I have started this post so many times and deleted it because I didn't think people would want to read it and because I am not looking for pity. Many of my close friends know about my background, but there are people that I work with on a daily basis that don't. I am not going into great detail because it physically hurts to think about my childhood.

I was born in Bosnia in 1985.
Some time in 1992 a civil war broke out in Bosnia. The war was a result of the breaking up of Yugoslavia. My father, uncle and grandfather (along with many other family members) were taken to Omarska, where my father was killed. My uncle and grandfather were liberated and sent to the United States.

In September of 1993 my mother, sister, aunt and grandmother and I came to the States. The process of leaving the country was dangerous and long.

The first memory I have of America is the Statue of Liberty, the second is the stocked pantry at my uncles house. I ate bananas until I was ill. 

My mother quickly had my sister and I signed up for school, she didn't want us to miss any more education. I was put into a classroom where I didn't speak the language, and the teacher didn't speak/understand my native language. We managed, I drew pictures, she was kind, patient and amazing. Mrs. Hemmings made school a safe and happy place for me. I flourished in school and went from transition to third grade. I became a teacher because of the amazing teachers I had growing up. I am lucky enough to teach in the school corporation where I was taught.

In 2007 my fathers remains were found in a mass grave with many other bodies. My sister and I had given blood on several occasions so that our DNA could be used to find him.
2007 was the first time I went back to Bosnia. It was a strange/difficult 6 weeks. Bodies/mass graves are still being found to this day.

This week I will be going back again, to visit family, my fathers grave and meet new family members (loads of new baby cousins).

The Blog, FB page and IG will be quiet for the next few weeks. I hope that you continue to follow my page. I have lots of things planned for the next school year.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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  1. Wow! Have fun. Be safe! Take a ton of pictures!!

  2. Thank you for sharing such a great blog post! :) Have fun dear!



  3. Thanks for sharing your story! I would love for you to talk to my 7th grade "Exploring World Cultures and Languages" class someday. Have a safe trip!

  4. God bless you! I am so glad that you were able to come to the US. Have a safe trip!

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so happy you get to teach where you were taught. What a great feeling. Kudos to your teachers as well!

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes and I feel it is a story that needs to be told. You are one strong woman. I will be thinking of you, as you get to visit your family and welcome the new members of your family. Thanks again, for sharing your story. It is appreciated!

  7. Thanks for sharing! I work with a wonderful teacher from Bosnia. She is a k teacher right across the hall from me. She always has interesting stories and I just gave her some items to send over for flood victims. Much of her family still there was in the areas flooded. Be safe and I enjoyed reading your post! Please post updates when you return!

  8. I really want to say that you shared great an interesting story.
    thanks and keep sharing
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