During a routine family holiday to her husband’s homeland of Turkey, Lisa Kennedy was suddenly told their marriage was over. Her husband took their six-month-old baby from her care and instructed her to go home to Australia, alone, beginning four years of hell in Istanbul as she fought the case through both Turkish and International courts all the while battling people she once called family.
Finally, Lisa realised she had only a mother’s choice: she had to save her child and get back home by whatever means available. That meant calling on outside help and, to raise awareness about the frailties of international marriage and children, 60 Minutes agreed to film the plight, long before the controversy surrounding Sally Faulkner’s children in Lebanon exploded. This is the heart-stopping story that is now unlikely ever be aired.
This is part of her story…
Soothing seven-month-old Daniel as he cries in his baby seat, I give him his dummy for the third time, and he spits it out again. I stroke his hair and forehead gently and his cries subside for a few moments. I’ve climbed into the backseat with him, as we sit in gridlock.
Stefan has come to pick us up from the dock on his way back from his sister Didem’s office, since we took a ferry to
Istanbul’s Asian side today, just to fill in the time really. It was a lovely day, a bit chilly but entertaining overall. I caress his forehead thoughtfully, proud of him for making it through such a long day.
‘Come on, sweetheart, it won’t be much longer, go off to sleep,’ I whisper to Daniel, but it has taken much longer than expected to go the ten kilometres and he’s just over it. There’s tension in the car and we sit silently while Daniel screams, both just praying he’ll nod off.
Reaching the house at last, with Daniel now fast asleep, we tiptoe him upstairs and carefully place him into his cot. Listening to your baby cry is the most dreadful feeling in the world and so emotionally exhausting. Both of us weary from the ordeal, we just snack for dinner; it’s too late to cook a meal anyway. Stefan sits in the lounge room drinking wine and I head to the bedroom to read.
All three of us are up early the next morning, and Stefan is ready to leave before 8 a.m. ‘Why are you leaving so early?’ I ask. ‘The business is really busy, I’ve got to make calls to Australia before the day ends there,’ he answers. ‘I’m going to take Daniel to my family’s home around 5 p.m. tonight. You could go food shopping if you don’t want to come?’ ‘Sure, good idea,’ I respond. ‘Just have him back by 7 p.m. for me to put him to bed . . . seriously,’ I warn him, knowing he doesn’t respect the routine I have for Daniel on occasion, which really upsets me.
Later that morning, I call Stefan to let him know that we left the pram in his car last night and I need it. He is very short with me on the phone, but says he’ll drop it at the kapaci, building manager, who will bring it up to me. I find it so frustrating needing him for everything when I’m here; I hate not having a car or my usual independence. Whilst I enjoy being here on holiday, with a baby it has been far more trying than I expected. I remind myself that we’ve
only got one month until we return home to Australia and then I’ll be wishing to be back here; I do love not working and just spending the days watching Daniel learn about the world around him.