Quiet.


Can I just be honest for a moment?

I’m just going to put this out there because silence is not my strong point.

I don’t recall if I’ve shared this before or not, but when I was three, my parents decided to escape communism for a better life for our family in Canada.
IMG_1497
(me, at three)

We left the (former) Czechoslovakia where my
parents were both born and raised and lived in Austria for six months in some refugee housing after we crossed the border. Then, we came to Canada where we lived with one of my uncles until we got an apartment.

My parents went to school to learn English and worked blue-collar jobs. We lived in an apartment until I was in the 8th grade and my parents could afford to purchase a home after my mom completed nursing school, secured a great job, and started making a better salary.

We became Canadian citizens when I was a young child and I’m very proud of that. I’m thankful we were able to enter a country as refugees and have access to a better life and limitless opportunities. Thankful we were accepted and able to build our lives there with a community that embraced us.

And so I’m disheartened. Disheartened and horrified at what’s happening around us in the country I now call home. It’s not what I’m used to. It’s not the culture I grew up in. It deeply saddens me that others aren’t able to have the same access to opportunities based solely on their race, religion, gender…

This isn’t a new problem— injustices have always existed. But it’s getting worse, not better. It’s frustrating to live in a world where it feels like we’re moving backwards.

My blog is a place where I want to share happy/positive things, but the injustices that are happening in our country and society right now are overwhelming.

No matter what your beliefs, I think we can all agree that intolerance, hate, targeting those of a certain religion, etc, is wrong. I want a better world for our children and their children. I want to raise children in a world of acceptance, love, gratitude, diversity, freedom. I can model this as much as possible, of course, but it’s nice to imagine that being the norm.

I want that for these precious children. I want that for our world.

I’m sorry there won’t be a regular post today— addressing this felt more important. I can’t be quiet, because we owe them a better world.
IMG_1498 IMG_1499


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139 Comments

  • Reply
    Claire
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Yes, love this so much! You have a beautiful story and diversity is what makes our country GREAT!

  • Reply
    Caz Wilson
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I totally agree and feel disheartened too. Lots of injustice and it’s only getting worse. I’m hoping what goes around comes around and some point soon Love will hopefully Trump hate.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      I pray for that as well.

  • Reply
    Stine
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I don’t live in America, and from the outside we are all just gobsmacked at what is happening in your country right now. It is a huge problem that people forget what has happened in the past and deny the facts. The American president is creating fear and hatred, and it is very scary. Very very scary.
    Much love to your family.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      It’s a very disheartening time right now. I hope we can all come together and realize that the more we help and love and accept, the better we all are.

  • Reply
    Alexis
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    I have read your blog since the beginning and never commented. Thank you so incredibly much for sharing your story and not staying silent. It’s hard to see so many blogs and instagram accounts go on as if nothing is happening around us. This is so far from a political issue, it’s a human rights issue. Refugees, immigrants, our beautiful children deserve more than our silence. Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you Alexis— this isn’t about politics, it’s about everything you mentioned above. Glad this post resonated with you. I pray we can do better for our kids and everyone after us.

  • Reply
    Yasmina
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you for the post Veronika! One of the many reasons I have followed your blog for so long is because of the commonality I feel with your story. My family immigrated to the US as refugees in the during the civil war in former Yugoslavia. My family and I have always felt grateful and proud to be American and will continue to do so. This is our home. What is happening in our country and world today hurts my heart. There are many evils out there but that should never stop our humane duty to help those in need. Thanks again.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you Yasmina for sharing your story. I am proud to be Canadian and I’m also proud to live in the US. That doesn’t mean that I am OK with what is happening right now- I never will be. Thank you again for commenting.

  • Reply
    Katie
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Powerful perspective. I much appreciate your voice on this as I share your thoughts. To me our country has a heart issue. Change cannot occur until a heart change occurs. Change hearts and you will change policies, politics, people, the world.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      YES Katie! This has definitely been building up for a long time and is just now boiling over. It seems that our society has lost compassion, empathy, and much more. It IS aboyt heart. You’re 100 percent right.

  • Reply
    Kristen
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for sharing! My mama heart has been heavy but seeing more and more women I admire speaking out against all that’s been happening lately is making me feel a bit better.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      Thank you for your comment Kristen. It’s so reassuring to see so many women on the same page.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    While I see your side… I see President Trumps side as well… Obama did the same thing when he came into office. He placed a ban while the vetting processes were strengthened.
    This is not a permanent ban.
    Also unfortunately the world is not the same as when your parents brought you over. The world is not the same as it was just 2 short years ago or 4,8,12 etc. It is filled with more hate and more violence then we’ve ever know in our lifetime. We can’t let our children out of our sight whereas at 5 years old I could play in my yard with no quams about it or we could go to sleep with our doors unlocked. I don’t leave my house without protection these days because we leave in a day and age where we can’t. I want to be able to protect and defend my daughter no matter what.
    Another issue I have is our country can’t even take care of it’s own. There is more uproar over immagrants and refugees than there is over our own veterans in the streets, children in our streets, homelessness, poverty right here in our own United States…
    Love your blog and have been following since 2013. Thanks for a forum to share my thoughts.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Thank you Kelly for feeling you can be open here. I agree that there are a lot of issues right now and that things are scarier than ever before. I had a much different childhood than my children will ever have. We too don’t keep our doors unlocked, have a security system and never leave our kids unattended. You just can’t these days. It’s a troubling time. It’s overwhelming.

      • Reply
        Erika
        Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:57 pm

        I agree Kelly. Obama took 6 months to vet one country while Trump is hoping it will take 3 months to vet 7. Times have changed. The problem is people not educating themselves on the facts and trusting the media. This lack of education has caused hysteria. The fact that it was called muslimban to begin with was a joke. Facts people, facts!!! I agree with you completely.

        • Reply
          Veronika
          Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 10:01 pm

          Erika— my post isn’t just about travel bans. It’s about the values we have as a nation. I have a very heavy heart about all of this. I understand we all have different opinions, that’s OK. This is just what is on my mind as someone who had the priviledge of making a new life, in a new place, at a different time.

        • Reply
          Alison
          Monday, January 30, 2017 at 9:45 am

          Erika, be very wary of falling into the notion (posited by Trump) that the media are unilaterally dishonest. The media are an essential part of keeping leaders in check. It is in this adminstration’s interest to get you to doubt their word and believe only what Trump tells you. This scenario has played out in other countries countless times with devastating effects for the people.

          • Alana
            Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

            Alison,
            Very good point–I completely agree.

        • Reply
          Angela
          Monday, January 30, 2017 at 3:46 pm

          Not trying to be confronatational just sharing information. I think it’s important that everyone do their due diligence at a time like this. What you’re saying is simply not true. Also I think the sadness and uproar comes from the fact that one of the most vulnerable populations of the world, refugees, are being hurt by this action. Innocent children who are escaping war are suffering and we need to open our hearts to them not close them out.
          https://m.mic.com/articles/167077/did-obama-ban-refugees-in-2011-fact-checking-trumps-statements-about-obama-and-refugees#.VvQgSyuE2

        • Reply
          Mary
          Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:53 pm

          Obama reviewed the vetting process for ONE country (Iraq) which temporarily slowed down the entrance of immigrants who fell into a very specific category. This was based on a specific terrorist threat, not an impulsive whim. There was never a month during this time that zero of these immigrants were allowed entry. On the other hand, Trump is banning virtually ALL immigrants from SEVEN countries with the exception of diplomats. What Trump is doing is unprecedented, un-American and most likely illegal.

    • Reply
      Elly
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Kelly, The countries on Trump’s list have nothing to do with the people who have committed acts of terror in the US. 15 out of 19 of the 911 attackers were from Saudi Arabia…is that on the list..NO. The San Bernardino shooters from Pakistan, again not on the list…did Pakistan not house Bin Laden while he was in hiding? Major conflict of interest, and the only ones suffering are the children, more than half of refugees are children. How about going after terrorists and not and religion. Ignorance brings nothing but hate. We are human before we are anything else.

    • Reply
      Darlene
      Friday, February 3, 2017 at 11:28 am

      I totally agree with you. The world has changed and will continue to change, nothing stays the same. I think we, as the USA need to make some changes because of all the hatred that has come upon us. I wish President Trump could find a way to be direct and strong without coming off as ….I don’t know what word to insert here….maybe bully, careless, hateful himself. I agree with what he is trying to do because you are correct, we need to protect our own people first. I know our country was founded upon freedoms…freedom to come here to gain peace and prosperity, but those days are gone since different parts of the world have changed that. The world is not made of roses, sugar, and sprinkles….it never has been but it really isn’t in 2017!

  • Reply
    Laura
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Today I have cried…I have mourned for the world that my children are growing in…My children are here today because their Grandfather left Syria, and raised their amazing father, my husband, here in a country that was better for his family! My husband is a citizen, my children are citizens…and yet I worry for this little family of ours. Everyone said no its not an issue…it will never be a problem for your family personally! This feels personal! Deeply personal! I want my children to feel free and proud…with nothing to hide, because truly they have an amazing story! A story that should never be hidden!

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      Laura— thank you for your comment. I recognize my priviledge in knowing that this won’t be a problem for me. But that’s not the point— like you, I don’t want it to be a problem for anyone. I don’t want people to live in fear, not see their families, not be able to come back to the place they call home. I agree— it IS personal. We had the incredible opportunity to change our lives and start over in a new place and that is a priviledge I will never take for granted.

