Little Pink Shoes
Eleven years ago, Karen Erazo filled her luggage with dreams of a better future and more opportunities for her daughter. These pink baby shoes now serve as a reminder that a little human is always watching and learning.
People always ask me why I chose to leave the perfect weather and the lush landscape of Ecuador to come to live in Canada. They do not know I have dreamed of living in Canada since I was a child.
Canada always seemed like a safe place for me, a place of opportunity where rights are respected. I wanted my child to experience growing up in a country where she would have opportunities to be whatever she wanted to be.
I remember that I was extremely excited about having my first child. The first time I heard her little heart beating inside my belly—tuc, tuc, tuc…I was eager to hold her in my arms. At the same time, I felt that I had a great responsibility coming my way. I wanted to give my daughter all the opportunities I did not have as a child.
When I was seven months pregnant, I started getting everything ready for my little one, who was on her way. I found these pretty pink shoes on display in a local store. I imagined how they would look on my baby’s feet. I only had to wait two more months to have her in my arms. I imagined that she would wear these little pink shoes so perfectly.
My daughter wore these shoes in our first family photograph eleven years ago. I remember my beautiful princess wearing a white dress with pink flowers perfectly matching her tiny pink shoes. I will never forget the feeling of holding this little human who depended on me. Nothing was the same after she was born because I understood that I will need to thrive in order to give her a better future.
When the time came for us to immigrate to Canada, these little pink shoes were the first things that I packed. I put all my family’s aspirations and desires into my bags, along with these shoes. My husband and I filled our luggage with our commitment to fight together for a better future, a future that allows our daughter to have more opportunities than those we were able to provide.
The journey to this moment was not easy, but we persevered. In the most challenging and joyous moments of our adventures, I always return to the image of my daughter wearing her little pink shoes. These shoes remind me that I am responsible for providing a better future for her.
I look at these little shoes now and remember why we are here in Canada. These little pink shoes represent the sacrifices that we made for our daughter. They also represent the promise we made to always be there for her.
They remind me that a little human is always watching me.
My dear /Ana Paula, it has all been worth it! Coming to Canada has been a beautiful experience but also a hard road. We came here for a fresh start, and we strengthened our family ties along the way. We also made many sacrifices. Adapting to a new language and culture, a new career; going back to university. These are all efforts we have made to give you what we promised the very first day we saw you wearing your little pink shoes.
I hope you understand that you can achieve your goals and dreams if you strive and work hard. A bright future awaits you. Most importantly, I hope you feel loved and inspired by this story.
Karen is an employment facilitator and coach. She is passionate about helping people achieve their career goals. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Sciences and a Career/Employment Coach certificate. Karen wants to tell her shoe story to encourage other women from diverse backgrounds to realize their dreams.