I want to start out with a disclaimer that I am not outright accusing anyone of neglect. Obviously only the experts and professionals can do that; all I can do is lay my evidence and thoughts out.
The definition of child neglect is a form of child abuse, and is a deficit in meeting a child’s basic needs, including the failure to provide adequate health care, supervision, clothing, nutrition, housing as well as their physical, emotional, social, educational and safety needs.
You-Know-Who tried to accuse me of “neglect” because of the educational stance, since I was homeschooling (temporarily). Honestly, there was a lot of confusion when I received that fateful email that contained the Maltese Family Court’s decision on February 19. Family members and family friends alike were telling me that there was something more than just homeschooling. Assuming that he had something else on me, that Zander was being forced to accuse me of beating him or some other horrific crime.
In America, homeschooling is not a crime.
In Malta, it is.
I researched, found, and downloaded the Malta Civil Code. A parent in Malta can lose parental rights if they neglect education. It’s that simple. Not even taking into consideration that I violated no laws in America, some judge who was not given, nor asked, for the entire story, up and gave this trickster of a man temporary residential custody, with access given to me only if I asked for it. Which would have meant I had to submit myself to the jurisdiction of the lower courts of a foreign country.
I didn’t even know that homeschooling in Malta was illegal until May 2017 when a high government official in Malta explained it to me. Legislation was submitted March 2017, one month after that court decision, for homeschooling to be considered. You can see for yourself here that it’s illegal with no exceptions. North Korea is the same way.
In America, I was a member of HSLDA, and I did everything right and by the book.
Here’s what I have deduced based off of the facts and what I know about You-Know-Who: I’ve always known that one small mistake on my part, and he would use it ruthlessly to attempt to rip Zander from our loving home. When I pulled Zander out of school, he originally objected, while I did my best to show him the evidence and facts of how wonderful homeschooling can be. In fact, not even 4 months later, he was all for it, and using it as a supposed opportunity to experience a much desired Christmas visitation.
Zander’s abduction was planned far in advance.
Even before the homeschooling issue. Simply put, I had finally given him the ammunition he was searching for. See, I found out something interesting while I was in Malta to bring Zander home.
My court appointed lawyer, Dr. Benjamin Valencio, who I met briefly with my hired attorney, personally knew You-Know-Who because they had gone to law school together. Very briefly. He went to law school for about a year and then stopped showing up. I know him. He was trying to find some way to take Zander from me. He learned what he could, deemed himself an expert, and patiently bided his time.
And I handed the excuse to him on a silver platter. You-Know-Who refused to take me to court in America because he had nothing on me. But in Malta….
It was a whole other story.
I did not neglect Zander. Our own laws would have held me accountable if Zander were not learning.
Yet, my concerns have consistently been tossed to the side. My concerns on Zander handling this back and forth instability from one country to another due to his autism. There were also other concerns. When he came back from each trip, he wasn’t the same. Behaviors would come back. Anxiety would increase. He would cry over what he was told that never should have been told to him. I couldn’t document the first trip because I had just had a baby and was unable to drive for 8 weeks due to complications.
Then I forgot about it since after a month back home, he was seemingly back to normal. He was very skinny when he came back, and had lost 12.5% of his body weight. Unfortunately, I didn’t document this with a professional. However, if you look at his before-he-left picture next to his after-he-came-back picture…the difference is quite shocking.
Everyone who knows him recognizes the lost “shell-shocked” look on his face.
Then the following summer, his behavior was not only different, it was neurological in nature and very concerning. He couldn’t stop twitching. It was honestly frightening to watch, and even my Mom told me, “You need to take him to a doctor, now. This isn’t right.”And that’s what I did. I know the picture is small, but it states how the doctor noticed his upper extremity twitching and diagnosed him with an acute tic disorder. He was referred to a behavioral therapist again.
I mean, I have very real concerns with evidence. These trips were negatively affecting him. There is no arguing that fact. But I was helpless…what could I do in a system that didn’t care?
Before Zander left, he fell down the steps in our home, and I had my husband take him to the doctor (I couldn’t because I had just had dental surgery). He had a minor fracture in his foot. My husband and myself took him to the “bone doctor” (that’s why it says he was accompanied by “mother” and “father”, just so there’s no confusion…I was not with You-Know-Who). The reason I am showing this particular medical document is to look at his weight. He was 77 lbs in October 2016, one month before his abduction.
When I found out Zander wasn’t coming home, all those concerns and fears I had before came slamming to the forefront of my mind. Back then, I had forced myself to overlook them, telling myself he only had to deal with it all for a few months a year. And he always bounced back quickly.
In fact, the time between the last visit and the latest one was a year and a half, the longest he had stayed home since the overseas visitations had started. Zander had matured and grown so much as a person that you almost couldn’t even tell that he was on the spectrum.
But now that he wasn’t coming home and had to be in Malta for who knew how long, I was scared for my son. I had anxiety over whether he was eating enough, getting enough sleep, etc.
He wasn’t, and he wasn’t.
So my sister attempted to figure out how he was doing. Here’s a screenshot of that conversation.
5 months AFTER he was gone, he was ONLY 63 pounds!!!
And this, supposedly, was him gaining weight. I’m glad I don’t know just how low it went.
When he came back, we weighed him. He was about 62.5 lbs.
Today, he is 72 lbs.
I am not saying that You-Know-Who deliberately deprived him of enough food. But I do know that he has personal self-esteem issues from being a chubby teenager…and since he views Zander as an extension of himself…
Also, back in 2010, when You-Know-Who stayed at my Mom’s house for a month (during the divorce process), she would make sure to stop by the house every day on her lunch-break. She lived 5 minutes from her job, so this was more than doable. She arrived at noon, and many days, You-Know-Who was still sleeping on the couch while Zander quietly played on the floor with a full diaper. He was only 2.
One time, my Mom came home only to have Zander lead her to the kitchen. He was hungry. When she asked You-Know-Who if he had eaten, the answer was no. No, because he hadn’t eaten a third of a cut cucumber.
He was 2.
I think my concerns are real and founded.
Yet my son’s abduction was started because I legally homeschooled him.
Abductors are highly manipulative, highly deceptive, and genius tricksters.
AND THEY HAVE THE ENTIRE LEGAL SYSTEM FOOLED.
THIS ONE, BLESSEDLY, DID NOT.