Help Bring Mia & Liam Home

$40,486 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 437 people in 5 months
Created April 13, 2018

HELP BRING MIA AND LIAM HOME
Mia and (Adel) Liam’s natural father, Wissam Tarabichi, stated he was taking the children to Seattle for a one-week holiday from March 24-31, 2018, returning the children to school on April 3. Instead, he abducted them to Lebanon in the Middle East.
Mia, 9, and Liam, 8 (taken at age 7), are from Abbotsford, BC, Canada. Their two left-behind parents are their mom, Shelley, and step-dad, Dean.
Shelley became aware of their disappearance on April 3, when the school called because the children were absent. The authorities confirmed that on March 24, Mia, Liam and Wissam crossed the border from Canada into Washington State, flew from Seattle to Paris, then onto Beirut, Lebanon.
Shelley and Dean have not had contact with their children at all. Lebanon is not a signatory of The Hague Convention, which means the Government of Lebanon is not required to co-operate with the return of the children to Canada, the children’s rightful habitual country. Global Affairs Canada is involved to an extent, and has advised the family to retain a lawyer in Lebanon to pursue the case in the Lebanese court system.
Over the years, Shelley and Dean have spent a large sum of money on legal fees to protect their children and to prevent this exact crime from being committed. Wissam repeatedly promised the courts that he would never abduct the children to Lebanon; he could never do that to Mia and Liam. Though Shelley vehemently opposed it, the Canadian court system permitted Wissam to obtain passports for the children, which assisted him to kidnap the children in March.
Mia and Liam’s return to Canada weighs upon Shelley and Dean’s ability to bring them home. There is a long, frustrating, emotional and expensive road ahead of them. Our hearts ache for Mia and Liam, knowing the trauma they have faced and that their sense of security has been shattered. They were not given any warning or opportunity to say good-bye to the only family, friends and home they knew here in Abbotsford. An entire community feels the impact of this crime and feels the loss of these children.
However, we will remain positive, proactive and will never give up on Mia and Liam. To that end, Shelley and Dean will need funds for lawyers and resources to find their children.
Please help Shelley and Dean in their fight to bring Mia and Liam home as soon as possible.
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Updated July 2018: Thank you for your support so far, most sincerely. The initial funds that were raised were spent mostly on legal fees with our family lawyer here in Canada. We had to attend court three times post-abduction in order to ensure that everything that could be done on this end, was done.
Wissam has sporadic contact with Global Affairs Canada and in May, requested mediation funded 100% by us. We retained a mediator as per his request, and hoped he would participate in good faith. Unfortunately, his first note was that he had no intention of returning the children to Canada through mediation. He provided a list of demands Shelley had to meet, before he would even consider allowing a supervised phone call with the children. The demands included having the international warrants for his arrest removed, as well as returning to family court in Canada to obtain a custody agreement in his favor. The demands were unrealistic and beyond our ability to meet. We have no power to have charges dropped and would never abandon our responsibilities as parents and give up on Mia and Liam.
And so, we still don’t know exactly where our children are in Lebanon, or how to contact them. We have found and retained a lawyer in Lebanon in order to pursue all legal avenues to resolve this; this process will be very time-consuming and expensive. We are anticipating the cost to bring Mia and Liam home to be in well in excess of $150,000.
Wissam, if you are reading this – know that this can be resolved. There is a solution to every problem. Please talk to me (Shelley) or someone you trust and let’s move forward. I know you love Mia and Liam as much as we do. Our children will thrive with all of us in their lives. As parents, we can both do better and let us work together to do what’s best for our children.
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$40,486 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 437 people in 5 months
Created April 13, 2018
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