I am a big supporter of groups that look to find homes for the thousands of refugees around the world. So much so, I made a solemn promise that I would devote a portion of my time and talents to helping organizations doing such work nationally and in the local area. This lead me to volunteering with the IRC (International Rescue Committee) and Refugee Services of Texas. In each case I have been very touched and inspired by the work that they do.
Their jobs are hard, complicated and riddled with emotional land mines. When you listen to some of the accounts reflecting on what some of their "clients" have endured to just get to a place where they can be considered for that possible slot to reach American soil, it makes your head spin. Top that with the years that will be spent in a refugee camp, sometimes in horrible conditions, then you really get a sense of how important the work is that these organizations do.
This series is of a Congolese family sponsored by Refugee Services of Texas that had just arrived in-country a day earlier. To be ushered onto a plane, travel through two countries and emerge at customs in DALLAS TEXAS has to be nothing less than mine altering. Try doing it with seven kids; the youngest not even two years old. Upon meeting the family I was impressed with how they were at peace with the whole ordeal. I had anticipated the subjects being guarded and simply annoyed by the proposition of yet another stranger bobbing and weaving through their lives. Especially one with a very intrusive camera. I was met with SMILES and hands that welcomed me into their experience. They were so welcoming that I was a bit taken aback. I had expected tragedy, pain and reflection on the bad times that I am sure were still with them. What I got was joy and this overwhelming sense of hope for the future. I envy the whole lot. I was privileges to witness the actual birth of new Americans.