Monday, July 4, 2011

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! "Spider" was the very first word she learned in the English language, and there were more to come...

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. Also 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, and which ended pig farming for her dad.

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 12 years), they decided to stay in The Netherlands. But they did change their minds about visiting often 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.

Happy Fourth of July!!!
I hope you have a great day!!!


...

65 comments:

Dreaming said...

I am so glad that you could realize your dream! Life is good!

Louise said...

I loved this. It's so heartening to hear that, in spite of all our problems, and the fact that there are many people in other countries who hate us, the American Dream still lives on, and people still want to come to America.

I often think that those of us born here don't stop and give thanks that we live in a country with as many opportunities as this often enough. Every day should, in its own small way, be the 4th of July. Thank you for reminding us that we live in a great country and that we should be proud, happy and thankful that we do.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

This was beautiful! I have goose bumps, I'm so inspired. Not many people have the opportunity to make their dream come true. You have much to be proud of, and what an asset to the United States you are. You ARE the American Dream!

Lori Skoog said...

I loved your story. 2200 cows! That was some project you and your family started. From everything I have seen on your blog, you know how to run a first class operation that treats the cows with dignity. Kudos to you and your family.

Jill said...

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful, inspiring story. You were a beautiful bride. I'm thrilled you're living your dream!

Saimi said...

Love, love, love this fairytale of a story!!! It's a DREAM come true!

Congratulations for making it all happen and living your dream!!!

sawn48 said...

Love your story and we're so glad you decided to relocate to our beautiful country.

Sandra said...

what a wonderful story your weave from spiders to 2200 cows. wow, for you and for your American Dream. so happy for all of you. my question is, are you american citizens yet? or still on visa's.

Sharon said...

A great post! So glad your American Dream came true! Happy Independence Day!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What a wonderfully happy post! Happy 4th :-)

texwisgirl said...

oh thanks for this wonderful reminder of so many things we who are born here take for granted. :)

Trisha said...

Such an inspiring story!
Happy 4th :D

Buttons said...

I am so glad you did. My Hero is dutch also.He was born here but parents immigrated just before he was born.
Canada is the same land of opportunities if you work for them.
Happy 4th of July Leontien.
I love your happy but struggled to get there story.Your family and young man sound awesome. B

LindaG said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us, Leontien.
Happy 4th to you and all your family!

bon bon said...

you certainly are a determined young woman and should be proud of all you've accomplished so far! welcome to your new "home", leontien!

Michaele said...

Wonderful American Dream story. I am a very strong believer in following dreams and then being HAPPY when you have made them come true.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

On a day like today, it truly is a day of celebration, and your inspirational post is the reason why!! I really enjoyed learning a little more about you!

I hope you're having a wonderful day!!!

Clint said...

You are an inspiration to me and to many. While you may feel that living your dream in the States is an honor, I say we in the States are honored because of your presence. God bless you, Leontien.

It's me said...

Ik ben blij dat je je draai zo hebt gevonden...mooi verhaal !!...liefs Ria...xxx...

Lois Evensen said...

What a beautiful story you have becoming an American by Choice. My husband, daughter-in-law, and grandparents were/are all Americans by Choice.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

You. Are. A*W*E*S*O*M*E :D I am glad you are an American and living the American dream.

I love reading stories like this...they make me happy! :D

Kim said...

So glad you are "home" in America. Your life is an inspiration in so many different ways!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

What an incredible story... I am so glad you shared this... So many of us (who are born and raised in this country) don't appreciate what we have here... Your story should be an inspiration to all.. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Lana said...

Have you read Charlotte's Web? Wilbur the pig would tell you that not all spiders are bad ;-) So glad you are so strong and tenacious! YOU ROCK IN THE USA! ;-)

Megan said...

Go glad that when you did come to this country that you landed near me! Just wish you were a bit closer!!

Julia said...

Leontien, you have such a beautiful farm and it is so new. It must be really fun to work in such an environment. I did a web tour of your farm a while back and was very impressed. Your story is really amazing. Happy 4th of JUly. Hugs. JB

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Now, that's an inspiring story!! Love it! My grandparents had a small dairy just outside of Birmingham, Alabama when I was young; 2200 head is a LOT of milk/milking! Congratulations on making your dreams come true!

Larkrise garden girl said...

That is a lot of cows and milk!!
I am glad your living your American dream!Happy 4th!

Flora said...

What a wonderful story!! So glad I dropped by and thanks for visiting my blog!

