My daughter Tara and I celebrate her 13th birthday. When Tara blows out the candles, I mention that I have missed her seven previous birthdays. In that dark room, I feel lonely and tired; however, I remember one of the motivations for my escaping from Ghana. It was a desire to make a better life for Tara.
It is known that Africa is considered to be one of the poorest continents in the world. In the observed continent, every second person lives below the poverty line. Generally, the most affected by poverty are women and their children; thus, most of them migrate to other continents, especially to America, to find better conditions for their future lives. The United States of America is a state that includes various nationalities from all over the world. Every year more and more people try to make their lives better by moving to the USA. Therefore, I also decided to migrate to the observed country for many reasons. As I have mentioned above, most Africans try to find multiple ways to migrate to other countries to avoid poverty, get medical insurance, or run their business. As for me, one of the reasons for my escaping was my only surviving child Tara.
My name is Norma, I am twenty-six, and I am a mother of three children, two of whom have died as infants. I was married when I was a teenager; thus, I did not think my husband would ever change his kind attitude to my family and me. I had a tough childhood because I grew up in a rural village, and I did not know the biological father. Thus, I grew by extended family with my aunt and uncle because my mother left me to earn money for us. As for my teenager’s years, I was raped; as a result, it had a negative impact on my future overview. Consequently, when I got married, one of the motivations for my escaping to America was the lousy attitude of my husband. Even though my husband is a teacher and owns artistic talents, he has not respected our family and me. In general, he did not want to think about the well-being of our daughter; thus, I had to do everything myself. Moreover, my husband tried to abuse me physically and emotionally; therefore, I had to move to another country to avoid it. The only thing I missed was the relationship with my daughter, Tara, because I was afraid of her future in this country.
Nonetheless, I have decided to leave her with my mother, that is, grandmother for Tara. My mother’s name is Rose, and she has gotten pregnant as a teenager with me. Besides, she also gave birth to three children. However, I was not brought up by my mother, but my aunt Vashty, who had a desire to leave Africa. As a result, Vashty migrated to Canada in the 1970s; thus, due to her moving, I had a high possibility to get a visa in 1980. After that, I secretly sold my family jewelry to raise money for the trip. In addition, I also lied to my husband and other family members about my going to Canada. In this case, I told them that I went for a short vacation. Once in Canada I secretly arranged to be taken to the USA by smuggling in the back of a car.
All that time in the USA, I was an alien to that country; thus, I had to sleep in the attic of a family friend, use their clothes, and borrow money. Despite all the obstacles, I got an undocumented job as a babysitter for two children in a Jewish family. Such a state of affairs led to the situation in which a Jewish family sponsored me to get her legal papers. As a result, it allowed me to get a one-room apartment in Brooklyn. Finally, I was able to send money to my mother, Rose, in order to support family and daughter.
After all the difficult situations in the USA, I struggled with the feeling of guilt regarding leaving the only child in Ghana because the only interaction with the daughter was through letters. Occasionally there were phone calls that had to be scheduled a month in advance since mom had to go to a neighbor to use the phone. Unfortunately, I struggled to support myself financially, pay for school and support the family in Ghana. As a result, I got the emotional and physical stress of working and attending school full time.
I decided to make something else in order to get a better job and earn more money. Therefore, I attended school at night to obtain a GED and associates degree. Surprisingly, in one of my classes, I met a woman who offered me an entry-level position in an NYC hospital. Consequently, I got a job as a nursing assistant at the same hospital. Due to my ambition and drive, I was offered a career as an RN. Finally, after being for seven years in the United States, I could afford a lawyer who filed for the daughter to come to the USA and divorce from my husband.