Photo Album

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
This is my baby pictures photo album.
This is my baby pictures photo album.

 Digging through a cardboard box, my hands set on a hard-cover photo album. As I opened it, I was quickly met with the eyes of my parents through a reflective, yet flimsy photo protected by clear film. Seeing the smiles on their faces as they held me and were surrounded by family, questions of their immigration story erupted within me. Photo albums became sentimental items to my family as my parents moved through life. Yet, their lives weren’t always as joyful as the photos showed. Being a foreign pregnant teenager in an American high school, my mother was bullied by her peers. They made fun of her English and made her feel isolated despite the effort she made to fit in. My father, on the other hand, made a boy band with his friends in hopes of making enough money for his family. They made a few songs and performed to little crowds, but weren’t able to make money. Yet, my father and mother worked together to accumulate as much money as they could before having my sister. They raised her in a tiny, one-story home, housing not only my parents, but all nine of my mother’s siblings. Even so, they found joy in taking pictures of my sister and prized them in a photo album. After hearing my parents’ story, my love for the photos they have taken grew. From their first days in America, to their last kid, I felt their peace. I instantly knew that I wanted to carry out my parents’ tradition of capturing memories. The photo albums are proof of the life my parents dedicated to happiness. 

– Raeness Lantaya

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