Separated by the Border: A Birth Mother, a Foster Mother, and a Migrant Child’s 3,000-Mile Journey Price: $16.97 (as of 12/10/2023 13:39 PST- Details) & FREE Shipping. Details

Separated by the Border: A Birth Mother, a Foster Mother, and a Migrant Child’s 3,000-Mile Journey

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In 2017 five-year-old Julia traveled with her mother, Guadalupe, from Honduras to the United States. Her harrowing journey took her through Mexico in the cargo section of a tractor trailer. Then she was separated from her mother, who was held hostage by smugglers who exploited her physically and financially. At the United States border, Julia came through the processing center as an unaccompanied minor after being separated from her stepdad who was deported.

Gena Thomas tells the story of how Julia came to the United States, what she experienced in the system, and what it took to reunite her with her family. A Spanish-speaking former missionary, Gena became Julia’s foster mother and witnessed firsthand the ways migrant children experience trauma. Weaving together the stories of birth mother and foster mother, this book shows the human face of the immigrant and refugee, the challenges of the immigration and foster care systems, and the tenacious power of motherly love.

“Today’s faith-based communities are being called to help God’s children. Gena Thomas’s story of how she answered this call is both powerful and inspirational. At the same time, she sheds light and brings awareness to the realities of how children continue to suffer around the globe and how we can all help even the least of these, God’s children in need. Separated by the Border is a book that will empower and inspire the reader.” (John DeGarmo, director of The Foster Care Institute, author of Faith and Foster Care)

“God commands his people to care for those vulnerable to injustice―particularly, immigrants and children. Gena Thomas and her family faithfully responded to these biblical injunctions by welcoming a five-year-old foster girl from Honduras into their home. In Separated by the Border, Gena weaves together her own story with the story of this precious girl and the brave mother from whom she was separated in the course of a perilous journey to the United States. In the process, she puts human faces on the complex but often politicized issues of immigration, asylum seekers, and foster care. Separated by the Border is a gripping, gracefully written story that the American church needs to hear.” (Matthew Soerens, US director of church mobilization, World Relief, coauthor of Welcoming the Stranger)

“In one powerful book Gena Thomas shares the trauma, hope, and love that is the migration of men, women, and children in today’s world. Wrapped around her own experience as a foster parent, Thomas helps us understand why one flees their home country, even though they want to return. It is truly a remarkable book.” (Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, author of There Goes the Neighborhood)

“Gena’s story, Julia’s story, and Lupe’s story have been stewarded in a beautifully delicate yet prophetic calling out in this book’s telling. . . . This book is one of the most compelling and practical ways to say yes to those who need it most.” (From the foreword by Michelle Ferrigno Warren, author of The Power of Proximity)
About the Author
Gena Thomas served as a missionary in northern Mexico for over four years with her husband, Andrew. She has two children, works for a nonprofit in poverty alleviation, and writes as often as she can. She holds a masters in International Development. She is the author of two books: A Smoldering Wick: Igniting Missions Work with Sustainable Practices and Separated by the Border: A Birth Mother, a Foster ​Mother, and a Migrant Child’s 3,000-Mile Journey. You’ll find her most active on Twitter @genaLthomas.

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