Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Living my American Dream...

Imagine a little blond girl, on her little pony
with red wheels, cruising thru the kitchen. A
strange man comes in and tells her about a
spider.She has NO clue what he is talking about
because she is Dutch…and Dutch people do
not speak English. But she just KNOWS it is
a scary thing, a big problem! This was the
very first word she learned in the English

Couple of years later when this little blond girl
turned into a taller, skinny blond girl that man
showed up again in the kitchen.
He turned out to be her dad’s younger brother,
and tells her about America…. About the
endless roads, the proud mentality, the friendliness
of the people, the green pastures and the horses
he loves so much.

This blond girl knows what she wants,
(read this as: she’s incredibly stubborn and
hard headed), and she decided to go to the
land of endless possibilities and discover it
for herself. And she did, after three months
spending time on her aunt and uncle’s horse
farm in Michigan; she came home to the
Netherlands and told her mom and dad,
“When I grow up I’m going to move to
The States!!!

She went to high school, focusing on horses
and cows. Went to College, focusing again on
horses and cows and finally to University to
study Agricultural Economics and to get her
teaching degree. She visited America as much
as she could during school breaks. During this
time she worked to get the right papers so
she would have a better shot at being able to come
to this great country. Her mom was terribly sick,
which made it very hard for her dad to run the family
operated hog farm and to raise three “little” kids.
The family held it together as good as they could
but because of the “Swine Fever,” that went all
through Europe in 1997, the farm ended. ..

Her dad always dreamed of having a dairy
farm. When he was a young man himself he
wanted to milk cows, but after meeting and
marrying her mom they took over the homestead.
Her mom just loved her family so she said she
would go where ever it would make them happy.
Her brother also was very fond of milking cows
and everything that had to do with agriculture.
He followed his big sister and went to the U.S.
to do some practical training sessions
for College. The youngest sister in this story didn’t
like America at ALL! Even the idea of visiting was
outrageous no matter what kind of fairytale stories
her big sister would tell…

But in 2003 after the blond girl graduated from
University, madly in love with this boy from
the northern part of the country, and who she
told on the first date: “you better believe it, I’m
moving to the States when I got my degree,
even if you come or not!” The family and the
handsome young man made the decision to sign
some papers with a well known Dutch/American
organization, to move to the land where they
would live their American dream and milk
some cows!

Arghhhh, try to get into this country!!!!
It’s grueling!!!

After several years (yes, YEARS) of trying
to sell the farmstead, visa denials, moving
from one friends to another with only the clothes
on your back (because the container with the
rest of you belongings is already packed and
on a ship). And finally visa approvals, saying
goodbye to friends, and the emotional
rollercoaster that you are not a resident of you
birth land any longer but not quite a resident
in the other new land either.

We entered the United States of America on
February the 14th of 2006, with our visas and
hopes for a better and new future. Except
for the younger sister and her boyfriend
(of 9 years), they decided to stay in The
Netherlands. But they did change their minds
about visiting and America!!!

Construction of the dairy started in November
2006 and on the 20th of November 2007 we
milked our first cow, and oh my gosh,
IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!! All the planning,
hiring people, construction problems, start up
problems, documents that needed signed,
restrictions, Indiana Department of Environmental
Management visits, convincing the public: we are
NOT big corporation monsters, just a family who
loves being here, was more than worth it!!!

We are truly BLESSED to milk 2200 cows and
we love every single day of it!

I have grown up quite a bit. I love my
family, friends and all the other people I know
very much. I have learned problems are not
problems, they are just challenges that you
need to overcome. Without learning the
word “spin” in English (spider), I would never
have had the opportunity to live my
American Dream.


Paula said...

You've got a really cool blog! I signed up as a new follower.

Leontien said...

Thanks Paula!

Unknown said...

Welcome to the new wold of blogging. Can't wait to hear more about you and your farm.