Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Being an immigrant to this country in the 90’s is very different than today.
My sister and I were the only two Russian students in the whole school of 350 students.
Here’s another Russian immigrant who writes about her experience.
We were quite popular in the sense that the students asked to reserve their spot to sit next to us during lunch time; we were shy but yet fond of the fact that we were treated like novelty.
Twenty-five years later, not only do you see more immigrant students and families in your neighborhood but from all parts of the world.
I was 9 years old when we immigrated, finishing only 2nd grade, when our mother pulled us out of school.
In the former USSR, we did not have access to cartoons or even a television. Being able to afford one in America, we became good friends quickly.
Because we could not speak any English, playing with other kids made it quite confusing and besides we were just too shy.
I still remember my first time seeing an African American and staring at the black girl that lived in our apartment complex. She was a year or two older than I; it’s just we had never seen anyone like that, even on TV.
I kept wanting to touch her big curly hair.
Having a color TV for a babysitter, where as both of our parents had to work, I learned that I am important, that I had a voice.
As I grew into my teenage years, shows like Saved By the Bell, or 90210 brought an eye opening light to many social issues in America. Such as drug use, driving under the influence, homelessness,divorce, death, and environmental issues. With both parents working full time it left them not much time to spare for us the kids.
It was impossible to compete with the with our TV parent or understand the fast transformation of our worldviews.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.