Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As a Mother Who Works as an OFW

Mothers are the most beautiful gifts and treasures that we have ever received, from giving us comfort in their own wombs, they risked their own lives just to give us a chance to see the world, to their sacrifices to raise us into a person that they can be proud of. No one could ever surpass the love of a mother to her own child, and no seas or mountains can ever stop her to get her children back to her loving arms.

This is a story of a mother who works as an OFW, feel her pains and joys, as she tells you her own experiences in battling the challenges of getting reunited with her precious daughter. Read the rest of the story.

I still remember the first time when I left my daughter (my only child then) when I went to a Retreat for 3 days and 2 nights somewhere in Silang Cavite in 1997...I don't know how could I ever get to my sleep without her by my side...She was only 3 years old at that time. I'm so lonely and quite worried that she may cry and look for me when I'm gone.
When I left her in 1998 to look for work overseas, I couldn't imagine how will I carry the loneliness now that we're miles and miles away from each other. I'm really so sad when I left her that day.
As a mother, I always keep my young children on my sight. I never ever let them go alone or walk alone without my hands holding them especially if we're in crowded and public places.
Maybe, they'll say that I'm quite over protected with my children but for me, I just love my children the way I love my own body...They are part of my body and of my heart and if they're far from me,it seems part of my limbs are missing too...
When I reached the foreign land, I'm so happy 'cause I'm already with my husband who went there ahead of me. But I'm also so sad because of the absence of our 4 year old daughter.
I always cry whenever I think of her, especially during the night before I went to sleep. I always remember those days when we're still together. Each night, before we close our eyes and after we prayed, we're going to kiss each other on the forehead, down to the nose, cheeks, lips, ears and chin and then we're going to hug each other so tight and will say I love you...
Her daddy is away since she was 2 years old but I always tell some stories about her father so that she's not going to forget about him. I always let her kiss her dad's picture and ask her to bid goodnite as well. They're so close with each other too when my husband was still with us in the Philippines, that's why I don't want it to fade away 'though he is far from us.
Sometimes, even during meals, I'll cry so suddenly if my daughter will run through my mind. It's hard for me to swallow my food 'cause my heart is really in pain.
I really wish and pray that my family could be whole and together again someday...but because of our situation as a migrant worker who just started a new life in foreign land, it is quite difficult to bring our small daughter with us here during that time.
My husband couldn't afford to see me crying all the time. He wanted us to be together as well, if not for permanent, atleast just for temporary is also fine.
So in 1999, we brought our daughter here for a was a school vacation. She stayed with us from end of March until early June, I'm really so happy again when I saw my daughter when she arrived from Philippines.
My husband fetched her at the airport, she was with my brother in-law. I am at work when she came to see me, she was very happy too. We kissed and hugged immediately upon seeing eachother, we really missed eachother during that time.
The loneliness comes back when it is time for her to go back home but to ease the pain of being away from our daughter, we just let her come here on every vacation. It was every year until the year of 2001 came. We tried to apply for a dependant visa for her so that she can come with us all the time and got an education too while we're working here...
But it was unsuccessful, the salary required is not sufficient so it was denied...when I read the letter upon receiving it from the immigration, I really cried infront of the officer. My heart really broke and it was really a terrible painful moment for me as a mother. We just want to bring our child but the policy is so strict.
In 2002, I delivered to my second child here in abroad. We got a boy at this time and because he was born here, there's no problem for us if we want him to stay with us. They can give him a dependant visa as long that my employer is going to support us...
In that year, my husband's contract was renewed so his salary was upgraded too and when we applied for dependant visa for our son, it was immediately approved. I'm so happy that my son can stay with us while we're working here but still, the family is not complete because my daughter can only come here for a short visit visa as she wasn't given the dependant's visa.
But when she came here in 2004, we tried to apply a dependant visa again for her because our salary and contract has been renewed and upgraded so we might got a chance that we'll be approved this time...And yes, through constant prayers, our wish was granted...We finally took our daughter with us here too and we're now a happy family.
As an OFW mother, I'm really thankful that GOD gave me a chance to be with my children while working overseas. I know that there are plenty of mothers who couldn't have a chance to bring their children with them while working as an OFW, that's why I feel so great that I'm among the lucky one.
I think that GOD is really granting my prayers and wishes. When I was young, 'though a poor child, I never ever think of becoming rich, I just longed for a simple and a happy family of my own. That's my only and true happiness even before, now although it's quite expensive and we couldn't save much at the bank while my children are both studying overseas, it is just fine for us as long that we're all happy together...
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