Let me tell you a story. This isn’t a story that has an end, far from it. This story ends with a beginning.
When I think about the first house I lived in I think of the bay window, the small window that the little 3-year-old me could look at the yard from the bathroom when I had the chicken pox, trying not to scratch but hoping and wanting to go outside to be with the other kids. I think of the sun and looking at the clouds or sitting in awe on the steps with my sisters watching the frightful light in the sky, and getting goose bumps from the loud sounds coming from that same sky above, almost like a firework but even more inspiring. Then one day I remember that my parents packed up the house,then having the strangers go through, looking at my little bit of 4-year-old paradise.
When I left I remember the hay bales going by the window and thinking to my self that this is last time I will see them. I was moving across the world, or so I thought at that age..I mean Alberta Canada to Virgina USA is a mini universe worth of distance to a 4-year-old. With the little car filled with 3 lively girls, 2 puppies, and 2 wonderful parents and everything you need to live for 2 weeks of moving we set out on the first large adventure of my life. We went to Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, and Disney World, then finally stopping in Virgina.
We lived in Virgina for 2 years. I remember going to the beach but being to afraid to enter the water from watching Jaws one too many times, I remember the crunchy leaves of fall and the friend I had in the boy next door, but this wasn’t where me and my family were supposed to be. So my dad and Mum told us that we where moving to Portland, Oregon. Which with this little girl that couldn’t say things right called pork land, and imagined a place with lots of pigs and farms. So my family packed up again in a slightly bigger car and slightly bigger kids and moved across country to a place of peaceful woods and crazy rain storms.
When we arrived to Oregon we moved into a little apartment for a few months, were me and my sisters had many fun adventures with fighting evil dogs and fast moving cars. When we found our house it was like finding my paradise again. I found a love for the rain, to dancing and have a joy in it, also a love for pine cones on a summer evening. I made life long friends and so many wonderful adventures with my family I couldn’t even begin to tell you all of them.
We all know though that each story has to have something that the people overcome, its in the rules after all. For me that’s been my immigration. This process has made me and my family make choices that haven’t been easy, I never got to know my extend family like I wanted to, even with my sisters I’ve had to live with them not always being there when I wish they could, I’ve had to deal with not being there for my family when I wish I could have been. I know that my life isn’t the worst in the world but it’s not easy to live for 15 years on a gray tight wire. There have been times where I thought I wouldn’t be able to come back home because some border guard said I couldn’t. I’ve watched with every year that my mom’s career as a nurse was slipping away because she couldn’t work. I’ve watched my parents feel guilty for making the choice to move us in the first place. I was scared to make friends because I might have to leave them at anytime. When it came to leaving high school, I couldn’t go to college, couldn’t get a job, I was stuck in this crazy waiting game, scared to see the outcome…would the government win with the looming 21st birthday, the day I would have to go home to Canada, like the sisters before me? Or would I win and make it to get that green card?
I lost hope a long time ago that I could have the life my friends had. The life of school and jobs and really living, So when the day my dad told me that the process we were in was moving faster than we thought it was going to and if nothing went wrong and we got all of our papers in at the right time I had the slim chance of getting a green card before my 21st birthday, I got back a little hope that I had lost. we rushed to get what felt like hundreds of papers signed, the medical stuff over with and get it to the lawyers. A few months later I get a long over due gift in my mail box. My green card.
When I got it I just burst out in tears. The amount of relief was overwhelming, the joy that I could get a job and go to school, that I could live, was unimaginable. There has been so many people in my life I want to thank for being there for this odd ball of a person that I am. That where there when I needed them. I don’t really know where my life is going from here, but I can finally let go of the breath I’ve been holding and feel my lungs with the new hope and anticipation of that new step into the looking-glass.
So this goes out to all of those people in my life, Thank you. I really don’t know what I would have done without any of you. I can’t really put into words how much this means to me so I’ll try the only way I really know how, through my photography. So I hope you enjoy.