Introduction and Welcome

My name is David Robins. In March 2018, my wife Honey Robins ran off with our seven-month old son David Geoffrey, removing him from our home in Indiana and taking him to live with her parents in West Virginia, and cleaned out our checking account. She has withheld David from me for most of that time. My attempts to reason with her, to ask her to go to counseling, to get more time with my son, to remind her she once claimed to be a Christian have been met with the silent treatment.

I get limited (court-ordered) time with my son, who is now (in 2024) six, every other week—she wouldn’t let me see him without an order. We have a great time together, but it’s not enough. This site is about my fight to bring my alienated son “home to daddy” again, and, I hope, for others in similar situations to tell their stories and to obtain resources and encouragement.

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Overnights, Graduation, and Home?

I have had not been able to update this site as much as I had wished, and I have so many pictures and videos of David and the things we’ve done together Although I didn’t think I would be able to see David until I was done with law school—despite our every other week ordered time (even if only 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.)—but we have been able to spend some time together. He still hasn’t been able to come home, but there may be hope.

Starting in the second semester of 2L (second year of law school), January 2023, I only had classes Monday through Wednesday, and shifting Sundays, I could see David every other week from Thursday through Sunday, and sometimes the full week during breaks. That schedule has continued through 3L, and now I’m in my last semester of law school, graduating in May 2024. After that I don’t know; it will be easier to get a job, especially a legal job (which is not so friendly to remote work) if David can come home; taking care of him, which includes bringing him home to Indiana, has priority.

Over Christmas 2023 we finally got our first overnights (six, three sets of two, going into January). All were fine; David was very excited—we both were—but slept well after brushing his teeth, taking his medicine, getting pajamas on, reading, and prayers. He has a night light and sound machine that Honey sent with him. He likes a parent to go to sleep with him, and stay there—he checks around in his sleep, and can be quite indignant if I’ve left the room, but will go back to sleep on a quick return. He moves around a lot, and likes to climb on me. And when he gets up, usually a little before 7:30 a.m., he’ll ask what time it is until it’s time to get up (or, since I got him a clock for Christmas, he’ll announce to me each minute that passes). We then had three more overnights on the next Thursday to Sunday trip last week because the snow made driving treacherous: just about 72 consecutive hours (we Skyped with Honey at one point when she asked), from getting him at his bus stop Thursday, through school being canceled Friday, to the end of our (chilly) hike Sunday.

I graduate with my JD in May 2024. I have asked that David be allowed to come to my graduation—a trip home, even if only a visit at first, is the next reasonable step in what has been a progressive reunification. Because, sadly for all, he was not allowed to come home, and to Canada to see relatives, for Christmas, I’ve also requested he be able to come home for part of his spring break in April (and later for most of the summer). As he’s spent extensive time with me with no problems—it’s unfortunate that mere handwaving of potential for problems causes reunification to proceed at a crawl—there ought not to be any difficulty, as the only new thing would be the drive, which is no problem, and we can stop as-needed if any arise.

The Introduction post was written a long time ago—David was 3—and so has also been updated.

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Law school: another way to fight

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

I am a JD (Juris Doctor, law degree) candidate at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. I started there this August. It has been an amazing experience. My main “doctrinal” courses (required, no electives in “1L” year) are Civil Procedure, Torts, and Contracts, and I have great professors for each and enjoy class very much. There is a lot of reading, mostly cases (and Legal Eagle’s advice for briefing cases was spot on). Cold calls are not that bad, so long as one is prepared. Outside of doctrinal courses, I have a legal writing course, which has been challenging and useful, and a legal professions course, which has been… present (perhaps more useful for those who have never worked professionally). The 2024 class is amazing; I know way more people than I ever did in undergrad, and they come from diverse locations, backgrounds, and undergraduate studies, and I expect them to make the curve very difficult.

