My brother and sister in law had a baby 2 weeks ago. As he is the first baby in my immediate family, I had an understandably overzealous excitement for his coming. Because most of my family lives in Chicago, and my time of service in D.C. is coming to a close in just over a month, I will not be visiting this precious, new gift for another 5 weeks. This breaks my heart!
My brother sends me pictures on my phone, my mom sends me pictures via email, and my sister in law posts pictures on Facebook, so I’m able to stay updated with my nephew’s seemingly rapid growth and maturation. Even still, I long to be there! I miss not being with my brother during this huge transition in his life; I long to hold my baby nephew, and I want to know my brother’s family in a nuanced way.
But I have to wait.
I can’t help but relate my feelings to the longing of immigrants and migrant workers. How many people in our world must move to support their families? How many fathers leave their wives and children behind, not for only a year like me, but indefinitely? How many expectant parents must be separated from each other during their time of waiting? My longing for my brother’s child is miniscule compared to the suffering and love a parent must experience when he or she has to be separated from his or her child.
The journey of a migrant is long and hard, and the separation of families is a brutal part of it. I only pray that we raise our voices on behalf of migrants everywhere in the world so we can change inhumane policies and allow families to be together, as they were intended.