As I write our sponsored family should be somewhere on their journey from Lebanon to Canada, arriving in Halifax this afternoon. I don’t know them yet but I already admire their courage to take this leap of faith, leaving everything they know behind to come to a new place where they know no one.
We don’t have any information on what kind of living situation they have been in over the past months as they waited to come, but wherever they were I imagine them yesterday saying goodbye to the other Syrian people who have been with them, also waiting. I imagine it is painful knowing they might not meet each other again. They have already left their home country, but it must give them pause to know they are moving so much farther away. As they get on the plane I wonder if they are sad, fearful, or excited? Maybe they have never travelled by airplane before. I imagine the children delighted by the adventure. What are they imagining about what they will find in Canada?
We have spent the past months, and especially the past few weeks preparing a place for these new Canadians. Today will be a life changing moment for them and for us. As we welcome them at the airport we carry with us the goodwill of all of you who have made this meeting possible by donating time, money, clothing and some very wonderful items to start their household. It is an incredible thing to see how people can come together to make this happen, and to think of the same effort taking place all over our country is very beautiful. I wish everyone in the world who needed refuge could receive the same support from those of us who have so much.
Another group who have been supporting settlement in Nova Scotia, the Bay Refugee Project, shared the news of our family’s arrival facebook by stating “Congratulations to Welcome Shores refugee group on the arrival of their first family in North End Halifax”. The word “first” really struck me, because it implied that maybe this is the first of many families we will welcome. It’s hard to say right now if that is in the future of our group or not, but today will be a day of many firsts for all of us involved. We will try to bring you as many updates as possible while still protecting the privacy of our family. Thank you so much for your generosity.