That Little Girl Would Be Me
Adina was born in the northern mountain region of Romania. Her parents, Elena and Radu, were the first in their families to leave their village of Fratautii-Vechi and attend trade schools in a town four hours away. When Adina graduated high school Romania was, by her account, rampant with corruption. Although college was free for those who were accepted, most paid bribes to reserve their spots at universities. Adina wanted to continue her studies but did not want to burden her family with the cost of a bribe. Her boyfriend, Neculai, encouraged her to apply for a Diversity Visa to the United States, which was granted by lottery. Adina applied and, to her surprise, made it to the next round where she spent one year taking tests and submitting medical examinations. When she was finally awarded her Diversity Visa, Adina was hesitant to leave her family behind in Romania but did not want to the lose the opportunity. She and Neculai married, then travelled to Chicago and found Neculai’s great uncle, a man neither had met in person but who gave them their first home in the United States. After two weeks in America, Adina found work as a babysitter. After three years, Adina was accepted into college. She worked as a nanny, a housekeeper, and an office clerk to pay for her education. In 2008 she got a degree in finance. When she was pregnant with her first child, Adina’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. She died in Romania a few months after Adina's daughter was born. Adina continues to live in Chicago with Neculai, where she works as an accountant. They have two daughters: Nicole (13) and Ilinca (5).
The Embroidered Blouses
Photograph of a woman with her hair up:
Photograph of little girl in scarf:
1) What would you ask the owners of these objects, if you could speak to them today?
2) What lessons or ideas do these objects communicate that you hope your children will carry through their lives?