      • Reply
        Laura
        Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:53 pm

        It’s so sad…heavy hearts for sure

    • Reply
      Elly
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Laura, my family immigrated from Afghanistan back after the communist invasion of 1979. My parents fled to give me and my siblings a life full of opportunity. We are all educated and have careers but I’m scared for my children. I feel like I am in the Twilight zone. Governments should learn from history. People need to wake up and realize Trump’s only interest is filling the pockets of his private business. People need to realize that he Is going to start WW3, that is so serious. Have people been paying attention to the conflict he is causing with China. I can’t even express how scared I am.

  • Reply
    erica nicole
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    I love that you’re using your voice and blog to share what’s going on in the world. I also love that you shared your story ❤

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      Thank you Erica. My heart is so heavy right now.

  • Reply
    Brandi
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you for not staying silent and using your blogger platform and voice to acknowledge what’s going on in our society. Your children are lucky to have a mother who is brave and compassionate enough to speak out against injustices.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Brandi- thank you for your comment. I don’t feel brave. I wish I was doing more. Appreciate your kind words.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing. You write beautifully and it was very heartfelt.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Thank you Melissa <3

  • Reply
    Michelle
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    This gave me chills. Beautifully written and so poignant. We must do better.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you Michelle. I sometimes feel awful because other than expressing my feelings I feel like I am not doing much other than modeling to my children how important acceptance and diversity are.

  • Reply
    Christie
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful and honest post. As a mom all I keep thinking about are kids like you once were and their parents, who much like us, would do anything for their kids. I so appreciate your willingness to say something.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you Christie. I pray that when our kids have kids, things will be different. Our nation has made so much progress— I want to see that continue!

  • Reply
    Anne
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Thank you for this post, Veronika. We need to bravely raise our voices in support of those who need the sanctuary our country has historically provided. I appreciate you using this forum to stand up against this appalling injustice.

  • Reply
    Claire
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Can you specify what you meant by people not having access to opportunities based on gender? Not trying to be snarky at all, just genuinely curious if/when you experienced this in your professional setting or at a personal level? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:41 am

      Hi Claire! It’s a fact that men still make more than women in the same job and up until recently, same-sex couples were not able to legally marry (and now there is talk about reverting back to that). So the opportunity to marry is something many same-sex couples were robbed of. I meant it more as wider statement and not related to my personal experience— hope this clarifies!

    • Reply
      Audrey Williams
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      I took her comment to be about women in countries where females are not allowed access to educational opportunities. She is saying that it saddens her and she supports their efforts to flee those countries to seek a life where they can have access to education, good careers, etc.

      • Reply
        CLAIRE
        Monday, January 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm

        Yes, exactly my sentiments. Not sure where the spin off of same sex marriage came from, that was bizarre and is sexual orientation based, not gender based.

        • Reply
          Veronika
          Monday, January 30, 2017 at 3:21 pm

          Claire- Perhaps I misunderstood your first comment, as it didn’t read to me that you were trying to convey that women in other countries don’t have access to education (which is very sad, as Audrey stated). You also asked whether I had personal experience with sex-based discrimination.

          People in our nation continue to be discriminated against due to their sex/gender as well as their sexual orientation. I should have included sexual orientation in my post as the rights of LGBT people are very important to me.

  • Reply
    Anna Andersen
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    All of this. Thank you for speaking up.

  • Reply
    Holly
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I’m right there with you, Veronika. Thank you for your beautiful post and for sharing your perspective. This is such a scary time, but when I look at people banding together and see people speaking out it gives me hope.

    My five year old son asked if yesterday could be friendship day. And then if today could. And maybe every day. I think the up and coming generations are so wise and accepting. I think better days are ahead ❤

  • Reply
    Rachel
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    I appreciate this post a lot. It seems like all the other bloggers I followed haven’t skipped a beat with posting new outfits – and I can’t help but wonder if they live in the same world I do. It helps to see someone use their forum to discuss what’s going on. I want a better world for my children, too.

  • Reply
    Maria
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I’m with you my heart is aching

    Mary

  • Reply
    Kristen Tenley
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Amen! Well said V!

  • Reply
    Tara
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Thank you .. Thank you…I’ve become restless with bloggers posting about fashion, DIY and happiness during these uncertain times. As an immigrant I’m unsettled. I appreciate your words. Thank you for putting yourself out there.

  • Reply
    Barcy
    Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I am so saddened by the current atmosphere in our country. We are devolving into a backward, hateful society and it breaks my heart. Our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves to see us closing our doors to immigrants and excluding people based on religion. Thanks again for sharing your story.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

      I still have hope. There is so much good and so many open, accepting people. We just have to be the more powerful voices and do-ers.

