There is a mother with a one month old, proudly posing for a picture in a Canadian passport office, with the brand shiny new passport nestled on top of the sleeping baby. She has this proud look on her face that combines her pride as a mother and what I can only assume is also her pride in having a Canadian daughter.
This is the power and the beauty of countries like Canada and the US. The ability to be from whatever corner of the world but to choose the country you wish to spend your days.
I’ve always thought there was a strong parallel to adoptive parents – the notion that perhaps this child wasn’t born to you, but almost more importantly, you chose that child. You chose to make that commitment. In some ways that says volumes more than something that was given to you naturally but without nearly the same kind of effort.
Of course there are complications and frustrations and frictions where you put people that are borne of something and somewhere different. But that is not our burden. That is our gift.
That is the gift we give to ourselves and to our children. To live in countries where we are so lucky that others want to flock to it.
Our impulse should be share, not to hoard.
We have all gotten so used to hearing fear mongering about what they threaten to take away from us that we’ve forgotten what we stand to receive. That by inviting others into our land and our lives, we all become richer.
This mother and her newborn reminded me this as I picked up my passport. One that I was fortunate to be born with, and hte fact of which I often take for granted.
But my parents and this woman do not. Because they chose to work and fight for the right to have this document bear their name.
And they should be rewarded for that, not shunned or judge.
Because ultimately, it is our privilege to share.