here talking about the need for the United States to implement measures to protect our country’s youngest citizens from Japan’s habitual and consistent complicity in the criminal acts of its citizens, and to begin a dialogue so we may begin to hold the kidnappers accountable for their actions.
The Japanese have made it a central issue of their foreign policy to seek justice for the families of the 17 children kidnapped from Japan to North Korea– they have sought and received the support of our government to help return those children.
But in 58 years, Japanese citizens have stolen hundreds of children from the United States, and the Japanese government has refused to cooperate in the return of even one child. The Japanese word for such hypocrisy is “gizen”.
The State Department has seen a 50% rise in abductions to Japan in the past two years and this problem is only going to get worse.
The non-profit organization, BACHome.org is a new resource for victims of this crime and for those who wish to assist in the aftermath of international child abduction. While the group has made amazing strides in educating the public on this matter, the attention of Congress and the United States Government will be vital in resolving these active kidnapping cases AND in shielding potential new victims of this crime from future preventable abductions.
Thank you, Congress, for not giving up on these abducted children, just as I will not give up on the dream that I may be able to hug my
children again someday—the kind of hug that I wish I had given them on that fateful day in August, 2009….