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They have come a long way in search of a better future, and their responsiveness has given a family to someone whom nobody felt like offering shelter. Those who offers shelter today, in their turn, received shelter back in time. A family of immigrants has opened the doors of their house to a child, abandoned in a hospital and rejected by everyone. Too often, when it comes to immigration, we think of an agglomerate of strangers who arrive on our shores. “Why do not they stay at home?” is the question each of us asked, at least once, while listening to the news coming from the Mediterranean islands.

Too often we forget that those immigrants are people, they have names. They cross thousands of kilometres in search of a better life on our beautiful peninsula. Muriel is a young Sinhalese woman who in 2003 decided to leave her country, with a small suitcases, in search of tomorrow. She arrives in Verona, where she meets her true love: a Sri Lankan young man who made the same choice, that is to leave his homeland, investing his savings in hope for a brighter future. They get married in Rome, crowning thus, their love in a special place. They begin a life full of emotions together.

There is enough work; she is a maid, he  works as a factory worker in a well-known food industry. Their life goes on happily, accompanied by their friends: the Sinhalese Christian community. They are very close, consider each other as brothers and sisters, and help one another when needed. In short, it a large family. In 2008, the family becomes larger, Desiré is born, a beautiful girl with the gaze of an angel. But the baby suffers from muscular dystrophy. A degenerative genetic disease that results in frequent hospitalizations. When medicine did not offer much hope, her parents nourished it with their belief and care.

The deep love shown by Desiré’s parents was noticed by the head nurse of the department exactly when the doctors, social services, and the nurses gathered to choose whom to entrust Nicolas, an abandoned child, only one-year-old, who suffers from a form of dystrophy as well. The disease provokes a severe respiratory and cardiac deficit. A life, that has just begun, is under the threat of an immediate end. The nurses have knocked at many doors, but all of them closed back.

After having asked associations and institutes, they asked them, a family of Sinhalese immigrants, that  already has on their shoulders a little girl with severe health issues. The nurse puts the question and the couple, after a brief moment of hesitation, answers:

“Can we take a month to pray?” They have thought about it for long, a whole month in the company of the Sinhalese Christian community who has accompanied them during the prayer. Then arrives the answer: yes. A ”yes”  similar to that of Virgin Mary, full of hope, because accepting a child like Nicolas means accepting an angel. An act of courage, of course, but especially of love. A slap in the face of the idea “let us send them back home”.   This immigrant family has been a gift for our country. They have demonstrated love and  allowed little Nicolas to live in a house, surrounded by family affection, before returning to the Father’s house.

Translated by Ecaterina Severin

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