It’s almost the end of the year and for many of us it can’t come too soon. For me, it’s hard to hold both all the gratitude I feel for the people I’ve been privileged to meet, to know, and to work with at the border this year alongside the immense, growing anger at what our government is doing to asylum-seeking children and families in our name.
If we become numb to the injustice and pain inflicted upon these families, we’ve lost. If we create a tidy bubble around us to protect us from these ugly truths, we’ve lost. If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that tremendous grace is given if we lean into the thick of it, dive in, and dig deep, at the same time remaining as thankful and positive as possible. It’s a balancing act for sure! But if you choose to walk through that door, surprises await you. It reminds me of researching topics for educational writing in the olden days. Without fail, the (seemingly) most boring topic would magically open up and whole new worlds would begin to appear when I’d get a little deeper into it. It’s the thing I most love about doing research.
When you decide to dig a little deeper into border issues, many things happen. You begin to realize how much you are capable of doing. You meet the most amazing people, both volunteers and especially asylum seekers. I am thankful every day for knowing them and for all I’ve learned from these beautiful people.
I am also thankful for all the people who have supported La Casa de Paso this year. It is all of us together who make it happen. By the end of the year we will have welcomed 100 people to La Casa since we opened the very end of July. Those parents will never forget their time there, a time when they can relax, sleep well, feel safe, and see their kids relaxed and happy. The children will never forget being able to read books there, to do art, to play with Legos—to be KIDS!—for the short time they are with us before they cross. Thank you for your continuing support. I am so grateful to all of you.
Most of all, I pray that all the smart, energetic, compassionate people in this country find their collective voice and the will to act boldly. If we do, 2020 will bring the kind of change that we can be proud of. Here’s to a New Year full of positive chan