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Leontein, thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story! I'm happy for you that you got to make your dreams a reality. America is a great country and I'm proud to have been born here. Often times, we only hear of those who hate us and want to destroy our country. So, it's so refreshing to hear how someone like yourself loves this country, too. Wow, 2200 dairy cows is a huge undertaking. I wish you all the best in the dairy business. Have a great week! ~Cheryl

rainfield61 said...

Problems are not problems, but spiders are still spiders.

I would like to dedicate my spider to you.

Have a happy day.

Roan said...

I loved reading your story. Truly inspiring, especially after reading what another blogger from England wrote about our country and celebrating July 4th. Sometimes it feels like the whole world dislikes Americans. It's nice to read a story about someone who actually enjoys life here. There is nothing better than farm life. I'm glad you are getting to live your dream.

Melodie said...

Incredible ,wonderful story!Thanks for sharing!

Beyond My Garden said...

Gee. This was really nice. The USA is lucky to have you.
nellie

Changes in the wind said...

Thank you for your comment on Rambing Rae and I hope you will visit often. Also, thank you for sharing your lovely story and for coming to this country legally even if it was hard...we are glad you are here.

stardust said...

Thank you for sharing this heartwarming and inspiring story of yours. Keep dreaming no matter what happens no matter how looks difficult... and good luck could come along on its way. Happy American Independence Day from me, too.

mountain mama said...

wow, 2200 milk cows???

nice to meet you! :)

Sandi said...

I agree, 2200 milk cows are a lot of cows! I am guessing the Fourth of July weekend has a different significance for you than for us who have lived it our entire lives. Congratulations!

Garden of Egan said...

That is such a love story! I love it.

Amazing how life's twists and turn put us where we need to be.

Thanks for sharing that.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

You seem to truly understand how fortunate we are to live in this great country where anything is possible.

Inspiring post. Loved every word of it. :)

wayside wanderer said...

What an inspiring story! That is some wonderful looking dairy farm!

Poppy said...

What a great story, so glad it all worked out well for you :) Thanks for the comments on my blog, I had an amazing experience, it was truly a dream come true :)

duchess_declutter said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. It was amazing to read how it has all come about and how all the hard work has paid off for you both. Well done to you both, and very inspirational too. cheers Wendy

Tracy said...

WOW!
What perseverance to not only think your dream but to act on it when so many obstacles got in your way!
that is really admirable and I am particularly glad you are happy after all these years; good for you!

Buttons said...

Thanks for the offer on my comments. I really would love to see your beautiful milk farm.You never know but I still want to get to Vancouver. B

ann said...

Remember determination and hard work does pay off. I am glad you are here in the USA

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Beautiful post. So glad you got to move to America and live your dream.

SquirrelQueen said...

What a wonderful story! I am so glad to hear this tale has a happy ending and you are living your dream.

Anonymous said...

Nice Post. This transmit helped me in my college assignment. Thnaks Alot

MikiHope said...

How beautiful-I am glad you got to live your dream! New follower here from the Hump Day Hop

Michele aka MikiHope
www.mikishope.com

don said...

I so enjoyed reading of your dream of coming to America and what that it meant for the years...and finally getting here and starting the farm life with milk cows you always wanted. A fantastic success story.
May your life here continue grow and blossom. I hope you keep us posted with your progress and some pictures too. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Frank said...

A very inspiring post that proves that dereams do come true.

Crystal Cattle said...

I just wanted to know that I think what you have done is amazing. I think American agriculture should be very proud and is extremely blessed to have you as a part of our community! Thank-you so much for sharing!

p.s. You need to try this tutorial so I can respond to your blog comments easier. http://crystalcattle.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-get-responses-to-your-blog.html

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

Leontien, you and I had two different reasons to move to the US. Both fascinating in my opinion. And, as I see, you love this country from deep within your heart, as much as I do.

You asked me what is the meaning of my blog's name.

Sweetheart, If you go back on my files, the fourth post I did (I started my blog end of last year, therefore you will not have to go too far...) is an explanation of it's name.

Have a great day!
xxx

Emily said...

Sounds like a fairytale to me! You are so lucky to have never given up in the road to your dream!

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troutbirder said...

Wonderful story indeed. Thanks for sharing.

troutbirder said...

Mmmmm. I wanted to leave a comment on your other blog but the way the comment section is configured eblog won't allow me. I've also considered consolidating my "other" book review blog into my first one. Truth to tell, while I do enjoy putting up pics and narrative on that one, I'd rather talk about books. However, their seems to be much less interest in books. Maybe the history books I read a lot of just don't interest people. Oh well.... :)

Vintage West said...

Very inspiring, what an amazing American story!

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Hugo Parein said...

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