Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York
In November 1991 I immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic and would remain undocumented until 2009. I was two years old, and my 21 year old mother was six months pregnant with my brother. Being just a toddler meant everything I ever knew about my homeland would be stored so far away in my memory that I could never recall those thoughts in times of comfort. Most importantly I would never be able to recall the thought of him - my father.
I wrote a poem once about being able to tell my father's breathing apart from anyone else in a crowd; when in reality if he walked past me right now he would be unrecognizable, a stranger that blended in with all the other faces. Immigrating to the United States meant leaving behind the only man who would ever matter to me, besides my brother, and it meant leaving behind half of me. At the fragile age of two I couldn't really put up a fight but now at the age of 24, I sit back and wonder how different my life would've been if I grew up with my dad.
I am the oldest of three children and grew up in a single parent household. My mom worked multiple shifts as a waitress to support us economically. Basically, it means I became a parental figure when I was ten years old. It meant waking up my two siblings, getting them dressed, taking all of us to the elementary school down the block, picking us up, coming home to dinner my mom prepared before going to work at night and homework.
A few years later my mother and I applied to adjust our status. A year and a half and $7,000 later we were made permanent residents in an immigration office in Long Island.
It's been 5 years since I've been able to fly out of the country and reunite with my father and other family members. I wish it were as simple as packing my bags and getting on a plane. Unfortunately debt, living paycheck to paycheck and other financial obligations have kept me from being able to meet the man who might've made the biggest difference in my life.
I want to be able to experience smelling the ocean, while feeling the mist along my sun kissed skin; eating sweet mangoes I picked off a tree while sitting next to my dad as he tells me stories about my adventurous days as a toddler. Getting the chance to meet my father would be life altering and would be the most fulfilling thing that has ever happened to me.
3/17/14: ADILKA'S TRIP IS FUNDED!
FLIGHT CREW - The Sen Family
The Sens are very excited to help send Adilka to the Dominican Republic to meet her father for the first time after 22 years of separation. Both Ananda and Mayura Sen are very close to their parents and cannot imagine what it must feel like to be apart from their mother or father for such a long time. They are happy to play a small part in helping Adilka and her father come together and hopefully start a relationship that will last for the rest of their lives.
Ananda and Mayura are recently married and live in the beautiful city of San Francisco. Mayura works in the social enterprise space by day and is an artist by night. Ananda works in business development by day and is a musician by night. They like to cook together, love all things fantasy and sci-fi including Star Trek TNG and Harry Potter, go hiking, and spend time with friends and family.
The Sen family is donating $150 and fundraising $450 to send Adilka to the DR!
Fundraising update 3/17/04: THIS TRIP IS FUNDED!