Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Riis Park and Rockaway Beach Videos During Hurricane Sandy

In the aftermath of the brunt of Hurricane Sandy's massive storm on the New York metropolitan area, I had a chance to get out and take some video footage of Rockaway Beach and Riis Park.

                                                             Watch The Video 

Last night the Atlantic Ocean and it's 7 to 10 foot swells roared past the sand beach, crashed into and destroyed the concrete or brick sea walls, and then continued toward Jamaica Bay.  As it did, with the streets drowning with the Atlantic - some areas of Riis and Rockaway had water levels as high as 9 feet high - anything and everything that got in its way was destroyed. 

Combining this devastation that clearly has destroyed an enourmous amount of homes is the tragedy that occurred last night in Breezy Point, Queens - where at least 80 homes burnt to ash in wake of a wind-fueled electric fire.

The destruction that hit this beautiful penninsula of Queens was tremendous.  In the coming days there will be an assortment of fundraisers to help those that have lost so much.   Please do what you can to help others.

Monday, October 29, 2012

'Chasing The Cyclone's Peter Thomas Senese and The I CARE Foundation Has Helped Protect Dozens Of Targeted Children

Chasing The Cyclone
Peter Thomas Senese
I am pleased to share my deeply inspired novel Chasing The Cyclone continues to have a significant impact on a large and growing number of children and targeted parents of international abduction.  In fact, the natural progress of events beginning from the initial e-book publication of Chasing The Cyclone led to the creation of the not-for profit I CARE Foundation I am the Founding Director of.  I am happy to share that through the efforts of the I CARE Foundation dozens of children who have either been internationally kidnapped or who have been targeted for international abduction have either been safely reunited with their families or were actually protected from abduction, and remain safely home.

This is a fairly significant statement when considering that the foundation's volunteer reunification efforts represents a  sizeable percentage of all American children coming home (our efforts to reuntie children kidnapped to America are also noteworthy). 

With 100,000 to 125,000 American children and nearly 20,000 Canadian children expected to be internationally kidnapped over the next 10 years, the success of Chasing The Cyclone and the I CARE Foundation is tempered by the reality that there is a long way to go. This notion is underscored by the reality that only 10% of all internationally kidnapped children come home. Think about it for a moment: three professional baseball stadiums filled with defenseless children - all disappearing.  The majority of children will never come home. Some simply can't: they are gone forever.

And this sentiment is not a piece of fiction: it is reality.  And it sucks. And it is worth standing up and fighting for.
Best-Selling Author
Peter Thomas Senese 
I think for any author, the biggest goal when writing any book is to have an impact on your intended audience.  The financial success of a book is obviously important; however, the desire to influence others is the real desire.

And with dozens of children either rescued or protected from abduction thus far, combined with the many initiatives the I CARE Foundation has under way that will further help others, I am pleased with Chasing The Cyclone's impact thus far. 
The American Flag
U.S. Senate Citation
Having seen first-hand the horrors of abduction, I am committed to continuing fighting this fight.  Fortunately, governments from around the world are taking notice of the I CARE Foundation's work - which means we're making a difference. 

In fact, it was a tremendous honor and humbling experience to receive this majestic American Flag flown over the United States Capitol Building at the request of the Senate in appreciation for my volunteer work and support of the I CARE Foundation. 

From Left to Right
Chris Morris, Eugene Pothy &
I CARE Founder Peter Thomas Senese
Additionally, last month I had the opportunity to participate in the United State's Department of State's 'International Visitor Leadership Program' at the United State's Mission to the United Nations concerning the foundation's advanced work in child abduction and human trafficking prevention.  It was a great honor, particularly when considering some of the incredible global leaders who have previously participated in the program. 

Unquestionably, the publication of 'Chasing The Cyclone' has helped many parents and children new laws have been passed, new policies implemented, and new legislation that could help stop abduction and trafficking is on the horizon - and children are home. 

