Saturday, May 7, 2016

Celebrating Mother's Day with my moms across the sea.

I was 7 years old at the time. Small children's suitcase in one hand. A soft animal in the other. Lots of people around me crying, hugging, and saying their well wishes. People that I know and love dearly. People that I would later discover I wouldn't ever see again.

We first boarded a plane. Then it was a train. Then it was a plane again. By the time we landed at the final destination, there were people that I did not recognize around me, and voices that I could not understand. Voices that would later intertwine with mine, and a language that I would one day speak as well.

I spent many summers running after hogs, milking cows, and picking strawberries in grandma's garden. Life was lived in the city, riding buses to desired destinations, and a very independent way of living. What was once my country, became my past. What was once just a country on a map, became my life.

Belarus to the United States of America. Where dreams come true.

I can attest to that statement. Every one bit of it.

We moved to Indiana in 1993. One thousand dollars in hand. A suitcase of clothes for each person. And not one family member knowing an ounce of English. Hello. Bye. Thank you.

My parents got set up with a couple of jobs. They went to school at night to learn English. And they would give us flash cards to learn the summer before we started school. 50 words a night. I was to start first grade in the fall, my brother 3rd. We would be okay mom said. It would be easy for us.

And we did. A few years went by, and my parents were able to buy a second car. They bought their very first home {with a pool!}, and although it stayed unfurnished for many years, in no time they slowly started to fill room by room. Their English got better, everyone began adjusting to this new life, and before you knew it, we were standing in front of the judge that announced our official citizenship of the United States of America.

It seems as though it would be easy for us to forget where we came from, how far my parents have come, and all that has happened in the past 20+ years. But then I am reminded of the many {all} of the family members that are still left behind. Thankful for technology of today, we are able to skype with them. We can hear their voices, and see their faces any time we please. We watch as cousins get married, aunts and uncles become grandparents, and slowly the number of our family begins to grow. Or should I say, quickly.

We know how hard life can be over there. We understand how fortunate we are. My mom tries to send packages frequently to our family members. From shoes, clothes, to every day gifts. And when necessary, we can send money by using a service such as Xoom through PayPal.

Looking for the perfect gift for the special mom in your life? PayPal is offering Mother’s Day shopping deals from merchants like Macy's and Kohls at, or you can shop the PayPal Digital Gifts store so Mom can pick out something she’s sure to love.

Xoom, a PayPal service, powers international payments to friends and family in more than 40 countries around the world and the number one recipient of payments on Xoom is Mom. 
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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