My name is
Christian, lead developer (resume), writer, photographer, runner,
gun enthusiast, libertarian (voluntaryist),
This is also my son David Geoffrey Robins' site.
Timeline: from shocking deceit to finally getting some time with my sonNews, Baby ·Wednesday November 4, 2020 @ 13:37 EST (link)
This is the timeline of events wherein my wife Honey Robins decided to destroy our family, for reasons unknown, but maybe in part because she wants to live with her parents in West Virginia (and I didn't want to do that); postpartum depression/conditions may also have been involved; just not known at this point, and of course if it's something that would negatively affect her in court, that would explain why she's not talking.
September 6, 2017: Son David Geoffrey Robins is born.
March 28, 2018: Honey runs off with our son to West Virginia, after claiming to go to a "girl's night" with friends (taking David since she was breastfeeding him). I'm not sure if that ever actually occurred; she also claimed that people there convinced her to run off. The next day she takes $60,000 out of our joint account, and removes her name from the account.
April-October, 2018: I try to reason with Honey on the phone, get counseling for the shock, ask various relatives or counselors to help, and (May?) drive to West Virginia to see Honey and David and try to find out what's going on. I'm given the runaround (later I find out she was stringing me along claiming to be "thinking and praying" about things, etc., until she had better chances for getting custody there). She mostly wants money, as she has no intention of working, with the clear implication that if I don't pay her I won't be able to see David. I end up paying/she charges an additional $15,000 as part of that scheme, even though she had plenty to support David.
Eventually I arrange with work to visit WV every other week so I can see the two of them (really I was visiting David and a stone wall, since she was likely following legal advice to say nothing, but figured a complete silent treatment would be too suspicious). I spent as much time as she would let me during the day, going out to eat, parks, etc., working remotely after and into the evenings when she withheld him from me. She did not let me see him overnight, and although there was no court order and I could have done so, I didn't want to cause upset by keeping him or bringing him home against her wishes. When it was warm enough I camped (at an electrical site in Twin Falls State Park, and I had a 4G modem for Internet), and other times stayed in the lodge at the park.
David took his first steps to me at a Kroger in Beckley, WV, when he was about a year old. He had been standing (a bit precariously) or pulling himself along, and I had the sense he was ready, so I set him down a few steps back and sat down and held out my hands for him to walk to me, and he did.
November 2018: She files for divorce in West Virginia. She texts me to tell me about it when I get home for the week, and then begins a silent treatment that will go on until present day.
At this point I can't go back to West Virginia to see David even if she would allow it, because they could serve me there and get jurisdiction (and her attorney, who is not overburdened with scruples per past history, would, and she wouldn't do anything without consulting her attorney). She refused to either meet in Ohio (where she had previously, while still stringing me along, but her lawyer had probably advised her to keep David as bait in West Virginia) or grant any sort of immunity (which had been held up in other states) for me seeing him.
She ended up withholding my boy from me completely (not that I was getting much time with him anyway) for over a year and a half (over two and a half years and counting generally); I only finally got limited time with him when the court ordered it. What kind of evil person does that?
December 2018: I go to Canada for the Christmas holidays for most of the month.
February 2019: They serve me, "constructively" (that's what it's called when they don't serve in-person within the state where the court is, and means that the court doesn't have personal jurisdiction over me, which will be important), by publication in a newspaper, because the server couldn't find me at home in December when I was in Canada, or the gate was closed, or something like that.
They send a bunch of invasive discovery requests to work, etc., to get information toward helping her take more of my savings later.
March 2019: The "family" court in West Virginia issues a temporary order (doesn't matter so much what's in it, it's done without personal jurisdiction and is all going away; it's not the judge's fault, he's not supposed to raise personal jurisdiction issues sua sponte, or on his own).
June 2019: I hire an attorney to address jurisdiction issues, and he determines we need to petition the next higher court, the Wyoming County Circuit Court, for a "Writ of Prohibition" against the lower court, which we do.
October 2019: We are granted the Writ of Prohibition (this is how long it takes to do things in court) over their strenuous but empty objections. In particular, they try to claim that H. ran off "impoverished"; apparently she hid the money she took and received from her attorney, and when mine brought it up that line of attack quickly disappeared.
January 2020: They try for a final hearing (set for May, but COVID ends up pushing it back).
March-May 2020: I "release" my divorce lawyer (I had a different one for the Writ, and had only hired him for that purpose, which was successful) for, among other things, poor communication (maybe he had too many cases?) and not doing anything toward getting me time with David again. They file a pile of frivolous and harassing motions to try to get jurisdiction and money, which I object to (because of lack of jurisdiction, citing the Writ).
July 2020: Hearing is set. I'm not as prepared as I should be and the judge gives himself personal jurisdiction; but I do ask for and get time with David: 3 hours a day for a week, every other week, but I have to be exiled to West Virginia for it; the judge won't send David home yet, because she has kept him from me for so long ("fruit of the poisonous tree"). Her lawyer is asked to write up the order.
August 2020: I file a long and detailed objection, which is ignored because it's not complaining about transcription errors (the rules don't require it to; and in fact, it does mention a significant and probably intentional omission from the written order, something missed out which is confirmed by the recording of the hearing). (Per precedent, and given that I am pro se, it would have been reasonable for it to have been interpreted also as a motion to reconsider.)
I also finally get to see David again. For the first three weeks it is supervised—I don't know how I had the presence of mind to get it unsupervised after that, but since there was no reason for it in the first place, I did.
So I get permission from work to be remote again, travel there, and spend time with my son, finally. We walk, I bring a ball and teach him to throw and catch it (and later bring the basketball net I've had waiting for him for so long), and read some books; one week I bring a guitar; we go places to eat and I feed him; I change him; we go to the playground and ride the swings and climb into the little wooden house and he identifies the numbers and plays with the steering wheel. And I get him some trucks and a big rig to put them in, and various other toys, and we watch some movies like The Jungle Book and try to make up for time that was stolen from us as best we can.
October 2020: They've filed some more harassing motions, and then claimed they can't make their own hearing, which was scheduled for November 30. I had also had consideration of a motion to modify wherein I would seek more time with my son added—to follow a reunification plan from a psychologist after she had alienated him from me, such as adding overnights and eventually bringing him home. It is in his best interest to come home to his father, not stay with someone who treats him as a pawn and a meal ticket in a county that's visibly falling apart, and give her a chance to develop job skills with the degree I bought her and perhaps make something of herself.
Seems the hearing is now set for February 2021. If I had an attorney he would have been consulted about the scheduling, apparently, but since I don't, they just ignored me, in clear violation of the state supreme court's directives to treat pro se litigants fairly.
Present: There are a couple different ways to proceed, and I don't want to reveal everything here yet; but it is going to be an drawn-out, wasteful, and expensive process, and there is strong bias against fathers, pro se litigants, people from out of town, education, etc.; why she prefers to just waste what I worked hard for I don't know—sheer bloodymindedness? being led along by the lawyer?—but she could end the harm she is doing at any point, but she will not.
This is the great evil I have had to deal with these past nearly three years; pray that God will replace her heart of stone with a heart of flesh, and turn her from the evil she has chosen; pray that my son will be able to come home without undue delay.
I cannot be silentNews, Law, Baby ·Thursday August 20, 2020 @ 16:15 EDT (link)
One minute I am feeding my son blueberries, and the next she rips him away. "It's seven o'clock" she says, and runs out. With my heart, a tiny boy who doesn't deserve the harm she chose, and keeps choosing over, and over, and over, and over again. How does a moral person do this, how does someone who called herself a Christian, with all that implies (or should)? Does she get numb to the harm—a seared conscience? Does she want my money so badly that nothing else matters? She would still get it even if she didn't keep my son from me.
So I'm back at the hotel room at Twin Falls—just about, maybe the only place to stay in the county—I was at a campsite (same park) earlier in the week, but the electric sites (which I need to work) were fairly booked up leading up to the weekend, wondering how she drives off with my son after I have a mere three hours (court-ordered; she would not let me see him otherwise) with him, taking him from his father. Is she an honest-to-god psychopath/sociopath (not all of them are murderers, many live quieter lives)? It cannot be ruled out.
If she just wants to be gone (to live with her parents, to be with someone else from her town yet unrevealed, etc.), there were, if I can use the term, "more Christian"—less evil—ways of doing things. She could have agreed to a settlement, or filed in Indiana, rather than trying to drag me into court six hours away; and she definitely never needed to keep David Geoffrey from his father. Why maximize evil, and maximize harm? She was always easily led; her lawyer might be putting her up to it (but that does not absolve her), or her mother (somehow I don't think Doug is behind or contributing to this, especially after he tried to make things right with me, perhaps prompted by his surgery—and he is recovering well!—but maybe also by the Spirit). If she had filed in Indiana in 2018 and come to a just settlement, it would all have been over in a couple months: but she had to string me along for six months so they could do custody in WV, which meant getting a Writ of Prohibition for the rest (and maybe another one this year—what's a year without one, after all?); and what does she care? She had my son, and kept him from me. She was living with her parents like she wanted, probably pretending some false "single mom" martyrdom. Well, readers, it just ain't so and never was; she took a big pile of money with her when she ran off with my son, and required me to pay even more so I could see him in 2018. I don't know how much she's wasted; it will come to light eventually. That's my hard work, my labor, my time away from home and (then sane) family; it's nothing to her.
