From your immigrant grandparents…

“Our parents and grandparents instilled the very values of faith that we strive to pass onto future generations through these multicultural Indian toys, books and kits.” -Modi Toys

When founder of Modi Toys Avani told us about her company’s mission, we totally jived. It’s what we strive to do as modern moms too…pass down our culture in a way that truly speaks to our kids.

Their Ganesh plush toy (in these two fun sizes) is more than a toy. It is a piece of culture and even sings a familiar sacred Sanskrit mantra. The accompanying book, How Ganesh Broke His Tusk, is just perfect for ALL ages 🙂

When I wonder why culture is so important to me I think of my grandparents and of course my own immigrant parents. Their struggles and determination are uniquely heartwarming to first generation children like myself.

As you can imagine, immigration is a cause close to my heart. One of my friends is also currently in the process of trying to sponsor his spouse so that she can live with him in the US.

Under US immigration law, citizens and permanent residents (aka Green Card holders) of the United States can sponsor family members for a Green Card. To do this, the sponsor must complete and file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

However, if the US citizen or permanent resident is sponsoring is a spouse, then they also need to file Form i-130a (Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary).

You can learn more about Form i-130a on the Nova Credit website.

I hope everything goes well for them!

As for my own roots in immigration though, now, when my toddler son or my daughter looks at my parents, the love that fills their eyes is hard to describe in words.

English is not my parents first tongue and neither of them are really wordy especially not my dad. But I believe if he were to write to my kids from him and my mom, this is what his heart would say…

Dear beta,

So many emotions arise when I look at you both. I see your mommy’s smile in both of you. When your mommy was very young, we lived in a small apartment in Queens and did not know many people in this country. While America is all you’ve ever known, I hope you can travel to India many times.

We took your mom to see our extended family there, we wanted her to feel where we grew up. The same way your mommy flew you across the country to show you New York. India is a beautiful place and full of vibrancy; it is the place of your roots.

With your mother, we had so many dreams of her education, her marriage, her wants and desires in this country. She would write these poems in English and when she’d say them, time stood still. We could never imagine mastering a language that was foreign to us so we were full of pride that we hope she felt as a child.

We wanted the world for her so we worked hard and gave her whatever we could. We see her and your dad doing this for you both. And now with you as our first grandkids, she gave the world right back to us. We feel so happy to witness you happy and growing as a family.

When you hear the words American Dream one day, I hope you know that we are living proof. This vast America has given us so much with just the 7 dollars I had when I arrived here to build a life for the love of my life, your nani, (grandma). I wanted to raise my future children and hoped they too would have families. So they could feel that love and laughter of home that is the true the meaning of life. It doesn’t matter if you are in a cramped apartment in Queens or a home by the ocean in California, that laughter…oh it fills us with such joy.

So remember to cherish your country and cherish your roots. Cherish your parents and cherish our bond as your grandparents… it goes by fast so know that we surely cherish you every day that we are blessed to see you smile.

Love you to the moon and back,

Nana and Nani

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