It was a mini Chanukkah miracle to enjoy some precious hours of cuddling, loving and laughter in my 6 hour visit today. I was able to give the children the Chanukah presents and treats that I was unable to give them until today.
I wasn’t granted a visit on Sunday although I am still owed several substitute visits by the father for cancelled visits. I received an email from the visiting centre last week informing me that a visit on Chanukah Sunday ‘would not possible from their side.’
When I inquired why, they told me that they had a ‘staffing problem’ that day. The centre is an organisation open every day and every weekend with the only exceptions of Christmas, New Year and perhaps a few public holidays (this year they have even offered visits at Christmas time). In the entire 2 years the father has had custody, there has never been a time they have not been able to schedule a visit on a Sunday. For the exorbitant cost of 44 Euros for a 2 minute handover I expect a reliable service, without ‘staffing problems’ (despite a week to organize) which led to the children being denied an opportunity to spend with their mother on a special occasion.
It seems too much of a coincidence that Sunday also happened to be Chanukah, when all the children’s Chanukkah parties took place.
Last year I took them on my Sunday visit to the Community Chanukah Party and people from the Jewish community had a rare opportunity to glimpse the children out in public. The usual response I am met with is that people ‘hardly ever’ see the father out and about with the children. People at the party last year expressed horror and disbelief at the shocking state of the boys.
I sincerely hope since I was denied the opportunity to take them to a Chanukah party this year, that the father at least took them to one and didn’t deny them another Jewish holiday experience as they were denied at Simchat Torah.
If they were allowed to go, I hope they enjoyed it as I cannot know. Today when I tried to ask them if they went to a party or how they have celebrated Chanukah in school, I was again met with blank expressions. They still cannot respond in either German or English.
For one thing I am grateful; the continuous hugs and kisses from my 2 little boys communicates everything I need to know; the power of our love and the depth of our bond that is plain to see even without the utterance of a single syllable.