One Halloween about six years ago, my Ex moved to Austin and stopped visiting our daughter for a month. I decided to take the high road and bring Caitlyn down for a visit. We flew down to Austin, rented a car, and drove to the supposed apartment where my Ex claimed she lived. She of course was not there and had given me a bogus address. After some negotiating on the cell phones I brought my daughter over to see her mom for the weekend. As I walked away, I was praying and hoping she would be there when I returned on Sunday. In my case, she was. For a few blended parents in high conflicted situations, we pray that Sunday nights never turn out like Greg Allen’s.
Greg Allen last saw his daughter Sabrina, one month before her fifth birthday. Her mother, the non-custodial parent picked her up for the weekend. That was April 19, 2002. The weekend lasted until just a few days ago.
The child’s mother, Dara Llorens took the child from her home in Austin and the two holed up in Mexico for the next dozen years. Greg Allen never gave up hope.
For the next dozen years, he maintained a website, hired a private detective, worked with authorities in two countries, and eventually offered a $20,000 reward for his daughter’s return. But through it all, he never gave up, and after 12 years, his persistence paid off.
On September 30, authorities found mom and daughter in a small apartment located between Mexico City and Puebla. Moms always get the lion’s share of credit with regards to their children. But in this case, Greg Allen, who equated his quest with that of Captain Ahab’s pursuit of the great white whale, is the hero. His is the story of the love dads have for their children and indicative of the lengths dads will go to reunite with their children.
According to www.cnn.com, even his friends wondered if he was overdoing it. Making it worse was that so many people didn’t understand the situation, actually questioning the seriousness of the situation, since she was with her mother. According to Allen’s website, Dara has a “well established personality disorder.” That disorder might have contributed to her kidnapping her child.
But the real story is the dad, who might have saved his daughter’s life. As of October 1, the two had not met, and Allen said he’d heard she was in bad shape. No one knows about Sabrina’s future, what daily trials she’s suffered through or how she will recover or how about the future with her dad and his new family (he has children with his new wife).
But thanks to her loving dad, her future looks much brighter.
What was your worst custody exchange situation?
Images courtesy of CNN and the FBI’s Most Wanted.