Kenyan activist reunited with children

February 18, 2010 8:16:03 PM PST
Lucy Mashua was forced to leave Kenya four years ago because she spoke out against the abuse of women. Her children were left behind. Thursday they were reunited at O'Hare International Airport. The children were 2 months old and 3 years old when Lucy had to leave. She had no idea what to expect when she saw them Thursday.

Lucy last saw her children four years ago when she fled Kenya fearing her life. She could only guess what her now 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter look like.

"I get another chance to be a mother, a real mother to my real children," said Lucy.

Lucy is an activist and blogger working to end the vicious but somewhat common practice in Kenya of genital mutilation of young Kenyan girls. A victim herself who feared for her life, she fled to the U.S. where she received asylum. She learned at the last minute, however, her children would have to stay behind with her mother.

Working constantly to bring them to the United States from her new home in Dallas, she finally got approval. Leaving all they knew in Kenya behind, the children will begin their new life with a mother they barely know.

"I can understand if my son, my daughter don't come running in my arms because they're children. They don't understand what kind of a mother would leave their children behind," said Lucy.

The final moments after waiting so long frayed Lucy's nerves but at last the wait is over. The children arrived at O'Hare Airport Thursday afternoon.

Their new lives are about to begin. Lucy expects many challenges. But she knows in the end they will face all of those challenges together.

"It's a big joy," said Lucy. "I feel so happy and I'm begin a new life."

Lucy and her children were spending the night with the children at an area hotel. They leave for their new home in Dallas Friday morning.