Did you know I have a right, upheld by the Constitution of these United States, and (most of the time) by the courts, and (almost always) by the Supreme Court, to talk about this horror that she's putting me through? They tried for a speech ban; the Supreme Justice Court of Massachusetts just shot down something similar; and while the case does not apply directly, the Supreme Court precedents certainly do. I may be beset by great evil, and evil people, but I no more have to be silent about it than David the king.
WhyNews, Law, Baby ·Saturday May 16, 2020 @ 14:46 EDT (link)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.
Back before my wife went crazy and ran off, I would frequently post pictures here, mostly of David Geoffrey, and hope to do that again.
Nothing much has changed. The virus didn't bother me much; I'm already dealing with worse. I got used to having a couple days off a week (company furlough) and then that stopped which is good but. Still working from home, so can still have bacon for lunch. :-)
… I still look around each day and think, where is my wife, where is my son? Marriage necessitates a degree of trust that makes one vulnerable to being stabbed in the back like she did. You can't really protect yourself from betrayal and still have a relationship, and shouldn't have to.
I have not caused this. She tried to blame her harmful actions on me, and I, due to the trust I have already mentioned, tried to believe it; but with much thought and expert help, I have come out of that. I have not caused the evil she has chosen. That doesn't require me to be "perfect" of any sort; I have room for improvement, and I love that my relationship with God and with local Christians has improved so much over the last few years. I am satisfied; I am confident, that I have not caused this; I am out from under the weight of false accusations from her and her family. I fight for my son.
I have come as close as I have ever gotten to "why", given she won't actually say anything (guilt? concern it will be used against her in court?); this is an excerpt from a handwritten note she wrote dated a few years before she ran off:
Sometimes I think my life and his would be easier if I never came back [from West Virginia]. He doesn't understand me or my desire to be back "home" and live there (which I know isn't possible while we are married). Do I love David, yes I do. Do I want to stay married, I'm just not sure.
So there it is.
I don't think God would want us to divorce ever, but I'm not sure I can stand it any longer. I'm being pulled in 2 directions and it's getting harder and harder to choose the "right" one (in God's eyes). I know if David saw this that it would hurt him. But my thoughts and feelings are not just for me. I can't be what David needs or wants and I'm tired of trying. … I'm going to look at my time in WV for grandma's death and funeral as an opportunity to see what I feel about things. I'm tired of the fighting and arguing and him wanting and needing me to choose him over my family. He needs that and I can't give it to him. My family is so important to me. I know David loves me but I think he deserves so much more than I can give sometimes. … I'm evidently not what he thought I would be and he deserves better. I'll reflect and maybe time apart will help. We'll see, I suppose.
Pining for home is a weak and base reason to destroy a family and two lives. It's not as if she didn't spend plenty of time there.
It is also the cruel manner she did it, keeping my son from me for so long (mostly, since she ran off in March 2018, and completely since she filed to take what she did not earn in November 2018). Doing horrible things to me—stabbing me in the back—should not result in cash and prizes, especially not from her victim, and she certainly is not mentally capable of looking after my son.
Last I heard from my lawyer was they were working on a settlement.
Not any less crazyNews, School, Law, Baby ·Friday August 30, 2019 @ 16:38 EDT (link)
Today is our 16th anniversary.
This situation does not seem any less crazy even after about a year and a half after my wife ran off with my son. I still can't comfortably say the "d" word; I still refer to it as "great evil", which it is.
On reflection, I can add a few things: she never considered reconciling, even though she pretended to; she only claimed it so that I wouldn't file here to bring David home. Once that became less likely, she stopped communicating entirely. Her whole attitude reeks of guilt; she knows she has done wrong, but doesn't care, because she desperately wants it. But I don't know what kind of crazy she has. I have difficulty believing she is a Christian, as she claimed; she may not be.
She is keeping me from my son, David. I have not been able to see him since November. His development appears to be, from the little I see him, hindered; he is not where he should be according to the books I'm reading. To David Geoffrey: Your father loves you and will always fight for you and is sorry this great evil has been done to us.
Since reading so many cases due to her filing, I have developed an increasing interest in the law. More about that in a few months. Legally, at present, she filed in November, and since WV doesn't have jurisdiction, my attorney has petitioned to throw the whole thing out. A hearing for that is coming up. I hope maybe I'll learn at some point in the proceedings why she ran off, but I understand I may not (since she may hide behind lies and false accusations, and everywhere has "no-fault" divorce).