Mostly I don’t expect law school to benefit personally in my struggle to get justice for my son and I, to bring David home, to avoid being robbed by inexplicably angry “stbx” (soon-to-be-ex) wife, although the way it’s been dragging out, maybe I’ll have graduated before it’s over. Since they’re trying to get me into court in a foreign forum without basis (although they’ve attempted a long list of sneaky tricks, lies, omissions, and misrepresentations), the case is before the state supreme court. I only have two concerns: that the lies and misrepresentations are so deep that we lose on confusion, or, political shenanigans, including making new law/overturning precedents. But the opinions out of the court appear to be fair, so I have hope. If:

  1. the facts are presented accurately–they are trying to sneak in some things as “facts” that are actually conclusions of law, and
  2. existing common law (case law) is followed, and not overturned nor new law created,

then we prevail without any difficulty. Big picture, it’s wrong to haul someone into a foreign state and rob them; it goes against 14th amendment due process rights; and at every lower level of detail they have no case. Public policy is against it: someone ought not be able to run off with a child and plundered money and drag the person they harmed and broke their vows to into any random state court of their choosing. It’s still a long fight, but will at least for the most part (possibly excepting custody) be close to home rather than the added injustice of being haled into a foreign court which has a lot of corruption hovering around it, perhaps more than is typical for family courts. For example, judges bringing armed bailiffs to parties’ houses to loot property; in fact the family court judge in my case was admonished for it by the high court.

Purpose and Goal

But the larger picture is that I want to be able to help others finding themselves in this situation. While I admire what Melissa Isaak is doing fighting for fathers and men’s rights in family law and other areas in Alabama, fathers are not the only victims of abuses like David and I have gone through–unjust separation, withholding, kidnapping, perhaps narcissism, parental alienation, and so forth–and so I wouldn’t restrict my clients to fathers only. It may work out that way if they happen to experience this abuse the most, though. I want to fight to help reunite separated parents and children, and contribute in any way I can to justice for those parents and children in the more general sense, i.e., passing presumption of 50/50 custody that has been so wonderful in states where it is in effect, or helping make good case law that makes plunder and kidnapping difficult. Running off and withholding a child from a fit parent ought not to be possible, and if done it ought not to take years to undo (justice delayed is justice denied), and certainly ought not to give the kidnapper cash and prizes at the expense of the hardworking victim!

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Week 27: The last, until David can come home

For reasons that will be revealed later, I will no longer be able to travel the 400 miles presently required to see my son after this week. I never should have had to do that the first place, and only did because a bitter/disturbed “biological mother” Honey ran off with him and then withheld him from me. I still hope she will repent and turn from it all; or at least let him come home for a little while; or if not, that the court will see her as unfit and let him come home.

But the week with David Geoffrey was still sweet, and as always I am happy to share some picture-memories from it.

David loves playing with Snap Circuits, despite being below the recommended age; he’ll swap out switches and lights and knows that the LED needs a resistor in the circuit. I didn’t want him to get frustrated and never be interested, so was willing to put them away and bring them back when he was older if he didn’t show interest.

We went on our usual Saturday morning hike, and also spent some time walking along the “wall” by the nearby road jumping and balancing, played some T-ball, and of course “catch daddy” on the grass.

The end of our hike Saturday would be the last time I would see my son for a while. By rights, he should be safely home with his daddy. Even a somewhat reasonable biological mother (much more one who claims to be a Christian!) would let him come home for a week or so occasionally, or more to make up time she withheld him.

I continue to fight for my son. David, daddy loves you very much and misses you a lot.

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Week 26: One year of David and Daddy

This week makes a full year of ridiculously limited (5%) time with David—if Honey were reasonable she would have allowed us more time together, but she has always refused, so we are going to need to get a modified order to do that, and finally bring him home again.

We took a break from the Still Run Ridge trail on our walk this Saturday to go back to the Horsepen Knob trail, one of our favorites, since it’s a loop that can be completed during our time and has a bench that’s great for our picnic. We had some cherries this time—I brought a cherry pitter, which saves a lot of time.

We got back to Second Street Station with a few minutes left, so sat on the bench out front and read another book—The Tale of Peter Rabbit—before he was taken away again.

