We met over salad and ice tea in Brooklyn. Both new mothers, we left our children, Beau and Mateo, at home so we could focus on the work we were on embarking on together. Certainly there was nervousness in anticipation of our meeting, as one of us was a fan of one of the best TV shows ever made, The Sopranos, and the other was was a little nervous to work again, since she hadn't been on a set for two years. We instantly bonded over stories about how are sons were sleeping through the night, or better yet NOT sleeping, how they loved to play with balls and how both their father's desperately wanted them to be left handed, since in their dream they would become pitchers for the Mets (Beau) and the Yankees (Mateo)!
After more than forty-five minutes of sharing stories about our little guys we got to the work at hand. A very special project about children had been brought to us by an organization called Welcome.us, and we were asked to work together; one as the director and the other as the actress. It was a short film about a subject that broke both of our hearts equally, but also inspired us to bring light to an unknown crisis occurring in our nation: An estimated 5,000 children have been placed into foster care because their parents were deported. Hard to believe that this statistic is true, but when we read the in-depth story published by NPR, as mothers, we knew that this was the story we had to tell.
This is a short film. A short snippet of the lives of a mother and her daughter. Three minutes of their story. Three minutes of what can quickly happen to a real family that lives in the United States of America. A mother painfully torn apart from their child. And a family separated because one carries a piece of paper and the other does not. As two new mothers, who just met recently over salad and ice tea, we are humbled to share this story with you all. We hope that Beau and Mateo will be proud of their moms, who believe in the critical importance of keeping families together. So, let's celebrate our immigrant heritage and let's celebrate all of the mothers (and fathers) who have made incredible sacrifices to give their children a better shot at life!
~Jamie-Lynn Sigler & Paola Mendoza
Paola Mendoza is an award-winning director, writer and actress. Her recent novel, The Ones Who Don't Stay, was published in the beginning of 2014. In her most notable work, Paola co-write, co-directed and starred in Entre Nos, a film about the lives of a family struggling to survive during their first initial months in America.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler is an actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Meadow Soprano on the HBO television series The Sopranos.