Welcome to Three little birds! This site is made for Mirabelle Spitzer, Lucas Spitzer and Robin Spitzer

Dear Mirabelle, Lucas and Robin,

This site is made for you so that you know that opa and oma, Tante Daphne, Finn and Kirse, Tante Rens, Tante Femke and Tante Ischa, and all your other family and friends and schoolmates in Holland still think of you, miss you and love you very much.

You are always welcome to contact us!

Webmaster: info@threelittlebirds.eu

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The start of our fight to do something for you

The start of our fight to do something for you

 

logbook

As I said Anne gave us the idea that we still could do something for you. That we had not to wait patiently till Jeugdzorg would finally do something. No, she herself was a person, who would find always an opportunity to do something. What she also advised was to keep a logbook, in which I had to write down every telephone call we had, every mail or letter we received or sent, every meeting or appointment we had.  I filled one and a half thick notebook with notes. I started the logbook on Monday the 22nd of June 2009 and I wrote my last note in the notebook on the 22nd of April 2017. I think that at that 22nd of April I only realized we were totally powerless. It was the moment that I thought -and many people confirmed so- we did everything which was possible for you without any result, because of opposition.

 

Book of reference

I also collected copies of every letter or mail, of reports which were made. Every paperwork I collected in files. I collected eighteen files with papers about the case. I put every paper in reference to the case in files and set them in order. Still I put papers apart, although I know it doesn’t work.

 

The Central Authority

But back to that first time. The labyrinth in which we found ourselves. All those organizations, which had to do with kidnappings. The fear we had about your fates: How were the three of you? Did you realize mamma has died? Was there someone who took care of you? How was your father? Could he get the feeling what it was for the three of you to lose mamma, your Dutch culture, us, your friends, the guinea pigs, yes everything except him? Were you able to follow everything at school in another language? Did the teachers at school know you were kidnapped and did they know you lost your mother? Had you to keep silent about everything you have gone through? We were so concerned about you, so very much concerned. Just like mamma, you didn’t earn that at all. We wished it was quite different for you.

It made me so desperate. And now Anne gave us the idea we could do something. Step by step we got acquainted with several organizations. We studied the information from the Hague Convention of International Child Abductions, their guides of good practices (records of the meetings of the Hague Convention), articles of people who wrote about abductions and the consequences of abductions for children. At the same time, we collected everything for the Dutch Central Authority (department of the Ministry of Justice which had to do with abductions).  And all we did in a big hurry, because Anne said that speed was the essence to do still something for you.

On the twenty seventh of June 2009 we sent a thick envelope to the Central Authority with copies of your passports, photos of the three of you, copies of the birth certificates of the three of you, filled in forms, a record of what had happened, an official letter in which we asked for an arrangement concerning grandparental access and so on. On the 2nd of July 2009 we received a letter from the Central Authority that they received our request and that they would judge if our request for an arrangement concerning grandparental access would comply with the stipulations of the Hague Convention of International Child Abduction. They would inform us as soon as possible about the further continuation of our request.

 

Telephone call of Jeugdzorg

On the 25th of June I had Mrs. X. of Jeugdzorg on the line.

Mrs. X.: “I can tell you that the message  is sent to De Raad voor de Kinderbescherming with the question to send an ISS (International Social Services) correspondent to the new location where your grandchildren live. Then this correspondent will research the situation of your grandchildren. “

You may wonder which organization is  “De Raad voor de Kinderbescherming”.  De Raad voor de Kinderbescherming is founded, because the Dutch state wants to have an organization which decides for the best of children, when the rights of children are endangered. When parents, health care or assistance are not able to solve the situation for a child, De Raad voor de Kinderbescherming has to take action on behalf of the state. So, De Raad voor de Kinderbescherming is higher in gradation than Jeugdzorg, which has to carry out the practical assistance. Therefore Mrs. X. sent the message to the Raad voor de Kinderbescherming, expecting that De Raad would take action to contact the International Social Services.

The ISS (International Social Services) provides assistance in resolving international child protection. This organization occupies itself with among others child abduction. Correspondents from all over the world try to heal broken family ties by mediation.

Oma: “Do we receive any reaction of the continuation of this message?”

Mrs. X.:” Yes. I will call you when De Raad will accept this kind of action. I also want to say you that I wrote in the message which days you took care of the children. And you asked for the address of the father? This is the address of his brother, which you already gave to me.”

Mrs. X. now reacted on the mail tante Dapne and I wrote her, because we were so angry about her mail in which she said that Mirabelle was involved in a conflict. In that angry mail to her we asked the umpteenth time for the address of your father and you.

Oma: “Oh, they live there. Had we known that earlier we would have had the possibility to contact the children! “

Mrs. X. pretended not to hear my remark and continued:

Mrs. X. : “The message is not too much. The most principal what we want to know are the answers to the next questions: How are the kids? Are they supported after the death of Judith? And the question to the organization if the ISS-correspondent wants to mediate between us and the kidnapper.”

Oma: “And what about the school-report which the Johan Friso-school wants to send to the new school of the children?”

As you know, in that report could be referred to the fact that the three of you were kidnapped. It was the idea of tante Daphne, who thought that very important, because then school could keep an eye on the three of you. It seemed rather important to us that your new school should know that.

Mrs. X.: “We will put this idea to De Raad. I think it is the responsibility of De Raad to decide about that.”

Oma: “It is important for the children that the teachers at school know what happened to them. I also wonder if we are not too late for an eventual return of the children. I know that after a year the children are uprooted. Suppose the situation is bad for the children, then there is no juridical possibility to let return the children. That will be terrible.”

Mrs. X.: “I don’t know anything of kidnappings. So, I also don’t know if it is too late for a return of the children.”

I still am more than angry with Mrs. X. She was too lazy to go into information about kidnappings after her terrible mistakes. Then she should have known, what were the consequences of her unforgivable actions.

Oma: “Oh please give De Raad the request to act quickly.”

Mrs. X.: “And I must also say, that despite your request not to inform the father before the research of the ISS-correspondent, we have to inform the father. The law obliges us to inform him

beforehand.”

Oma: “You know we are afraid the kidnapper will manipulate the ISS-correspondent He is apt to do so.”

Mrs. X.: “We have to observe the rules Mrs. Van der Stoep. I wish you a good day.”

Then she put down the telephone. More and more I got the feeling that something went more than wrong. Later this feeling appeared to be right. More and more I should lose confidence in organizations!

Maybe you still remember that Anne advised us to write a letter to Mariëlle Bruning of the Defence for Children, an international organization which is well acquainted with all the rules of every organization which occupies itself with children’s rights. We asked Mariëlle if it was normal that Jeugdzorg informed the kidnapper about the comatose situation of mamma and later about her death, while Jeugdzorg said to us that the dossier was closed. Jeugdzorg didn’t help us, but informed the kidnapper about everything. Mariëlle answered on Tuesday the 30th of June 2009:

 

Dear Mrs. And Mr. Van der Stoep,

 

First of all I will offer my condolences with you in the sad death of your daughter. What a terrible story. I understand you have plenty of questions and that you have many concerns about your grandchildren.