Many states now have a "rebuttable presumption" of 50/50 custody, and psychologists say it is in the best interests of the child(ren). It's important that David be able to come home and to spend time with his father; being there is doing him no favors (they are 0 for 4…) and the lack of a father for long enough is a predictor of a multitude of ills.
If she had died, I could mourn her. But because she turned into a horror and did horrible things, I don't have closure. All I can do is fight for my son.
A kind of acceptanceNews, Baby ·Sunday April 7, 2019 @ 13:02 EDT (link)
It's my site; I'll talk about my emotions if I like, and even if both of my readers (hi!) got together they'd have a hard time stopping me. :-)
Honey covered the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) in one of the classes she took for her psych degree; and they emphasized that not everyone goes through all the stages, or necessarily in order; we used to joke to the contrary.
I'm sure I'm not done with all the rest, but I am trying to come to a sort-of acceptance. There are many things to wrestle with, some covered in previous posts.
One of the hardest things is not knowing why she ran off (and she is unwilling to talk about it). I addressed various considerations in previous post "Looking for meaning". I'll go with what is likely or known: she was unhappy, she left. A Christian should not continue in sin like this, and it is reasonable to say, "Let the unbelieving spouse depart" and to recognize that I am "not under bondage", that is, free to enter into another relationship and eventually remarry if the Lord will. While I am free to do that, I have no intention of rushing toward it but rather lean on God and his timing.
I am still wearing my ring, because I do not want this. But it's not my choice. I have said before: I never expected when I got married, especially to a supposed Christian, that she would decide to destroy our family one day; I never expected she would try to take my son away; and I never expected her to try to steal from me what she had not earned. And yet she has and she is. (She, and her father, have both claimed she "does not care about money"; we'll see if that's at all true, or if she steals all the law allows.)
For now, my priority is my son David Geoffrey Robins: bringing him home if possible, but if not (it is sick, but kidnapping may convey legal advantage), ensuring I can spend as much time with him as possible and that he is raised "in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Church, small group, prayer, and study of the scriptures through our reading plan (we are going through the New Testament with a YouVersion plan) keep me grounded. In all I will strive to be upright (ʼορθος).
A Biblical perspectiveTheology ·Saturday March 30, 2019 @ 17:02 EDT (link)
There are some sins that are over and done with a single act; they remain in the past, and the doer can seek forgiveness, having repented with the intent not to repeat the sin.
Divorce, or leaving your spouse even before or without legal involvement, is certainly not a sin like that. It is rather one that has to be maintained and chosen day by day. It is not one choice to do evil and then you ask God for forgiveness (never mind that you should also ask your spouse and children, if any, for forgiveness also) and he forgives you and it's over. No; it is a continuing choice, day by day, to do evil and not instead attempt to restore the family you tried to tear apart.
You may be forgiven for the initial act, but if you have not changed your mind and heart about it, you commit it over and over again. That is not repentance.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. —James 4:17
That change of heart—repentance, to use God's term—need not perhaps involve returning to the spouse you left right away, but that should be considered the goal, as soon as possible, as you discuss individually and perhaps through counseling the issues that prompted the sin, whether simple greed or things that the departing spouse may have been unhappy about in the marriage.
But if the unbelieving [spouse] depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. —1 Corinthians 7:15
Standard disclaimer that only God knows the heart and whether someone is or is not one of his.
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. —1 John 3:6
Matthew Henry expands on the above verse in his Commentary as follows:
Those that abide in Christ abide in their covenant with him, and consequently watch against the sin that is contrary thereto. They abide in the potent light and knowledge of him; and therefore it may be concluded that he that sinneth (abideth in the predominant practice of sin) hath not seen him (hath not his mind impressed with a sound evangelical discerning of him), neither known him, hath no experimental acquaintance with him.
One can, sorrowfully and regretfully, but soundly, conclude that someone that continues in the sin of departure from their spouse, without willingness to reconcile, and especially in the absence of clear sin on the part of the other (such as adultery or violence), continues in sin, and question whether they have ever known the Lord. In turn, this would appear to free the spouse left behind to remarry should he or she so choose, once the decision of the other is clear, and it would be to their conscience as to how much time they might allow to pass or the efforts they would make to reconciliation, which efforts I would hope would be, for Christian, extensive.
There is no joy in the destruction of a relationship that God values so much that he has used it to illustrate that of Christ and his church.
