A Boarding School? – Chapter 4

A boarding school? Really? That is what Issa and his siblings were thinking, upon their return to Jordan from the U.S. This is what life had in store for them. They just finished a three year journey in another country, so coming back to Jordan was not an easy task for these now Americanized children. The family had to move in with the in-laws. It was strongly suggested against Lidia’s protest to put the children into a boarding school. A boarding school designed to be a blessing to marginalized orphans. Why such a suggestion? The family was not poor. Why should these children enter this school when they were neither poor nor without parents?

This and many other questions went on in the children’s minds at the time and I think about this time every now and then. I want you to give it some thought too:
As a parent, how would you feel if you were facing separation from your children?
As a child, how would you feel if you were facing separation from your parents?

As you may imagine, Lidia was in distress, having her children in a boarding school was unfathomable, but her concerns fell on deaf ears. At this point I want to remind you that there were many restrictions placed upon women and Lidia just didn’t get a say in this life altering decision. But I want us to consider the possibility that life’s most brutal experiences for both parents and children can reveal the true extent of human resilience.

How did this early childhood experience shape the development of Issa, Jacob and Hanna?

As in every chapter, we want to get closer to transformation. Let’s consider these questions again:
What does immigration mean to us and how do we feel about immigrants?
Has our perception changed?
If so, how?
Is it ever a good idea for a married couple to move in with their in-laws? If there was no other choice, are there boundaries that can be established?
How does our view of “moving in with in-laws” differ from 30 years ago?
Lastly, how did the integration of Issa and his siblings who are somewhat Americanized from a middle class family, with poor children in a boarding school for the orphan and marginalized, shaped their perspective and worldview?