Watching their tired faces, I hid my insecurity behind brief smiles, which slid off my face like a spring rain. What if this new country was only a dream? What if this was only my wild imagination? Though it was powerful, encouraging, and successful, at the same time America looked unfamiliar, challenging, and hasty. What life would my children face, uprooted from their former land and stripped from their culture? What would the future hold for them without their family and true identity? What sort of mother would I become without a profession and knowledge of the language, traditions, and culture, and with no clue how to raise my girls in this new world? Clinging to my hands as if they were their life support, my girls looked sad and uncertain.
That turbulent March passed in searching for a place to live and learning how to adapt to new surroundings. Unlike other refugees, we were lucky to have a close family, who sheltered us and helped us for months. Together, we hit the garage sales and thrift stores, trash piles and dumpsters. It’s true that someone else’s unwanted trash can be a golden treasure for others. We found many useful things for our home and garden. It was hard not to question myself and not to feel degraded while going through the piles of rubbish. I felt as if I had failed my children’s American dream.