In 1999, my family packed up most of our belongings and immigrated to the United States. We had visited the country before during family vacations, but this time I knew this time it would be different than before. We had given away all of our furniture as well as the majority of my childhood toys. To a six year old child, losing all of these possessions was a difficult pill to swallow. Upon arriving in Brooklyn, New York, my family temporarily moved into my maternal aunt’s small apartment. That was where I first came across this teddy bear. I remember telling my parents how much I wanted the teddy bear and that they should convince our relatives to give it to me because, in my mind, my parents owed me for leaving all of my belongings back in South Korea. Fortunately, my aunt and uncle had no other use for the stuffed animal and were happy to hand it down to their young niece. This teddy bear later, my first possession after immigrating to the United States, continues to serve as a reminder to me of how I struggled to make sense of my new surroundings growing up, as well as appreciation for my parents, who gave up even more than my brother and I did to make a better and more comfortable life for us in the United States.
– J. Doh