Every Child

Has Two Parents


I met Kumiko Oda in New York in November 2010.  She was beautiful, creative and open minded.  I thought I had found love at first sight.  We saw each other every possible minute over  the next three months and and it surely felt like love.  We couldn’t get enough of each other. Kumiko was extremely jealous, which at first I found endearing.

In February 2011, Kumiko returned to Tokyo. We spoke everyday for hours at a time, and Skyped religiously.  Then in March 2011, the tsunami hit.   Being out of touch, made me worry about Kumiko and her family. It had been a few days before she was able to get through due to issues related to the earthquakes.  Things seemed to speed up in our relationship at that point.  Perhaps it was the loss we both felt after Japan’s disaster that helped fuel the acceleration.

Kumiko returned to New York a few weeks later and we decided to move in together.  We promised each other the world.  She loved Yoga and planned a trip to Arizona at the end of May for a one-week retreat.  She asked if I’d like to go with her, and of course I jumped at the chance.  It was on this trip that Kumiko and I celebrated our 6-month anniversary.  That was also the weekend our son Dylan was conceived.  

On Kumiko’s next trip to Japan she called to let me know that she was pregnant and that I would be a father. I was thrilled. I realized I needed to get my financial affairs in order if I was going to have a family. I threw myself into my work and saved as much money as I could so that I could travel to Tokyo to be with Kumiko and our unborn son.

By October I had saved enough money that I was able to go.  Our relationship had been strained while we were apart, but as soon as I arrived in Japan things changed.  We “patched” everything up and were married soon after.  I agreed to move to Tokyo for a few years while Kumiko wrapped things up prior to relocating our new family to New York.  In December 2011, I returned to New York and sold everything I owned of value.  My plan was to return to Tokyo shortly before Dylan’s birth.  I had also secured a job teaching English in Tokyo.

Kumiko's water broke while I was boarding my flight to Tokyo on January 18th 2012.  Luckily I made it to Tokyo prior to Dylans birth.  Things seemed to go well at first.  We continued to live with Kumiko’s family.  I had dreams of moving out and starting our lives together.  I wish I had known then that things in Japan weren’t looked at as I expected from a western point of view.  Kumiko and I began to have issues in our relationship soon after the birth.  I didn’t speak Japanese and her mother seemed to have taken offense at that.  I assumed that getting along with my new mother-in-law couldn’t have been differen’t than getting along with a New Yorker…but it was.

On February 3rd, 2012 after telling Kumiko that it was nice to see her smile she unloaded a barrage of insults at me.  I felt like she was trying to make me angry.  After she calmed down I was in shock and didn’t know how to respond.  Fifteen minutes later her family asked me to move out.  It was the middle of the night and I had nowhere to go.  Without knowing what my rights were, I left the house and wound up homeless.  I was in a country where I didn’t speak the language and had little money left. I also no friends to call.   I did however scrounge together enough to fly home. 

Kumiko had decided that she didn't love me anymore and wanted a divorce.  I wanted to try and work things out, but she wasn’t interested.  I agreed since she seemed dead set against working on things and signed on the dotted line.  It wasn’t until the signatures dried that she said I could no longer have contact with Dylan.   I protested stating that in the USA we never deprive a child of access to a parent.  After hours of begging she finally gave in and allowed me visits once every THREE MONTHS.

I never believed that Kumiko would keep me from having a relationship with my son.  She manipulated me into signing quickly by threatening, I would never see Dylan again.  She subsequently refused to honor her own agreement and will not let me see my son. Over the last 2 years I have seen Dylan twice for a total of two hours

On my last trip I brought my mother along in hopes that she and Dylan could meet.  Kumiko not only said no and was remarkably rude but she actually used that as a reason to cut me off from my son completely. 

Kumiko recently remarried and started telling friends that Dylan has a new Daddy.  :(  Children need both parents.  I love Dylan and I fight for him everyday.  He will know the truth one day and if I had my choice I would never keep him from his mother or Japanese culture.  Papa loves you Dylan

Poem written for Dylan -


It’s Insane….That I may have to wait 18 years to see you again

It’s Insane….That in this case the bad “guy’ will win

It’s Insane….That I have TWO governments involved and both won’t do S**T

It’s Insane….That it’s you….myself and my family that get’s to suffer for it

It’s Insane….How many people just don’t care. They are just happy not to be there

It’s Insane….That you don't even know that I am alive…In my heart it’s your soul that makes me thrive.

I wanted to teach you how to ride a bike… but that’s someone else’s memory now. Even telling you that "I l Love You" is pretty far away now

I wanted to play you some great music…But that’s someone else’s memory now.. Even telling you that "I Love You" is pretty far away now.

It’s Insane…. How much I know and how much I can teach my son

It’s Insane….They think I trust this lame understudy to get the job done.

It’s Insane ….That the Hague is nonsense and Japan will do nothing to comply

It’s Insane ….how much propaganda Japan has at their disposal to ensure that this never changes

It’s Insane... to me that they are so arrogant as to ignore that “everything changes”…. Karma’s a bitch

It’s Insane …but after 3 years of this crap….I still get baffled at the audacity of it all

It’s Insane….When you think about the pile of lies the abductors are telling you. It’s a heaping pile of it

I wanted to teach you how to bang on some drums! That’s someone else’s memory now. Even telling you “I Love You” is pretty far away now.

I was looking forward to a day in the park with Seppi running around…..That’s someone else’s memory now . Even telling you “ I Love You” is pretty far away now.

I love you Dylan....I can't wait until the next time I see you


She stole my heart, but never did

I imagine that she would steal my son.

The loss of Dylan Halpern, Mike’s son.


The information on this website concerns a matter of public interest, and is provided for educational and informational purposes only in order to raise public awareness of issues concerning left-behind parents. Unless otherwise indicated, the writers and translators of this website are not lawyers nor professional translators, so be sure to confirm anything important with your own lawyer.

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