My financial commitment to the I CARE Foundation and support of the organization's efforts to help children remains steadfast as shared by I CARE Board Member, Hague Convention Attorney Network member and highly respect attorney Joel Walter in a very kind article he shared on his website. In fact, I have donated 100% of all of my various novel's proceeds over the past year to the I CARE Foundation: it is a commitment I intend to continue.
Being able to assist the I CARE Foundation has been a responsibility of mine that in truth has been a privilege to uphold.   But truth is, nearly seven years ago I never even knew the collective words international parental child abduction were.  Nor did I realize that I was one of a surging number of individuals who were not familiar with this vonocular.  And quite frankly, at that time, most individuals in society did not realize the severity of this crime or what a chasing parent will go through to safely bring home their child.  Nor did they realize that sociopathic tendancies of an abusive abductor, who, not only would kidnap a child, but would attempt to slander and defame the targted other parent because international law has established a loophole known as the 'Abductors Defense' (Hague Convention: Article 13) that know targeted parent is immune from.

Who knew that during the time I was Chasing The Cyclone, the promise I made to the God I worship would lead to my volunteer advocacy for children, with the result being the I CARE Foundation and all that the organization has achieved.                                     

From the seed that is Chasing The Cyclone, this is a sampling of the things that have been accomplished:

1. The creation of the 501-C-3 Not-for-profit ‘International Child Abduction Research & Enlightenment’ Foundation' (I CARE Foundation
)  that was established to and has successfully rescued numerous internationally kidnapped children while conducting advanced research in the area of IPCA in order advocate for the creation of new laws that will protect children from international kidnapping.

2. Under the I CARE Foundation’s leadership, we have built a large national pro bono network of lawyers willing to assist parents who are targeted to have a child internationally kidnapped or who have had a child abducted while also launching a successful and ongoing recruitment campaign for lawyers to join the United States Department of State's Hague Convention Attorney Network; and,

3. Overseeing the legal rescue and reunification of numerous internationally kidnapped children; and,

4. Provided necessary resources required for numerous lawyers and targeted parents who were trying to prevent their child from being internationally abducted (see 'Senese Creates Arsenal Of Tools To Help Lawyers and Targeted Parents'); and,

5. Board Member Carolyn Vlk wrote the legislation for the State of Florida's Child Abduction Prevention Act while Board Member Peter Thomas Senese orchestrated lobbying efforts that led to the unanimous passage of the CAPA legislation into now effective law; and,

6. Successfully advocated for the federal implementation of the 'Prevent Departure Program' to be used as a tool to stop international parental child abduction; and,

7. Writer and advocate behind legislative initiatives to prevent international child abduction by modifying the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative; and,

8. Writer and advocate behind legislative initiatives to prevent international child abduction by modifying the Prevent Departure Program II; and,

9. The co-authoring and creation and FREE publication of the extensive 'The World Turned Upside Down' open-tablet E-book resource guide on IPCA; and,

10. The creation and production of the FREE ongoing educations documentary film on IPCA titled 'Chasing Parents: Racing Into the Storms of IPCA; and,

11. The co-authoring of the extensive research report titled 'Crisis In America: IPCAToday'; and,

12. The co-authoring of the extensive research report titled 'International Child Abduction and Human Trafficking In The Western Hemisphere'; and,

13. The creation of one of the most informative websites on IPCA; and,

14. The ongoing efforts to create additional federal laws that evolve around child abduction prevention.

15. The stout support and advocacy that led to the passage of on line impersonation laws such as those passed in the states of California and New York.

16. I have used significant book publication revenue to finance the recovery of internationally kidnapped children.

17. Upcoming I CARE Foundation sponsored educational legal training seminars for lawyers in the area of IPCA.

18.  A large and growing grass-roots effort to educate parents about the risks ofIPCA and child trafficking.

19.  A promise to continue my efforts to educate society about the issues of IPCA, use my resources whenever possible to assist others, and to work toward the passage of new laws that will protect children, as demonstrated in the sworn testimonials of my conduct.

20.  Recently participated in the U.S. Department of State's United State's Mission's International Global Visitor Leadership Program at the Untied Nations
All from a book called 'Chasing The Cyclone' that was inspired by the time in my life I was required to chase into the storms of abduction.

