If You See My Children in Kaohsiung, Tell Them I Love Them!

Dear Expat Community (or anyone who is listening),

Today marks 1,919 days since I last hugged, giggled with and played with my two children, Isabella and Derek. We had spent our last weekend in Kenting together, and at 7pm on June 25th, I’d dropped them off at the ex’s house in Tzou Ying, not far from the night market. Our penultimate weekend before that, we’d gone up to Taipei together, too, two consecutive weekends of fun, bonding, adventure (of 189 weekends I’d shared with them since a family court negotiator arranged two weekends a month with them back in 2014).

Although each weekend for those three years (in family court) were filled with grand outings, learning opportunities for the kids, at-home relaxation and games, etc., a judge in June of 2017 alleged that my children, a mere 8- and 5-years-old at the time, had come to tell him behind closed doors that they didn’t like me, that they feared me, that they would be happy if they never saw me again (and a myriad slew of other falsehoods). That hearing, in which the judge made that ridiculously absurd allegation, happened simultaneously with my last two weekends (he oversaw two hearings only, with the second containing his fabrications and farce).

After my departure from Taiwan, exhausted (after 3.5 years total in court, starting back at the end of 2013), drained (emotionally and financially), and defeated (my identity ripped from my; my kids erased from my life), I nearly gave up on life. Yet after much support and encouragement from family and friends in 2018–when I posted on social media that I was “done”, I decided to step away from the edge, with people telling me that I just needed to live my best life with hopes of one day reunifying with Isa and Derek, that they couldn’t one day discover I’d given up 100%.

Sadly, having been employed at two K-12 schools for my 12 years in Taiwan, most of the expats I knew those years via that employment route in Taiwan have since or long ago moved on, or locals didn’t want to get involved. Some folks we both knew sided with her (for connections to a job, for example, or because of culture–or the simple-minded believe that the female should get the kids by default). Hash members blew me off when I reached out to them via email to request help. And the few dudes that said they’d speak up to the “b----”/“c—” never did, saying when I left that they’d keep an ear open and eye out. (One did send me a grainy, blurry photo of the kids–two years ago–running in Aozidhi Park in the evening; the other, a message nearly 4.5 years ago that said he’d seen them in IKEA. Neither spoke up to the ex nor said a thing to my children on my behalf.)

Thus, I am asking strangers here…

If you ever see these two kids (this photo is from May of 2017) in Kaohsiung (if they even live there any longer), can you please say, “Hey, your Daddy Michael Brown loves you! He hopes to meet you again. He’s waiting to be in contact! Search for him!”

Naturally, to discover that their daddy is awaiting their reunification or to be in contact could upset or surprise them (if they’ve been told I died or had abandoned them, etc.), yet I’m hoping to simply plant the seed of curiosity in them so that they can start wondering.

I have spent five years dealing with loss, with the devastation of the BS hearings and the end result of losing my kids, and I haven’t given up.

Michael Brown


Keep the faith, though it’ll be not easy to do, for sure, as I have kids and have a tiny inkling of what you have gone through. Keep them in your heart forever, and most likely they are doing the same, but not outwardly. When they reach the age of 18, hopefully you will have found them and can talk to them adult-to-adult and express the things you have wanted to do all along. Prayers go out for you.


I think this is a lot to ask. You’re essentially asking strangers to get directly involved, and I don’t know much about Taiwan’s harassment laws but that could be risky for them and I’m not sure how much good it would really do for your situation either. I can certainly understand you being at the end of your rope though. I think appealing to the media with your story may be one option (although it’s tricky to know which side they’ll sympathize with). I also think a private investigator could find them on social media if they have a presence there. Many estrangements have been resolved through reaching out directly through that, and at this age (at least your daughter who should be entering her teens) their Mom probably wouldn’t be directly supervising it anymore.


I sure don’t know you and I’m sure not taking a side in your divorce.

Could be that everything you say above is true, but how would I know?


I think the other issue is that if the kids are there, the mother won’t be far behind and I’m not sure that would go over well with strangers coming up to them to talk.

That said maybe there are people on here that know them and can pass on the message. I really do wish you well and hope you guys can meet up again soon

Heartrending to read your story Michael. There’s very little emotional pain on earth that compares to losing your children.

Within the past year, I’ve gone through something similar. To make a long story short, my Japanese wife won’t let me see my two daughters and there’s almost nothing I can do legally to force her to. Like you, I went towards the edge of giving up on life entirely then had the realization that if my girls were to ever find me in this world it would be best for them to meet a happy father rather than an emotional wreck or worse, dead.