 

In reference to the questions about the distribution of information of Jeugdzorg, I can inform you that Jeugdzorg has to inform the persons concerned in the research, so father and the grandchildren. As long as the father has got the parental authority and the research is aimed at him, he has a right to be informed. I understand that this will be hard for you.

 

I wish you much strength another time and hope that you may get into contact with your grandchildren.

 

Best wishes,

Mariëlle Bruning.

 

It was the beginning of our fight to do something for you. I now immediately see an important thing:  your father didn’t have the parental authority at all. We then didn’t know much of the importance of parental authority. It was mamma who had the sole authority about you!!! So, it was totally forbidden to Mrs. X.  to inform your father about mamma’s sad situation. It was also forbidden that Mrs. X. gave your telephone-number to the Boddaert and school. School and Boddaert spoke to the kidnapper as if it was permitted to speak to him. The kidnapper might have had the idea that it was permitted what he did, while it is known that abducting is a very serious ill-treating of children with many consequences for children! Jeugdzorg made mistake on error.

 

 

 

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Anne van den Berg

Anne van den Berg

It was Anne van den Berg who made realize us that we had possibilities to start a fight to do something for you. It was also this fight which made us realize that we were powerless, because of the opposition we were confronted with. It was an endless, terrible fight without any result.

 

Anne’s first visit to us

Anne van den Berg, our counsellor of the Child Abduction Center, came to visit us for the first time on Wednesday the sixteenth of June 2009. I still remember it was a nice day, the sun was shining. Anne would arrive around coffee time (ten o’clock in the morning). By telephone I had the idea Anne would be older and more conventional than me, but when I was putting cups, cookies etc. ready in the kitchen some jovial woman walked towards our front door, dressed in easy clothes and with a striking head of red curls. With other words a conspicuous personality. And when I opened the door it was her blue bright eyes and her voice which were the most noticeable. A voice and a vocabulary and knowledge which together made people listen to her. While I was preparing the coffee in the kitchen, she was standing with me, listening to my record of what happened. Opa and tante Daphne,  were sitting in the living. Notable was her fast understanding of what had happened during the four former months. One of the first things she said was, that mamma could not be an ill-treater, because mamma was much too open. Immediately we, opa, tante Daphne, Anne and I  sat down at table, thinking Anne would stay only that morning and we must hurry not to spend her costly time. It was she who taught us a lot of organizations that had to do with kidnappings. And we learned we would have to do with many, many organizations, because of this most complicated kidnapping. Anne guided us through this endless labyrinth and I still owe her a lot. She not only stayed that morning, but also the whole afternoon and after that afternoon our heads were spinning. I will not bother you too much with all that information, but some of the information is helpful to know because it will make you to better understand our actions.

 

Asking the Central Authority for an arrangement concerning grandparental access

We all, opa, tante Daphne, Anne and I, sat there around the table. Paper and pens at hand. Tante Renske took care of Finn and Kirse.

Oma: “I received the forms of the Central Authority” (department of the Ministry of Justice which          occupies itself with kidnappings). “I need to take care of many things I already saw, such as a birth certificate. We have to ask this to the municipalities of the places of residence where the three of Judith were born. So Spijkenisse for Mirabelle, Antwerp in Belgium for Lucas and Rotterdam for Robin”.

Anne: “That alone gives a lot of work. Do you know you need to take your marriage certificate in which Judith was registered with you and that you also need her death certificate?”

Opa: “Yes, they will never give these birth certificates without proofs that Judith was our child”.

Oma: “Yes, and we need an extract from the guardianship register too”.

Anne: “You have to call the notary to ask him at which court the guardianship has been registered”.

Oma: “There is a testament in which Judith arranged that in case she would die the children would go to the father in the first place and in the second place to Daphne. I wonder if Judith knew then what the father should do in the future, she still would have wanted he would be the first guard. It shows that she trusted him. Oh, he has betrayed her trust in such a way!”

Anne: “Yes, it already strikes me that he prepared this kidnapping in such a clever way. It isn’t a usual kidnapping, but let me talk about that later. I also should join a copy of this covenant”. Anne pointed to the papers William gave us. Papers which mamma kept in his house.

Tante Daphne: “Yes, in this covenant is clearly registered the appointment that ‘both, nor Judith nor M. are allowed to book tickets to take the children with him/her when the other parent does not want it!’”

Anne: “Yes, it is important that as well as M. as Judith signed for it not to take the children with them without the consent of the other. And yes, there is also a need for the record of the past history”.

Daphne: “Then we can make use of the record we made for Jeugdzorg”.

Anne: “Alright. Further I advise you to find the addresses of the brother of father and the address of the father of the father, together with their mail-addresses. And  the mail-addresses of the contact persons of Jeugdzorg, school and the Boddaert too”.

Oma: “We should of course also send copies of the passports of the children and photos of the children. Fortunately, recently the photographer was at school. I will ask the school director the address of this man. In the future the children could be happy with these photos.

 

 It is interesting how much Anne understood of how the kidnapper prepared this abduction. As I wrote before, the Central Authority is a department of the Ministry of Justice. This department asks for the return of children, when the children lived before in the Netherlands and there is still a mother. But your mother died, so we couldn’t ask for your return. We had to ask then for a grandparental arrangement concerning access to the Central Authority. We would quickly discover that it looks like the Central Authority would help, but that all our efforts of activating them were in vain: a Central Authority may do something if a partner left behind is still there, but in our case the kidnapper who organized everything as clever as your father did, the Central Authority has got hardly the possibility to do something. It was Jeugdzorg which helped your father and which also made our later efforts totally useless.

Except for the forms which we had to fill in, Anne also advised us to write an accompanying letter to the Central Authority as a result of our next conversation.

 

An extra-ordinary abduction

Anne: “Well, what strikes me enormously is that the kidnapper must have prepared this abduction exceptionally well. I never heard that a kidnapper made use of a smearing campaign with Jeugdzorg beforehand”.

Tante Daphne: “Yes, he did it very clever, because Judith was diagnosed as a borderline-patient (which she wasn’t!!!!), Jeugdzorg immediately believed the kidnapper. While his accusations were so weak”.

Anne: “ As I said before, your Judith was too open to be an ill-treater”.

Daphne: “ Of course. If Judith would have been an ill-treater, the children wouldn’t have been on swimming-lesson, because then you would have seen bruises. And by the way, it was Judith who asked for help in the education and the Boddaert never believed she would abuse the children. In the contrary, they were content with all her efforts to improve her behavior towards Lucas and the other children”.

Anne: “It is very important that you write a letter to the Central Authority in which you explain that the kidnapper prepared his abduction in an excellent way. 1. By buying the tickets beforehand, while before he always wanted Judith to buy the tickets. And 2. By the smearing campaign with Jeugdzorg, school and Boddaert”.

