Foreign Born or immigrants – there are many words describing us who were born outside of the United States of America. We chose to make this country our home. We filled out immigration paperwork and had our lives run through background checks, took medical tests, waited for our visa interview in our home countries and the coveted visa in our passports. For some sooner than for others, we got everything straightened out and booked our tickets to finally “make it to the US”.
The anticipation to start a new way of life, the excitement heading to the airport and the overwhelming joy when I entered the United States for the very first time on my immigration visa is still fresh in my mind – even though, many years have passed since that hot burning summer day.
After a few weeks getting used to my new environment and the loving support of my husband, the first excitement faded and a nagging question popped up in my mind: Who am I in this country? What am I going to be in and for this country? Heck! I left everything behind! My family, my career, everything I was used to.
It dawned on me that for my new home country and the people around me – I was pretty much a newcomer, a nobody – a foreigner.
Most of the time, I felt totally out of my comfort zone. Fortunately, I am not an introvert person and just reached out to my new neighbors, to anyone I met and who was willing to talk to me – which many were. Boy, did I get questions about my awesome thick accent when speaking English! Where are you from? How long have you been in the US? And so on… I took the natural curiosity of the people I met as a chance to make contact and new friends.
So – reaching out was not the problem for me, meeting people was not the problem for me either, getting my driver’s license without a Social Security Number assigned yet (yup – living in the boonies, the sticks or whatever you want to call it without public transportation), signing up the kids for the “right” school matching their developmental level, medical care, the American banking system (hadn’t touched a personal paper check in decades in Europe) and trying to figure out to contribute to the family income – that were my issues. Yeah and to this day – writing sentences that are way too long!
Having faced those obstacles early on and still trying to fit in and integrate into my new home country after many years of living here, I started to think of other immigrants like me. Immigrants who might be a little shy, live in areas where no real support system is available to them, or who just don’t know where to start to reach out and join a like-minded support network.
Every week I will reach out to you with issues near and dear to my heart affecting all of us immigrants to the United States. Sometimes it will be about my personal challenges, sometimes about an issue one of my fellow immigrants faced, at other times it will be information about Finances, Housing, Education, or simply finding friends and connecting with others learning English while embracing the American culture.
All of us immigrants came to the United States with hopes and dreams and I want to support you in finding your personal piece of the American Dream with my outreach.
Join the Foreign Born Spouses Community – tell me in the comment section what your challenges were coming to the United States or – if you are a more private person – take my survey http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3245908/New-Survey.
Let’s create a vibrant online community for us immigrants. Let’s support each other on our journey to our personal piece of the American Dream!
Thanks for your time! I am looking forward to getting to know you!
As always – focusing on the American Dream,