  • Reply
    Sharilyn
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 12:41 am

    I completely and wholeheartedly agree. I’m so proud to be Canadian ❤

  • Reply
    Maria
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Thank you for sharing your story and bringing awareness to the issue. Too many times people have the wrong impression of who refugees really are – good, hardworking, families. My heart has been hurting. As a mother, I am sickened to see toddlers being detained. As an attorney, I am so happy to see so many of us dropping everything to be at the airport and courts to help others but I’m scared that attorneys have been turned away. It is scary. My cousin won a Tony award this year and in his speech he said “love is love is love is love” and now more than ever I so wish that more people had love in their hearts and mind. Thank you, Veronika, for using your voice.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:56 am

      I saw a post from an attorney on Facebook who was at the airport helping detained families and they separated a 3 month old breastfed infant from its mother for three hours. I just got tears in my eyes imagining this. Why would they keep a mother from her baby? Why coudln’t they keep them together? It hurts my heart.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Also— I did not realize he is your cousin— he is AMAZING!!!

      • Reply
        Maria
        Monday, January 30, 2017 at 1:03 pm

        I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for both mom and baby. Ugh, that sent a chill down my spine.

        My little sister is a producer for Saturday Night Live so I always say that between her and Lin, they completely absorbed the creative Miranda genes leaving none for the rest of us 🙂 Although, my three year old son is pretty dramatic…but in the tantruming threenager kinda way lol

        • Reply
          Veronika
          Monday, January 30, 2017 at 1:06 pm

          It sounds like your son and Harper could put on quite the show with their drama 🙂 How cool your family has such interesting jobs—yours included! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mimi
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 2:06 am

    Thank you SO much for posting this—Love your blog. My dad immigrated here from one of the countries that is on the ban list that President Trump issued. He came from a poor family and knew that education was his path to success. He received a full scholarship to attend medical school, was able to come to the U.S. for residency, and always took care of his parents and siblings as his success grew. He has spent the last 45 years as a practicing MD and today, at the age of 76, will not retire. He is the hardest working man I know who has served his community better than any person who was born on this soil. And to this day, he still always reminds us that this is the greatest country in the world. It boggles my mind that someone like him would be banned from entering our country today. This is not the America that I was born and raised to love and the America that my dad is so proud of. Let’s pray and hope for brighter days ahead and for unity.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

      What a wonderful story of determination and strength! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Thanks for your beautiful post. I am 100% saddened by what has happened and, honestly I might still be in shock. I will continue to teach my children the values that I was raised with and pray that those who voted for him open their eyes to see that racism is not patriotism.

  • Reply
    Courtney Wyse
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 5:09 am

    This is an amazing post! I’m with you 100%. My husbands family also fled to Canada and thank god they did! My life would be a lot different today had that never happened.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:52 am

      I did not know this about your husband’s family! I also think of how different my life would be, especially if communism never fell.

  • Reply
    JG
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 5:58 am

    This is important; thank you.

  • Reply
    Jonathan
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring story! Immigration is what makes America the amazing place it is today. So much great music, art, fashion and scientific discoveries have been made by immigrants.

    xx

    Jonathan

  • Reply
    Misty
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:59 am

    My heart has been so heavy with all that is going on. You expressed your thoughts/concerns beautifully. Thank you !

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:51 am

      A heavy heart is the best way to describe it.

  • Reply
    Rita
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Good morning Veronika,

    Let me start off by say how much I enjoy your posts and seeing you beautiful family flourish. I was born in beautiful country from immigrant parents that fled to this country to also because of communism. This County embraced them and provided them the opportunity to better themselves and provide for their family. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:47 am

      And thank you for sharing yours Rita! Until recently, I honestly never reflected or realized what a huge risk my parents were taking escaping how they did. I won’t get into all of the details, but I do appreciate that they did that so I can have the life I do now.

  • Reply
    Amy Rutter
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 7:16 am

    I feel like I’m going to wake up from this bad dream at any moment. It’s devastating.

  • Reply
    CMae
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Exactly what Kelly said above…..100% agree she said it best…feeling sad our world isn’t the same as what we grew up in….

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:46 am

      What do you feel was different then? Did people have more trust, empathy, support, compassion, sense of community?

      • Reply
        CMae
        Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:16 pm

        We have less sense of community…when we were kids my parents knew every neighbor up and down our street, I was in everybody’s houses, we all kind of fed each others kids type parents…today most don’t really know their neighbors….the crime rate is higher, more murders more everything bad so to speak 🙁 People also are much more vulgar and lashing out towards the President and regardless of who did or didn’t win, I sure as heck wasn’t raised to be so disrespectful….

        • Reply
          Veronika
          Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:40 pm

          I mean, to be fair, our president told us he likes to grab women by the pussy and commented on a married woman’s “fake tits” -and how he would kiss her (without consent)because he just can’t stop himself.

          If people want respect they should model that themselves and be deserving of it.

          • Christi
            Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 2:59 pm

            I absolutely adore you. Respect is earned and deserved by character not position.