One final note, and this is personally extremely important to me to share.  Before I raised my voice and tried to make a difference in the fight against IPCA, there were, as there are today other wonderful advocates who have fought so hard to protect children by raising their voice, using their resources to fight a good fight, and to pass new laws that will protect children.  I recognize and applaud each of these individuals who make up the community of child advocates who are dedicated to protecting children.

For more on me, Peter Thomas Senese, I invite you to visit my official website and the offical website of Chasing The Cyclone.  For more on my writing or to purchase any of my publications, please visit Amazon or BN.  Click here to read an interview I really enjoyed that was conducted by top parenting site Mom-ology.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Anohter Miracle - Three More Internationally Abducted Children Are Returned Home

When I think of all the interviews I have done so far concering international parental child abduction and 'Chasing The Cyclone', one published interview stands out for: the one that Jennifer Cluff, voted one of Canada's Top 5 Parenting Bloggers conducted with me.

Today, as I share this interview, I am thrilled to share that 3 more internationally abducted children were returned home in accordance to the rules of the Hague Convention.   This was a tremendous accomplishment . . . still find it odd how parents who illegally take or detain a child or children in a foreign country without a court order don't think they're child abductors.

Nevertheless, today we celebrate, while also being reminded just how important it is to raise awareness of the possibility of international child abduciton.

One of the ways the I CARE Foundation has done this is by createing a grassroots awareness campaign with the devout assistance of some of the world's best parenting bloggers.   In a short time, their reach and impact has been incredible.

In fact, speaking of Jennifer Cluff and the interview she conducted with me, several targeted children of abduction were not illegally taken because reader-parents of her insightful blog read material she posted about abduciton and prevention, and then took action to prevent this from occurring.

Here's the interview conducted by Mom-ology.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Peter Thomas Senese: The Night Before An Internationally Abducted Child Comes Home


Best-Selling Author
Child Activist
Peter Thomas Senese
As a father, activist, author, and in my role as the Founding Director of the I CARE Foundation, I have been involved in providing assistance to a significant number of international child abduction reunifications that have occurred around the world.

in the wake of three more illegally detained children under the rules of the Hague Convention coming home - literally they're on an airplane crossing the Atlantic Ocean as I type - I have this feeling once again that no doubt is similiar to when a mom goes into labor because outside of dialating and a few other physical issues - I have all the emotional symptoms!

You see, when a child is taken, there is a good chance that they may be gone forever. Statistically, children of international parental child abduction do not come home.  In fact, only about 10% of these children are do. 

So in the rare case that a child is safely reunited with their targeted parent, there is a very deep and emotional celebration of life.

Chasing The Cyclone
Peter Thomas Senese
For any parent who has found themselves Chasing The Cyclone of abduction, the anxiety and concern are so overwhelming.  You see, for many, the process of recovery has been emotionally draining, financially devastating, and filled with legal misstep after mistep since all to often the laws that they count on to protect them and their children are not upheld or implemented.

So when a child or children of abduction are coming ordered to return back to their country of original jurisdiction, the extraoridnary happiness you would expect a parent to feel is tempered with guarded concern that the other parent will either attempt to file new legal papers in court allowing them to continue to remain in the country they are presently in, or, that they will depart from the country as ordered - but attempt to disappear in another country, including perhaps a naiton that is not a member of any international legal convention such as the            Hague Convention. 

And disappearing . . . its not as hard to do for a taking parent should they have enough resources and advanced planning: something most of these parents have previously demonstrated they have capability of doing. 

Thus it is important to make sure that chidlren who are ordered to be returned by the international courts  do not disappear again. I and others have been down that road before. And it is terrible - and demonstrative or the narcism and sociopathic behavior of child abductors.

The I CARE Foundation
But today is a good day because these children are coming home.  And they are in route.  And there is a wonderful parent in Philadelphia anxiously waiting to hold his children.

Knowing the children are on the airplane and in route provides a sense of great comfort.  However, the days building up to their departure are filled with stress and concern.   The worry of more legal proceedings or disappearnace are real.  You guard best you can against disappearance.  You try not to get too exicted because you have been let down before on numerous occassions ... but you're excited because you love your children.  

