A mother had to spend Christmas without her children as she battles to get them home from the United States.
Lisa Baker is currently going through the American courts to get her children back from Kansas City – 4,000 miles from their Batley home.
Abigail, 11, and Matthew, seven, have been there with her estranged husband since July 5.
“It has been terrible,” she said. “I didn’t put the decorations up for Christmas – I felt like there was no point.”
Lisa, of Copley Street, and her husband met on the internet before marrying in 2003.
Lisa said that the four of them lived as a family until June, though her and her husband had split up.
She said she agreed to let the children go with him to visit his family in the States in July and for them to return in time for the new school year.
“He took the kids on vacation and was supposed to bring them back on August 26,” she said.
“At first he said that Abigail’s passport had run out, then in September, he told me that they were not coming back.”
She called the charity Reunite, who put her in touch with a lawyer in the States to help her get her children back.
Lisa believes she will need to be at the hearing, but said she cannot afford a flight to Kansas, which could cost hundreds of pounds.
Despite being so far away, Lisa has been able to speak to her children on Skype once a week.
“It must be awful for them. Abigail tells me she misses her friends,” she said.
“When I was speaking to her on Skype, she said she wished she could climb through the screen.
“It is so hard when you hear things like that, but I have to keep it together so they don’t get upset.”
The case is currently going through the US courts and a hearing is expected to take place this month.