GANDER, NL – It is said patience is a virtue and hard work and perseverance always pay off.
This could not be more true for Myrna Tejada, who waited 10 years to be reunited with her two daughters, Lianne and Sydine, from the Philippines.
Tejada needed to leave the Philippines and search for a job abroad to “support her children and provide them for a better future,” Tejada said.
"No matter how hard we work back home, due to the low economic status in our country, we cannot enjoy a life that we truly deserve.”
Tejada was desperate to get out of the country at that time, “and it cost me a lot of money, and I took out a loan and was in a lot debt.”
Thus, the journey to work abroad began as a live-in caregiver in Israel. She said those years were challenging.
“I was sending home money to support my children, paying off my debt, and I had no savings at all,” she said, breaking down as she recalled the struggle. “I worked six days for my employer, and on my day off, I cleaned houses. I really didn’t have a life.
“When I left home, I was determined that I would not go back, and I knew that I could not stay in Israel either.”
After three and a half years in Israel, Tejada moved to Canada and found a position as a live-in caregiver.
She did not travel back to the Philippines the years she was working abroad because of “particularly challenging circumstances in my marriage.
“I would call my children every day using Skype or Viber, but they had to sneak away from their father to chat to me. It was very difficult,” Tejada said.
There when she needed them
In addition to friends encouraging her to push on, Tejada credits her spouse Jerry Hann and his family as her critical support system.
“They were always there when I needed them.”
Tejada was also fortunate to have an understanding boss who made allowances to give her some time off to talk to her children.
“They have been so good to me.”
Critical assistance came from the office of MP Scott Simms and his then-executive secretary, Audrey Miller.
“She patiently helped me communicate with immigration, and made calls on my behalf, followed up my application, and gave me advice on what I should do,” said Tejada. “The support they gave me was exceptional – I can’t thank them enough.
“I spent many nights crying and there was a lot of stress and worry. I don’t know how I did it,” Tejada paused, as heavy tears rolled down her chin.
Her oldest daughter Lianne, rubbed Tejada’s back and said, “it’s ok. It’s ok.”