And you wait ... you wait for your child or children to safely arrrive home.  

Today is a good day.  Three children are on their way home.  

In my own way, I hope that the children and their parents find peace, acceptance, and happiness.  May the storms be over for all of them, and let the rays of sunshine shine on each of their faces. 

One final note: I am so proud of my friend for all he has done to protect his children's rights to have hm and his family in their life.  After hundreds of thousands of dollars, years of litigation, and an emotional roller-coaster steeper and with more twists, turns, loops than any other roller-coaster, he never gave up on them.  His children should be so proud of their father, for he in an incredible man who loves them greatly.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Flag Of The United States Of America

I Am Humbled and Honored

It is a tremendous and humbling honor to receive this magestic United States Flag that was flown over the United States Capitol Building in my and the I CARE Foundation's honor due to our volunteer activism trying to help protect children and parents everywhere who are targets of international parental child abduction at the request of the United States Senate.

When I first found myself Chasing The Cyclone of international parental child abduction, I made a promise that one day I would try to help other parents and children who face abduction.  My desire to help first came in the form of writing Chasing The Cyclone, which critics have been very kind to.  It was from the power of a book that so much more occurred, including the creation of the  not-for-profit I CARE Foundation.  In fact, the impact of Chasing The Cyclone has been beyond any of my initial hopes.
The I CARE Foundation's mission is expansive, but so too are the challenges children and parents face who are targets of abduction.
Over the course of this past year alone, the foundation has helped reunite numerous children of abudction with their chasing parents.  We have helped prevent a expotentially larger number of abductions.  We have helped build a pro bono network of lawyers committed to protecting children from abduction.  We have embarked upon a grassroots educational campaign to abduction awareness with the tremendous assistance of an incredible group of parenting bloggers.  We continue to conduct research in the area of international child abduction.  And we have worked hard at creating new laws and policies that will protect against international child kidnapping and trafficking.
Our successes have been meaningful; however, they remind us of just how much more has to be done in the name of children.  Equally, when I fly this flag, I am reminded of the incredible men and women advocates who came before me who fought to help protect children from abduction.  Collectively, it is through all of our voices rising up together that we are pushing back the mountain.
On a deeply personal note, one day I will pass this flag down to my son, who I love with all my heart.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Peter Thomas Senese - The Best Parenting Bloggers

With Thoughts Of Martha Washington, Dorothy Parker, Mary Welsh Hemingway, and Jacqueline Saix, My Thoughts Focus On The Incredible Women Writers Who Are Making This World A Better Place

Over the past 6 months I have been working with an incredible group of women writers who have assisted the I CARE Foundation raise awareness about international parental child abduction (IPCA).  Each of these writers happen to be mothers, writers, thinkers, partners, and incredibly thoughtful individuals who push society's conscience toward an enlightened and globally connected place. In the process, they are revolutionizing the way information and ideas are disseminated in a similar magnitude that Mary Welsh Hemingway and Jacqueline Saix did. And that is pretty remarkable.

And unquestionably, the world is a much better place because of these highly talented, insightful writers who happen to also be mothers or mothers-to-be. 

Through my and the I CARE Foundation's process of building a grass-roots awareness initiative concerning IPCA, I know I have become a better person:  more compassionate, understanding, a bit more patient, and definitely a whole lot more educated about a variety of things that would have never come across my plate because I have been able to connect with each of you.  

Yes, even with my hectic schedule, I do take the time to read the stories and essays posted on each of your sites!  This said ... I want you to all know that some of my male pals think I'm nuts when over a friendly poker game or a writers meeting I attend from time to time, I will share some things I have read on these sites that week - which I actually find very interesting . . . there is nothing funnier than seeing a few big tough guys squirm a bit, "Oh, why'd you have to bring that up?" or "You're getting to in touch with your feminine side - we don't need to know about that!"  So thank you for that, too!

Not only have each of you helped our community of activist fight against the horror of abduction, but you have raised the bar of what I expect from myself. 

Earlier today, as I was looking out at the U.S. Capitol Building, thinking a bit about Martha Washington, I found myself really reflecting about how blessed I am that a select group of wonderful women graciously allowed me to come into their lives and decided to stand the line and help protect children at risk of abduction by using their websites as forums to raise awareness amongst their readers.  

From these efforts the I CARE Foundation has been able to directly help protect several children.  It would be proper thinking that the material shared amongst these important sites will also help other parents and children in time . . . some who we will eventually meet and some we will never know.  But the information is there, and with as many as nearly 150,000 children expected to be internationally kidnapped abroad from the United States and Canada over the next 10 years, their effort is so important. 

For all of this, and so much more, I am so thankful that each of you took the time to answer an email and to stand, in your own way with those of us who know the darkness of having a child lost and who stand the line so others will not face the same fate. And through it all, there has been a whole bunch of laughter and giggles! 

I might not have said it directly, but if you pay attention to my work ... you would know that each of you are an inspiration to me. And my life is so much richer because of this. 

In the near future I will be publishing an extensive essay about how women writers who are also mothers - writers, parenting bloggers, mommy bloggers - whatever you prefer, but to me collectively society's conscience - have in fact changed the world for the better.

I would like to personally thank in no particular order Jennifer, Willa, Mary, Erica, Susann, Heather, Tracy, Lauren, Patsy, Lyndsay, Carlia, Natasha, Stephanie, Melissa, Janice, Leslie, Kathy, Alicia, Jade, Ariel, Leah, Amanda, Carrie, Tamara, Ashley, Jessica, Raquel, Erin, Mindy, Abigail, Elizabeth, Sharon, Janice, Tamara, Tricia, Stacy, Hana, Bobbie Anne, Janessa, Julie, Cascia, Amanda, Katie, Lauren, Sabrina, Laura, Claire, Erin, Ewa, Heather, Jade, Nishana, Janice, Elisabeth, Aprile, Elisa, and Melissa, Diane, Katrina, and Katie for all that you have done to help protect children from abduction and possible trafficking.

My words of thanks in truth cannot every be expressed in reflection of the depth of my gratitude.  I mean, how could I ever express the appreciation in my heart for your help protecting innocent children, other than to say 'Thank You'!

In the spirit of friendship to each of you.

Peter Thomas Senese
Founding Director
The I CARE Foundation

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Honoring A Father Who Fought For 10 Years To Reunite With His Son

Recently I spent several days in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the I CARE Foundation as we continue our legislative initiatives to create new laws or modify existing laws that will protect children from international parental child abduction or from human trafficking.

During our visit and various meetings, we were honored to have the American Flag flown over the United States Capitol on behalf of several of our board members as well as on behalf of several children who the I CARE Foundation assisted in safely bringing home.

It is my great privilege to have received a very special American Flag and citation for Philippe, the son of my very dear friend Eugene.  Philippe was reunited with his father after nearly 10 years apart: as a toddler child, he was detained without his father's permission in the Ivory Coast. However, all that changed on January 17th, 2012, when Philippe walked through the United States Customs exit at John F. Kennedy airport in New York City and into the arms of his loving father. Miracles do happen.

The American Flag flown in Philippes honor is a reminder to Philippe that this great nation - the nation of his birth - is his home.  The flag is also a testament to the great love his father has for him as it acknowledges the never-ending quest for Eugene to reunite with his son.

When I think of heroes in my own life, one of the first persons that comes to mind is my pal Eugene.  Eugene left the war-torn country of the Ivory Coast and came to the United States of America in hope of creating a better life for himself.  Armed with a masters degree in maritime engineering and fluent in many languages, he made his way in New York City.  And when his child was detained in Africa without his permission, Eugene held onto his faith and dug deep within his character to never give up the hope and belief that one day he would reunite with his son.

In early December of 2011 a sliver of hope and opportunity presented itself that perhaps Eugene would reunite with his son.  I was thrilled to play a role in facilitating that hope into a reality.

So Philippe, if you ever read this, I want you to know, as I have said to you on occasion, that your father is a great man who loves you with all of his heart.  The American Flag you are about to receive from me and the I CARE Foundation was flown in honor of both you and your father.

We are all so proud of you.

Peter Thomas Senese