Vanessa Couto works for the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Portland, Oregon. She is also an artist; check out ArtbyNessa.
December 23, 1983 was the day my childhood ended and my life was changed forever. On that day, I learned that once you leave your home country, you are never the same.
In 1983, I was 10 years old and my parents decided to come to America. My father had just been laid off, and there was no way they would be able to afford their hefty mortgage with just my mother’s salary as a teacher. But behind the financial reasons was the fact that my father had dreamed of coming to America for quite some time. The plan was for us to stay only 2 years, save enough money to pay off the condo they had just bought, and hopefully buy a home for my maternal grandmother.