No mother should ever have to give up her child simply because of circumstance. My heart and soul are in two pieces tonight because I ache for my friend, my sister, and my artistic muse who, because of circumstance, is watching her 2-month old baby go through airport security in hopes of giving him a better life and promising future elsewhere. I don’t understand, and maybe I never will until I have a child of my own one day (inshallah), but I detest a world, our 2016 world, who forces countless mothers and fathers to part with their children because of economic disparity and the likes of it. Being born and educated in the First World is a privilege and blessing I used to take for granted, and as I get older I wonder how life would have taken course had I been born elsewhere and possessed a different passport. Chance & circumstance. The two C’s I’ve narrowed it down to in my brain, even though I’m consciously aware of the deeper issues of inequality and level playing fields that go way beyond my naive conclusion.
I’ve known T (let’s call her T) for about two years now and she has easily become one of my special people in Kuwait. We talk and vent and cry to each other about anything and everything on an almost daily basis. Her pregnancy was a difficult one and baby was born 2 months early and was incubated for a few weeks until she could finally take him home. Prior to delivery though we were both excited for the new baby and how to decorate his room and the name she had come up with, and I remember asking/requesting her to please not send him away once he was here to be raised by family in a different country. At the time her answer was a definite no, and the love and excitement in her eyes for this child who was not even born yet made me believe her. Chance & circumstance. Living and working in a country you don’t belong to, a country which will never accept you as their own, even more so because you don’t come from a privileged First World nation, is freaking difficult. Let alone expecting that very country to provide for and help fulfill all the hopes and aspirations you have for your child. I feel helpless and heartbroken because I can’t do anything to stop the pain she, and I’m sure countless other parents go through on a daily basis who work so hard to provide financially for their children who are being raised back home by family members, in the sole attempt to give their children a better life and chance at a brighter future. I don’t know how I feel about sacrificing that endless love a parent is meant to have for their child and the sacred bond of parenthood, but on the same accord, that’s why so many have done so, are doing so, and will probably continue to do so, because they may not have any other choice.
I hadn’t gone to see T’s baby because somewhere deep down I knew he wouldn’t be here long and I couldn’t bear to get attached only to have him leave because of what it would do to T. I saw videos and adorable pictures of his cute ickle self and longed to hold him and babysit but to consciously be aware of his fate would have been a bit much for my heart. I just got back from a trip yesterday and T had told me last week that he was flying out on the 28th. I knew this as I wrote the date on my board this morning and prayed he would be safe inshallah and told myself I would go see T in the evening. T came to visit me at school this afternoon. I left class and walked over to the car where she placed this sleeping bundle of beautiful joy and life into my arms. The uncontrollable flow of tears down my face and the heartbreak I felt in that moment is indescribable. The amount of love and ache in my heart and soul for that baby is nowhere near what I know T is feeling and will feel everyday until she sees him next, but dear lord it took everything in me to not take him home and keep him safe for T x
This reminds me of a quote that was circulating after the body of Aylan Kurdi, the three year old Syrian boy whose body was washed ashore on a beach in Turkey whilst trying to escape the war, which reads : “No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land”. I love T and her baby and would do anything to help if I could; I even considered offering to keep him for a year if that would help, but I know she is doing what she thinks is best for her child, for now and for his future. Inshallah he will grow up knowing his mama loves him to the moon and back and that this was probably one of the hardest decisions she ever had to make in her life x I pray he grows to be a beautiful soul who brings joy and happiness to others and one day becomes the pilot T dreams for him to be, only to whisk her away to lands beyond her wildest dreams where they can live together. Happily ever after inshallah xx