Finding the right words for this post is going to be difficult this time, I think. Mainly because I’m absolutely baffled by any person’s ability to turn a violation of humanity into something political.
For this reason, I want to stress that the issue of children being physically separated from their families and taken away is, without a doubt, traumatic. It’s a no-brainer that babies and small children forcibly removed from their parents (or anyone for that matter) under duress is going to leave emotional scarring that will never disappear. There isn’t any way to describe this act eloquently; well, perhaps there is, but there is absolutely nothing eloquent about this situation.
My question isn’t “How could this happen?!”, as anyone could provide myriad answers to this, from any spectrum of political viewpoint. Rather, my husband and I have been spending our time trying to figure out, “How can we help?”
Spewing out blame and finger pointing has never helped anyone, and so I will not use this platform to do so. It’s our good and comfortable right to blame politicians on either side of the isle, and/or the desperate parents who obviously traded one hell in exchange for another. For me, this issue is no longer a matter of politics; it’s become a cry for humanitarian aid.
How will the separated children be accurately reunited with their families? This policy didn’t begin overnight, and it will take quite a bit of time and tax payers’ money to reunite children with their actual families. Children have been sent to places all over the country, not just the holding facilities in Texas. Very young children will not necessarily be able to express who their family members are, and the question is how can anyone be 100% certain that the children will be properly reunited with their biological families? The only thing that I can think of is DNA testing, at further cost to the government. Also, conflicting reports say that many of the people the children were separated from were not necessarily documented as being the parents/persons responsible for the child. If this is true, that means that bringing the families back together will be even more of a mess than I can even possibly fathom.
The current Executive Order that was issued on June 20, 2018, is not going to be the end of this highly contested practice. Contrary to many counter arguments, the policy of separating children from families in this manner actually only began in April of this year. My only hope this that we as a people, regardless of political affiliation (or lack thereof) will personally hold ourselves accountable for maintaining humane practices in even the most highly controversial issues. This includes paying very close attention to Section E of said Executive Order, which if successful in court, would allow detainees to be held indefinitely; eerily similar to a shameful chapter in American History, namely internment camps (although 2/3 of those interned were actually American citizens).
This brings me back to my original question:
How can we help?
Firstly, we must remember that these are CHILDREN who are suffering. They have nothing to do with political parties, and they are not to blame for being in the position that they are in.
Secondly, do whatever you can to help children in need. If your heart goes out to the suffering that many children are enduring, but for whatever reason you feel as though you can’t be moved to help in this particular cause, please direct your compassion to needy children anywhere you feel moved to do so. I’m not trying to tell you what to do or to feel, but I certainly implore you to feel compassion, and do what your open heart knows is right. In my opinion, we should help wherever we can, whenever we can.
Thirdly, money is always helpful, but there are other ways to show that you care. Some people are making light quilts for children to lay down on, making or donating clothes, putting together small care packages, and are requesting toy donations. Please don’t put these gestures down; they’re attempts to offer comfort to little people trapped in a terrifying situation. This website shares more ways to make a difference, as well as the following information:
While money is best, if you want to donate essential items like diapers, wipes, shampoo, and soap directly to immigrant children, Baby2Baby and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) set up a baby registry at Target.
Sending light and love to all of you.
©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time
– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance.