I had this nice long “How the view of my adoption story changed throughout the years” post to kick off November as adoption month, but in honor of the midterm elections, I’ll write a burning post I’ve had about immigration.
In the year 2000, I saw the line of people waiting outside the United States embassy in Manila, Philippines. My mom and I were part of a Motherland Tour group hosted by our adoption agency. When I saw that line, I knew I was one of the lucky ones because someone in America spoke for me. While I waited for a home, my mom filled out paperwork to make me hers and to make me a citizen of the United States.
As an immigrant, I have access to healthcare that many people in the world go without. I have a strong prescription that corrects my eyes the best it can while many around the world do not have access to basic eye care.
My son is a child of an immigrant. When I hear or read stories about parents crossing the borders with their children, I know they want what my child has: a childhood in America that gave them more than what they had in their country of origin.
To the immigrants waiting in line, I had to wait in line. My mom had to pay my way. Some of you have to do this. Others of you do come across the border quickly, but in exchange, you live life in fear.
To the immigrants coming to America, however you get here, you come because you want my life. You want to be the immigrant that achieves an education and gets a middle-class job. you want to be the immigrant who raises your children to not know hunger, fear, sickness from lack of medical care, or any other problem you are escaping from your country.
Our country is not perfect. I am not perfect in opening my arms to you. I sometimes resent you if you found a home here without waiting because I had to wait. My mom had to wait. My mom had to hire a lawyer and go to the state and federal courts to complete the adoption paperwork. I expect the same from you.
Yet, I look at my own story and my own son who will be a child of an immigrant and I understand why you come. Why you wait in line. Why you cross the border and live in the shadows of the legal system. You want hope for yourself and your children. You want what my mom gave me. You want a chance at the life I am living in America.