I am going to try to keep politics out of a highly charged political situation. I am going to try to address families and how our country chose to separate children from their parents as they tried to enter our country. For now, I don’t really care that they were illegal aliens or if they were asking for asylum, or any of the other justifications way too many people are using.
I am a mother of three and a grandmother of five. I have been around my share of young children and I have seen how well provided for children behave when they feel like they are being taken from their mother. I remember all of my daughters going through stages when they would kick and scream if anyone else tried to take them from me. These were not strangers removing them, they were loving family members and friends who were just trying to give me a break from the constant neediness of a young child.
I had the same experience with my grandchildren. There were times I would try to give one of my daughters a hand by taking her needy child for a while. Those grandchildren, who knew I loved them dearly, didn’t want anything to do with me. They wanted their mother.
I distinctly remember taking one of my grandsons, who was three and a half at the time, out for lunch for some one-on-one time. He didn’t want anything to do with it. He ran; he hid; he cried; he screamed. He knew me and knew I loved him and would not do him any harm, but he still wanted to stay with his mother.
I also remember when my daughter’s father and I divorced. It was, as with all divorces, a stressful, scary time for my kids. Their father and I didn’t agree on much, but we both agreed our daughters needed to feel loved by both of us. We did everything we could to make sure they felt this love, and if they needed it, that they had people they could talk to about their fears and concerns.
Having lived through these experiences, I cannot imagine how it would feel to have a child of mine ripped from my arms and removed from my care. Not just removed from my care, but taken God only knows where and cared for by God only knows who. Think about that.
Imagine the fear of a child who has just endured the trials of getting somewhere unfamiliar, and then being taken from their parent and taken to live in a tent or warehouse surrounded by strangers. Let’s not even talk about the fertile ground for abuse these places could be; let’s pretend that each one is being attended to be a caring adult. A caring stranger is still a stranger, and possibly a stranger who doesn’t even speak the same language as that child.
The current administration signed an executive order this week ordering the end of separating families. I am glad and grateful that this small first step was taken. However, there are still plenty of loopholes in the order, and nothing has been done to reunite the families that were separated by this cruel action.
Unbelievably, it does not appear anyone bothered to cross-reference the children and the adults that were being separated. I have heard no one propose a logical method of reuniting these families. Funds are being raised by regular citizens to help out these frightened families. Regular citizens are actively working to rectify this misdeed perpetuated by our government.
Until this administration figures out a way to correct the mess they have created, I will be donating what resources I have to helping those who are trying to help these families. Until this mess is straightened out, I will be marching. Until we’ve figured out a humane way to deal with immigration, I will continue to use my voice to speak up for what I believe is morally and ethically right.
In the meantime, I urge you to put your arms around a child you love and try to imagine someone forcibly removing that child from your arms. If you can imagine that and still try to justify what has happened, I suggest you start looking forward to the same level of empathy from the Universe that you are giving to these families.