We all belong here

I’ve always been around immigrants. My Swedish mother couldn’t be any more Swedish, but she’s lived in the United States ever since she was 23. My paternal, great grandparents were from Holland and Norway. In high school, I was fortunate to meet exchange students from Germany, Sweden, Norway and Japan since my mother worked for a foreign exchange student organization. I’ve worked with people in nursing homes and hospitals who were from Nigeria, Liberia and Kenya. I took a French class last winter and met my two French teachers, both here on work visas, hoping to meet next year’s students. I also work in a hospital where not only patients, but staff, are from faraway lands. My husband is an immigrant from Mexico, with deep roots in Spain.
These “immigrants” have shaped my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I thrive on meeting people from other countries to learn about their language and their cultures. I can’t imagine living in a country where everyone was of the same race and background. It’s easy for me because I’ve been a part of it all along. But now they are Americans, just like me. They came here for a reason and chose to stay.