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The Fight

On September 1st, 2015, my daughter’s father took her out of the US without my permission or knowledge.

I only became aware after they were long gone. Even after asking his immediate family members, I could not get an exact date of leaving or travel plan, even though they dropped them at the airport. I was only told they were on vacation in the Mediterranean and they did not know his plans or whereabouts but they were sure Emma and her father would return in October.  The return date came and went, there was never any intention of returning. In place was a well laid out plan of total separation, including absolutely isolating Emma from anyone’s reach, not only physically but most of all mentally.

 Once I realized the depth of the plan and that he had convinced others to be onboard, not only was I in a scramble to understand why this was happening,  I had to figure out how to stand up and fight to fix the situation.

Where does one start when you realize your child is on the other side of the earth, but you are not 100% sure where?  

You can only guess and have a general idea of a region but no address, no city, no contact.  Against you, those who know the answers choose to conceal them and set up an intricate game of control and deception.

The answer to that question,  I had absolutely NO idea where to start!  But a mothers love and devotion shows no limits! So I picked myself off the floor, stood up and decided I would not be a victim to abuse any longer!

The journey has been long, grueling, and absolutely devastating in some ways but absolutely enlightening in others. The odyssey is far from over. The struggle not only includes finding and having Emma back in my arms but also putting into place long term healing for everyone involved.  (Even those involved in the deception)

The return date came and went! 
After picking myself off the floor, I contacted the local authorities from where she was taken.  During an investigative visit and conversation with Emma’s paternal grandmother, the police informed me that they were in Turkey and intended to make that their new home. Her father married a Turkish citizen on September 15th, 2015, only 15 days after their departure from the US under the guise of a vacation. Then comes a major key component to the game, he applied for Turkish citizenship shortly after.

It was at this time I realized the amount of scheming and deception that had gone into his plan.

I knew it was useless to reach out to those he had onboard to help in his game, I knew his power of persuasion and manipulation. I had witnessed many years of outward abuse he inflicted on others, not just myself. The one thing I had faith in is that most every single one of those cases, his mask would slip at some point and they would SEE.  The truth always wants to be known and will surface, ALWAYS.

Summer of 2015

The weeks before his departure from the US he spent doing everything he could possibly think of to convince me to take him back as a partner. However, mixed in all of the lovebombing was a familiar reminder of the mental abuse I had sustained for the many years before our divorce in 2014.  After that intense reminder, I declined his invitation with a plea to be friends for the sake of Emma. Sadly, my plea was answered with hostility. In the end, his punishment to me, was to take the one thing that would hurt me most, my babycakes.
My first steps – I  started working with the US State Department and the Center for Missing Children.

I also interviewed and searched for the right attorney that would be able to handle the complexities of the case.

At this time the court found him unwilling to comply with our parenting agreement as well as his denial to provide me with her exact location.

An emergency FULL custody order was issued to me as well as an order for him to present Emma to the court in person.

Again, he refused compliance to the court and ignored the order to bring Emma back to the US. 

As a result of his disrespect to the judge and court order to return Emma to the US, as well as refusing to give information on her location, he was held in contempt.  He received a sentence of 180 days in jail, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

During all of the court proceedings in the US, he refused to physically show up even after being ordered by a judge several times to do so. He did in fact hire an attorney to represent him, but the attorney resigned shorty after seeing the truth.

This disrespect for any authority or court has show to  become a repeated pattern throughout this process.

While living through intense court proceedings.      I also had to endure normal life events and bare the pain of separation and no contact.

Christmas came,  no contact!  Her gifts still lay wrapped on a table with nowhere to send.
Her Birthday came, I still made her a cake as I always have since her first.  It still sits in my freezer waiting.

My only choice was to post publicly on Facebook in hopes that she would receive my wishes and know that I love her with all my heart.

Progress! Or so I thought.

The next step in the court process-  was to work with the US State department to start a Hague case in Turkey. I again had to search for an attorney, now in a different country, who could handle the complexities of the case.  This was a very tough time for the Turkish goverment and I experienced massive delays.

In November of 2016 the Turkish court located him and he went in for his statement. He refused to return Emma to the US and wanted to continue with the case in Turkey verses the US.  Since he had made this his new home it would seem to be to his benefit. Not to mention, harder for me to fight from such a distance, especially since the ball was now in his home court.

Unfortunately, the Turkish government was being reorganized and I experienced many delays.  Finally, I was able to get my first court hearing on July, 3rd 2017.


Time was painfully passing.

special occasions still coming and going with no contact.

New Memories not being made.

Old memories mourned.

Halloween was one our Mommy/Daughter favorites.  Emma would prep months in advance what her costume would be.  If we could not find her choice, I would custom make it from her design. It was always a time for Emma to show her fun personality.
Again, Christmas came and went. Each year I would pull out this tiny tree that Emma made from a branch of one of our family tress in the past.  It always reminds me of her creativity and vision to find joy in the small simple things.

Continuing to follow the only way I could think to reach her was to post publicly on Facebook in hopes she could find my messages and know I am still here and fighting. 

