UPDATE: The court overturned earlier custody rulings in Heather’s favor and gave her husband full custody of the children. They denied her right to an appeal of the decision. There is nothing left for her to do right now, and her deportation hearing is coming up soon. She won’t be able to see her children until they can travel when they turn 18. I am beside myself with sadness for her. If the U.S. government can’t intervene on her behalf, I don’t know that she has any hope of changing this outcome.
This is my cousin Heather Jones. Her story was picked up by Associated Press in the States, so I think it has gotten some nationwide exposure there, but we don’t hear about it here in Ireland. You can read an article about it here.
I don’t know my cousin really well, I grew up on the east coast in DC area, and she and most of my mom’s family live in St. Louis, Missouri in the midwest. I remember her as the pretty cousin who was tanned and worked as a lifeguard during school vacations. When she went to college she converted to Islam and met and married her Omani husband. She has lived happily there up until a few years ago when he divorced her. She has fought and won custody of her gorgeous children, but her work visa will soon be ended, and her husband has cancelled the childrens US passports. She will be deported without the children, and I think will have very little chance of getting to see them again if that happens.
I’m not sure if anything political can be done at this point. Her plight has been sent to many politicians, but nothing really seems to be happening. If you can just say a little prayer or send a bit of good karma her way in Oman. This month a lot of her legal battles are being fought and we are still holding out some hope that she won’t be separated from the kids.
Thanks for listening!