Daphne and I noted these arguments for the letter on our writing-pads.

Anne: “And what we should figure out if it is just that Jeugdzorg doesn’t want to give you the address of the kidnapper. Defence for Children International is acquainted with the rules of every organization which has to do with children. This organization works for the rights of children everywhere on the world”.

She paused a moment to think. Then: “You may inform with this organization  and ask for Mariëlle Bruning. You can write her to ask if Jeugdzorg is right to refuse giving you the address”.

Oma: “It is hard that school and Boddaert received this address, while we as the grandparents and aunt of the children don’t receive the address.  As if we are the suspect”.

Anne: “Again: you should write your nasty situation in the letter and ask the Central Authority if they can ask for the address and telephone number”.

Opa: “Yes, several times we tried to make contact by mail, but Mr. Kidnapper keeps us off contact, especially contact with the children”.

Anne: “And the death of Judith embarrassed every effort to do something for the children. We  already lost four months. Ask the Central Authority to treat this case with the utmost speed, because the longer this situation will last the more the children will uproot and the less you can do for them.  And what is sure: the whole is more than traumatic for the children, because they were not only kidnapped but also lost their mother”.

Daphne: “I see it’s a lot of work to make all papers ready for the Central Authority. How long will it take then until we hear when the Central Authority will start its activities towards the children in America and what they are intending to do”.

Anne: “Yes, they will first make contact with the Central Authority in America. That also takes time. You may ask the Central Authority you should like to remain informed about every aspect of the procedure”.

 

By the way, tante Daphne and I were all the time making notes, trying to understand as much as possible of unknown information. For Anne this was all child’s play, but we regularly had to ask her further information.

 

Anne: “Suppose the Central Authority succeeds in getting contact with the father, then you will have to do with traumatized children and the three of you, yourself, have been traumatized too. It would be very confronting after all what happened to come face to face with your grandchildren. Maybe they, especially Mirabelle, are ashamed that they accused Judith and you of abusing them. Maybe they are totally brainwashed and believe that Judith and you did illtreat them. Then they can be afraid of you. And for you it will be emotionally to see your grandchildren too. As they are brainwashed and are loyal to their father, it will be very difficult for you. That will be hard to deal with for you, because the father caused all this trouble. It is always advisable to ask the Central Authority for a counselor or mediator between you and the children”.

Oma: “It is so strange and also so hard, that I, who always took care of these children, must keep distance of the children, because of the brainwashing by and the loyalty to their father”.

Anne: “It is the practice that the basic trust of these children has been damaged a lot. And bit by bit this basic trust must improve. That will take time. During that time, it is important to have someone who will mediate between you and the children. Someone who is trusted by the children and by you. It is important that you write the Central Authority you want the assistance of some mediator at the moment you will get in touch with the children”.

Opa: “The International Center for Child’s Abduction advised Judith not to involve the police. What do you think about that? Judith did not want him behind bars, because, she said to the police officer, the children would not only be there in the United States without their mother but also without their father. We’ll do what she wanted. What do you think about that?”

Anne: “Yes, it is the advice we always give to the family left behind. If you will involve the police, the kidnapper will not be apt to have contact with the left family. When you don’t involve the police, it is possible the kidnapper may consider in that time that it is better to let the children have contact with their family. You might convince the kidnapper there is a good chance that much later the children will become angry with him about all he did to them if he doesn’t allow contact with you. It is important the left family have him realize that. He must know how important it is for the children to have contact with their mother’s family, they are part of their being.”

 

This information of the influence of kidnappings on children and also how kidnappers may react, was new and very useful for us. It was very hard to hear, that your behavior towards us could change. On that very day I was not yet ready to believe it, but bit by bit I saw how you were brainwashed and more and more I have to realize that I would have to deal with it.

 

Anne: “By the way Heleen, if I were you I would also write in that letter how many times a week you took care of the children. Also, that the children often stayed with you in the holidays. It is important that you prove you had a lot of responsibility for these children. Your responsible role may be decisive to get a grandparental arrangement concerning access”.

Tante Daphne: “ It is difficult to realize that Judith was consulting with the kidnapper about co-parenting. She always gave him all the opportunities to be together with the children. She even let him live in her house when he came over to the Netherlands. She booked his tickets, bought food. In fact everything he needed. It is only jealousy that he took the children with him. Jealousy, because Judith was going to live with William the first of April this year, while she wanted to give him all the possibilities to live with the children. I think it is important that we will write that too to the Central Authority”.

Anne: “Yes indeed. Hmm, I see you are a bit tired. Shall we take a break?”

Oma: “Yes I will make a lunch”.

 

 I quickly prepared a lunch, which we ate outside under the weeping willow. After that Anne continued her tips and explanations.  

 

Anne: “Do you know that both the United States and the Netherlands ratified the Hague Children’s Abduction Convention? That means that the United States have to co-operate with the Netherlands about what is the best for the children”.

Oma: “It is not our intention to remove the children from the father, I only think it necessary that there is supervision and that we get contact with the children”.

Anne: “You must google on this convention and then you can read what could be done by the Central Authorities. I will also send you guides of good practices. These are records of the meetings the Hague Children’s Abduction Convention organized”.

 

Anne gave me already all kinds of information of the International Centre of Children’s Abduction, advised us to read about the International Social Services in Genève. Jeugdzorg promised us a correspondent of this Service who would inform after the situation of the three of you. Also, she advised to read on the website of Defence for Children International (this website may give us more information about rules of child protection). Next, she advised us to study on the articles of the Hague Children’s Abduction Convention. She told us a lot about all these organizations which had to do with kidnappings. Anne left in the late afternoon, promising us to call soon. As I said our heads were spinning. But…….we now had the feeling we could do something for you! Then we didn’t know that after years we had to stop, made totally powerless by the opposition of Jeugdzorg, although many people helped us, all we did was in vain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brainwashing

Brainwashing

Mamma already noticed that the kidnapper was blackening William and her when he was still in Holland. Because why didn’t Mirabelle dare coming to stay with her and William? Why was Robin afraid when he was staying the last time with her and William? The three of you were not behaving the same to her like before, we conclude afterwards. Quickly after mamma’s death it became clear to us that it was not a fake thought that you were brainwashed but real. And I only saw before that the three of you were so fond of mamma, that you were not afraid when I was with you! Look at the mail Mirabelle should have sent to Finn on the 13th of June 2009, two and a half months after mamma’s death:

 

Aan: Finn van der Stoep

Hallo tante Daphne finn en kirse, de school is de leukste school oid (sorry ik kan niet so goed nederlands schrijven) iedereen wil met mij speelen ook kinderen van andere klassen m. ( is the kidnapper) gaat voor 2 kittens zoeken. Lucas is heel goed in schrijven rekenen en lezen waar zijn finn en kirse goed in?

