“Each uncle was a father to me, every aunt, a mother,” he said. But he could not stop thinking about his mother. Everything would be better and make sense if he could be with her again. She sent pictures and they talked on the phone regularly, but it was never enough. Brandon’s father had died when he was one year old while migrating to the U.S.
Despite the loving care his family members provided, he said, “I never really felt comfortable. I was looking for something I couldn’t find.”
When he was 12 years old, it was decided that he would go the United States to reunite with his mother. Although he never had a relationship with her, Brandon could think of nothing but seeing her again. “I was very happy,” he said.
In the ten years since she last saw Brandon, Brandon’s mother had remarried and had two children – Brandon’s half siblings. Brandon didn’t think of these changed circumstances either. It would all be ok when he was back with his mother.
The journey was hard but Brandon travelled with human smugglers who knew the way. Some parts were scary, he said. Brandon also traveled with a 7-year-old boy – his mother and the boy’s mother were friends. Brandon became very close to the boy during the trip.
Brandon made it to New York City, where his mother, stepfather, and half siblings were waiting for him. “I saw my mom right away,” he said as the van he had been travelling in pulled up to the meeting point. “She came running to me; she was crying.” I met my stepfather and my brother and sister for the first time. But I realized that I didn’t quite fit in.”