On the 1st of December, 1959, my mother and her family immigrated from the Netherlands to Los Angeles, bringing very little except incredible hope and dreams of making the United States their home, and the strong work ethic to make dreams reality. My mother was 11 years old and spoke no English.
I’m incredibly grateful that my grandparents took the risk, the step of faith required to come to a country with the dream that their grandchildren would someday live in freedom and have more opportunities than they had.
The Walter-Pastore Act helped Europeans who were displaced from Indonesia during the revolution, who needed a new start in the United States. I’m grateful those politicians forged away so my family could come here legally in about six months instead of in 6 to 12 years.
Opa and Oma sacrificed much and found incredible joy here, community of Dutch, Indonesian, friends from church— a life rich in relationships. I love my heritage and I feel incredibly grateful to be a first generation American, living within my Dutch roots, thankful for freedoms and opportunities here.