Mom Explains Why She Never Came Back With Her Sons

Act 4: Maria Pfeifer says she loves her sons and is not scared to fight for them.
3:00 | 02/28/14

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Transcript for Mom Explains Why She Never Came Back With Her Sons
"On the run" continues. Once again, David Muir. Reporter: It's now the day after Christmas, bob Pfeifer and Larry Hummel have both spent only those few precious moments in the orphanage with the boys they had not seen in 18 months. We're with them as they now prepare to head into a French court to ask a judge for perhaps the greatest Christmas gift of all -- that they be allowed to take their sons home. We listen in as bob's lawyer gives him last-minute coaching. You're a nice guy. Very smart. Be yourself. Reporter: Inside the hall of justice where cameras are not allowed, they come face to face for the first time with their ex-wife, maria. But we wanted to hear from maria ourselves, could we find her? We drive through Geneva to the address where it's believed she'd been living with her two boys. We knock, there's no answer. Suddenly, a window opens. It's maria's mother. "2020" we came all the way from America to talk to you. That same grandmother who raced to that school, to the boys, before their fathers could get to them. How are you? No, not good. I am sad for my grandsons. Reporter: You are sad for your grandsons? Yes. Reporter: She tells us to come back in one hour. But we wait, right across the street, and suddenly maria appears. She has not seen her boys, not spoken with them, since they were sent to that orphanage. But she is now ready to talk to us. Do you think about them every moment? Every second. And even in between. Reporter: She tells me she's lost without them. I love them more than my life, and I'm not scared to fight for them. Reporter: So, why leave? Why take the boys and run? I didn't run. I left on family vacation. I just didn't return. I was getting e-mails from Mr. Hummel's lawyers, alleging when I come back my custody's going to be taken away. Reporter: Just the latest threat she says from two husbands during ten years of legal battles. She argues she could not afford attorneys anymore. Up against two dads and their teams. I was not sleeping. I was preparing for court hearing. Going through papers with my broken English. While jerry was asking why I am not going to sleep, why am I crying and going through paperworks? I mean, it was so absurd. Reporter: But we ask why not share custody of both boys. You were sharing custody with jerry? Yes. Reporter: Were you prepared to share custody of Sasha? Yes. To the extent as it is safe. Reporter: His safety. She says she had concerns over the youngest boy after Sasha returned with minor injuries after visits with his father. She also tells us she had questions about that father's mental health. The judges looked at that, though. The judges knew that about Mr. Hummel. The judge doesn't know what is going on there. He hears, he sees the e-mails, but he doesn't see all the evidence. He doesn't see what happened. Reporter: But we ask her is it fair, that the children were being forced to live a life on the run. They were not living a gypsy life. They had a very good life here. Jerry will sign up for next year to private school that costs $20,000 a year. Reporter: How could you even afford that? I didn't afford it, but I have help. Reporter: But how are you making a living? How were getting the cash you had? The cash? Well, I had a fiance who was taking care of us. Reporter: So you have never made any extra cash? Never. As an escort, as a companion? No. Reporter: And what about the hair? The youngest in that video in pigtails. We saw the video of the boys. Sasha had very long hair. His hair was in pigtails. Jerry's hair was very long. I wanted a little disguise. Reporter: And what was your reason? My reason was I was afraid for my life and my children's life. Reporter: She takes us inside her small apartment, arguing the boys were well taken care of during their 18 months away. Pointing out their favorite toys. This is first jerry's bear. He loves it. That's his favorite. Reporter: Even still? Even still, so -- Reporter: And for the first time, maria shows me the videos documenting their year and half much of that time on the run. This is jerry's play. Reporter: She points out her oldest son jerry joining other children on the stage right there on the right. The ordinary family moments. Sasha playing with his pizza dough. Here, speaking to him in Slovak while back home visiting her family. He was very funny, very cute. Reporter: The bus trips through Europe. Jerry holding the camera as he sings. ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ no happy birthday me ♪ Reporter: A milestone missed back in America. The boys playing with their mother seen here on the trampoline. All while their fathers wondered where they were. If they would ever come home. And for all of the smiles, we also notice something else. A growing boy, jerry, at times appearing disinterested. Quiet. Absent. They had a different life for a while. They had a great life full of fun. Reporter: But a life without their dads. All boys' clothes. Reporter: Inside the apartment, in the bedroom, we notice the boys' clothing folded on the bed. I sense that your sensitive that people thought you were dressing them as girls? I'm not. But I'm just packing so I just want to show you because you asked me if he was camouflaged like a girl and he wasn't. Reporter: She now tells us she has many regrets. I could not in my worst dream, imagine that my children would end up in orphanage, and I am responsible for it. I am responsible fully for marrying who I married. I'm responsible for making my wrong choices. But I want to make it up to the children. I want to make their life the best I can. I hope it's not too late. Reporter: But will she get that chance to deliver that message? Will she see her boys again? Because bob's attorney is about to read the judge's decision right from her phone there. Why that decision surprises everyone when we come back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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