Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Being Deported Struggles to Calm Daughter

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am being deported back to Mexico within the next few weeks. My kids are legal citizens here, so they will be able to stay with my mother. I’m scared to leave them because who knows when I’ll see them again. I have two daughters, and my youngest wants to come with me. How do I explain that she'll have a better life here, even if I’m in Mexico? -- Scared to Separate, Los Angeles

DEAR SCARED TO SEPARATE: During this period of intense focus on border patrol and deportation, I want to say that I am sorry that you have to leave this country. Since you do, you have some research to complete, and fast. Do you know where you are going when you get home? Is there someone there to receive you or a safe place you can go? Even though you do not want to, would you be able to take your daughter with you and care for her? You need to figure out your options. Even though it feels terrible now -- because it is -- it may be better for her to stay with you. Talk to your family members in Mexico, and determine what your options are upon your return.

If you continue to believe your daughter should stay with your mother, sit her down and explain what you expect her future to be -- and that you will be there for her, albeit from afar. If you can, set up a plan to talk to her via Skype or other video technology so that you can stay connected after you are separated. Consider free international calling via WhatsApp or other similar apps.

I am not trying to diminish how dire this situation is. When you talk to your daughter, do your best to calm and empower her to understand that your mother will take care of her, if that is your ultimate decision.

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DEAR HARRIETTE: I gave birth to my son a few days ago, and he is the sweetest angel. He was born with one lung, which is causing his heart to work too hard. He’s scheduled to have surgery in a couple of days. There are a lot of things that could go wrong, and I wouldn’t know what to do if my sweet boy passed. How do my husband and I stay positive during this hard time? -- Frightened New Mother, Cincinnati

DEAR FRIGHTENED NEW MOTHER: Start by counting your blessings. Your son is alive and fighting to stay that way. Surgeons have the skill and understanding of how to care for children with this medical challenge. For you to stay calm and trust that your son can have a positive outcome requires you to believe that a miracle can happen. For me, that translates into faith. I will not presume what your religious or spiritual background is, but I will assure you that asking your higher power to bless your son and your family during this harrowing journey may help you tremendously. You can also ask your loved ones to pray for your son to get the medical attention and healing that he needs. Do not discount the power of positive intention, prayer and faith.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Health & Safety | Mental Health