Mary September and her son in front of the federal building in downtown Seattle during a Nov. 20 immigration reform rally. (Photo by Mohamud Yussuf / OneAmerica).
It’s Christmas Day, and my eight-year-old son and I are in Denver on a layover to Austin to be with my sister’s family.
The airport TV screens are filled with year-end stats and reviews. I am pondering a few stats of my own: 4,272 is the number of days I’ve been married and 1,170 is the number of days my husband and I have been living on separate continents. Our son has been alive 2,598 days, and he has spent 45 percent of his life away from his dad. And on this day especially, it became abundantly clear to me we have spent far too many Christmases apart.
Three years ago, I left my life in rural Malawi — and 15 bouts of malaria — to return to the states with my son. I thought I was coming home. I assumed my family would be welcome, but instead, have found that on the issue of keeping my family together, my country is more my adversary than my advocate.