Another Birthday passed.  Not knowing what cake design to make I had to guess by a tiny bit of information she had posted online.  It seemed to be perfect and also fit our current situation.

Today it still sits in my freezer,  along with the last one waiting for her return.

Mothers Day is always hard, but more so to also watch the pain of other family members missing Emma, such as my mother.

I make it through because  I know deep in my heart that her old memories are there, as mine are vivid.

I accept this separation as a time to grow stronger, so in turn I can be stronger for her in the future.

Turkey time! 

One step forward, three step back!

Once I found an amazing attorney in Mersin, Turkey, we began gathering information for the case.  Of course I already had boxes of evidence and an air tight case in the US. But like snowballs down a mountain new stuff continued to pour in.    I was in constant surprise and awe as the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place.  Skeletons started pouring out of the closets and some of them just happened to have experienced the same patterns of abuse inflected from his mouth and mind.  As I mentioned before, the mask always falls and the truth always shows itself. Stories can be built, elaborations and manuplatoins only work for so long and people eventually look for hard proof when holes start to appear. These new findings helped to show the massive amount of trauma that my daughter and I had both gone through already.

It was time for the first hearing in Turkey, July 3rd 2017.  I traveled by myself on a 2 week journey.  Before I arrived, my attorney had already been in front of the judge. This resulted in securing a visitation order for me to get Emma a few days before and a few days after the hearing.


I was so very excited! I would have time to spend with her, alone, holding her, even with no words spoken, I knew if she could just feel my arms around her, all would be well.

I kept gifts and plans to a minimum.  I was concerned at how overwhelming this visit might be and was prepared to roll with whatever.

                                        Or so I thought! 

The day of the visit came! I took a cab and met my attorney at the court house.  I was very impressed with the Turkish court system with the amount of care and detail they placed when involving a child.  At my arrival I was met with a representative from the court, a child psychologist, and a guardian ad litem. Along with my attorney we all loaded in a van and made a stop at the local police station.  From there we were police escorted to his registered address, where Emma should be.

You guest it! They were NOT there! After hearing some crazy story from a neighboor, we had no choice but to leave empty handed. 

The ride back to the courthouse was in slow motion.  I could see all the people in the van, I could see them talking but just like a bad dream it was blurry and I could not move.  The scenery passing by was a foreign land I should have been  appreciating,  but I found myself looking for Emma, on the streets, in stores, in restaurants.  I was for the first time possibly in the same area as her,  reachable, touchable, Not helpless halfway around the world.  Or was I?

Court Date  July 3rd 2017

After a weekend of nervous anticipation wondering if he would actually show up to court, the day arrived.  I got a cab and headed to the courthouse, again watching the outside scenery in a daze and slow motion, looking on every corner and inside every door for Emma.  I arrived early and just sat outside looking at the people going in and out, hoping to see  my babycakes.

I met my attorney and we sat outside the courtroom door.  When we were called to enter, again the same team that was with us in the van was sitting in the front row awaiting to give their testimony.  At this time a letter was presented to the judge, from the new father-in-law officially stating that they had retuned to the US and were no longer in Turkey.

Again, slow motion set in.  The court hearing continued but a familiar feeling washed over me in my internal silence.  The same feeling when I found out he had left the US and I didn’t know where she was.  For over a year I had at least some comfort knowing the city where she was.  I wondered to myself, if I would always be 3 steps behind his planning and manipulative mind. My way of thinking has always been peace and balance. How can these two ways of thinking compete in this game.  I also had going against me that he was a trained attorney, although he lost his license due to fraud, he still knew the law and how to work it to his advantage.

The court hearing ended with the judge telling me had already review all of the material prior.  The amount of evidence presented was so overwhelming he was ready to make a decision that day.  He could not make the ruling because the request of the court was to return Emma to the US. However, since she was not in Turkey, he could not make that ruling.  The Judge and my attorney then explained what could happen going forward. Since it was aparent that her father was aware of the case, instead he chose to flee mid process without informing the court, he could be charged with re-kidnapping in Turkey.

After contacting athorites back in the US and letting them know what was going on, they began closer investigation.  His family was questioned back in the US and they informed the FBI that they were still in fact in Turkey.

So at that time it was apparent that both sides of the extended family was on board to continue the deception and participate in breaking the law and contribute to kidnapping.

I stayed in Turkey for the duration of planned trip. Although I had planned to have Emma in last few days and also the hopes of these days being used to prep to return to the US along with her.  My plans drastically changed. Again, picking myself up off the floor, I chose to make the best of my time and try to see the city. I wanted to experience what she might have in the time she was there, somehow it made me feel closer to her.  I made wonderful new friends and explored what the city had to offer.  In the meantime the authorities continued the investigation.

Back in the USA

The FBI had been watching this case. Along with everyone else, they were in hopes that it could be resolved in a civil manner by the ruling under the Hague.  Despite that,  history repeats itself and like the past he refused to stand before a judge to answer for his behavior. He knew he could not combat the truth so he chose again to delay the inevitable.  It was extremely clear at this point he would stop at nothing to keep her away.  The longer he could run, the easier it would be to control her physically and mentally, most of all, keep me in the game.

