Anton Hooton is an alienated father. He misses his Matehya. So he did something proactive about it not just for himself, but for alienated fathers globally.
Anton is the founder of a site titled Where Are You Dad? The concept is simple. Alienated fathers upload their picture or a video, their contact information and a short loving message to their alienated children. Their children can do the same.
The messages posted aren’t long but they’re heartbreaking nonetheless.
Stephen Longman of Bathurst, NSW wrote:
Aurelia and Patrick
I NEVER walked from you both. I have tried & continue to fight to see you. With all that I am, Daddy loves you.
Clicking on his photograph opens a window for sending him an email.
Where was this site when my husband, Rhys, was alienated from his children? Where was this site when his children were begging for a word from Da while their mother blocked all channels of communication?
Glenn Howland of Sunshine Coast, QLD wrote:
Dear Zarlia, You are in my thoughts every day…and will always have a piece of my heart.
He concludes ‘Love always, Dad’ and posted his mobile.
In my experience, alienated children don’t care about the ‘why’ of the alienation as much as they want to be reassured that Da still loves them. Sometimes, they just want to know if he’s still alive.
Damon Western of Gladstone, QLD gets straight to the point:
Aiden, I’ve never stopped thinking of you or looking for you. I miss you every day.
How dreadful to not know where your child is. How they’re doing. If they’re happy? Alive? Healthy?
Lamar Praylow writes from the Bronx:
Zahir, I love you so much. I dream of the day I can see you and hug you and tell you I love you so much.
The site is ad-free, new and growing quickly augmented by a Facebook group of the same name, Where R U Dad?
I asked the founder, Anton Hooton, to tell me more about his vision for the site. Here’s what he said.
Can you imagine WHERERUDAD being the ‘go to’ place to connect alienated dads with their children ? That’s the goal….
Our children may never read our words, but we are providing strength for others to do be discovered.
I have created the site to give Dads a chance to express themselves publicly about the love they have for their kids. As an alienated parent, I know what has been said about me incorrectly in court and who knows what is said about me to my daughter, so the idea is that my daughter may type my name into Google and what pops up is this site with Daddy telling her directly how much I love her and want to be in her life.
I am hopeful that if one child (who may now be an adult) who has been disconnected from their father and discovers him here and wants to connect – one child – it makes it worthwhile for all of us.As these guys are living on a wing and a prayer, hoping that doing anything
(even as crazy as this concept) may shift the direction that their parenting path has gone.I am lucky though as I have a beautiful wife and two kids, so I have great support but some of the fellas here have nobody or they may still be wanting to re-unite with their ex…..my path…is to do my best to create a space where they can be honest and vulnerable for their children to see, that’s all that matters…
Photo by Torsten Mangner