An Edmonton woman, her fiancé and their newborn baby are spending their first Canada Day together after the federal government changed course and granted her partner a visa to visit.
Kuen Tang, who is 39 and a quadriplegic, gave birth to their son Alexander Thor on June 5, but her fiancé Ren Dong Fang, also known as Jack, was not able to be by her side; Immigration Canada had denied him a temporary resident’s visa on several occasions.
After Tang shared the couple’s story and her hardships being a quadriplegic and new mother with Global News, she said her fiancé got a call from immigration authorities and he was able to secure a visa to come to Canada.
He arrived in Edmonton this past Tuesday, where he was greeted by Tang at the airport.
“The moment he came in, [I] was overjoyed with excitement and mostly I just wanted Alexander to meet his daddy,” she said.
She said the couple rushed back to her house so he could meet the baby for the very first time.
“He dropped the suitcase, picked up the baby and I think he had a [few] tears in his eyes when he saw him,” she said.
“Just seeing them together for the very first moment… he’s so good with the baby. We’ve been waiting for that moment this whole time. When it finally happens, it’s just a little overwhelming.”
Tang said Jack’s presence has made the learning curve of having their first child a lot easier.
“I finally got sleep for the very first time since we came home. Jack has literally taken over all the night care for the baby,” she said.
She said the extra set of hands has been extremely helpful.
“Being a quadriplegic, I don’t have any trunk or hand muscles so trying to turn [the baby] and not injure him has been quite a big fear,” she said.
“[Jack being here gives me] peace of mind for me to really try a lot of things with Alexander that I probably wouldn’t dare to try on my own.”
Jack is in Canada on a temporary resident’s visa, which allows him to stay until December; he plans to return to China before then, and the couple expects to apply for his permanent residency in the future.
Tang, for now, is enjoying the time the family of three has together and is preparing for life when she returns to solo parenting.
“With the progress we made in the last few days, I’m pretty confident that I can care for Alexander, at least to the best of my abilities, while [Jack] is gone,” she said.
She said the family’s story is a good example of what Canada, and Canada Day, is all about; Tang said she is grateful for the support from the community as well as the change of heart from Immigration Canada.
“I’ve been telling him Happy Canada Day since we woke up this morning. He’s really glad to be here,” she said.
“We are a compassionate country and we care for our citizens, when one person is in need, the whole country rallies.”
-with files from Negar Mojtahedi and Sarah Kraus
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.