Part 1, Milton
We first knew Milton when he was perhaps 5 or 6 years old. He was a fairly regular attendee at our charity children’s program (breakfast, story time, playtime, lunch, arts and crafts, sports, games, snack, finish up by around 4 pm) near a small village in rural Honduras. To be honest he wasn’t the brightest of kids, but he was very cute as he sat on the swing and said, “Reid, calame (Reid, swing me).”
We would open in the morning, often with 20-30 kids, and by the afternoon 40 to 50 wasn’t unusual. They largely had one thing in common in regards to the following: pretty much none of the parents (mothers) had any idea where their kids were. There is no tradition of, “Hey mom, I’m heading off to the guarderia, be back around 4:30,” but rather the kids go off to do whatever they do and all is well if they end up back home by dark. By our “we are right in the latest incarnation of whatever we do in the US at the moment” standard this might sound negligent, but it’s more similar to the way my generation was raised than not, plus our project had a pretty good reputation. For the most part the mothers in the village sincerely care about their children, fathers typically less so, considering so many of them are absent from their children’s lives, which is pertinent to Milton.
Briefly, the last full session of the kids’ program was in 2011, for a variety of reasons we did not leave the US in 2012, and beginning in 2013 I (now with my wife staying at home) began spending about two months a year in the village, not doing a program for kids per se but more young adult and adult oriented, especially teaching English, carpentry, and sewing. Not surprisingly on each trip down there I catch up on the latest, especially asking about how the kids we had gotten to know quite well in past years are doing. This past March (2019) upon my arrival I inquired as to Milton’s status and learned he had recently gone to los Estados Unidos illegally, which was unexpected. In learning the details I was told his father had taken him. I mentioned that to the best of my knowledge his father was never part of his life, and this was confirmed, i.e. Milton simply became a pasaporte for his hitherto absent father.
We are funny in America in regards to children, at least the left is. In any social policy, or political debate, invoking “the children” is supposed to stifle the other side and assure their acquiescence (which unfortunately has often proven to be true, at least in pre-Trump times). Though the left gleefully ends the lives of children by the boatload under the guise of “women’s rights,” they seem to drip with compassion for non-aborted children as long as it advances their narrative. This has very much filtered down to the villages in Honduras in the form of, “if you show up at the border with a kid you will get in.” This explains Milton’s father’s newly discovered love for his dear son. It also explains why 13 year-old Julia’s aunt was planning on returning to the village and drag her with her to the border (“remember Julia, I’m your mother!”).
We hear a good deal about child/human trafficking these days and what I’m describing is at the lower end: certainly the parents aren’t knowingly giving up their children to be sex slaves, and not even selling them per se. There is simply an implicit understanding that “when you get into the US using my son or daughter as your passport, I will expect to be spending time at the Western Union office to receive remittances from you.”
Although I could fill pages talking about immigration, I merely want to end this section with a few thoughts. First, our progressive Democrat policy, which is essentially in effect Trump or no Trump, turns children into commodities, and indeed makes them susceptible to full-blown exploitation.
Second, our policy ignores the most basic and humane (though most difficult) solution, which is to improve the situation in the countries of mass emigration. This should not mean everyone has to have the American middle-class standard of SUVs, big screen TVs, streaming video, smart phones, wine coolers, and air conditioning, but there are basic modern comforts that, if more universally available, would certainly improve living standard.
Third, a common aspect to the immigration debate is the idea of assimilation, and there seems to be a reluctance to embrace this ideal culturally and linguistically, at least when compared to the widely held narrative pertaining to prior immigrants. The concept of assimilation simply doesn’t exist in the minds of the current wave from Latin America: there are no tired, huddled masses yearning to breath free. They are not refugees with legitimate asylum claims planning to assimilate, but rather have seen plenty of Hollywood movies with all the glitter and materialism and say to themselves, “I want that.” And you can’t really blame them.
Part 2, The Blind Girl
In modern progressive Western culture the most odious creature is the white male Christian conservative, even worse if they are from the South, and even worse if they are credentialed as a Baptist pastor- the horror! I will call him Leonard, and yes, he is all of these things. Around 15 years ago his fictitious (I am a non-believer) God called him to Honduras to help children, and eventually he, along with his Christian Mexican- American wife (I forgot to mention he is also a dreaded heterosexual), established an orphanage. It wasn’t your typical orphanage, however, with cottages and hired caregivers, but rather the kids were their kids, and they lived with the kids. They peaked at perhaps 20-some children, lost a few for a variety of reasons, and now have about 15. Needless to say, these kids were from the worst situations of neglect, abuse, and abandonment imaginable, for the most part have been with them since infancy, and they are “children of color.” More on this shortly.
About 13 years ago a baby girl was born, named Xiomara who was obviously blind, and there was some concern she had a “syndrome” that would make her mentally retarded, deaf, or what have you. During the time the baby was a neonate an American physician (OB/Gyn, who traveled on a somewhat tortured road that led her to Honduras, then back to the US) happened to see this baby and declared it would be better off if she were simply left to die. This did not happen, and shortly she was taken in by Leonard. She grew and thrived and a couple of years ago she was adopted by, yes, a despicable Christian, conservative heterosexual American couple from, Lord help us, Texas. I’ve known Xiomara since she was a baby and had the chance to see her this past March (the adoptive parents bring her back to Honduras to visit her siblings, i.e. the kids she grew up with until her adoption), and she was everything wonderful in a child- happy, vibrant, engaging, etc.
Not to long ago the Democrat Governor of Virginia became embroiled in some controversy, especially in terms of a black face/KKK medical school yearbook photo. Though this has faded away (together with a sexual assault accusation against the Democrat Lt. Gov. it was conceivable a Republican could have ascended to the VA executive office, so the initial progressive outrage had to be quelled), there was a lesser-reported controversy that reminded me of Xiomara. The Governor, who graduated medical school and is a soft-spoken progressive extremist, was prompted to muse about a bill to end any restrictions on abortion, to include allowing the abortion of baby while the mother was in natural active labor. In the event the child survived the abortion and continued unwanted by the mother he suggested “comfort care,” in other words putting a blanket over the infant and allowing it to die from dehydration or starvation. He added, “And it's done in cases where there may be severe deformities.”
My primary career was as a medical provider, Physician Assistant (PA), and I worked or associated with many physicians over the years. I can say some of the finest people I’ve known were physicians, many were of average integrity, and too many were disingenuous reprobates, the kind of people like VA Governor Dr. Northam who couch barbarism- starving and dehydrating babies to death- in feel-good terms such as “comfort care.” Needless to say, under Dr. Northam’s professional and august guidance, Xiomara would have died an agonizing death. It’s ironic to note that it would be less cruel to simply use a pipe or hammer and smash the baby’s skull, but with all the blood, bone fragments, and brain tissue it would be less sophisticated and less quaint, and wouldn’t qualify for the soothing term “comfort care.”
The children under the care of Leonard and his wife, their children (the oldest are now 15) are a true joy to know. They are kids and have all the normal concerns and problems of kids certainly but are pretty well adjusted, enthusiastic, and are also truly fluent in both Spanish and English- and it’s quite a bit of fun to watch them switch back and forth with ease as the situation requires. Less than two years ago Leonard (known as Papa to the kids), was diagnosed with an adult form of muscular dystrophy and can no longer walk or stand, and is losing the use of his arms. As much as the left finds solace and satisfaction in ridiculing Christians, Leonard endures and even thrives because of his Lord and Savior and because he believes in something greater than himself. I doubt very much that those who would call him a racist bigot simply because he’s a Christian could bear riding in his wheelchair: they wouldn’t sacrifice materialistic comfort for a moment to care for “children of color,” no matter how much they claim to love them.