I have had this draft of a site page about my son for a long time; I don’t think I will ever complete it; my son continues to define himself as he grows. And there are many pictures on the main page of him, and they are the most current.
What can I say about David Geoffrey? We were so happy when we first learned Honey was pregnant in 2017, after trying for several years. There were the checkups, the ultrasounds, the first time we saw his heartbeat, learned we were having a boy, eagerly awaited his arrival.
At the hospital they said he would benefit from skin to skin contact with his father too, so we did that; he lay on my chest and I held him, still a little yellow from jaundice as I recall, so happy that I had a son–I had thought we would have a boy all along, although a daughter would have been welcome too.
At first we considered a “David B.” name, like me and my father. David was easy: after my father, and me, and Honey’s grandfather, David G. Pollock, a man who is sorely missed; and Honey’s uncle and my cousin are also Davids; we have a lot in the family. There’s even a picture, taken at Brockview Bible Chapel (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada) with all four of us David Robins’s. The “B.” less so; we considered my middle name (but I’ve never been especially fond of it, a story in itself), and Honey’s father’s middle name was a possible option. When we looked beyond “B,” I thought of my Grandpa Cater (birth mother Anne’s father), in England; all of us kids (Rebecca, Sharon, and I) spent a lot of time with the Caters when we grew up in England, and he encouraged and helped me with my interest in electronics and we’d play games (including an old one called “WHOT”) on their red folding-leaf card table, and he’d tell us stories he made up about “Monkey Moke.” He was fully H. G. Cater–Harold Geoffrey–but went by Geoff; and I liked that spelling. David, from the Hebrew, means “beloved,” and Geoffrey, Germanic, “God’s peace.”
David was seven months old when Honey ran off with him in March 2018. It was a while before I could contact her, and I did not see him again until I think May 2018, and I should have taken the poor boy home then and there; but I thought it would upset Honey–probably true–and interfere with any hope of reconciliation. I thought she could still be reasoned with then, and did not know how determined she was to destroy our family. So I “visited” my own son; and she demanded money to see him, on top of what she’d taken already. Remember that this is before COVID-19 was even heard of; and so I was driving into work every day. My manager was very understanding when I told him what had happened, and gave me some extra time off immediately, which was of immense help. He also agreed to let me work remotely every other week (I think that had to go up a couple levels in the organization, but it was approved). So I stayed at Twin Falls state park lodge, or at a campsite there, through November 2018, my first exile, about 16 weeks, and she would let me see David (with her) during the day, per her whims. It was exhausting, of course, as it is now; and of course I tried to persuade her to keep our family together, but she told me later she had already hardened her heart against it.
There were many milestones on these trips (and I will write more of them on the main page as time permits and I go back through my notes); for instance, a little before his first birthday David took his first steps–at a Kroger in Beckley. I felt he was ready; he was standing, and sometimes pulling himself along objects, so I sat down in an aisle and set him down a few feet from me and put my arms out and he toddled his first few steps into my arms.
I probably missed his first word; it would likely have been at Honey’s parents’ place, unfortunately, but it was wonderful to see him talking more and understanding and identifying objects and preferences and what he wanted to do, like (lately) playing T-ball or visiting the vegetable garden across the road or reading a book or playing with his G. I. Joe on “this deck.”
After she filed for divorce in November 2018 (a date chosen because then she had legal advantage to have custody decided in West Virginia), I could no longer travel to see my son, and she wouldn’t take him to Ohio as she once did; she probably got legal advice to use him as bait (if I was served in West Virginia they would get jurisdiction, which would, among other things, let her steal much more). She did let me Skype with him, but only a couple times a week, so I did that for two years until there was an order to see him at the end of July 2020, starting August 2020. It was only for 5% time–I asked for more and was denied, fruit of the poisonous tree of her withholding him–but it was still so wonderful to see him. Apparently he was shy with strangers, but he never considered his daddy a stranger and we started on reunification right away. The first three weeks were supervised (no reason, except the withholding); I am glad I had the presence of mind to get supervision limited to only that long, and after that we were on our own and having a great time.
Soon after I filed to modify to let David come home; but the request was ignored and no hearing granted because I was also fighting for my rights in the circuit court, and that took a long time and now we’re appealing a decision based on nothing to the state court of appeals. However, our appeal does not include custody; because she kidnapped him for six months, custody can be decided in West Virginia; so we will ask for a hearing to have it modified to be able to bring him home (meet half-way), and to something reasonable, > 50%, and make-up time as provided for by the WV statute following withholding of a child.
As you can see from the week to week photos, David Geoffrey is thriving with his daddy. But I shouldn’t have to drive that far, and he should be able to return home after his egregious kidnapping, and spend significant time with his father at the “triangle house”; and that is what we are hoping and praying for.