The Chance to Know a Parent

Una - Pearland, Texas
Entered on April 2, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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I believe that everyone should have the right to know their parents. I was born in January 1992 a couple months before the war started in Yugoslavia. The war broke apart the Serbs, Catholics, and Muslims, and everyone was each other’s enemy. Me being the child of a Serb and a Catholic Croat I wasn’t in the best circumstances. Although my dad had served as a doctor in the Croatian navy it was difficult for him to find a job in Croatia due to the situation. My parents tried so many options in moving to different countries so that we could all be together but at the time it just wasn’t a possibility. And so an opportunity came up in Germany for my dad to work there but it would have to be without my mother and me. And so he moved while my mom stayed with me in Croatia working as a doctor in the emergency unit of the hospital.

Until the age of two I didn’t really know my dad and so my mom decided it was time to take a flight out to Germany. We went for the first time a couple months before my 2nd birthday. We landed in Germany and there was this strange man standing and my mom was hugging him while holding me in her other hand. He kissed but I didn’t respond I just wondered who he was. I had only known my dad for a couple months after I was born and so I didn’t really remember him. For the first couple weeks it was weird, I held on to my mom never staying alone with him, I was shy and didn’t know how to respond. After a while it had finally gotten through who he was and why he wanted to spend time with me.

My mom and I continued this routine of visits for the next couple of years, going for my birthday and for vacations. Although I did get to see him a lot, it still wasn’t your typical family life. When I was 5 my mom had gotten pregnant and my parents decided that it was time to change the way we lived. I mean we had stable life, my parents made good money but it wasn’t a life that they wanted my brother and me to go through, not knowing our dad as well as we could. And so my parents decided to go to the embassy and request a visa for the U.S. A couple months later we got the approval and we were off.

In the beginning it wasn’t easy, being in a strange country, but we settled down, my parents found jobs, and today we live a normal life, I get to see both my parents each day, and for that I more thankful than anything. I believe knowing your parents is a privilege and an honor that shouldn’t be taken for granted.