Oma zijn en opa zijn an het liegen pappa zorgt heel goed voor ons hij slaat ons niet geeft ons genoeg te eten en geeft ons en warm bad want mama had dat niet gedaan. Voor: lieve tante daphne lieve finn en lieve kirse gefeliciteerd!!!

 

And we had to believe that Mirabelle wrote this mail herself? Opa was the first one who concluded it could not be Mirabelle who wrote this mail, because of the expressions “zoeken voor” en “de leukste school oid”, which are typical English expressions, literary translated into Dutch.

And tante Daphne said Mirabelle couldn’t have written this mail, because Mirabelle knew Kirse at that time was too little to be already “goed in iets”.

“Papa zorgt heel goed voor ons hij slaat ons niet etc.” In this mail the kidnapper suggested that mamma and William should be ill-treaters. Later especially I would be described as ill-treater. Here you see the effect of the brainwashing of the kidnapper: blackening mamma’s, William’s and my name and covering the negative influence of the kidnapping. When I think of my own parents? Yes, they gave me a slap sometimes; but when I think back to these moments it was necessary to stop me from behaving annoyingly. It doesn’t make them less for me, because I had the loveliest parents of the world. So, the kidnapper was exaggerating this rare giving a slap saying it was ill-treating with the intention to destroy the lovely image of first your mother and later of me.

By the way, indeed there was not enough warm water at the Frank van der Goesstraat, but mamma thought it was not worth to fix it, because it was only some time that the three of you would come to live in a very luxurious house with William with sufficient warm water. Besides, I couldn’t believe Mirabelle would blame her mother writing she didn’t give her a warm bath so shortly after her death. I know for sure that her mother’s death and the missing of her mother didn’t make her saying something like that of her mother. I know for sure she in that time dearly wanted to have back her mother. And I know for sure mamma should have taken care for warm water by heating some for you.

Why was this mail sent?

I sent a mail to your grandparents, because we heard not anything of you. The kidnapper promised us to give opportunity to have contact with the three of you, but not anything happened. So he also promised school that Mirabelle would write a mail. She never did. That’s why I sent the following mail to your grandparents on the 12th of June 2009:

 

Dear M. and A.,

Up till now M. doesn’t take initiatives to let his children have contact with us and we are very, very worried about them. Therefore we approach you with the most urgent request to do your utmost to let us have contact with our grandchildren. We don’t want to prosecute M. because of all he has done. The grandchildren have already lost their mother and it is not our intention to put him behind bars, because then the children will miss their father too. But you must agree with us that it is not healthy for the children that they are totally cut off from their childhood in Holland and from all the persons to whom they were attached in the nearby past after the drama they just had gone through.

We hope you will convince M. that it is important for the children that they must have at least some contact with us. That they don’t wonder now because they have no contact, if the people in Holland love them and miss them. We will stress to them that all these people are all the time busy to get in contact with them, because they love and miss them very much. And also that their mother loved them very much.

We think it is your and our joint intention as grandparents to do everything what is necessary for the wellbeing of our grandchildren. All authorities who engage themselves with children say that the current situation is damaging for our grandchildren without contact with us. Therefore we ask your help to convince your son that it is the best for the children to have contact with us.

 

Regards,

Arie and Heleen van der stoep,

also like you grandparents of Mirabelle, Lucas and Robin

and parents of Judith

 

And what did your American grandfather write back?

 

Saturday, June 13 2009

Dear Mr and Mrs Van der Stoep,

I have forwarded your letter to M. (the kidnapper)

                               Sincerely,

                               A.

 

You understand. I send a mail to your grandfather on the 12th of June, he forwarded this mail and then spontaneously Mirabelle should have sent that mail to Finn, tante Daphne and Kirse? No one believed that. It was to intimidate us and to cover his own behavior. It looked like war, whereas we only wanted to make contact with you. Nothing else.

 

By the way, here you can see how the strategy of the kidnapper worked. Firstly he said bad things about mamma and William, perhaps already of opa and me (I haven’t any proof of that). Consequence: you became too afraid to stay with mamma and William in the time the kidnapper was already in the Netherlands. It was also in this time that Mirabelle had to accuse her own mother of abusing her. I can’t believe she would have done so when her father didn’t press her to do so. Then, after the kidnapping, after much pressure of us to give any reaction of contact: the kidnapper himself sent a so-called mail of Mirabelle, a clear mail written by himself as I explained. The next step is, that the three of you were so brainwashed that you really believe we are ill-treaters. Then the bonds are totally cut. A real horror-scenario. Will that happen? We will see.

 

 

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mamma’s birthday

Mamma’s birthday

It is the 19th of November 2019 now. Your mother’s birthday. She would have been 43 years old. Until this day I took the time to think about what we experienced in Minneapolis. Had I to forget you? I noticed I couldn’t at all, because I will love the three of you till I will die. You are worth being loved! And as I swore once with the director of Jeugdzorg that I will fight for your mother’s innocence till I fall down, I swore also at this website now that I will fight for the best for the three of you till I fall down.

 

Minneapolis

Well, we were in Minneapolis from Tuesday the twenty sixth of March till Monday the first of April 2019. Partly because we were pushed by people saying that it was the moment to go to Minneapolis, but for the greater part because we were so concerned by the signals we received from you, that we only wanted to help you. But obviously you didn’t need us, it even seemed you distrusted us. We didn’t see you at all.

 

The wrong hotel

By the way before our stay in Minneapolis I wrote to you that we would stay in Lambert Inn on the Lambert Road. Why? Stupid Booking-com offered us that hotel on internet, when we asked for a hotel near Whittier Park (as Lucas said) in Minneapolis. Alas we discovered only when we arrived at the airport of Minneapolis that this was a hotel in California near Whittier and not in Minneapolis. So we had to switch the hotel immediately. A kind man at the airport helped us to book a hotel near the airport. It was Fairfield Inn at 2401 American Blvd.

 

Take Root

Look at the website “Take Root”, the organization of adult people, who were kidnapped when they were a child. There you can find assistance for yourself, because I know for sure that life is more than difficult for you. I know for sure that your basic trust is damaged after all what happened to you. Taken away from Holland and cut off from the family and friends left behind there. Your mother committing suicide. Your father blackening the family left behind. Who on earth can you still believe after this experience? I know that kidnappers blacken the family left behind to cover their own behavior. Because they must have a valid reason to argue the kidnapping. That’s why the kidnapper accused us of ill-treating. Us is first your mother and William, later opa and especially me. Because I was, after your mother and father, the person who was the next person of attachment to you in Holland. I was so often with you to take care of you.  And just that attachment, which has not left me yet, makes me feel that the ties between you and me for my part have not disappeared. Kidnappers want to cut these ties. A destructive way to make all people in a family unhappy. The family left behind lost beloved ones and the kidnapped ones lost everyone and everything except the kidnapper whom they are dependent of. Kidnapped children have to believe everything this person is telling them about the left ones. But I cannot accept that mamma, William, opa and me are accused of ill-treating you. Who can accept an accusation that is not true?  It is all lies. And lies are necessary for a kidnapper to cover himself.

