Some of our families' stories
Here are some heartbreaking accounts of the real impact of the UK visa rules on children and families.
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Emily – daughter Aged 4 years
Growing up as a Skype family is totally confusing. You have this interactive image on the screen that you are supposed to form bonds with. Trust, love, respect how can these complex emotions be formed via a screen? Our daughter has spent large chunks of her life in hospital, with chronic lung disease. How can a screen help her to feel brave and supported? It cant.
Childhood is the time in your life when life long bonds are formed. Parents and children learn and grow together becoming a strong family unit. This cant happen via Skype alone.
Our daughter met her father for the first time when she was 1 1/2. In unfamiliar country. She became clingy to me in a way she had never been. She wouldn't talk to him, didn't want him to help her do anything. Her lungs couldn't take the humidity. She was hospitalised for 4 months. If he had been allowed to visit her in the UK this wouldn't have happened. When we finally managed to get her back on an aeroplane to the UK. She would walk around calling for her papa and crying.
Our daughter of a Skype family is too young to process loss and grief. Loss and grief for a living parent!
Having only one parent to help you grow and learn and develop into a decent human. But our family is of two cultures! To only learn half your background. Or to learn half via the screen. Our daughter should be bi lingual however her father speaks English to her as he feels there are already so many barriers between them that language shouldn't be one.
Money is always tight. Indian wages don't go far in India let alone the UK.
We got to spend two months together in France this year. Our daughter is 4. Statements like "its hard to love someone you dont know mama."
"I don't love you go back to the Himalayas"
"why are you only here sometimes?"
"if you loved me you would come to my house!"
Its heartbreaking for all 3 of us to hear.
Childhood should be easier than this.
Childhood should be laughing and hugging and chatting easily with both your parents. Knowing that you are loved and can turn to both your mother and father for support and strength in and situation.
Children of Skype families are different to children of single parents. They know that they are missing out on a family that wants more than anything to be together. They also feel their parents heartache and loss grief for not being together. I think it is tragic that at 4 you have already lost faith in "the system"
To know that the government don't care about you.