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Evidence of neglect

I received a few notifications from my medical/dental insurance recently that Honey had told me nothing about, or just told me of a “check-up” for the dental. First, that David was approved for ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy (for autism), some 36? sessions over three months; and second an estimate–$3598.00!–to fill 12 cavities, and various supplementary work.

The ABA therapy is dubious; I had told her to look into it for him about six months ago, although I’m sure she didn’t set it up because she listened to me. It is being provided by remotely by a Massachusetts company, which is good; it will make the transition to Indiana easy, although if it’s better for him I may move him to a local provider.

Twelve cavities for a three-year-old is shocking evidence of neglect, however. Honey’s family subsists primarily on soft drinks and junk food, and she definitely gives him soda–seems like a lot of it, just not any with caffeine (which is little comfort). (I have given him orange soda a total of I think four times; and may not do so any more, although it is probably acceptable in moderation.) She should be brushing his teeth, or if he can, ensuring he is doing it correctly. It is good at least that they are his baby teeth! (Honey’s sister tried to claim that she had a lot of cavities at the same age and it’s normal; but that actually makes it worse: David is being raised in part by Honey’s parents and what she learned from them, which was apparently not good.) In no world is this reasonable, and the dentist said it could have been prevented with proper diet and care.

What else is she hiding? She doesn’t like to spend time outside (laziness, blames allergies), and David loves to play ball or go for walks when we do; that may be all the time he gets outside, or the majority of it. How else is he failing to thrive because she is not putting in any effort to encourage, support, teach, and care for him? I am an engineer, and he loves building toys like “pieces” and even basic electronics (Snap Circuits), which she is unlikely to encourage him in.

This lack of care is abusive, as is her complete failure to keep me apprised of events in his life, medical or otherwise; she is not responsible enough to have anything but supervised visits with David until she can take care of him–and ideally become independent herself, first.

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Week 25: G. I. Joe and the vegetable garden

Someone at the “Mullens Opportunity Center” (a converted high school across the road from where I usually stay) had planted a vegetable garden a few weeks ago; we saw it on our walks around the building, along the railing, down to the water, or to sit on the tractor, but it had seemed the weeds were getting the better of it, until this week; the beans had been provided stakes to climb, some weeding done, etc., and there were signs of growth.

David observed that one of the green tomatoes had fallen off the vine; I told him it would not grow any more–how like believers; we cannot grow unless we are connected to the true Vine (John 15).

I brought David a G. I. Joe this week; I don’t spoil him with toys, and he likes the same ones; they provide, I’m sure, a sense of stability and continuity when he’s with dad, but he’s about the right age for it. It came with a couple small accessories but they didn’t cause any issues; he likes that he has a hat, but put it on and forgot about it. Turns out what he likes to do is to play with G. I. Joe on the balconies (decks), either by walking him around the floor, jumping, or mostly, pulling out the camping chair’s cupholder netting then jumping Joe into the cupholder. I don’t know why, but so long as he’s having fun!

This was also the first week David went down the enclosed yellow slide at the village playground. He had liked to go up and down the steps to it before, but would balk at even going near the opening. But I convinced him to sit in the opening, facing the platform, and then to turn and look down, and went around to the bottom and waved at him through it. He still wouldn’t go down; he insisted that “you will sit on daddy’s lap”; so I crammed myself in there and down we went. After that he was more comfortable; and I had figured we’d save him going down it for another day, but gave it a try, and he was willing to go down with some encouragement, and then it was “do it again” until we left the playground

He’s also had a fluctuating relationship with the big regular slide (smaller slides are usually OK, like the ones at Twin Falls; he’ll climb the ladder and slide down repeatedly just fine, for a while now). He’ll always climb the steps and sit down, but then sometimes it takes me climbing up the slide to get him to go down, or he even wants to only go on my lap. This week it got to “daddy will help you” which meant me putting a hand up on the side (but catching him at the end wasn’t acceptable), although I didn’t need to do anything to help him down. He got back to sliding down himself too; I even sat off to the side on a bench.

