Jade Necklace

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
jade necklace
jade necklace

A couple months after I was born, I boarded a plane and arrived in Fujian, China. The moment my grandparents saw me, they gave me a jade necklace, which I wore up until middle school. It’s a tradition in Chinese culture for elders to give jade necklaces to newborns as a gift. The necklace is a reminder of love, protection, and fortune from my grandparents as they knew my next visit wouldn’t be until years later.  My parents were in high school when they immigrated to Boston from Fuzhou, China. Being totally separated from their parents, they were completely on their own. As anyone can imagine, being alone in a foreign country where you can’t understand the language is terrifying. My parents had to work extremely hard to raise my brother and I.  From the day my parents arrived in the US, they haven’t gone back to visit their parents. Knowing that they miss their parents and relatives dearly, the only thing stopping them are their jobs and children. My mom would often say, “If only you guys can quickly become adults, I can go back to China not having to worry about you guys.” My parents have sacrificed way too much for the benefits of my brother and I. My family's story is similar to my friends’, because they all share the same struggles and objectives. They all have a language barrier that they still struggle with. Also, they either work at or own a restaurant and they all immigrated here in hopes of a better life that they wouldn’t be able to obtain in China. 

Place(s): China

– AL

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant