REUNITED AFTER 15 YEARS!!

$2,891 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 69 people in 15 months
Hope Holland   CAMPBELL, CA
Renewing HOPE: Bringing Home My Missing Son:  "Jonathan was taken by his father 15years ago to Mexico...he was only three when I last saw him. I can still see his face and curly head of hair...almost as clear as yesterday."


gofundme Bring Jonathan home and allow for reunification with myself and his 3 year older brother, Jacob.
(above: Jonathan and Mom approximately 15 years ago)

gofundme Bring Jonathan home and allow for reunification with myself and his  3 year older brother, Jacob.

This  photo is what led me to find Jonathan...15 years later on January 21,2015
(above: Jacob and Jonathan approximately 14 years ago) 

Jonathan was taken by his father 15years ago to Mexico.  Due to the fact he has recently turned 18 years of age, I am unable to access the supports of National & State Centers, or any other entity offering financial supports with government funds. 

 Reported to the Child Abduction Department of my County, "parental abduction", which includes keeping a child away from a left behind parent while interfering with court orders of visitation.

 I am sad today after getting a phone call from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children...I was just informed that they are NOT going to provide me assistance to bring home my son whom has been gone for 15 years. This change in support is due to the fact that he is now 18 years old (his birthday was in November and I just located him in January.) I cannot receive help for my situation because my son recently "aged out”. This is the answer that I am given by all the organizations that I have contacted for help. 

What do you think?  An open child abduction case for 15 years but cannot receive reunification assistance because my son recently "aged out”. I found him two months too late... 'now 18...not a child"

(above photo: Jonathan on his bike in Mexico, present day)

How I found my son after 15 years:

I thought people would like to hear the story of how I finally found my son...

On January 21, of this year, I was scheduled to participate on a webinar (live video training). In most cases, I would receive an automated code prior to the scheduled event. The code is the required "ticket" to participate in the webinar. For some reason
the event holder "required" me to go to Facebook to "like" their page prior to releasing the code (that was a first). I, not being a frequent Facebook user was irritated by this. After liking the page, a bunch of pictures popped up of other people that had also liked the page. One picture...a picture of two little boys taking a bath together(see above), caught my eyes.

At first, my body responded with panic and excitement.   Heart palpitations and sweat...my breathing out of control.  Then, I told myself to calm down...I didn't need to get worked up over a case of a mistaken photo.  Over the years,with the abscence of my son, that had happened many times.  I have lots of Jonathan's that I am connected to via social media, though none of them the "right" ones.

So, I click on the picture and enlarge it, just to be sure...OMG!!!! (Oh My God)  A positive, 100%, definite...clearly my boys!  I was the one who had taken the picture, so I obviously could be certain that it was them.  Tears uncontrollably fell down my face, my hands were shaking, my body was shaking...Now what? Now what? At first I didn't know that answer, but then, as if my engine just went into auto pilot, I double clicked the picture and was instantaneously taken to Jonathan's webpage.  

I scrolled through picture after picture, crying.  It was like flashes of little movie trailers, giving me insight to pieces of his life.  The life I never thought I would live without, the life that went on without me.  Sadness and joy overtook all of me. I decided to download my favorite pictures.  Finally, a glimpse into the life that I wondered about everyday.  Everyday... I wondered and everyday I tried to forget.  You NEVER forget...

As I continued to download pictures, I noticed that with each picture I downloaded, someone would "like" the picture I had just downloaded.  I noticed it was about 1:30 am.  Who is this person? Why are they liking every  picture I download?  Do they know me? Do they know my son Jonathan?  Do they know how to reach him?  I decided to text the person on the other end, to ask exactly that...who are you and do you know my son Jonathan?

Yes.  OMG!!! I frantically replied telling the person that I am his mother and that I have been searching for him for a very long time.  I included my phone number and a request for the person to call me ASAP.  My phone was ringing seconds after I had sent the text.  The person explained to me that they not only knew Jonathan, but had went to school with him, had someone from his family that had married someone in Jonathan's family, and had just seen him 2 weeks prior.  He gave me Jonathan's phone number.

 I decided to wait on  calling Jonathan.  I was concerned  that calling him out of the blue could have negative impacts.  Instead, I asked the person on the other end to ask Jonathan if he wanted to speak to me or not.  I waited for three days... the longest three days of my life.     I spoke to Jonathan for 80 minutes on that first day. We spoke 40 minutes, took a break, and then spoke for another 40 minutes.  The entire conversation was in Spanish. Everything does happen for a reason, I guess. Maybe that is why I couldn't take French when I had wanted to, left with no choice but to take Spanish.  Thankfully four years of high school Spanish...the only reason I was able to talk to my son...thank God!!  Everything DOES happen for a reason. 

On the second phone call with Jonathan, he brought up the topic of coming to live with me. I was so elated and relieved. I had been trying to figure out the best way to encourage him to want to come live with me, but hadn't come up with any definitive answer. As a matter of fact, it had required me a great amount of restraint to keep from telling him to hop on the first plane here. Jonathan and I continue to talk regularly. We both are anxiously awaiting July 1st...the day of reunification...the day we finally meet again (I pray).


About my case

Losing Jonathan changed my life forever.  The first three years after he was taken are a complete blur to me.  I know that the only focus I had during those first three years was finding my son.  How I went about looking for him is a complete blur, but that was the only thing of importance to me.  I was so absorbed with his search that I had forgotten about my oldest son, Jacob.  It wasn't until Jacob was calling out to me  one day that I "snapped" out of it.  It was then that I knew that I needed to close that chapter of my book.  I needed to take care of my son, Jacob.

In 2006, I experienced the loss of Jonathan a second time.  I had discovered that Jonathan and his father were in San Diego, Ca.  After notifying the abduction unit I was assigned an investigator that worked closely with me, informing me along the way that I should make preparation for my son's return home.  She was confident that she would get him back.  Our last meeting was on a Friday but I had a scheduled meeting with her the following Monday.  When I came back for my Monday appointment, that investigator was gone.  No longer with the department and no other answer given to me but that.  I was told I would have to wait three months to speak to anyone that could help me because the only staff on the unit was in the Middle East on a case of child abduction.

Three months later, I and everyone else, with open cases were waiting at the investigators door.  When my turn came, I took him over to my old investigators desk and pointed out to him all the details of everything we were doing.  I also collected the documents I had brought in on that last meeting, which were exactly as we had left them.  My new investigator decided to send a letter to the dad, requesting him to contact the District Attorney's Child Abduction Unit.  I begged him NOT to do that, explaining to him that he would  leave the State and go to Mexico if he believed I was searching for him.  I being a victim of his abuse, led him to think I was not capable of doing anything against him.  Against my request, the investigator sent the letter. He waited three weeks for a response. Upon inquiry with surrounding neighbors, he was told that he had suddenly left (to where no one seemed to know).

My case went cold from that point.  I lost an entire year of my life from the shattered hope.  It was like losing my son for the first time, all over again.


About Me

I raised my oldest son as a single parent.  I come from a family history filled with trauma, addiction, mental illness, and poverty.  Wanting my entire life to break all those cycles, I became very knowledgeable in both mental illness and addiction.  Having to overcome my own addiction at a young age led me to a natural progression of becoming a Certified professional in addictions.

In my early twenties I was diagnosed with mental illness...being dually-diagnosed, I took an interest in working in the mental health field.  Finding my passion, I  dove into the work.  I became an advocate for myself and for others, working in wellness and recovery.  I maintained four different jobs at one point.  Two jobs whereas I was an independent contractor and two jobs as an employee.  

In late 2011, early 2012 everything changed.  My main source of income disappeared with the jobs.  I suddenly had become a victim of a violent crime and my world really went upside down.  In need of services, without insurance, and shortly to follow, without an income.  I fell into the deepest depression faced in my life.  The changing health care law complicated all processes and caused an excessive amount of stress, which in turn, increased my symptoms.  

I was fully engulfed by illness and for the first time came to terms that i needed to apply for SSDI.  This has always been an approach that I proclaimed to not be for me, unless as a last (no) choice.  That's where things were.  So, with the help of great support friends, I did what I had to do and applied.  That process was a serious nightmare.  I was approved the first time through, which to me is a huge indicator of how ill I was.
This last episode was a three year journey from start to finish.  The finish line bringing me to present day.

Being on disability and living in the Silicon Valley is not a vacation.  The struggle of just paying for the basics to live is always there while on disability.  I am slowly moving towards being able to work again full time, but  I am not there yet.  

So, finding my son is bitter sweet.  Of course I am happy beyond anything I could ever describe... yet i am sad and worried, afraid that I will fail him, fail me...if I am forced to inform him that I can not see him because I do not have the financial ability to bring him here or take care of him.  These are words that are unimaginable to have to say... the thought breaks my soul.  It is for these reasons I ask for your support in my cause....

gofundme
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For the community, gofundme provides a platform to link people to my cause. Once there, people can donate to provide financial support, get updates, offer resources, ideas, or comments, and reshare with your community.  The bigger the outreach and support from the community the greater my Hope and belief that it (my dream) is finally coming true...the day I see my son again.

DONATE!! support Jonathan's return and allow for a healthy re-unificication process.

Any contribution that you are able to make will help!! Thank you in advance for your support...It is through the help of people like you that we can RENUHOPE!

Participate in the reunification of a child to their mother. A Most Joyous Occassion!

~Sending my Hope, Love, and Gratitude to all...~ 
                                   
Hope Holland
 
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Stay connected!  Check out gofundme to share my story with everyone in your networks and to get all the updates as things progress in the reunification process.
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Update 12
12 months ago
continued update from earlier today.....

3. Email me 5 examples of how your situation is causing conflict in your life? Please include a short explanation for each. I) We are fighting about ridiculous stuff and seem to have no patience...we are losing our ability to effectively communicate with eachother. I now owe money that i borrowed just in the beginning to get him here and still do not have enough to get him back to school right now...in addition my car broke down and is being repaired...money I do not have for the repairs, and now that I am broke I do not even have the money for my basic monthly stuff...

II) Jonathan has hung out with his brother and then starts treating me badly thereafter...my son Jacob and I have a lot of static with each other...I have asked Jacob to not bring any of OUR past together into the present relationship with Jonathan. He has not respected my request, thus bringing conflict between Jonathan and I for stuff that doesn't even pertain to him.

III) I can not pay my bills and now even owe other people money that I had no choice but to borrow. There is no way that I can resolve this being on SSDI. I do not think I am ready to return to work full time just yet but I do not know how to get out of the hole that I am in...these things are effecting my mental health symptoms.... Its because I feel everything has fallen apart, I worry that this will all be viewed as a bad experience for Jonathan and that he will not want to return.

IV) Jonathan has cultural, language, and other male character traits that have been triggers for me. Something I haven't mentioned much is the level and degree that his father beat me. All this past trauma seems to have been brought to the surface. It has been making it increasingly harder for me to function on a day to day basis. I keep reflecting on all the crap that his father did to me, aside from kidnapping. All this brings up "all the rest of it"... and anger then overtakes me...anger at everything he got away with then, anger that he is still getting away with it now, and anger at our system...for messing up the case then and for not even assisting when I found Jonathan.

V. The way that Jonathan experienced being gone and the way that I experienced it, are very different perspectives. For me, losing him has direct effect on the way I choose to allow a person to get close to me...I do not and I am very guarded in my expression of affection to others. Jonathan seems to be the exact opposite of that and thus he gets hurt by me,...feeling rejected, and stating that I do not love him because of the difference in how I express my emotions versus how he expresses his. This area has caused a lot of pain to both of us and I do not know how to overcome these barriers.


4. What do you hope to gain or accomplish by coming and talking to Dr. Phil?
I would like to get the help we so desperately need. I want us finding each other to be one of the best things that has happened to us in our lives. A sense of hope would be great because I feel like Im drowning and lost right now...a little relaxation, laughter...or just a sense that there is a plan that is in place that we are working on that sets the stage to true healing. The other thing I'd like to gain is the opportunity to tell My story, the real story...I want to voice publicly what he did to me and what the authorities did to me too. I also want the public to know how our government will deny a family the right to assistance, simply based on the child aged out...turned 18. 18 does not magically fix all the damage done over 15 years. It does not make sense to deny a family in need during this joyful reunion...services should be granted based on individual and family needs, not age.

5. What one question would you have for Dr. Phil? Please explain.
Is there a way to hold the negligence of the County Child Abduction Unit liable for the many things they did (not) do in my case which could be a direct cause of my sons absence for so many years. Also, upon release of my case file to me... I believe they committed fraud by inserting documents into the file that were not otherwise there...and the purpose of doing this was to cover there butts. Also, do you think I should have his dad put in jail?

6. What is your greatest fear?
Besides dying old alone...I would say never finishing my dream to get a degree (due to all the trauma and illness interruptions)...and having my new found son decide that he has met me and that I am "wacked" beyond repair...he says goodbye and he will be back, but instead he decides he done and I never see or hear from him ever again.

7. Why do you want to be involved in the show?
Because the world needs to see that never giving up hope can really matter...change your life. Also, to bring awareness to the issues presented in my story, advocacy for change. Shed light on government mishaps...get feedback as to whether or not that is an issue that can be pursued.

8. Feel free to include any other thoughts, details, comments, updates on your story.
I will leave this loaded gun alone, because My life contains many unreal, but true stories that it would warrant a few sagas or movies of the week. you just wouldn't believe

9. Have you been contacted by anyone else from the Dr. Phil show? If so, who contacted you?
NO

10. Is everyone involved willing to appear on TV?
I do not know the answer to that question.

PLEASE REPLY DIRECTLY TO THIS EMAIL AS IT CONTAINS INFORMATION IN THE SUBJECT LINE THAT IS HELPFUL IN KEEPING YOUR FILE ORGANIZED. Send your info ASAP…. The sooner the better.

Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you.

Marcial Rios
Senior Associate Producer
The Dr. Phil Show
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Update 11
12 months ago
continued update from earlier today....


On Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 6:32 PM, Hope Holland <chope4joy13@gmail.com> wrote:
On Friday, July 31, 2015, Rios, Marcial wrote:

Hey there,

Thank you for writing into the Dr. Phil Show. I've read your email you sent to the show, and am interested in learning more about your situation. To be considered for an upcoming episode of our show, please reply to this email with the following information:

1. What is the update? Has things changed since you wrote in?
Jonathan has now been here one month and one week. He Has one more week left until it's time to go... he doesn't want to go and I don't want him to go but unfortunately he needs to go to finish high school. Despite the many interviews that we had, the fact that we were on national media as well as local media and there was an increase in people viewing our story...our fundraising efforts have not brought in the original underestimated dollars as stated on the gofundme page as our dollar amount goal. This has been a tremendous amount of stress for me because my monthly income on disability does not afford me anything but the bare necessities. I am suppose to have purchased his ticket back to start school and at this point I do not have enough to purchase the ticket (he should be on the plane Saturday to be back at the start of school.) I feel that i have failed him...I had grand plans and in my mind all was going to be happy, fun, and joyous...an opportunity to bring all three of us together. Healing...healing that we all needed and still need...desperately so. Many things have changed from when I initially wrote...the biggest thing for me was I had a renewed HOPE upon our reunification...I even felt that this would help bridge the gap to my oldest son. It seems all I set out to do was not realistic and the outcome of that has brought forth a storm of unresolved emotional issues for all three of us. Some so difficult that I have begun to question my son's return to live with me as possibly a risky action. My relationship with my oldest son has gotten worse since Jonathan's arrival. I just found out that his father (Jonathan's...) has hit him as he grew up and that Jonathan has been paying to go to school from money he earned while working whenever he found work. Jonathan took his last check from the job I got him here and sent it to Mexico to pay for his first semester. I feel so helpless... Not raising enough money for everything apparently created a tremendous amount of stress for me, which I internalized...when we got back from our trip up North...two days back and I ended up in emergency from a flare up that prevents me from walking and from using my hands normally (this is often stress induced but its a rare blood disease that I was diagnosed with in late 2010). All this and more changed everything...I was hoping for just a nice relaxing reunification and instead all this stuff came up instead and we all seem to be hypersensitive and traumatized...preventing us to move forward healthily. Reunification services for the family might have prevented so much of this from happenning...

2. Can you send me CURRENT pictures of the people involved in the story?
Yes, I will send pictures in a separate email with the pictures labled accordingly

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Update 10
12 months ago
So...today the Dr. Phil Show rejected using my story on the show :(...you can read the details of the conversation below here.... I was hoping to get help with the related issues of reunification and wanted to advocate around the policy issues regarding the "18 years aged out" practices...oh well...I guess the search continues...
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here is the conversation with a Producer from the show...it starts in reverse order...most recent response first, which is where the conversation ultimately ends...

final response from Mr. Rios, stating...

"I’m personally influent in Spanish but we’re producing a talk show. The emotion would be lost through a translator. "

"Also since your son is already in the US and a discipline student; it looks like you’re in the right direction in making things work. We get hundreds of letters and as much as we would like to help everyone we simply can’t."

"I sincerely thank you and wish you the best. Feel free to call me if you would like to discuss further."

Marcial Rios
Junior Producer
The Dr. Phil Show

From: Hope Holland [mailto:chope4joy13@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 10:18 AM
To: Rios, Marcial
Subject: Re: The Dr phil Show

Wow....really and how come the great technology of real time translation couldn't be utilized?My friend and Jonathan were able to have their own conversation without a person translating using the power of technology. I believe the United Nations uses such technology to have"real talks" in real time with it's many constituents...

On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 10:12 AM, Rios, Marcial wrote:

"Unfortunately, we cannot move forward. We are a talk show and we would need Jonathan to communicate with Dr Phil.

Thanks for sharing your story with me and hope the best!"

From: Hope Holland [mailto:chope4joy13@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 9:57 AM
To: Rios, Marcial
Subject: Re: The Dr phil Show

Just curious...where are things at this point or what needs to happen before I will know the interest level of the show (you/producer i.e. Dr. Phil)?

On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 9:53 AM, Hope Holland <chope4joy13@gmail.com> wrote:

no english...although he can sing in perfect English (LOL). He is supposed to be leaving this Saturday, but due to finances (not enough and my car broke down), I do not have enough money to purchase his return flight. I am working on that and as soon as I have it all I will purchase the ticket.

hope
chope4joy13@gmail.com

On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 9:46 AM, Rios, Marcial wrote:
Does Jonathan speak English? When does he go back?


From: Hope Holland [mailto:chope4joy13@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 7:22 PM
To: Rios, Marcial
Subject: Re: The Dr phil Show

pictures attached

On Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 6:40 PM, Hope Holland <chope4joy13@gmail.com> wrote:
Recent pictures of Jacob and Jonathan and Mom​
IMG_2408.jpg
​​
IMG_2404.jpg

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Update 9
13 months ago
Hello everyone!! My apologies for not providing any recent updates. Over the next few days it is my intention to "fill in the blanks" of the events that have now come to pass, including uploading any photos or videos.
Jonathan has now been with me for just over a month. Sadly, in two more weeks , school starts and he will be departing back to Mexico to finish high school. I do not want him to go...he doesn't want to go...but we both accept and realize the importance of him completing high school. When he returns I will be in a better position in my own life.
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$2,891 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 69 people in 15 months
Created May 18, 2015
$50
Anonymous
13 months ago
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1
$25
Anonymous
13 months ago
2
2
GS
$10
Gianluca Sanna
13 months ago
1
1

God Bless You All!

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$50
Anonymous
13 months ago
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1
EW
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Elizabeth walsh
13 months ago
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1
$10
Anonymous
13 months ago
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1
$10
Marco Tinessa
13 months ago
1
1

come non donare qualche spicciolo per una simile causa..

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$20
Anonymous
13 months ago
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1
$20
Matthias Meckel
13 months ago
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1

best Wishes for you!

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13 months ago
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