We liked the Still Run Ridge trail so much last week that we hiked it again this week (one has part of my thumb, but it’s a great picture of David so I kept it anyway):

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Wyoming County roundabout

In my exile to see my son, we are limited (by court order and Honey’s hardness of heart) to Wyoming County, West Virginia, one of the poorest counties in an already poor state, where the main industry is probably the service industry (Dollar Store or Dairy Queen, take your pick), with remnants of mining and railways, and some logging–but they don’t need the personnel they used to–and the meth industry, of course. Mullens (a misspelling that stuck) is the largest town (~1,000) but (to their eternal resentment), Pineville (~500) is the county seat, and where the courthouse is, and there are rumors of another town called Oceana (~500) somewhere in the hills. The rest is tiny unincorporated towns shallowly clawed out of the hills next to the main roads.

Education is seen as a curse and viewed with suspicion (even by Honey’s family, although she has an uncle with a Ph.D–civil engineering–and her grandfather has his Bachelor’s from Emmaus Bible College, and had traveled to the Mediterranean).

(I took the title from a Ladybird book I loved as a child, Nature’s Roundabout. As far as I know there are no roundabouts of the other sort, also called “traffic circles.” in the county.)

Practically, with the limited time we have together, I am limited to areas near Mullens itself (e.g., Pineville is about 30 minutes away, maybe more with current construction). There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of navigable water in the county, although a shallow river runs through town; I would love to take David out in a canoe or kayak. So the spots we usually frequent are of course the Highwater Inn I stay at most of the time (see Travel and lodging in West Virginia), Twin Falls park, for the playgrounds, lodge (and pool!) when I stay there, a local playground (swings, slide, climbing tower, and there’s an old iron bridge over the creek there that we walk over and he walks on a low stone wall as far as we go on the other side), a couple places to eat (Second Street Station in town, the Rebel Smokehouse–not bad, but I don’t go there with David since he wouldn’t eat most of the menu, and Dairy Queen down the road a bit). There’s also a gas station and IGA, where I usually fill up and get groceries coming in on Sundays, near the DQ.

In contrast, when David gets to come home to Indiana, while I live on several quiet acres (despite being close to the highway, it is just one lane and goes up to farms and small towns to the north), there are a number of well-kept parks nearby in Noblesville, and good shopping within 10 minutes’ drive, and all the usual amenities – including pediatric dentists (which will become important later). Hamilton County is the second-wealthiest in the state (Boone, the wealthiest, is nearby) and has great options for schools (and people who don’t despise education), on-site autism therapy (rather than having to be remote as now, since there seems to be no local options in WV), and healthcare (including dentists).

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Week 24: Red party streamers on the Still Run Ridge trail

I brought the guitar in from the trunk and we sang our two hits: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Jesus Loves Me, and then I played/sang a few other songs from the book–a book of hymns for guitar my dad loaned me; he enjoys listening to me play, like I enjoy listening to my father play (although he’s much better), and tries to sing along even when he doesn’t know the words. And we finished Finding Nemo–watching the fish in the credits is fun too–and started Toy Story. He asked to look at “triangle house” pictures (my house in Indiana has some triangular windows, which inspired the site white triangle logo and are in some of the rotating banner pictures), so we did; one of the security cameras points at the living room with the windows.

This week we hiked the Still Run Ridge trail at the park for the first time. We didn’t have time for the whole trail, but we made it to where the Pathfinder trail (yellow diamond) forks off; there’s a convenient “fall-down tree” there where we sit and have our picnic and read some books, then turn back (the rest of the loop is longer than turning around, and would probably exceed our limited time). There was some bright red construction tape tied to some of the trees along the way (close to the path, maybe marked for trimming?), and when David saw them he said, “Red party streamers like in Not Your Typical Dragon book!” It’s great to see him relating what he sees around him to what we read.

