I don’t remember how I first found her blog (I have a feeling it was through Kyran Pittman), but the first post of Jennifer’s that I read was about her love of the painted mountains of Arizona and her unrequited crush on the hunky cowboys of the rugged West. It was clear, right from that moment, that she and I had absolutely nothing in common, which as we all know from every story ever written, was a clear sign of impending friendship. I commented on her post, mocking her cowboys, and she commented on my post, handing it right back. Â Before you know it, we were emailing each other, recommending books for the other to read. Â We have been great blogging friends for years.
If you’ve been following me on Twitter recently, you might have seen me mention her present situation, and asking you for help. Â The last two years have been tough on her. Â When her life with the father of her children proved to be far different than she believed (the sort of man-lives-a-double-life story you would hear on the news), she moved with her two children to Maryland to start her life all over again, a new environment for the kids.
Last spring, I visited Jennifer and her kids. Â She gave me a tour of the beautiful Maryland coast, and I annoyed her daughter by guessing the final puzzle of Wheel of Fortune before she had a chance. Â Jennifer and the kids were happy in their new home. Â She had traded in the desert for the sea and she liked it. Â She was also starting to get freelance work for more clients, using her writing and calligraphy skills.
During the summer, her childrenâ€™s father picked the two kids up to spend time with him in Arizona, promising it would be a two week visit. Â What he did next was one of any parent’s worst fears: Â he refused to bring them back to Maryland. Â On the day they were to return home, he enrolled them in a local Arizona school without Jennifer’s knowledge or permission. Â Before that, he hadnâ€™t seen the children for a year.
The legal issues are complicated, but it comes down to this: In order to make it easier on her kids, who are now in school, Jennifer needs to move back to Arizona. Â Her kids ask for her every day.
Jennifer is hurting for money, and not getting the support from the father of her kids, despite a court order. Â In December, she and the kids had just settled into their home in Maryland. Now she needs to pack up again, pay for moving expenses to return to Arizona, obtain a lawyer, and fight for her rights. Â She is heartbroken to be away from her children.