I do not think he expected that I would make it this far.  His goal was to crush me down to ashes so that I did not have the financial or mental strength to continue to fight.  As the old saying goes,  where there is a will there is a way. My will is strong and the harder I fight the stronger I get.

“Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop!”

On July 31st 2017,  Michael McCoy was indicted for International Parental Kidnapping.

A federal warrant is in place for his arrest.  

*** The indictment was sealed until January 2018 due to case investagation and process.

Stuck in a loop

In the mean time, investigators found that they had landed in the Netherlands.  I was told to start a NEW Hague case and have the one from Turkey transferred over.

At this point I am regrettably well versed in the process, so I quickly put together the material for a new filing. I again found a new attorney based in the Netherlands that specialized in these matters and started the process.

The court again located Mr. McCoy and asked for a statement and to return Emma willingly.  He hired an attorney, refused to return Emma and asked for the case to be heard in the Netherlands.

On the last communication with his attorney, he was no longer represented due to the non-payment of fees and could not be located.


Are we seeing a pattern here?



At this point, of course, the first thing in my mind is “they are gone again”. There were rumors of other countries they may have fled, investigations, etc. The pattern of hiding to stall and buy time was very clear and had worked extremely well to this point, so of course, he would continue. The problem in the Netherlands is their privacy laws are SO intense getting answers took way too much time. Of course finding any traces of Michael, Meltem or Emma on social media was also equally as impossible. I can’t imagine living a life so secluded that you can’t participate in social media, especially for a teenager. But I hoped that she was still participating, even if under a fake name because this was still my only way to try and say anything to her, through my own personal public post.

As time passes, again holidays come and go. But my heart could never be whole, it was always missing the most important piece. I again had NO idea where my daughter was and if she was ok?

I must find a balance of living and fighting.

Family is very important to me, as it reminds me of who I am and keeps me grounded. My friends and family have always been super supportive during this time. But I also realized that they too are missing out on Emma’s presence. What hurts more is that Emma is missing out on having them in her life as well. The good times and the bad, she will never be able to get back, nor will they.

I try to express my maternal urges by bonding with my nieces and nephews.  In which I am proud to say they think I am just the greatest aunt ever 😉 Maybe I go overboard and spoil them a bit 😉 

But in the end both they and Emma are missing childhood memories together – family memories 

I am watching my mom age in the present but yet all she talks about are the old times she and Emma spent together, she wonders if Emma remembers them or if they have been erased in her memories?  

“Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildrn in order to be a full human being.”

-Margaret Mead

“Young people need something stable to hang on to — a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them.” – Jay Kesler

Throughout my battle, it has been necessary to research many things. Not only law and court issues but psychological as well. I needed answers as to “why” and “how” something like this could happen. I absolutely knew for a fact I was not a bad mother and did nothing wrong, I did NOT lose my child in a court battle or she was taken because I was abusive. I lost my daughter due to the complex psychological issues that happen in divorce situations. I lost my daughter to straight-up extreme Pathological Parenting – Parental Alienation.  

During my time researching all of the reasons why and how, I also found 1000’s of parents experiencing the same thing, although on many different levels. I found parents who were dealing with International Parental Kidnapping as well as varying levels of parental alienation, all being inched out of their children’s life due to the actions of the other parent or caregiver.   

I realized this vicious cycle of abuse is a massive problem, all around the world. I took a closer look at my life and how parental alienation has affected me in other ways. One big way that it has affected me is that I have half-siblings from the past of my father. During the last few years, I have found one of my brothers and have started to create a relationship with him. This has been one of the greatest things to have happened to me. BUT the flip side, both he and I now have to live with the fact of knowing how much we have missed in each other’s lives. How many times he could have protected his little sis, how many times I could have asked my big brother for advice. We see how much our personalities are similar but different and we wonder how things could have been. We have anger, a lot of hurt of “why”, we for sure didn’t do anything wrong. The problem was how the parents handled the divorce and how the manipulation happened after. Who is left to suffer the most? We are, as the children! 

As you see we are making up for lost time and I am also enjoying MORE nieces and nephews to spoil.

Also, I watched parental alienation torture my stepfather. On his death bed in his wallet he had a photo of his alienated daughter and son, he had always hoped they would come and find him in their adult years, it never happened. What were these kids told that was so bad to hate their own father? I offered to try and talk to his daughter because I wanted her to know he always had this dream, but the conversation was declined.  I still have hope that one day I can give her the photo. 

After learning all of the psychology behind what was happening just made me fight harder. I knew that if I could not reach Emma in these younger years, how could I save her mentally? How could I get her the help she would need to understand the intense manipulation she has experienced. Would I be like my stepfather and on my death bed only have a photo and a hope? or could I be like my brother and I to rebuild something even after time was lost?

I pushed harder!  I pushed the US Government for help in finding exactly where she was. I pushed the Netherlands harder to make them aware of how much she needed help.  Again, governments do not move at the same pace or urgency as I may want or need so I had to wait, and wait……   and wait…. 

Time is not always on our side!