Keep Karina In Her Mother's Arms

As my husband and I were driving to my dear friend Rina’s home (which turned out to be a small bedroom that she had been renting for her and her 9 year old daughter, Karina) to learn why she did not show up to our house this day, I knew in my heart that my husband and I’s lives were about to change.  Rina, one of the most loyal, hardworking, courageous women I know, who was always on time, and always answered her text messages, had gone silent.  She did not show up for work. 

Karina, Rina’s daughter and my daughter Grace had grown to be close friends throughout the 3 years we have known this small family.  Karina spent many weekends with us, we loved her as our own, as her mom worked hard to make a living in the country she loved. 
Rina is from Indonesia.  She came to the US 14 years ago on a student Visa to have a better life and equal opportunity.    Karina, Rina's daughter, is a US citizen.  Rina has fought for over 14 years to obtain her US citizenship.  Even helping homeland security in capturing 2 Indonesian criminals.  She loves this country and wants to do everything she can for it.

Unfortunately, everything she has tried, has been for naught.   On the Friday before Labor Day Rina’s time ran out.  She was swooped up by immigration and now sits in a detention center with the very real threat that she will be deported back to Indonesia.   

As many of you know, my husband David is an attorney, so we were able to visit Rina in person after the first day she was detained.  When she entered the cold cement room, she was wearing an orange jumpsuit, and her eyes were swollen with tears.  She had not been able to even make a phone call.  She was stunned we were there.  I held her as she wept for her daughter.

At this time, she was told that she would be deported back to Indonesia in 5 days, and in that moment she had to make the decision of whether her daughter would go back to Indonesia with her, or whether she would leave her in the United States to live with freedom and opportunity.  A sacrifice no mother should ever have to make.  She was shaking.  David and I said we would take Karina.  We agreed to be her Godparents and care for her like our own.  Rina begged me to make her daughter a strong woman, and to not let her forget the mom that raised her for 9 years.  The pain was agonizing.  I could never dream of having to make this decision.  We all cried, and I told her we would do this together.  I needed her strength. 
Karina is now living with David and I. 
What an amazing, loving child.  She is so strong and smart like her mommy.  She loves math and is masterful at it.  She loves to learn and wants to be a veterinarian.   She is doing very well but misses her mommy. 

Now here comes the big “ask”.  My amazing husband has put together a legal team that has delayed Rina’s deportation, and is working on getting Rina’s case re-opened.  Everyday things are changing in the legal world of immigration, and we think Rina may have another fighting chance to become a US citizen and stay with her daughter.  But, it is going to take money.  David and I have contributed $5,000.00 to Rina's legal fees but this will not be enough.  WE NEED HELP.  Anything will help.  Family, friends, business associates, etc.  you have our word.  Every penny we raise will go to changing this family’s life.  We are so grateful for our community and thank you in advance for listening to our story, and for sharing our link.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Tara Ames 
Castle Rock, CO
David Schott 

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