 

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Lucas birthday

Lucas I wish you the best with your birthday: good health, happiness, good friends and good results at your school. Now you are eighteen. You are adult. On the photos below you were only two and a half. It was in the summer and we went a day to the beach of Haamstede.  It was a fine day. We were happy together. You can see it on the photo. Then you could still sit near to your mother.

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Robin’s birthday

Many happy returns of this day dear Robin. I wish you much success in your rugby sport and at school, I wish you happiness with family and friends and I wish you a good health. Again the sun is shining right above our heads as I said, when you were only three years old and you were longing for the feast of your birthday. I always have to think of that, when it is your birthday. You are sixteen years already. As a memory to the Netherlands I print the photo’s below. They have been made on “Kinderopvang Sjakie”. I wish you a good day!

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Mirabelle’s birthday

Happy birthday and many happy returns of the day!!! Your nineteenth birthday already again. I wish you much happiness and health.I like this photo so much. It must be in Australia, because at the Roosestraat there was not a window behind the washing machine.

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Mirabelle you hurt me

Mirabelle you hurt me, but  will always love you

First of all I am not accusing you Mirabelle nor did mamma. You had to accuse mamma of hitting you. We, and also mamma, were convinced you had to. I know for sure that it was not you who wanted to say so. You were/are not like that.

The night after the second conversation with school I couldn’t fall asleep. Two things preyed on my mind. First of all, I saw all the time that one sentence in mamma’s fare-well-letter “Mirabelle you hurt me”.

It was mamma’s pain, a mamma who felt so miserable after Mrs. Van H. told her Mirabelle went to her teacher to say her in tears that her mother hit her so much. Of course, mamma knew that it was not you Mirabelle, but it was the kidnapper who made you to do so. But it was terrible for mamma and also for you, Mirabelle, that you had to say so. I felt so miserable that I stopped the discussion with Mrs. Van H. the day before.

Yet I had to do something with it, I felt. Because it was obvious that the three of you were brainwashed, because also the second so-called American pediatrician who called mamma and said to mamma that you asserted mamma had abused you and that you never wanted to go back to mamma in Holland anymore.

And I also felt not at ease that the kidnapper would be informed before the correspondent of the International Social Services should do her work. He already manipulated Mrs. X. of Jeugdzorg, so that she immediately believed him without doing any search after mamma. I was convinced that the kidnapper would manipulate someone for a second time. I decided to call Mr. G. of Jeugdzorg the next day. Only very late I fell asleep.

Then I still trusted Mr. G., he seemed sympathizing. Later I would discover that it was all sham. He was not at all sympathizing. He acted sympathy and I was so naïve to believe him!!!!

 

The call with Mr. G.

It was not late that morning, that I called Jeugdzorg.

“Please can you give me Mr. G.”, I said to the receptionist of Jeugdzorg.

“You are speaking with Mr. G. “, Mr. G. said after some moments, when the receptionist connected him with me.

“Oh Mr. G., I could not sleep this night because I feel very concerned that the kidnapper must be informed before the ISS-correspondent would start her work”, I said. “I am sure that that will go wrong.”

“Yes, but it is the procedure. I can imagine you are very afraid after all you experienced.” Mr. G. said sympathizing. “But suppose we don’t inform him, in that case the correspondent would unexpectedly stand before his door. Then the kidnapper certainly won’t do his best to cooperate.”

“I can imagine that he must be informed beforehand”, I said, “but please let him not give the time to fix the show. I don’t trust the kidnapper at all. I warn you.”

“I will make a note of it for the report”, Mr. G. said reassuring to me.

“Ahum, I have still another subject which occupies me a lot”, I said quickly. “It concerns the complaint of Mirabelle about her mother. It’s very important to write that she was saying so, because she was brainwashed. I certainly know it wasn’t she who said so. She had to say. And in the same way the children had to say to the second so-called American pediatrician that Judith was hitting them and that they didn’t want to go back to her. I know for sure. It was that complaint which hurt Judith in such an extent that she wrote it in her fare-well-letter to Mirabelle. She was really upset by that. It was her trigger to commit suicide, because her children had to accuse her.”

“Did you talk about it with school?” Mr. G. asked.

“Yes, I talked about it with Mrs. Van H. But I noticed she was very nervous and upset by it. But I don’t want to blame her, because it was the kidnapper who behaved so badly. I could have said the same in her situation”, I said.

“Oh, you needn’t be concerned about Mrs. Van H. “, Mr. G. interrupted me, “it is her profession to deal with these matters. I think you have enough to your head to be still concerned about Mrs. Van H. too.”

“Okay”, I said like a little child. “These were my two points which I wanted to stress to you. Will you please give attention to these two points, because they are very important for the children and for us? I will send you a copy of Judith’s fare-well-letter to prove that it hurt her.”

“I will make a note of it and I ‘ll discuss it with Mrs. X.”, Mr. G. said. “You can write it to Mrs. X. too, while you send her a copy of Judith’s fare-well-letter.”

“I’ll do so. And thank you very much for your time”, I finished the call.

 

The mail to Mrs. X on the twelfth of June 2009

This I wrote to Mrs. X.

Dear Mrs. X.,

 

This morning I realized that the part of Judith’s fare-well-letter that was meant for Mirabelle, namely “Mirabelle you hurt me, but will always love you”, is immensely important, because Judith felt it as that Mirabelle was giving evidence against her.

Because you don’t work on Friday I spoke with Mr. G. about it and I arranged with him that you will make a note in the report how this took place at school and how Judith experienced the accusation. I send you a copy of Judith’s fare-well-letter.

 

Best wishes,

Heleen van der Stoep

 

When I read this mail now, I realize that Mrs. X. could go her own way with my mail. Of course, I wanted to stress that you were brainwashed, just as I did with other mails I sent to her and about which I will write later too. But she could use this mail for another purpose. Oh, how naïve I still was at that time. What did I say before? What will do an organization which made such a mistake that it made a person die?… Pay attention how Jeugdzorg is treating our case. Pay attention how they cover their terrible mistake.

 

The mail of Mrs. X. on the seventeenth of June 2009

Dear Mrs. Van der Stoep,

 

I cannot open Judith’s fare-well-letter.

Mr. G. and I are of the opinion that it isn’t good that Mirabelle would read this letter. I understood Judith reproaches Mirabelle having hurt her, because she told she was beaten by her. I fear Mirabelle will not understand anything of it. And it is of importance not to make Mirabelle responsible for everything which happened. Each of the adults have their own responsibility and Mirabelle is not to blame for it.