        • Reply
          CMae
          Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:58 pm

          It said you replied but it doesn’t show on here! 🙁 lol anyway here’s my reply back to what you wrote back! 🙂 Oh yes I agree with that what he said is pretty disgusting. I definitely don’t condone his vulgarity that’s for sure, but I also think that it’s one thing to talk smack, and then another to actually act on it. Case in point bill Clinton having oral sex with Monica Lewinsky and obviously cheating on Hillary. Same with the beloved JFK who cheated on Jackie Kennedy many times. While they were not caught saying vulgar things to women on tape, they actually acted and cheated on their wives. It’s sad that cheating has become acceptable and the norm nowadays…

          • Veronika
            Monday, January 30, 2017 at 7:27 pm

            Yes, cheating is sad and wrong, absolutely. I think words are powerful and say a lot about ones character. Actions of course are of equal importance.

            I think someone who is 70 years old has had plenty of time to show “true colors.” Do I pray those colors change? Yes. Because at this point prayer and a miracle are the only hope I have for the next four years.

  • Reply
    Audrey Williams
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Great post, Veronika! I must respond, however, to the “alternative facts” presented above by Kelly. The Obama administration did not do exactly what Trump is doing. There is a great piece in the Washington Post explaining the facts in 2011: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/29/trumps-facile-claim-that-his-refugee-policy-is-similar-to-obama-in-2011

    First, there was no blanket “ban,” including green card holders, as there is now. Second, there was simply additionally vetting that was done in response to a particular individual of Iraq who was settled in Kentucky that they found out was building bombs while in Iraq. Third, the Obama administration did not halt visa applications during that time; there was just a considerable amount of vetting due to security risks.

    At a certain point, Trump needs to take responsibility for his own policies and choices and his supporters need to stop trying to throw Obama (or Hillary) under the bus when things don’t go well!

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Thank you for sharing this information! Always great to have the facts. I didn’t mean for this post to be a political debate. It’s more commentary on the societal climate right now and what I hope for the future in our human, person-to-person lives and interactions.

  • Reply
    Kelly D
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. Right now’s climate feels so heartbreaking and loveless, divisive and heart-hardened. How can this be the world we live in? I feel helpless to do anything but I’m working to fight that coping mechanism (of feeling helpless and therefore just pushing it aside, because I’m privileged enough to do so). I appreciate hearing the stories of refugees so there’s humanity behind what’s going on.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:45 am

      Kelly- the recognition of our own priviledge is something I constantly strive to be aware of. Many in our society do not have this same priviledge.

  • Reply
    janice stern
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m also interested to hear more personal stories from bloggers I follow. I share your sentiments, and as an American, I of course am the product of immigrants as well! My Grandmother came here from Mexico when she was pregnant with my father and worked to earn her citizenship here. My family has contributed to American society, learned English, and always strived for the “American Dream”. As a Mother I am filled with fear for the world my son is growing up in and as a human my heart aches for so many right now. Praying and acting upon my dreams for a better and more inclusive America.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:43 am

      America is built on immigration! The most beautifl thing about this country is that people think about it as the place where you can make your dreams happen— I want it to be that, for everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc.

  • Reply
    Claudia @ Justalittleblush.com
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Love this post. I’ve been really hesitant to write anything even slightly political on my blog since it can be so controversial and I want to respect that people have different opinions. But, it has become harder and harder not to address what is going on and how horrified I am about it. So happy to see your post about it!

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:39 am

      To me, this isn’t even about politics. It’s about humanity, equality, compassion, empathy. If I lose some readers because I’m sharing what’s in my heart, then I guess that’s the consequence I’ll have.

  • Reply
    Ellie
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Veronika. I, unfortunately, due to complications, am the only non-American in my immediate family and don’t think I will be able to visit them in the next couple of years as I belong to one of the banned countries. Thankfully, I am lucky enough -and have worked extremely hard-to be residing and working in Canada. I appreciate all efforts and words of kindness by the wonderful people in America supporting someone like me. Thank you Veronika for standing up for values you believe in, for being so real and having the courage to not remain silent. It really does mean a lot to me as a reader of your blogs for several years. Love from Canada.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Thank you for your comment! I stand with you!

  • Reply
    Mel
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:51 am

    You have a beautiful family. Thank God for the opportunity that all of our families have been given to call America home. If we trace our roots back we all were immigrants at one time. So sad this world is moving backwards. We need love not hate to heal the wounds that have been inflicted.

  • Reply
    April Weidner
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! Thankfully, I work with an amazing group of people that fight the good fight everyday. Like the late MLK said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:40 am

      That’s a great quote!

  • Reply
    Lori
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

    ❤️❤️❤️ Thank you for this.

