My name is Elena. I haven't always lived here. I was born in another country. I lived there until I was 13. Then my parents were given a chance to start a new life in America. Now, please understand, life in my country was not really bad. However, people there did not get to try new things or pursue their dreams. Our schools were poor. Our government controlled many parts of our lives.
A few people were allowed to leave the country to move elsewhere. For years, my parents saved every extra bit of money they could. They wanted to be ready to move to America when their names were chosen. They went through a long application process. They watched our mailbox for an approval letter.
It took six years before they heard anything. I vividly remember the day the letter arrived.
"Sweetheart, look, the letter arrived!" my father said when he came in with the mail.
My mother gasped and looked hopeful as Father opened it. He read it with a serious face. Then a smile broke out. "We can go! We can go!"