Looking for meaningNews, Baby ·Tuesday January 15, 2019 @ 19:19 EST (link)
I ended my last note by saying I miss my family. I miss my son especially; he had no choice in being kidnapped and removed from his father who loves him. And I wonder why Honey did it. It's easy to say "she's evil"—her acts certainly have been, and cruel too, in holding out hope when she was merely biding her time to do the most harm she could with legal safety, but that's not explanatory. What would motivate her to such a thing? Clearly she was unhappy; that's built-in, you don't leave a situation where you're happy. But in the eight months I drove there every other week trying to get her to come back, to restore our family rather than tear it apart, she was cold, she had thrown up a wall between us; it is evident now that from the very beginning she intended to go through with this evil and had no intention whatsoever of turning from it.
Had she been unfaithful (more than in the sense of running off and not keeping the promises and vows she made) and turned to someone else? I wouldn't have thought it, but I wouldn't have thought she could run off and be as cruel as she had been, to keep my son from me and lie to me day after day. She had opportunity with all of her visits to WV and all the time she spent online while I was at work.
Was she just pining for WV, and wanting to give up on marriage and instead regress to a comfortable environment where she could pretend to be a child again, taken care of by family—instead of by me—playing where she grew up, hanging out with her former social groups, going to her old church, which for her and her family has always been about socializing rather than about God? That's a possibility too, I suppose. A few advisers have independently come up with the idea that she never was a Christian, she had no "fruit" of a Christian life; and Paul says to let the unbelieving spouse depart and frees the one left to remarry.
Or perhaps she's not rational. One idea I've also been shown is a postpartum condition (which extends beyond just the oft-heard "postpartum depression" into a variety of issues), for which she should be evaluated if it is possible. Situations exactly like this, where a wife does a complete turn in her attitudes toward a kind and loving husband and runs off with a young child have been described online by several people across different sites. Such conditions can be treated with medicine and psychology, and denial of such a condition is also common.
Would I take her back? I've been asked that a lot too. I loved, trusted, and cared for her more than anyone ever, so very much, she was everything to me; and of course trusting like that allows for hurt like this. But yes, I would. We would need to work through whatever the issues were with counseling, for a long time I expect, but I would do whatever was necessary to put our family back together.
Family tragedy: Honey runs off with our sonNews, Baby ·Tuesday January 8, 2019 @ 18:00 EST (link)
In March 2018, my wife Honey left with our then 7-month-old son David Geoffrey. I still don't know why she did it, and despite all efforts to reconcile, including many hours on the road and days lived at campsites and hotels (with a very accommodating employer), she filed for divorce in November once she had been away long enough to secure the legal advantages she needed. She has refused counseling, either Christian or secular, and is living with her parents, six hours away from home.
What I need from my friends is love, support, and help. For those who also know Honey, especially those who are Christians, please encourage her to stop this and go to counseling and consider reconciliation, and your prayers are appreciated—that she will repent of this and not destroy our family.
As hard as this time has been, it has brought me closer to God and he has brought amazing new people into my life, and the support of family and friends who knew about the situation has been tremendous. If she does go through with it, pray that our son is not harmed by it all, for wisdom for my lawyers, that I can learn why she did this, and that David can be brought back home and I would be able to see him again (she won't bring him here and at least for now I can't go there for legal reasons). I miss my family very much.
Emily and Johnny's weddingNews ·Saturday August 25, 2018 @ 21:16 EDT (link)
Congratulations to my sister Emily and Johnny Neufeld, married today.
The wedding took place at the beautiful Palatine Hills Estate Winery, which Johnny manages and his parents own. The ceremony was held outside in chairs on the lawn and tents were prepared for cocktails and the reception later. Some photos as people were arriving:
Message, readings, vows, rings, and kiss the bride:
Signing the register and presentation:
The rain held off until the end of the ceremony, whereupon it poured and everyone rushed indoors, and they rushed to close the tent awnings.
Inside, there was dancing; there was food and drink; there were speeches as the evening progressed.
Hiking the Cliffside Trail at Twin FallsNews ·Sunday August 19, 2018 @ 20:58 EDT (link)
Driving in to WV it was rainy but the mist was beautiful over the mountains, so I stopped between the Coalfields Expressway and Slab Fork to take some pictures in the pouring rain, the first in a while with the Nikon D850 (some cell phone pictures, so I want to add them as postable here soon).
The Cliffside Trail at Twin Falls, a 3-mile loop starting close to the campground (opposite the bathhouse):
The Rhododendron Tunnel is kind of cool, branches arching overhead in a true tunnel. The cliffs at the end are a nice place to sit and relax, but it's hard to see much between the trees; water can be heard rushing below. Since it had rained, all manner of fungi were on display.
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