This weekend’s New York Times has an update on what life is like for Isabella Miller-Jenkins, who was kidnapped by her mother Lisa Miller after Miller was unwilling to abide by court ordered visitation rights for the child’s other mother, Janet Jenkins. Sadly, it seems that time on the lam with Miller has brainwashed poor Isabella:
Now 10, Isabella Miller-Jenkins has spent her last three birthdays on the run, “bouncing around the barrios of Nicaragua,” as one federal agent put it, a lively blond girl and her mother trying to blend in and elude the United States marshals who have traveled to the country in pursuit.
She can now chatter in Spanish, but her time in Nicaragua has often been lonely, those who have met her say, long on prayer but isolated. She has been told that she could be wrenched from her mother if they are caught. She has also been told that the other woman she once called “Mama,” Ms. Miller’s former partner from a civil union in Vermont that she has since renounced, cannot go to heaven because she lives in sin with women.
Sick. She’s being sheltered in a Third World country by a woman who is not only a bigot but a kidnapper, and Isabella is being taught that her other mom is the bad one. I can’t imagine the thousands of dollars that girl’s future therapy sessions will cost.
Isabella was 7 when she and Ms. Miller jumped into a car in Virginia, leaving behind their belongings and a family of pet hamsters to die without food or water.
Cruelty to animals? That somehow fits.
The Times has constructed what they call the most complete picture currently available of Isabella’s life, by interviewing missionaries who have protected them while in Nicaragua up to not too long ago. It seems they’ve gone missing again:
Everything changed on April 18, 2011, a year after the birthday party, when Timo Miller, returning for a vacation in the United States with his family, was arrested at Dulles Airport and charged with aiding a kidnapping. Ms. Miller and Isabella quickly disappeared from their house in Jinotega, and there have been no reported sightings since, but federal agents believe the pair remain in Nicaragua.
In December 2011, federal prosecutors dropped the charges against Timo Miller in return for his testimony and filed charges against Kenneth Miller for what they allege was his more central role in the flight from the United States.
Up to Timo Miller’s arrest, the missionaries in Nicaragua said, they had not realized they could be prosecuted.
“We had no idea what we were getting into,” Mr. Friesen said of the decision to shelter Ms. Miller and Isabella. But he added, “We are willing to be persecuted for God’s will.”
Martyr, please. As for Lisa Miller’s former lawyers at the Liberty Counsel, they predictably are showing no remorse or understanding of the real-world implications of this situation, or of anything remotely related to true concern for the child’s well-being:
Ms. Lindevaldsen, the lawyer, said she knew that her former client could face jail time if caught, and that Isabella’s life could take another wrenching turn. She blames a misguided legal system.
“It’s sad that in America a woman was faced with this choice,” she said. “The court overstepped its bounds, calling someone a parent who is not a parent and turning a child over to a person who lives contrary to biblical truths.”
No, it’s sad when certain Americans think their bizarre religious beliefs entitle them to kidnap and hurt their own children, in flagrant violation of the law. The entire situation is tragic, but not for the reasons these fundies think.
[h/t some wingnut]