It appeared from the e-mail that Mirabelle is already involved in the conflict between you (mother’s family) and the father. That will be the exact purpose of investigation for Jeugdzorg. How much are the children involved in this conflict, how does this conflict damage them, how do they cope with this conflict with the decease of their mother and how she died. How to prevent that Mirabelle and the two other children will be caught in a cleft stick between the two families and feel themselves responsible for the situation which came into being.

Next week I will take a day to make a report for the Raad voor de Kinderbescherming. I will make use of the facts, when I write this report.

Best wishes,

Mrs. X.

This mail made tante Daphne and me for some reasons very, very angry. First, Mrs. X. first made the most terrible mistake by giving priority to blame mamma. Her task is to protect children. Well then, her first priority was to get you back to mamma, but she did nothing of the kind. She believed a kidnapper on his blue eyes, so that she decided it was not worth to see if he had spoken the truth with his allegations against mamma. Her second blunder, a second neglect of duty of this woman. And after these two blunders she dared to send me this terrible pedantic mail with suppositions about us which weren’t true at all. A third incredible action. And this stupid word conflict, which proved she was unable to judge a situation, a fourth defect. She misses any insight of her position and her behavior. We felt extremely offended by her. Therefore we sent her an answer, although we realized that a person like her without any sense of responsibility, not to speak about moral responsibility, would not understand our reaction.

 

The mail tante Daphne and I sent to Mrs. X. and Mr. G.

Dear Mrs. X and dear Mr. G.,

 

This is a reaction to the mail of June the seventeenth. We are considerably embarrassed by your bad description of our intentions and concerns considering the children. The report that you are going to make exists as a result of our concerns about the children. It is of great importance for the good fulfillment of this case and also for the wellbeing of the children that our concerns will be communicated correctly.

On the one hand we think exactly the same about the case as you do: of course Mirabelle is not to blame of what had happened. None of the children. Probably we won’t ever let her read this letter. Certainly not as a child!!!!!! We do want and wanted only to make clear to the children that Judith loved them, that she did her best for them and that we love them and terribly miss them. We don’t want to damage them still more.

On the other hand, we think your use of the word “conflict” very awkward and you are totally wide of the mark. This whole record is just so unpleasant that you can’t speak and couldn’t speak about a conflict. A conflict namely implies two parties which together started a quarrel. In this record it is only one man who is carrying out actions.

And why did we send you Judith’s fare-well-letter? In our second conversation, Mr. G. wanted to make an inquiry into the fact why the children did have to give evidence against their mother with the so-called second pediatrician in America. That giving evidence against their mother would be mentioned as a point of concern to the Raad voor de Kinderbescherming.

“But”…….Daphne then said: “Mirabelle had to give evidence against her mother already at school”. And then it must have been far more difficult for her, because she still had all her persons of attachment around her in the Netherlands (what do you think of Judith?). How terrible must she have felt?

All this went as follows. The kidnapper wanted or required that school would come into operation with the so-called child abuse that he asserted to have taken place. School said she never received signals of abuse. The kidnapper was claiming school in that way that school was saying that she only would come into action if a complaint is coming from one of the children. And this happened: the complaints followed. From Mirabelle. So Mirabelle had to give evidence already against her mother in the Netherlands (Mrs. Van H. had wanted to talk about it with Judith alone, because she had her doubts. Because of the kidnapping all was accelerated in that unhappy conversation at school on that seventeenth of February).

We sent you the fare-well-letter with the concerned sentence “Mirabelle you hurt me, but will always love you” to show you how painful Judith experienced Mirabelle’s complaint in that conversation at school on the seventeenth of February (so actually the brainwashing of Mirabelle by the kidnapper). She clearly interpreted it as giving evidence against her. All the other complaints during that conversation at school  came from the kidnapper and were experienced less by her.

Both school and Boddaert declared to us to be totally surprised by the abduction, exactly because there was not any talk of a conflict between Judith and the kidnapper. Also Judith and we were totally confused and surprised by the abduction.

Once again, Judith was adopting an open attitude, let the kidnapper stay in her home, wanted so dearly that he and she should educate the children together in the Netherlands. In other words: she hadn’t anything to hide. If she would have abused she would not have had that open attitude (can be confirmed by school and Boddaert), then she wouldn’t have asked for assistance with assistance-organizations to support her with her education, then she hadn’t offered the kidnapper Mirabelle was allowed to live with him (can be confirmed with school and Boddaert). She trusted him and felt immensely deceived, because he stayed saying to her to come and live in the Netherlands to educate the children together (can be confirmed by school and Boddaert). All her actions were contrary to what he is claiming, namely that she is abusing the children. Nevertheless, she considered the kidnapper’s caprioles as a reaction to the fact that she was going to live with her new friend. Until she got that last poke by means of that telephone call of the second (so-called?) pediatrician in the late evening…

 

Not only Judith’s open attitude confirms the absence of a conflict, but also the kidnapper’s promises to Judith and to school that he was going to live in the Netherlands. The kidnapper all alone established a conflict by inventing a not existing treatment and a not existing abuse and spread this about at school, Boddaert and Jeugdzorg. School and Boddaert assured to the kidnapper they never had any suspicion of a threatening situation and stayed with this point of view.

 

Besides we state with much stress we don’t want to bring the children into a situation in which they would have the feeling to have to choose between their father and us. We do want to remind you another time, that our first wish is to speak to the children one time to say them that mamma loved them very very much and that we love them very much. Just this is what the kidnapper obstructed already from the very beginning of his criminal actions. After having said this to them we had the intention to leave them with their father to guard them for compulsive brainwashing. You convinced us that a constant contact with the social network in the Netherlands must be preserved for their well-being. We owe you thankfulness therefore and we want to do everything to bring that about.

 

Our opinions about the kidnapper can be seen separately from the love the children feel for their father. This love of the children for their father and our opinion about the father can exist beside each other without conflict. What is more: with all our heart we grant the children a good tie with their father.

It is a pity and it is hurtful that you entirely missed our opinion about this. Our great point of care in this case is clearly that there is a father who is confronting his children with a non-existing conflict and compelling them to make a choice between their father and mother (even now she has died); an awful choice which should never have had been a choice!

 

Here still some questions:

  1. The ISS will do an investigation after the well-being of the children and also the ISS will intermediate so that they will bring about a good contact between us and the children. Do we also receive information during the procedure and are we allowed to participate in it? By the way, we think it very important that on the one hand there is a constant assistance for the education of the kidnapper and that on the other hand we think it important that the children are protected.
  2. Speaking about information: we should appreciate that we are seen as a fully-fledged partner, who has a right to get all information. Why don’t you give us the address? It gives us the idea you are covering a kidnapper while we are duped as victim from the actions of the offender. Three organizations need this address. The Central Authority to propose an arrangement concerning grandparental access, the Centre for International Child Abduction to look at the relevant legislation of the state concerned, and the pension scheme of Pension Fund “Zorg en Welzijn” to pay out an orphan grant to the children.
  3. We give information now. What about the privacy of our family?
  4. A question belonging to question 3, namely the request to don’t put Judith’s fare-well-letter into your dossier. Mr. G. promised me already.
  5. If you thought the Raad voor de Kinderbescherming is thinking about a return in this complicated case, why didn’t you act quicker then? In the opinion of the Centre of International Child Abductions this procedure will cost a year at least. We think it shocking that if a return is necessary (in the case that the situation of the children is alarming), it may be that the time necessary to work around something will be too short.

