There was another milestone event today in Sepi’s family – my other family. Farideh, Sepi’s sister in Montreal, has been trying to get her daughter Sara to come to Canada from Tehran for some time now. Sara’s travel arrangements were complicated by the fact that she wanted to bring her 12 year old son with her. Not to mention complications due to coronavirus!
Sara had been all set to come in August, but at the last minute there was a snag and she had to stay in Tehran. After much agonizing, Sara had decided to come ahead this weekend even if it meant leaving her son in Tehran. She bought tickets for two, though, and they both went to the airport yesterday with hope in their hearts.
At the last minute, the authorities allowed Samyar to board the plane! Joy was spread across three continents! Sepi and I embarked on a marathon FlightRadar24 viewing session. We ‘watched’ the plane take off from Tehran, cross the Persian Gulf and land in Qatar, then a couple of hours later take off from Qatar and head for Montréal.
This morning, when we picked up the track they were over the North Atlantic. We ‘watched’ them as they first made landfall over Newfoundland, then crossed the top of Maine and landed safely in Montréal.
Through the miracle of modern communications – mostly WhatsApp video calls, we were able to be in nearly constant touch with Sepi’s sisters in Montréal and Tehran. Farideh’s joy over the prospect of seeing her daughter for the first time in three years is tempered by Mali’s sadness over losing her niece. Mali’s daughter is grief stricken as the two girls are almost the same age and are very close.
Sara is only on a visitor’s visa so she will most likely have to return to Iran but Farideh’s goal is to get her permanent residency in Canada. Once Sara and Samyar are out of quarantine they will be working on that. There will be some big hugs first, though!
2 thoughts on “My other family”
What a great story! I will pray for all the best.
Christopher, as usual, love your writings. I cherish seeing your posts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I am sure these months of sheltering at home, not seeing family and friends, would have been hard on us. However, having established contacts with my large family members from around the world, have made these tough days much more enjoyable. Thank you for your support. Since, I know you love responses to your blog, here are mine.
After many failed attempts and the fear of permanently losing her exit visa from Iran to Canada, the family was encouraging Sara (my niece) to leave without him for a short period, if she is forced to do so, for a very short period of time.
Her attorneys and her family members were preparing her for such tough decision. That, if Iranian government officials, again comes up with other unreasonable last minute demands and restrictions, refuse to allow mother and son to travel together, she would have no choice but to make a very hard sacrifice of temporarily departing without him. This temporarily period would allow her and her attorneys to obtain permanent residency for both of them while in Canada. She could then freely travel to Iran and bring her son to Canada with her. Everybody knew this gut wrenching choice would be extremely difficult for everyone, specially for these two. They have never been separated. At the same time, he was surrounded daily with super supportive and close family network, specially his grandmother, father, my amazing youngest sister Mali, and his uncles. They were all living together. But, wait! Living without his Mom? Oh, I could never be strong enough to make such a sacrifice.
Officials in Iran, might have suspected that if they allowed mother and child to leave together, they will surely not return. My niece Sara, and her mother, Fari, knew that they wanted to create a better future for this gifted child. They knew, in order to make this future a reality for both of them, she would need to make the hard sacrifice of leaving him behind for a few months.
My sister, Fari and her husband migrated to Montreal, Canada four years ago. Their sacrifices included leaving her three grown up children, large families, friends, grand children, and their entire support systems, not to mention their financial interests. They migrated to Montreal, Canada four years ago. Her son-in-law, her daughter and grandson, left a very successful and lucrative medical practice in Iran and moved to Canada shortly after my sister left Iran. He and his son (after graduating from high school in Canada), are both attending medical schools and hope to be able to successfully get licensed to practice in Canada. Her daughter is a successful Marriage and Family Licensed Counselor/Therapist/Practitioner. No doubt, they know ‘sacrifice.’
Though, Sara had exit visas for both of them, along with couple of very very expensive tickets, at 2:00 am on the day of flight (4:00 am departing time), the government of Iran again, at the last minute, delivered another blow. She was told that her son would not be able to muster the 18 hours of flight in this COVID environment in the plane and therefore, they would not allow him to board their 4:00 am flight out of Tehran, Iran. Mind you, the Canadian Government Officials and the airline authorities had given their okays for him to board their plane and enter Canada territory. We were in pins and needles while waiting to hear the news. How could we all stand and watch this incredible scene of seeing this child, who has only known love by everyone, to be left behind at the last minute, and everybody is supporting the sacrifice? I could imagine how tough would have been for this child to be driven back home without his mom, though, they had been preparing him that this could happen. Unbeknown to all of us, Sara, had made a decision, that no matter what happens, she would not leave Iran without her son. We were all praying for better outcome.
Luckily, one hour before the plane was to take off, her attorney was able to obtain all the required authorization from Canada and Qatar airlines, to lift her son’s restrictions to board the plane. Luckily, they both boarded the plane together. We were all crying for joy. Christopher and I, thru flight radar, followed the plane, during its entire flight, from its take off, refueling, landing, except the time we had to sleep. The entire family family kept in touch with both of them during their flight thru cellular network. They could not sleep. Well, we were all delighted to hear that he did beautifully during his 18 hour flight.
Yesterday, was the last day of their 14 days of successful and safe quarantine time together in a safe home, while food was being delivered and they had communications thru Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime and cell contacts with everyone of their families and friends around the world. For their first few days, they wanted nothing but to be able to catch up with their much needed sleep. Then, we heard that he has loved his two weeks of doing nothing but playing with his computer, games, and watching TV, which his mother has been quick to remind him to cherish these days while it has lasted. His schooling in total French and English immersion classes will soon begin. Now, they are both looking forward to realizing their future life in Canada while they visualized it in Iran. We could not be happier for these two young people and their entire network of support. Now, we need prayers that attorneys can expedite the processing of their documents.
The best is yet to come. I am looking forward to the days that we can easily gather together, with all of our family members, friends and loved ones, far & near, with hug and kiss, sit at a dinner table without worrying about masks and adhering to social distancing protocols, and knowing we are all vaccinated, healthy and happy. I would not want to do any of these without you. You are my amazing DARYOOSH, your given Persian name. Doset Daram.❤️⭐️🍷🙏🎼🎶🧳🥃🍷🍽🫖🎂🍪🧁🥇🎸✈️🛫🛬🛩💺🛰🚢⛽️🚧🗼🗽🌁🌉🌠💽💻📀📽📺🎙🕯🧰💳🔭🛌📮💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💝🎵🎉🎊🕔🕠🕢🕖🕑🕓🕘🕞🕤🕣🕝🕧🕠🕡🕑🕓🇩🇿🇧🇲🇮🇴🇧🇷🇨🇦🇧🇪🇨🇰🔜🎈🎁