We had a wonderful week with Paige when she was home for spring break last week. We shopped, and had beach days, and pool days, and got our hair done. We had family Boston Legal marathons and she slept…a lot…and cuddled with Jack, and read, and just relaxed.
In other news, I’ve met with “my” refugee family a couple of times and I just adore them. They are the sweetest, most humble, adorable family. The father speaks perfect, fluent English (which definitely makes things a lot easier!). The mom only speaks a few words of English, so far, but is so sweet and smiles so much…between hand gestures and her husband, we are communicating just fine. The little girl is cute, and giggly and twirls and skips, and the baby…oh my goodness. That baby is a chubby little smiling machine.
On my first visit, I went with someone from World Relief, and it was just a short visit to meet them and set up a schedule for meetings. I brought them a gift basket filled with towels and cleaning supplies and a fruit bowl, and teething rings for the baby and coloring books, and reading books, and sidewalk chalk and bubbles for the little girl.
Yesterday, I sat and talked to them for an hour and half. We talked about how they are settling in, and what help they will need. I brought a driver’s license handbook for the dad to study as he is determined to get a driver’s license as soon as possible. (He already has an international license.) He is trying to find a job. He wants to be self sufficient and to be able to provide for his family. He is excited about living in America and exploring his new country and seeing the things he has heard and read about. He can’t wait to become a citizen. He worries about their families back home in Afghanistan, especially his mother.
They are human beings. They are just like you and I. They have the same dreams and fears that everyone does. They are a beautiful, young family of four living in a tiny, albeit spotlessly clean, one bedroom apartment. They are tremendously grateful for the opportunities they have been given. They are optimistic. Of course, they are worried – they are living in a new country thousands of miles from everything and everyone they have known. They must learn not only a new language, but new customs as well. It can be frustrating. But they are optimistic.
So am I.
I try to tune out the hateful rhetoric that certain orange hued politicians bombastically trumpet to the masses. I try to ignore the increasingly xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic tones of our country lately. I am focusing on what is good about America, and there is much that is good. In fact, there is much that is great. Starting with my little family and their hope and optimism and love. We are a nation of immigrants and refugees. We are a nation of second chances. I want to believe that there is more optimism and hope and love than there is of hate and bigotry. I must believe that.
* I cannot give specific details about my family, but I can share these links which may give you a bit of insight into what they have experienced…