The Centre International Child Abduction supposes that the kidnapper by conducting a smearing campaign against Judith could cover himself totally by article 13b of the Hague Convention of International Child Abduction.

 

Best wishes,

Daphne and Heleen van der Stoep

 

I have translated this mail entirely, because we could have succeeded doing something for you if Jeugdzorg had done what we asked in the mail.  

It was Anne van den Berg who was very critical of the actions of Jeugdzorg. She already realized that the kidnapper figured out his kidnapping far before by falsely accusing mamma of abusing you. As a matter of fact, in Article 13b of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, ratified and signed by the US and the Netherlands was written: ‘Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding Article, the judicial or administrative authority of the requested State is not bound to order the return of the child if the person, institution or other body which opposes its return establishes that 13b there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical and psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation.”

The kidnapper had two trump cards, you know: mamma’s wrong borderline diagnosis and her work in the prostitution. So such a mother could abuse her children, like before the borderline mother of Savannah did with her new partner (I told you Savannah’s story before). This article 13b would cover him if Jeugdzorg would help him. And Jeugdzorg did!

Anne van den Berg was the first one who said to us that Jeugdzorg was manipulated by the kidnapper. It was she who from the very beginning was not very positive about the assistance-actions of Jeugdzorg. Later more and more people were convinced Jeugdzorg was manipulated by the kidnapper and that Jeugdzorg tried to save her imago by covering up her mistakes by the protocol.

In this mail tante Daphne and I refer to the typical Kafka-effect: “Why don’t we get the address? Isn’t the offender covered up while we are duped as victim from the actions of the offender?”

Many times, we were confronted by this Kafka-effect. The first time was at school on the day mamma was called by the kidnapper that he took you with him and that she wouldn’t see you anymore. She and later tante Daphne, opa and I were treated like abusers, while there was one person who was really abusing you by kidnapping you. One of the most serious ill-treatments in the world.

In this mail we were only very irritated by the acts of Jeugdzorg. At that moment we didn’t understand yet that Jeugdzorg didn’t want at all listen to us and didn’t want to help you at all.  Bit by bit we would learn that hard lesson.

 

How did Mrs. X react to the above mail on the 24th of June 2009:

 

Dear Mrs. Van der Stoep,

 

I only used the information with the aim of restoring the contact with you for the report.

 

Might you still have formal questions then you can take contact with Mr. G. after the 24th of July.

 

Best wishes,

Mrs. X.

 

This answer again is entirely meaningless and doesn’t refer to any of our concerns expressed in our mail. Up to this day it makes me so angry that Mrs. X. didn’t anything for the three of you and how she treated us. Up till now I think it unbelievable that such a person is allowed to act in these responsible cases. The next time I will tell you about our observation that you were brainwashed by the kidnapper more and more. More and more the (grand) parental alienation took place and we stood there, made totally powerless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Second conversation with school

Our second conversation with the Johan Friso school on the eleventh of June 2009 at 14.00 h

Opa, tante Daphne and I parked our car near your school at the Chico Mendesring. As the times before it was strange for me to see that school. The school you once attended. The school that was totally absent when mamma died: not any teacher or girl-friend or boy-friend were present on mamma’s farewell. The school, where Mr. Van de L., the headmaster, received tante Daphne and me in such a horrible way, when we just needed support on that sixteenth of February 2009. But also the school, where Mrs. Van H. showed emotion and grief for mamma and the three of you. And now we walked again to your school, expecting that Mrs. Van H. would be as kind and sympathizing as she was the time before.

Again we walked through your school towards the same room where we were received the last time. We decided that we wanted to give mamma’s death announcement. So, we handed over the death announcement after we entered.

“Here you are”, I said after we had shaken hands.

Mrs. Van H. opened the announcement in an absent-minded way. “What a special announcement”.

“Yes”, we wanted to do it in a personal way”, tante Daphne said.

“We have done everything ourselves”, opa continued, “and we organized the farewell in a restaurant instead of in a cold crematory-room”.

“And all the people who came were served a high tea, just as Judith would have done. Treating her guests in a hospitable way”, I said, seeing mamma before me when there were guests. She always wanted to spoil her guests, because she liked to receive guests.

Mrs. Van H. looked at the announcement in a silent way. “It’s a beautiful announcement”, she said. Mr. Van de L. didn’t say anything.

A silence fell. Not a silence for the person who died. No an uneasy silence as if we were not so welcome as the time before. Was the face of Mrs. Van H. sympathizing with us the time before, now her face looked masked.

 

What was exactly what Mirabelle said about mamma

I started to talk about Mirabelle’s complaint about mamma: “Mrs. Van H. I would like to come back at Mirabelle’s complaint about Judith with Mrs. T. What struck me the last time was, that you said Mirabelle’s complaint was especially about William who would have hit her so much, while she is positive about Judith and said Judith didn’t know how she has to do it. There was a difference with the first time, when Judith was still alive and was present on that seventeenth of February. Then you said Mirabelle complained it was especially Judith who hit her so often. Judith was very shocked by it and later it must be very hard for Mirabelle when she discovered that it was her complaint, that made Judith so desperate”.

“No, you have a wrong interpretation”, Mrs. Van H. said in a nearly arrogant way.” I certainly said Mirabelle complained about William as well as about Judith towards Mrs. T.”.  She nearly said it angry to me, but recuperated saying: “I can imagine you were mistaken, because you were emotional. And then you may hear only the most negative”. She didn’t say that it must have been hard for Mamma or for Mirabelle later. And now she said that William as well as mamma abused you. Now I heard a third interpretation.

So I felt not convinced, but didn’t say anything more. Especially, because I saw Mrs. Van H. was keeping off the subject. Again an uneasy silence fell. The atmosphere was totally different from the last time. And you may believe it or not, I felt some pity for Mrs. Van H. and then I didn’t realize why. I decided to finish the subject. Only from intuition.

 

The causal connection between what school said and Mirabelle’s complaint

“Do you see the causal connection between what Mrs. Van H. said to the kidnapper, namely that the protocol is that you can only report a complaint of abuse with Jeugdzorg, when one of the three children would express a complaint’, tante Daphne was saying with stress, waiting some moments, “and what Mirabelle did the other day?”

“It looks like a connection, but it may also be a coincidence”, Mrs. Van H. said and Mr. Van de L. said: “I don’t believe there is a causal connection”.

They said things like that we think there is a causal connection and that we are now in the mood to think things like that. I felt that the situation was totally different from the first time that we spoke with them. Then they were speaking freely about what occurred to them. Now they were defending themselves. They felt attacked by us and especially Mrs. Van H. behaved differently from that first time: she was close-mouthed now, as if someone had been very angry with her and she had to defend herself.

 

Educational report

The conversation went on with difficulty. No spontaneous and emotional Mrs. Van H. anymore. And her headmaster was as closed and non-empathetic as that 16th of February 2009, when tante Daphne and I were at school to inform if there were signals of the approaching kidnapping. We had the feeling we were in some kind even dangerous for the two.

“I know from my study that it is good when children change from school, that an educational report is written about the children. You can write about their results at school, but also about their social behavior”, tante Daphne spoke very professionally. “Maybe it is the unique occasion of making note of the kidnapping and the death of their mother. The teachers of the new school of Mirabelle, Lucas and Robin are informed then about the terrible situation of these children.”

Always tante Daphne stressed to us, that it would be very important that school should write this report, because this was a legal occasion to ask attention for your horrible situation. We didn’t think that the kidnapper would say to the new school he kidnapped you before mamma’s death and that the kidnapping and the false accusations were the reasons of mamma’s death.

“Oh, I should like to write such report for the other school with a point of concern”, Mrs. Van H. again said spontaneously.

I recognized the old emotional Mrs. Van H.

But Mr. Van de L. said: “I think it wisely to talk it over with Jeugdzorg. I only want to do that under the direction of Jeugdzorg. Mrs. Van H. looked dejected.

A new proof how powerful Jeugdzorg is. School as well as Boddaert danced attendance on Jeugdzorg. It was a pity that School as well as Boddaert were so afraid of this organization.

 

Threelittlebirds

“Two of Judith’s girl-friends offered us a website to post messages for Mirabelle, Lucas and Robin. There is also the possibility for pupils of your school to cooperate. It would be very nice if the children could communicate with their friends from the Dutch school. We should like if school wants to join in”, I informed the two.

“How do you see that?”, Mrs. Van H. asked.

“There will be a special page on the website for the pupils of the school, on which they can write”, I said enthusiastically.

“And the website will be called Threelittlebirds”, opa said. “We saw Judith as a beautiful bird, who was flying away. Mirabelle, Lucas and Robin are her little birds.”

“That’s nice”, Mrs. Van H. said and noted this information on a piece of paper. In some way she sounded a bit more cheerful.

“Okay”, Mr. Van de L. broke off Mrs. Van H. “we will talk it over with the rest of the teachers. You can take up contact with us about it.

I was shocked by the unpleasant intervention of Mr. Van de L. He always found a way to break off when there was something positive. He always hesitated to do things himself and wondered if it was allowed. He didn’t risk to undertake things because he was afraid of the responsibility. He didn’t want to be responsible for things ‒ and he was afraid of big bad wolf Jeugdzorg. What a pity he didn’t take the responsibility to allow Mrs. Van H. writing an educational report. What a pity that he didn’t take the risk to let write his pupils messages to you. It would have been so pleasant for you.

Do you still know, that I mention people who were courageous and tried to do things for you? It is so important in these situations. Mr. Van de L. didn’t belong to them. As school had been more courageous, maybe the rest of the Netherlands had reacted, but school didn’t do anything. Kept everything silent. To protect the good reputation of the school, I think.

 

Mr. Van de L. telephoned with the kidnapper

“Ahum”, the headmaster coughed a little, “I still tried to call with the kidnapper, but he didn’t take the phone. Later he called himself, but it was hard to understand.”

“Oh, it is that American-English, which is not always to understand, because of the different pronunciation”, I said.

“Yes, the conversation was rather short, because of that. I said him, that the children at school made drawings and wrote letters for Mirabelle, Lucas and Robin”, Mr. Van de L. said.

“Well”, the kidnapper said, “Mirabelle is busy writing a letter to the children from her class.

“But up till now, we didn’t see that letter of Mirabelle”, Mr. Van de L. said with contempt.

“Yes, and many children made drawings and wrote letters for Mirabelle, Lucas and Robin”, Mrs. Van H. said with regret in her voice. “For many children their sudden leaving was nearly traumatic. That’s why we proposed that they could write letters and make drawings, which we could send to them. But we didn’t hear anything from them up till now.”

I looked at her. Had the feeling that she would have done more if she was not stopped by her director. Then she would have been to the hospital to say mamma she was a good mum. But she didn’t, and now she saw what happened. I assume she would not think it was you who didn’t want to write or communicate with your schoolfriends, but she didn’t dare to express her thoughts and feelings. No, I had the feeling that in some way she was punished by her open behavior and emotions of the last time we spoke with her. Now we missed that open-minded attitude. She behaved like a robot, governed by her master. Had she been the director or headmaster of the school, maybe school and parents may have reacted more strongly at your kidnapping.

“It is a pity for the children, Mirabelle didn’t write yet. But I’m afraid that Mirabelle doesn’t know her father promised she would write.,” opa said. “I don’t know if he would appreciate she would have still contact with her schoolmates”.

“We have put the drawings and letters in a farewell-box and if the children will come back to the Netherlands, I will give them the box”, Mrs. Van H. said again with disappointment. It was the disappointment of all those children who thought they could communicate with you.

 

The decorated table and chair

“Do you know”, Mrs. Van H. said, “that the children of Mirabelle’s class decorated her table and chair, because tomorrow it’s her birthday? Table and chair still stand there empty and none of the children will sit on them, because they are hers. They still hope she will come back some day.”

“Oh, how difficult for those children”, tante Daphne said.

“I am positively surprised she was so beloved by her schoolmates”, I said.

My brain projected an image of Mirabelle with all those girl-friends. Every time you were invited by girl-friends. Just like your mother, when she was a little child, mamma always had friends too. It also made me sad, because I realized how much I missed mamma and the three of you and at the same time I was so very proud of mamma and the three of you, because you were missed so very much by others too.

 

Mirabelle’s bike

“Mirabelle left her bike at school; it is still there. That bike too has a symbolic function for the children. No one dares to touch it, because it is hers”, Mr. Van de L. said.

“Well, leave it there if it has still that function”, I said.

“After the summer holiday we will take away the bike”, Mr. Van de L. said. “Then the attention for the subject has become less”.

“I think, that Mirabelle would be glad if that bike is given then to someone who needs it. The same would Judith say”, I said with conviction, because I knew for sure mamma and you would say that Mirabelle.

“I’ll do that”, Mr. Van de L. said.

We made the appointment that I would take up contact with Mrs. X. of Jeugdzorg about the educational report and the farewell-box and I should take up contact with Mrs. Van H., when the website “threelittlebirds” would be ready. Then we said good-bye. I think the farewell-box is still with Mrs. Van H., as much later when opa had written the book “Judith” we still had a conversation with school and then Mrs. Van H. was herself again and said that the farewell-box had not got lost because she kept it safely at home. She will wait for you to give you the letters and drawings. I know for sure. Once.

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