Mike E. was preaching at Otsego Bible Chapel this week at the Wednesday midweek meeting (it’s at the end of our time, and walking distance to kidnapper’s house, so I drive him there and drop him off, and sometimes we get a few minutes to play “catch daddy” on the grass). Since I can only see David every other week and the two Mikes alternate, it had been Mike C. for a long time, so an occasional change is nice. The chapel had a Father’s Day display with the names of fathers at the chapel (although most people still don’t make it in person on Wednesdays at least); and they had gift bags; I shared my chocolate with David.

We sometimes Skype with my parents, and did this week–at first he didn’t want to break away from Toy Story; my dad played guitar some, and mom had some addition puzzles for him.

Honey gave back her rings on the last day (Saturday after our hike); not sure why, some people think to inflict further pain; legally she was allowed to keep them. But it doesn’t change anything; I knew she was committed to destroying the family/marriage already; and I still pray she will change her mind, or at least let David come home for a time. I also wasn’t sure if her sister Emily was a Christian, but she said she was, but does not seem inclined to help us.

When I Skyped with David on Sunday (kidnapper allows 3x weekly, no more) he was good; the last time I had Skyped a week ago Friday he was hiding his face and they canceled the call, and I was concerned alienation was proceeding apace; but maybe he was just “out of sorts.” We talk as best he can–he is talking much more–and read a few books together (he can complete a lot of them).

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Victim to Hero: End Parental Alienation Now!

I came across this site today, posted in a Facebook Parental Alienation awareness group: The Empowered Alienated Parents: Victim to Hero. Looks like it’s regularly updated and has some great resources for those of us going through parental alienation.

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that one is a victim of parental alienation–as is your child; but once understood, it is not helpful to dwell there. Fight for your children, and never, never, never give up.

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Week 23: “Pieces” and the Buck Run trail

New book this week, Optical Physics for Babies (part of the series with Electro-Magnetism etc.), which he liked. I’d like to get a prism to show him dispersion (rainbow from white light).

On Sunday it rained hard, so we stayed inside after getting groceries. I brought some oatmeal raisin cookies from Indiana, which David enjoys. (Also brought some mini apple strudel, but he wasn’t interested – very much “no thank you”!)

This week I brought a set of Brickyard STEM toys – strips with 2, 3, or 5 holes for bolts (which we call “screws”), and some 3D blocks, wheels, and 90-degree angled connectors which we use as seats. He loved them; we built some vehicles, and shapes – like the triangle he’s holding, and a square which he found he could turn into a diamond by pushing the sides in. He took to the tools provided very quickly, screwing in wheels or bolts to “make it tight” and build things.

David called them “pieces” so that’s what I refer to them as. They even won out over playing with trucks! Definitely a hit.

We usually buy frozen garlic bread at the store and I cook it a few times a week for us. Months back he wasn’t sure about it but now it’s almost a staple. I also save him some bacon when I cook some for breakfast; it’s one of the few meats he’ll eat (maybe the only one?)

It was raining again Monday, and was raining when Honey came to take him away, so I ran out to the car and got my poncho and put it on him (was going to put it on me and take him under it but he didn’t appreciate that at all, understandably enough, and it was awkward); he looked cute in it, wish I had a picture. So I carried him out in the poncho and put him in his car seat.

We finished The Jungle Book (for, I don’t know, maybe the third time?) this week; it seems to be one of his favorites. We also got to taking the “pieces” apart – turn the screwdriver the other way and “make it loose.”

This week we walked the Buck Run Trail at the park, not too long but with some steep spots, and it was still damp; we put on lots of bug spray. Instead of picnicking on the trail we went back to the bench at the park playground, under the shade of a tree, and ate and read our books there – including Nobunny’s Perfect and Ten Apples Up On Top, and had some “chocolate mintens” – and played on the swings and slide.

Since I’m no longer racing back to D&D&D (Dungeons & Dragons & Discipleship) in Indiana, I stopped at Bob Evans in Ohio – Rio Grande, first civilization after driving through the slow two-lane “valley of the shadow” part of US-35 in WV – and tried their strawberry salad, which was very good, and read a little.

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