Ben and I met at church and were introduced to one another non-chalantly by one anothers families. Ben’s family is from England and mine is from Jamaica. They immediately hit it off because of all the cultural similarities.
Ben’s mum was from the London area and Ben’s father was from New Castle (the very north of England). His parents met in the middle (Yorkshire) where Ben was born. Ben first moved to the US in 1988 at the age of 2 due to a teaching opportunity that became available to his father. He then came over again at the age 5 on a more permanent basis. He moved back to the UK when he was 12 to the Lake District (one of the most gorgeous places on earth). Sadly only staying a short while to then move back to the US for another job opportunity for his dad. After a bit more back and forth Ben decided to stay in the US permanently at the age of 21. Ben and I got married right before he turned 22. He has said many times that if he had not met me he probably would’ve relocated to join the rest of his family. He absolutely loves England and his heritage is very important to him. This past year Ben was finally able to become an American citizen.
I, on the other hand wasn’t as fortunate to truly get immersed in my roots. I mean, having Jamaican parents is a lesson in culture in and of itself, but to have lived in Jamaica for an extended period of time, I believe it would have helped me understand my culture and heritage more. Jamaica is beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful… the people are even more beautiful but life there can be hard. Jamaica is most known for it’s sandy beaches, waterfalls and track and field super stars but the alarming poverty rates are hard to ignore.
My dad had to quit school at the age of 15 following his father’s death to help support his mom and 7 other siblings. He worked the farms day and night. My maternal grandmothe moved to Canada to work for a wealthy familywhen my mom was 2 and would come back for only 2 weeks a year until my mom was 17. Soon thereafter my great aunt sponsored my grandmother and my mom and they moved to the US. My father shortly followed. My mom specifically went back to Jamaica just to have her children because she trusted the medical system more. I spent the first 4 months of my life in Jamaica and almost immediately obtained American citizenship. I have since then gone back several times to visit. I miss it everytime I have to leave. It has been almost a decade since my last visit. Ben and I cannot wait to show the kids Jamaica and all that they have come from.
Ava, Savannah and Judah were born at Yale New Haven hospital in CT. They are first generation Americans. I believe that them being here has an will afford them limitless possibilities. They also have dual citizenship with the UK which made Ben very proud and open ups other avenues for success. As parents we hope that our kids grow to recognize and appreciate the freedom that they have been given and to never take a single thing for granted. We truly believe that our ceiling will be there floor. We thank God for the privelage to raise them in this country. Happy 4th of July weekend!! I hope celebrate this holiday with those you love.
Turbans: by Turbans For Tots
Patriotic Tops: by Old Navy