I'd like you to meet someone. Her name is Micaela. She has been very important to our family for the past year and a half. As some of you know, my son has several special needs, and Micaela has been his paraprofessional. This job is very important in the life of a child with special needs. A paraprofessional, in a very real sense, is the one person who can really make or break that child's success in the classroom. Everybody on our child's team is important, but his paraprofessional is the person who literally sits by his side and helps him with basic and daily tasks, day in and day out. We struck the jackpot with Micaela, and my husband and I have been forever grateful to her. It is a precious gift to be able to send our child off to school each day and know that he is in good hands. This is why, when we recently lost her, we all felt the ground shift underneath us.
You see, Micaela is from another country. She wasn't born here. She came here as a small child, and our town is the only home she's ever known. Her family has spent the past couple decades building a life here. They work here. Their children went to school here, all the way through college. They have contributed in many ways to our community. They pay taxes. They are properly documented. And through the incompetent and unethical actions of multiple people, and no fault of their own, they were hit with a deportation order. They had one week to pack their lives up, leave behind everything they couldn't pack, and walk away from their home and loved ones.
This was shattering to Micaela and her family for many reasons. I can't imagine how devastating this must have been for them. But it was also heartbreaking for our family, and for our son Logan in particular. Logan and Micaela have a lovely relationship. She is crazy about him, and he loves her just as much. He has flourished under her guidance, and his face just lights up when she's around. Out of pure adoration, he behaves better and works harder for Micaela than he does for anyone else, including me and my husband. And one day he went to school, thinking this was just a regular day, and found out that his beloved helper was leaving him, and this was their last day together.
I have never seen my happy, cheerful boy so sad. He went from being the human form of sunshine to not even smiling. He's resilient, though, and as each day passes, we see things are settling down. He has a new paraprofessional, and he seems to be getting his feet under him again. But I know he still misses his friend.
As for Micaela, she is putting together a new life. And we are keeping in touch. Like, a lot. We are all trying to find a way to make something positive come from this experience. I have been reminded through this that sometimes loves gets messy, and love can break your heart, but it is much stronger than I generally give it credit for. Love gives us the power to wipe our tears and get back to business. Love breaks down barriers, and reminds us of what is important in life. Love travels the miles, however many there may be. But love needs some help, and this is what we need from you. Micaela and her family had to leave their home because people forgot that the lives and hearts of other people matter. Micaela and Logan's story is a reminder that politics shouldn't be about proving your point, being right, or shouting louder than the next person. It shouldn't be about "us vs. them". Our current political climate will only get better when we remember that it's about stories. It's about individuals. It's about standing for each other, not tearing each other down. Innocent people are being affected every day. Whether or not you get involved, people will be affected. But if you raise your voice, and stand up for others, maybe they will be affected in a positive way. It's your choice.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. Look around and make yourself comfortable, because this is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty and authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.