  • Reply
    Petchie
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Ive read your blog for a long time and love following your family. However, I think it’s important to remember both sides. Unfortunately, this is not the same situation as your parents at all. It is very hard for us as Westerners to understand, but the people in these countries that have been banned are from a much different culture and ideology than ours. Do you the story of the Cologne New Years Eve assaults? ( the media really buried this story, so I would not be surprised if you had not). Over 2000 male refugees in various cities in Germany sexually assaulted thousands of women, including several reported cases of rape. These stories were buried but does not mean it did not happen. There was recently another case were male refugees raped a girl and posted it live on Facebook in Sweden (it was again buried by the media, but has come to light because of the Facebook streaming part). These men were “refugees” from Iran. The significant difference is that when your parents immigrated, there was not the risk that terrorists were hiding among their numbers. While we should help those in need, we should not do it at the expense of our own families and children. I could not imagine if my daughter was one of the victims in Cologne. In Iran for example, the population is over 99 percent Muslim. Are you aware of the oppression that women face in this country and others like it under the pretext of the religion? The unfortunate fact is that it is very difficult when vetting people to come into the country whether or not the people trying to come in hold these beliefs. We cannot know what is in these people’s hearts.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:40 am

      While I did share my own immigration story, this post is about so much more than that. My overall message is about compassion, love, empathy, support, diversity etc. Tragic things happen all over the world both by citizens of this nation in our own country, and abroad. We could list hundreds of examples from both sides and go back and forth all day. There are bad people in this world— from all races, religions, backgrounds and countries. Evil is evil. But to discriminate against someone based just on their religion or skincolor is not okay.

  • Reply
    Petchie
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I agree. As the expression goes though, charity starts at home. Many Americans would like to protect their families from the horrors of terrorism that have been so prevalent these last few years, and we owe that to our children. And as I am sure you are aware, this is not a ban on people of a certain race or religion, they are considered terror hotspots identified by the Obama Adminstration included in the ban. The fact that these countries are high Muslim populations is not dependent on their banning ( there are dozens of other Muslim majority that countries not on the ban). The fact that terrorists are increasingly of A certain religious origin is certainly alarming, but saying you wish to protect your family/country from attacks does not mean you are discriminating against someone based on religion/ Skincolor. It means that you will not accept the hatred that is in some of these individuals hearts against our way of life.

    • Reply
      Hilary
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      You realize that the other heavily Muslim countries not included in the ban are the ones where Trump has business dealings…so obviously he would never jeopardize that. And while the Obama administration did identify those countries as potential threats, you will notice that they placed restrictions on visas, they did not ban people outright. It is ridiculous to say the two are similar, especially in the way that Trump’s EO was put into place–with no regard for standard procedure and not even informing the involved personnel until it was already signed. As for your comment on it being difficult to vett people coming into the US, it is an 18-24 month process that is already one of the most, if not the most, stringent in the world. To say that additional vetting is required is a poor excuse to deny these people safety and the ability to pursue what was once thought of as the American Dream. I would encourage you to read real facts, from real news sources, that give you a balanced perspective, instead of the fear mongering and click-baity headlines that are so prevalent these days. I say this not to engage in a political debate but to say that it seems that many people are letting their fear (encouraged by so much of the media and our current administration) overcome their morality, humanity, and sense of decency.

      On another note, thank you for sharing your story, Veronika and for this post. I have been a long long time reader but have never commented before. I, like others, have been saddened that so many bloggers are glossing over the events of the last few weeks/months, and I am glad you have spoken out and shared your story.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Quick
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Thank you for this post. We all need to speak up about the injustices like this that are happening every day here in America. We are supposed to be a nation of acceptance and tolerance, and I too feel like we are moving backwards to a place of fear, intolerance and lack of empathy. It truly hurts my heart.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      I think you’re right— and this intolerance and lack of empathy gets worse and worse the more people use the internet to voice their opinions. Online, you don’t have a face-to-face interaction with someone, and in some cases, you can even share your thoughts anonymously with no consequences. This has allowed hate and fear to build up in our society and the pot is boiling over with the fire lit hotter than ever.

  • Reply
    Brittany
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Veronika,
    I have been a long time reader, but have never commented. Like most people in the comments, I really want to just say thank you for not staying quiet. Echoing similar sentiments as above, I have been a little baffled by the lack of voice or opinion coming from those I follow on social media who have large platforms, be that beauty, lifestyle, or whatever kind of blog. I understand they are not political activist but as you stated this isn’t necessarily political, more speaking of humanitarian issues. It seems bizarre to me as certain bloggers post their new Chanel bag with no mention of what is going on in our world, I mean any sort of acknowledgement would be nice. Again, its their blog and their entitled to post about what they want. I think someone commented “are they living in the same world as me”. The current climate is disheartening and I commend you for saying so. I have always been a fan, but I truly gained more respect for you due to this post. In a time when bloggers or influencers are terrified to post content based on loosing subscribers or followers, you have stayed true to who you are, and for me, that is very admirable. Thank you for this very important post.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Brittany,

      To be honest, I can understand why some bloggers stay away from this topic. It can be polarizing (even though my post was not intended to cause a political debate).

