Today (October 1) is the ninth anniversary of when our two boys came from Ethiopia to our home in Mountain Maryland. (We got our Sasha from Guatemala on March 3, 2000.) These are moments I cannot forget, especially since our boys knew enough hardship and sorrow by age four to count for a lifetime of so many of the rest of us.
Today, I listened to Tonya Craft on WGOW and someone asked her about the custody battle and why her children have not been returned to her. Obviously, Tonya had to be measured in her response (and I know I have to be measured in what I say about that situation on this blog), but it was clear that she believes that the injustice she experienced has been magnified by the custody affair.
What do our "got'cha day" celebrations and Tonya's situation have in common to me? Both of them go to the very heart of what it means to be a parent, to have children, to love them, and to have them be an integral part of one's life. My wife and I made a choice more than a decade that changed our lives dramatically, and yet we regret nothing. This was what we wanted to do, and what we believed (and still believe) God wanted us to do, even though this was the harder path to choose. (My friends are nearing retirement and I only can hope I can live into my 70s, as I will be working the entire time.)
Likewise, Tonya could have given up and just been content to visit with her children on scheduled visits, but that is not Tonya Craft. This is a person who has a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong and what she must do, and what she must be willing to give up to have justice done not only in her life, but in the lives of her children. This is a mother who knows in her heart what my wife and I know each "got'cha day," and that is our children mean everything to us and we are willing to give up everything for them.
People want to know why I come down so hard on the authorities in these faux "child molestation" cases. Those who know me know the answer is easy: the idea of the authorities lying and abusing the law so a mother or a father can be separated from the ones they love the most for the rest of their lives is utterly abhorrent to me. It is not something I can accept, nor will I ever accept it.
If you want to know why I say the things I do about Len Gregor, Chris Arnt, Tim Deal, and Brian House that I have said, you only have to understand that I am a father who gave up much to give three orphans a home. Yet, I can assure all of you that these people would lie in a heartbeat if they thought I could be dragged away from my family and thrown into prison, labeled a "child molester." They are monsters, all of them, and if they wish to be Hellbound, that is their choice and their privilege.
They tried to do this to Tonya Craft, and she, too, gave up everything to fight them. Their lies and fabrications did not work, although to this day, Tonya has been without the children who rightfully are hers, all because some people knew they could get away with lying because the State of Georgia refuses to punish those who lie in the name of pursuing the state's cases.
In Apison, James and Maria Combs face the very real prospect of James going to prison for the rest of his life, and from what I have seen and read, for the life of me I cannot find any credible evidence of child molestation on his part. In Phoenix, Arizona, the authorities have kidnapped the 14-year-old son of Carola Jacobson and have charged him with unspeakable crimes, yet there is no evidence, other than what I would call "Nifong" evidence: pure nonsense.
It is worth fighting for these people, and it is personal. Very personal.