This is a true story about a family’s struggle to overcome barriers set by immigration laws and geographical borders. The opening scene shows Valerie and Sam celebrating his successful visa interview at the United States Embassy in Nigeria. He had gone with a group of associates and they were all given visas.
Valerie is of mixed feelings as she ponders on the implication of the impending trip. They were married for less than a year with a two-month-old baby at this time She knows the difficulty that physical separation poses to married couples. To add to the urgency, her husband had just two weeks to make the trip so as to attend the conference which was the reason for the visa.
Chapter two is all about Sam’s arrival to the United States and his first phone call to his wife. He tries to settle down which is not easy due to the weather conditions. November is not the best time to visit the United States from Nigeria for the first time.
She unexpectedly gets an invitation letter in chapter three and that will begin many tortious attempts to get a visa to the United States. She is overwhelmed with anxiety and regrets as the years drag on. Coping with a toddler does not make it easier for her although she will admit that Kevin, her son keeps her occupied. She intermittently visits her mother, who resides in the Eastern part of Nigeria, for succor.
Her quest for a visa to the United States exposes her to corrupt individuals and she is duped over and over again by politicians and travel agents who claim to have “connections”. In all things her Christian faith sustained her.
In a bid to break the deadlock, she travels to Panama with a nonprofit organization. The tour gives her a new perspective and renewed confidence. The rich cultural heritage of Panama Canal is highlighted in the book. Valerie is awestruck at the sight of the museum that contains images of slaves who built the canal.
Finally, she wins a diversity lottery and travels to the United States with her son after thirteen years of physical separation. She had a party with her siblings before leaving Nigeria.
Title- Beyond Borders