2016 – You Denied me a Year of my Daughter’s Life. 

“When I speak, my every word speaks of You. When I am silent, I ache for You.” Rabia 

I first knew real pain when I lost my first born to a list of congenital anomalies. Ozzy was diagnosed with the Warburg Micro Syndrome at the age of one. This genetic disorder snatched my baby and my dreams for him away- for good. I picked up the pieces, I learnt from the loss and I healed through loving and nurturing a child with no tomorrow (in the conventional sense). My goal became – to simply keep a smile on his face.

Three years later l was blessed with a beautiful and healthy daughter – a new love and different hopes: Taya. She enriched my life. The years passed joyfully; each of my children challenged me and taught me new things everyday.

I never had any other job (although there is nothing wrong with that). But I changed every nappy, prepared every meal and did every school run. I never missed an assembly or a birthday party. Taya and I scooted together to school everyday, cycled on weekends, messed up in the kitchen in the evenings- or she messed up and l shouted.

December was a special month for us. We went to every Christmas Fair, debated over the second hot chocolate she wanted, and took every opportunity to do what we do best together -Ice skating –  over the many rinks that adorn London during this festive month. But December has always been extra special for us because Taya’s birthday falls on Christmas Eve. She is my Christmas baby.

Life changed by the end of 2015. After living for 9 years in the UK I no longer had the right to stay for reasons out of my hands.

Beginning of 2016 I moved with my best friend and decided to put a fresh application for me and Ozzy who desperately needed to be in the UK. for his feeds, schooling and medical care. (While regular medication is missing in Egypt, the feeds on which he is dependent are completely unavailable. Not to mention that there are no facilities for blind children or there is any support for his complex needs). For Ozzy his life in the UK is a matter of survival. So I separated from Taya – for a short period – I had hoped.

A year has passed and my papers are still processing. I feel stuck because if I leave now I won’t be able to come back and I would be putting Ozzy’s life at risk. Taya was denied a visit visa three times, and every time we gave the home office extra guarantees of financial support and of her return- they still harshly refuse. They refuse an 8 year old the right to come visit her mother and disabled brother.

A year has passed I have not put my daughter to bed or woken her up in the morning. A year has passed without holding her in my arms, kissing, tickling and teasing. And for a year I have been sleep walking. That’s my second encounter with real pain – my distress as a mother is unimaginable. But that’s not the problem – the problem is that my child suffers too.

2016, you showed me the pain of separation as much as (I hope) you taught me the value of empathy and appreciation. But one fact remains – the lights of your festive season sparked no life in me.

2017 May you reunite me with both my children – without having me to choose between my love for one and the health and wellbeing of the other.

Help us by signing and sharing the petition please https://www.change.org/p/home-office-let-my-9-year-old-see-her-mummy-for-the-new-year?recruiter=false&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=whatsapp

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