Submitted by Amanda Steyer
"This is your family."
These words brought tears to my eyes. After months of waiting and a lot of hard work, we finally had, in our hands, informa
tion on "our family." The New Start Ministry had been aflutter with activity since receiving the news - securing housing, translators, seeking employment opportunities, finding English as a second language opportunities - but this was a bit different. We were all gathered in one room to talk specifics about our family and what will happen after their arrival. We were talking about them by name, not just as a future someone.
One question posed echoed through my mind. "Do they have any family here in the U.S?" Family. Our family has lost their family in some way, shape, or form. They will arrive, the three of them, without their parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces or nephews. We don't know if they had to leave their family behind, if some of their family went before them, or if they are all that is left of their families.
These refugees are leaving all they have known behind. embarking on a new life journey that is nothing like anything they've ever experienced. They are counting on us, their New Start family, to help them acclimate to this new existence.
As I sat in the meeting room, taking in these four simple words, I gave thanks for this amazing group of individuals who are using their gifts to give our refugee family the best chance possible here in Connecticut ... and for the family who would soon be on their way to our welcoming arms.