My mother brought me to the United States in August of 2008. She wanted to leave the political oppression of the People's Republic of China, and provide me with an education of liberty, so that I could grow up as an aware and passionate individual.
When I first came to America, I did not understand English or our nation’s customs. I could not make friends with my new classmates, who bullied me because of my strange accent and culture. I doubt I would have wished to stay in America, much less been driven to learn English and assimilate, without the support of my mother and father as mentors, and the comfort provided by a stuffed toy magnetic lion named Edison.
Edison was given to me during my third month in America, and for many more months, he would be my only friend. I took this stuffed lion everywhere I went in my left pocket, and soon his mane and paws were whittled down to thin strings. I confided in Edison every trouble, went on imaginary adventures, and listened to his cheers as I struggled through English classes, found my voice in school, and met real life friends.
Edison was a champion for me no matter how foreboding the place, or how difficult the situation: all I had to do was reach down into my left pocket. He reminds me of my incredible journey as an immigrant. Today, I could only hope to provide the essential compassion and friendship to others that Edison provided to me.