As I handed my children over at 5pm today, I hugged them and kissed them, not knowing when I will ever see them again.
The last official visit at the centre was last Tuesday (28 January) but as a gesture of ‘goodwill’ (at 44 Euros) the centre agreed to supervise one last handover today. I should legally have had a visit on Sunday (2 February) too but the centre were unable to do it (at 44 Euros!) and the father wouldn’t agree to any alternative. When the handover employee asked the father at the end of the visit how he intended for the visits to continue, he showed a total lack of interest or concern.
It could take weeks or even months until any new decisions are made and in the meantime I have no idea how I can continue even my minimal visitation rights.
The father has refused every suggestion put to him, including the kind offers of Chief Rabbi Eisenberg and Rabbi Hofmeister. In fact, he has refused to allow any involvement whatsoever from the Jewish community in assisting the handovers.
His lawyer wrote to the kindergarten last week banning them from speaking to me or even sharing any information about the children’s progress or welfare with me.
The last time the visiting centre (a different one) stopped the handovers the children were denied access to their mother for 7 weeks!! After which the judge, Susanne Gottlicher, issued another centre – surprisingly just a few doors down the street from the previous one, recommended by them. Coincidence it took so long? I think not.
Over the past 2.5 years, I have spent thousands of hours (almost 4 hours travel time each visit) as well as thousands of Euros on these visits. Access to my children has been made as burdensome as possible for me and as stressful as possible for the children (almost 2 hours on public transport) and contact broken on every possible occasion under every pretext, sometimes no excuse at all. Despite all that, our mother-child bond is far from broken. When will I see my precious children, Sammy and Benji again? When will Sammy and Benji be with their ‘Mama’ again?