On Aug. 25, 2010, J. Augusto Frisancho sat in Meadowood Regional Park in Baltimore, Maryland waiting for his recently-separated wife to drop off their kids, 11-year-old Ork’o, 7-year-old Amaru and 5-year-old Raymi, for their weekly visit. She was late. Slowly the minutes turned into hours. The sun set as Augusto waited and the children never arrived. Worried, he frantically called his wife. Getting no answer, he dialed every number that he had, and no one knew where the children were. He then switched to email, and still no one had any answers. After a frightening night of not knowing he finally learned by email that his children were taken to Slovakia by his wife and her family. He was confused and panicked, learning that they had left the country. The following day Augusto finally reached his sons. “Daddy,” he heard on the other end, repeated by each child’s voice as they crowded around the phone. He felt relief to talk to them and believed they would be back in his arms soon. His oldest child, Ork'o, said, “School is starting in a few days, and I very much want to go there on time, I don’t want to miss it.” Hearing their cries, he stayed strong, trying to comfort them. Augusto then contacted the US State Department the day after he learned they were taken. As time passed from days to weeks, the telephone conversations got shorter and less frequent. “I was worried that I would lose the right to talk to my children,” he said. “I kept it light and made sure to keep everything positive in our short conversations.” He knew he couldn’t sit and do nothing. After several attempts to resolve things amicably with his wife, Augusto filed an application for return of the children under an international treaty, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Augusto’s wife was called upon by the Central Authority for the Hague Convention in Bratislava, Slovakia to discuss the peaceful return home of the children. When no agreement could be reached, a slew of legal proceedings began that continue to this day. Dec. 31, 2010 was the last time Augusto talked to his children in Slovakia. He wished Ork’o a “happy new year,” then the phone went silent. The phone numbers were changed after that night. 2011 was the start of the hardest year of Augusto’s life. Everything in his daily life was a reminder of the absence of his children; the empty Baltimore rowhome, the park and the children’s school. Unable to talk about what happened, he bottled up this tragedy and kept it inside, trying just to get through the day to day, slowly changing his routine. Becoming what he called a “zombie,” Augusto worked, ate and slept in an endless repetition, with no way of knowing how his children were doing. Understanding he had to stay healthy and strong for his sons, Augusto eventually picked himself up. “It’s easy to isolate oneself, but I knew I had to turn this nightmare around,” he said. Slowly he began to visit his sons’ favorite places. “I would close my eyes and say, ‘God! You can do it, please tell them their daddy loves them’.” His relationship with God has been his strength throughout this horrible ordeal. Feeling alone in this nightmare, he didn’t tell people in his community that his children had been taken. But when Augusto joined the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s “Team HOPE,” a peer support group of families with missing, recovered and exploited children, he gradually began to open up and speak about his nightmare. “Parents like Augusto struggle with the emotional trauma and loneliness of having a missing or exploited child”, says, Abby Potash, program director, Team HOPE. Helping others and sharing his story became healing to Augusto. In 2011 it seemed that his children might finally come home when the Slovakian courts ruled in his favor. But it just set off a host of additional hearings that would be drawn out to present day. Long plane rides were filled with a desperate studying of Slovakian law. The trips were filled with excitement and anxiety as he prayed the children would be in court. In 2013 Ork’o and Amaru were present in court. Augusto was flooded with emotion as he caught a glimpse of their faces for a brief moment, though unable to speak to them. After that, he hoped to see them at another court appearance, but they never returned. At the table where they used to enjoy family dinners, Augusto sits alone, surrounded by piles of court documents. He prepares notes for his testimony on Capitol Hill. Congressman Chris Smith has invited him to speak before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He hopes that this will help him reunite with his sons. Today, Ork’o is 17 years old, Amaru is 14 and Raymi is 12. It’s been six years since they were taken. Augusto will never stop searching.