Monday, August 12, 2013

Little Miss's Journey Here

Most often I get asked about how Little Miss came here or how any of the children in her situation get here, so I thought I would take a minute and explain.  Little Miss is only three so she can't really relay all that happened on her journey, but we can guess what it was like.

Little Miss is from Central America as most of these children are.  It is shocking to know that this happens a lot and there are many children that need temporary placement while their families are found.  I know of a 9 month old, 3 year old, and 4 year old that came in just last week in addition to our little one!  There are also children that are a bit older (10 - 13) as well who are the norm as are young women with babies.

There are a few different scenarios that could have occurred.  One is that a family traveled by foot and or train to get the States.  At the border, which is many miles wide, they became separated as officials pursued them.  Another is that part of the family was already here in the States and they sent for the child.  In that case another family member may have tried to get the child across and were apprehended.  Still another scenario would be that the family who is here paid someone try to smuggle the child here.  Another one yet would be that people tried to enter the States with forged documents and it is learned that the child they are traveling with is not their own.  I'm sure there are many more, but these are the ones I have heard.  If you would like to know more about this I highly recommend the movie Which Way Home.  I blogged about it earlier and you can see that blog here.

The journey here is not an easy one no matter how they traveled or who they traveled with.  Most times the children have been traveling for months to get here.  They show up with bloody feet and torn clothing.  Bug bites, cuts, and bruises are common place when they arrive.  They may not have had decent food for a long time and it can be very evident.  It must be with great desperation that people try to get to the United States.

Regardless of how and why the children arrived here, they were found without an adult who was related to them.  The children are taken to a holding facility much like A and W were in after they were found.  However, where A and W stayed at least 6 months in the facility while Immigration did checks on families and on them and their behaviors as well as schooling them, young children can only stay 72 hours before they need to be moved into foster care.

In order for family members here to be reunited with their child there are quite a few things they have to do including sending in a lot of paperwork and having background checks done.  From what I am told, the government is very thorough in their efforts to be sure where they send the child is safe and secure.  This could take as quickly as 10 days or months.

In our situation we don't know how fast or slow it will take.  You learn to just go with the flow and stop asking. :)  On average they children are with a foster family for one to two months.

Despite how you may feel about people breaching the borders of the United States, keep in mind that these are innocent children who did not choose to come here.  They need a safe and secure home for a bit.  And yes, you can foster too!  It doesn't take Wonder Woman to give a child love that they deserve!  You can pick what age children you welcome into your home and when you welcome them.  Think about it and pray about it.  If you have questions about it I am happy to answer them!  Also by clicking on the family link above you can click on foster care or refugee foster care and read about our experiences fostering.

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