Finding our Family Photo
It was not easy finding a photo of my family where my mom, dad, brother and I were all present in one setting, posing for the camera at the same time, with the oddly resembling smiles in one picture frame. Actually, I couldn’t find one of just us four.
Our pictures are in pieces:
The poorly focused photo of my brother in 6th grade band, where it takes a whole minute to find his saxophone blowing face out of numerous of other floating heads….
The work-in-action photo of my mom with the unnatural smile in front of a sewing machine that I took for a school project…
And the harder to find picture of my camera shy dad, who always repeats, “My aged self is not pretty to see in pictures.”
The awkwardly picture-less family album, and the oddly fitting reality, the invisible family pictures tells the story of my family’s immigration experience.
The four of us is all we have. And though no luxury granted family photo ops for us to prove that we are one, every day we wake up fighting for each other.
Fighting to survive together.
Often in the pro-immigrant political rhetoric, people point fingers at my parents for their decision to move to the US, in order to legitimate my [undocumented] existence in this country.
While pointing at me, they say, “This innocent child had no choice but to follow her parents”, shaming my mom and dad for the years I lived in this country, “illegally.”
To win votes, to “protect” my filtered-prized goals and dreams, they shove my parents behind doors, shaming their struggles, silencing their existence.
But they are wrong.
My family moved here as one.
I am here with my dreams and goals because of my parents.
I am breathing here today, right this moment, because of my family.
We support each other, we move together, we dream together, and we fight for each other every-single-day.
My family’s experience, my immigrant story is of one collective struggle; filled with love, tears, cries and laughters that belong to my mom, my dad, and my brother.
If you want to talk about my DREAMS, you cannot isolate my family.
Though our pictures are scattered, we move as one.
I am dreaming, hoping, and fighting for a better future, because of my mom, my dad, and my brother.
I am dreaming, hoping, and fighting for a better future with my mom, my dad, and my brother.
I am nothing without my family and they are my everything.
By Keish Kim, Roswell, Georgia