      Some people’s blogs are their job and only source of income, so it doesn’t always behoove them to share their beleifs, no matter what side they’re on. I can understand that completely.

      I guess it’s a risk to post something like this because people can read it however they like. My message is more about acceptance, love, compassion, empathy, etc. I hope that’s the takeaway from this and not about my political leanings. I can’t even vote in this country, so this isn’t about who I did or did not vote for either. I appreciate your comment a lot, thank you.

  • Reply
    Whitney
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Veronika, thank you so much for sharing your experience. This is so much more than politics; it’s remembering that these people are our global neighbors and deserve to be treated like humans. I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Maria
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks for speaking out. It feels awful to hear the hate tinged in the words of those supporting keeping refugees/illegal immigrants out. When they don’t know the desperation the refugees and illegal immigrants feel to be safe. To keep their kids safe. THe desperation that makes them take drastic, risky measures if it means they and their families will be have a chance to escape extreme poverty and violence.

  • Reply
    La Dueña
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    “And so I’m disheartened. Disheartened and horrified at what’s happening around us in the country I now call home. It’s not what I’m used to. It’s not the culture I grew up in”

    …. I too was naïve to think so highly of this Country….

    “I think we can all agree that intolerance, hate, targeting those of a certain religion, etc, is wrong”

    ….apparently not for the majority of Americans who revealed their true selves on November 8, 2016……Sad…very sad..

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      I have read that Clinton actually got 3 million more votes in her favor but didn’t win because of the EC. I have a lot of hope. A lot of my friends IRL and on FB share my beliefs and Pantsuit Nation gives me hope too, with the stories shared there.

      • Reply
        A
        Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 11:40 am

        And in other news The Clinton Foundation is under investigation for taking donations from Saudi Arabia, Germany, China, Australia, Turkey for pay-for-play, human trafficking, pedophila, etc. Ex-director of Planned Parenhood Abby Johnson described how she was asked to double her quota and kill 1135 babies per year to make financial goals for Planned Parenthood. And we support Hillary.

        • Reply
          Veronika
          Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 12:06 pm

          I actually am not able to vote in US elections. I didn’t vote for either candidate. I support human rights and human decency.

          • Sara Colodner
            Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 7:33 pm

            “A”. Because I suppose when what you’re saying is categorically not factual you’re afraid to use your real first name? Everything you said has basically been debunked by real news outlets. Time and time again. Over and over. This quote actually is not only absurd, but it makes me desperately sad for you that you immerse yourself in lies and other nonsense rhetoric “double her quota and kill 1135 babies per year to make financial goals for Planned Parenthood.” It’s hard to even go into how completely absurd that is, but I really hope that you take a step back and a deep breath and do some reading on sites like BBC where you can find correct information if you have a conspiracy theory against the US media. Ignorance is not bliss and it’s part of the reason we are in this situation in the first place. Instead of complaining about Hillary I would love to hear your intelligent analysis of what Trump is doing well? I’ll wait. Veronika, thank you for not staying quiet. If we don’t hear voices like “A”, we will forget how deeply disturbed and disenfranchised a large portion of our country is and we won’t be able to heal this divide.

        • Reply
          Hilary
          Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 12:22 pm

          This is so typical–way to deflect and turn it on Hillary. Hello!! TRUMP WON. HRC is not involved anymore, so it doesn’t really matter what she is or is not doing–and besides, what is your point–HRC did something bad so it’s no big deal if Trump does something bad too? It’s not a contest.. Trump, on the other hand, is the one in the midst of a constitutional crisis and who is planning on taking healthcare away from 20 million Americans. And what point are you possibly trying to make by bringing up Abby Johnson (whose story has been proven to have multiple holes–this is a good article: http://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/the-convert/). And yes, I, and millions of other people, continue to support Hillary.

  • Reply
    Kasia
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Loved this post. I was born in Canada but both my parents immigrated from Poland. They learned the language, my mom became a nurse after having been almost finished law school in Poland and my dad became a parol officer. They were able to do these things and give my 2 brothers and I an exceptional life. I still live in Canada but my husband, two children and I love traveling to the United States. I am also so saddened with what’s going on over there and I agree that things are moving backwards. Just wanted to say thank you for shedding some light on this and speaking about it openly, I hope more people do. Obviously what’s done is done, but… I’m still with her

  • Reply
    Farida zirak
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post, I’ve been a follower for years (since your YouTube days) and it truely saddens me at what is currently going on. As a child of refugees fleeing persecution Im so grateful to be able to call myself American and I hope that more people share their stories in the hopes that immigrants are seen as fellow human beings and not terrorists. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! -Farida

  • Reply
    Becca
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you for this post! I am a Canadian who spends my professional time teaching English to New Immigrants to Canada in a government-funded college program. Among my students are Syrian refugees, along with those from many countries affected by the new policies in the U.S. It saddens me to think that any one of my students could be “back home” rather than here, safe in their new home country just on the whim of a week-old president.I am also a mom to a young daughter. I want her to grow up knowing love, acceptance and caring. I really appreciate your pausing your blog schedule to share your thoughts.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      Becca— we are on the same page! What an incredible thing you do. Thank you for helping people who were just like my parents. In a new country, not knowing the language, few resources. Appreciate what you do to help people start their new lives!

