Dear other mother,
I cannot fathom the depth of your grief and confusion. Nor can I understand the nuances of your story, what made it a better option to take the substantial risk to leave your home and come to foreign land with your child instead of living in the home you’ve known. I cannot know what you experienced.
I do know that hearing your story breaks my heart open. Part of my brain wants to protect myself by not imagining our positions reversed. By halfway mentally acknowledging your pain without experiencing any myself. But you don’t have that option. This grief is your life. When I try to picture having my two-year-old or four-and-a-half-year-old taken away from me in a place where we are not native language speakers, without being told how to find them again, I know that the sadness I feel in merely imagining fails to meaningfully compare to your reality. All it provides is a crack to let empathy pour through. Empathy without complete understanding seems better than no empathy at all.
I hope you find your child. I hope that the agencies holding you both find a way to work together to make it happen. Since there are many people on the ground working from their hearts to help, I hope some politician has the will to give them the tools to expedite the process. I write to my elected officials every day; so far the answers are platitudes with no action, but I promise to keep telling them that I, their constituent, demand that they be better and hold people accountable to the facts of the situation. Because facts still exist. And the fact is that you do not know where your child is. And that is unacceptable.
I don’t know your story. I don’t know the details of why you came. I can’t understand the depth of your pain. I believe you and your child belong together. I pray for you both. I’ll keep writing to those with whom the buck stops.
I can barely stand to imagine your pain, which is, after all, the literal least I can do.