Although there’s a part of me that would like to keep fighting her to gain access to my darlings, I can clearly recognize that all effort towards that front has not only proved fruitless but has further alienated me from them. It was kicking against the pricks and having the opposite effect that I desired. Once I decided to stop fighting and to go on living in an effort to thrive, that’s when my emotional state experienced a turnaround. I should also mention that taking a heroic dose of magic mushrooms also gave me a religious-like clarity on the entire situation which has been immensely helpful.

In any case, I wish you the best Michael. Your kids are beautiful and one day they’re going to be curious about you. I hope they find their father happy and strong.


@LovingKHH I’m sorry to hear. But you might want to edit your post and ask anyone reading WHO KNOWS YOUR KIDS to pass on your message to them.


Sorry to hear your story. They will find you, if they want. Teenagers know their way around social media way better than us older people. So, make sure that you can be found on the sites that young people use these days (don’t think that Forumosa is one of them). Asking strangers to contact them is wrong and creepy. I wouldn’t want strangers approach my kids for any reason, let alone this one.

I’d rather make sure that once they contact you, you are ready, real ready. Life in order, thoughts in order, words in order. Have a really good plan for the time when they re-enter your life. Good luck!


I have a relative who married a Japanese and had a son, but was cut off from him after a divorce. The son was told that my relative abandoned him, even though that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Even as a kid I could see the emotional toll, and till this day I think my relative still haven’t given up on the hope of reuniting with the son. Now that I have a child of my own, I can much better imagine the emotion devastation one have to go through when something like this happens.

Keep a positive social media presence, and I hope one day your children will seek you out.


“Positive” is key here. FB and IG are obviously the first options for presenting yourself. I’d post things about my daily life, things that your children would want to know about you and that can make them trust you (again). Who knows what their mother and relatives have told them about you (and what you did in the past to put you in this situation in the first place). They surely will be in an emotional turmoil over this, but naturally they should wish to reunite with their dad no matter what.


Btw, I searched for “Michael Brown Kaohsiung” and did not find you on FB or IG. Instead you have a Wordpress site and Youtube channel, both not updated for a while.

I wouldn’t want my children to see that Wordpress site, because you accuse your wife (deservedly or not) of crimes. I’d take that down asap for the sake of not having my children go through it.


Once or twice a year post about how much you miss them and want to be a part of lives again would probably be just right as well.


Thank you, much. Hope is all I can have. Fingers and toes are crossed that they search for me our of curiosity.

Thank you for the insights. Yes, it is a shot-in-the-dark effort that truly would require someone with the courage to do so, taking a risk to say anything. Yet worth my asking, since I have incredibly limited options. Regards,

Valid perspective, logically, for anyone could at any time be fabricating.

Yet, to ask anyone to simply say to my kiddos (if seen in a park or in passing), “Your Daddy loves you! He’s waiting for you,” doesn’t require, at least in my mind, much commitment or in taking a side (knowing you’re not siding with anyone simply by stating possible doubts). If I were asking people to stand by my side in court (if I had such options), to defend me, to side with me, to argue in my favor… well, that for sure would be taking sides (and I, myself, would be wary of doing that for any stranger).

Regards, and all in respect,

Yes, indeed, it is all a crap shoot in the mother reacting, yet simply grasping at straws here to get my kids a message that I’m still “alive”, since I’ve had no success in finding them via other means (a mere 13 and 10).


Much appreciated are your words, words similar to what I’ve uttered to others, indeed. The alienation cannot really get any worse, for ZERO communication and knowledge of them cannot deteriorate. So only making life the best it can be until reunification is the only option (with periodic attempts to see if something avails itself… in getting ahold of them).

May your kids find you as well.

I’ll have to figure out such editing! But, yes, a valid change. (Though I am truly rolling the dice in finding someone even willing to give them the message.)

Appreciated are your insights. Yes, sounds creepy, but I’m merely taking a small desperate step in uncovering some option to reaching out to them, with all else having failed, hitherto.

Without a doubt, I’m ready to re-connect with open arms and open doors, and I’ve been so for five-plus years (for there was no reason to disconnect other than what was falsely perpetrated in KHH courts).

Thanks for wishing me luck. I’ll take any luck I can get.


The past is the past and although your kids were ripped from your arms as it were, knowing that or how it happened or what conflicts happened before, will not help your kids. The only thing they need is to find you in the future and know you always loved them and never wanted to leave them.

I agree with what others have said about cleaning up your internet presence and adding a positive presence on FB, Instagram, and Tiktok instead, without any recriminations to the mom.

Also, like others have said, it is hard to find you currently on Google and you may want to think about how your kids would find you and what they would read or see. It should be positive and happy.