Na’Isah visit to Rome has been life changing for me also! Night before last me and the 17 year old winner of our “Look Back, Reach Back” competition had our 2nd Skype interview with Beyond Black & White. In the interview, I was asked what was my best moment with Na’Isah in Rome. At that time I said biking with her in Villa Borghese. Well, this morning I took her to the airport for her flight back to the United States. Once home, I sent the message below to Christelyn at Beyond Black & White
” I would like to re-answer your interview question about my most memorable moment with her. It happen today. As mentioned in the interview, Na’Iash decided she want to travel with an airline escort. Yesterday she seem very confident about the decision but during the taxi ride to the airport, I sensed a little doubt in her as she start asking more questions about the process. I did my best to assure that she would be okay. After her check-in, I walked her to security and watch as she advanced in line. Then came her defining moment (and mine) and point of no-return as walk thought the metal detector alone, I started to cry. My heart was full of joy and pride, as she walked confidently to passport control but not before looking back for me and giving a big wave good-bye. I may not be her mother, but a that moment I felt like I was part of her rebirth from a “girl” that have never taken bus, train or even flew on an airplane before into a young women, ready to take on the world, tears started rolling down my face. While on the train riding back to the city, she called me. I could her the stress in her voice. She was at the assigned gate and no one else was there and she felt lost. I asked her to take a deep breath and walk over to an information board and look to see if there had been a gate change. Because of her lesson the day before on reading departure information boards in the train station for our trip from Rome to Florence, she was able to read the airport board and tell me her new gate number. She walked to the new Gate and looked for her flight number at the gate and said “It is my number and it says New York”. I replied “Brava” you did it. I was so proud that once again tears started rolling down my face as I started to smile. International travel is not always about the big things, sometimes the greatest joy can be in watching a child walking alone though passport control, knowing she is walking into a brighter future and you feeling blessed to have play a small part in her journey. These were my most memorable moments with her, ones that I will cherish for a lifetime.” Thank YOU Na’Isah!