Abdulaziz: Learning to Walk

Written by: Mckenzie Campbell, World Relief Development Assistant

The last ones off the plane on a sunny afternoon, a family makes its way from gate A7 at Seatac Airport. Grandpa goes first, wheeled down the corridor by an attendant. Dad is next, followed by two of his children—all exhausted, but joyful at the chance to stretch their legs after a long flight. Bringing up the rear is mom—a bright pink wheely backpack in one hand, and the arm of a tottering one-year-old in her other. Abdulaziz is 15 months old and keeps up with his family surprisingly well, albeit with an occasional gentle tug from his mother. A few minutes later, he is strapped into a car seat (what a strange new experience it must be!) and with his family packed tightly around him, he drifts into a much-needed nap.

Half an hour passes and, as twilight sets in, two World Relief vans pull into an apartment complex. People and luggage spill out into the parking lot—mom crawls out of the back seat, big brother and sister run here and there, and dad helps grandpa into a wheelchair. Abdulaziz, upon being freed from the car, wobbles around in the soft spring grass with a contagious smile.

Abdulaziz will not remember this day. Although his move from Kuwait to Seattle is going to be one of the most defining events of his life, right now he’s preoccupied just learning to walk.

Years from now, Abdulaziz will be big enough to run around with his siblings, and his family will tell him about the day they arrived in America and moved into their new apartment. How will that story go?  They might laugh and say “The first thing mom ever did in America was go to Target to buy diapers for you!” Perhaps the story will include his fascination with the noisy blinds on the window while dad did the social security paperwork. It is everyone’s hope that the story of this evening will someday mark the night that, as a family, they will have taken their first steps into a new life.

The sun sets on an apartment full of tired travelers. Finding familiar food in the fridge, they eat dinner in the living room, and then make their way to bed. Abdulaziz has just taken the journey of his life, yet his life has only just begun.

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