  • Reply
    susanne villari
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Your story is beautiful! If I may state my opinion, It is a shame that we live in a world that we now have to have take these actions. That is the sad part. My neighbor lost her son in the Boston Marathon Bombing by these terrorists that legally came over here with no vetting, as she cried to me, why couldn’t this policy have been done before- my son would be alive today. and its the truth.When I came over from Germany and when your family went to Canada its was a different world, sadly. To inconvenience a few temporarily to protect millions. Our government is doing what European countries don’t have the guts to do.

    • Reply
      WHD
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      The Tsarnev brothers came over here when they were minors. The older one was 16 and the younger one was 9. The older brother was radicalized *here*, in this country, and influenced his younger brother.

      Syrian refugees are heavily vetted. The process takes 36-48 months. People who get green cards and visas to come here are also heavily vetted, interviewed multiple times. It’s also particularly difficult for people from the Middle East and Africa to get approved for them. The people who were (and still are) detained in airports all over the country had already been through the vetting process.

      Many authorities (State Department, Dept. of Homeland Security) have pointed out how policies like these actually make us LESS safe, because they play directly into ISIS recruitment strategies.

      So I guess I share your opinion that this is a very sad situation, but for very different reasons.

  • Reply
    mary
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you for this post. You are brave to speak up. People need to hear stories like this from people like you.

  • Reply
    Denise
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Beautiful post Veronika,

    I think that Mr. Trump is going to bury himself very soon the tide will turn against him. He’s already fighting with the press and they have the power to dig a ditch and throw the dirt on top.

    My mom taught high school English in the ’70’s and had large numbers of Vietnamese boat people as students. These kids could barely read and write the English language but when she assigned them book reports they wrote pages and pages and pages. These kids were just so grateful to be out of a war torn hell hole and in the United States. Many of her students kept in touch with her and many, many, many of them went to make successes of their lives and have lucrative careers.

    So many of us born here don’t appreciate our fantastic country and don’t know the hardships that other people in the world endure.

  • Reply
    Raefa
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    As a first generation American Muslim this post really hit home. My parents were brought here in the 60s as young child children so that their families could be provided with the “American dream”. They worked hard to provide my siblings and I with it and now my husband and I work hard to provide our young children with it. I’m terrified to raise my Arab American kids in this political climate and can only pray it gets better. That’s the least they deserve.

  • Reply
    Mary
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    so glad you wrote this! most bloggers won’t take a stance on the topic for fear of alienating some of their readers. you go girl

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you Mary!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Veronika, like many others, I am a long-time reader but have never commented. I just had to comment to say how moving this post was and how glad I am that you shared your story. Thank you for not staying silent.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you Ashley. I never expected such a strong reaction to this post… I wrote it in a moment of deep sadness. I’m glad so many of us could connect through shared beliefs and values. If anything, today’s conversations have made me realize everything will be OK because there are so many of us who want more for this country.

  • Reply
    A
    Monday, January 30, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    You have a beautiful story and you are a wonderful person. Sadly not all the immigrants who come here are good people, work hard, are productive citizens, and have this country’s best interest at heart. As a legal immigrant myself, I believe in stricter visa/immigration rules for all people.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Monday, January 30, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      That can be said of all of humanity, in general. There are good people and bad people, no matter race, religion, sex, gender, country of origin, etc. The fact is that there are bad people everywhere— in our own neighborhoods, cities, schools, communities, etc. It’s sad, but it’s our reality.

  • Reply
    Alice
    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 6:49 am

    I love your post and I know exactly what you feel. I don’t live in America but I am from Estonia. Our country was part of Soviet Union until 1991. This what happens in America right now starts to fee like repetition of our history. Retrogression of human rights.Very sad.

  • Reply
    Keri
    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Thank you for sharing – for speaking up.
    It can be very scary to “go deep” on a blog, to speak up and risk possibly alienating those who don’t come to your space looking for that kind of content, and scarier to face those who flatly, (and occasionally viciously in comments,) disagree. Your family’s story is exactly what all need to hear now – it personalizes it. HUMANIZES it.
    Because it is an issue of humanity, and of being human to other humans. So again – THANK YOU for your bravery in sharing.

    • Reply
      Veronika
      Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Thank you so much Keri! This is absolutely an issue of humanity and how we relate to one another. I don’t feel brave at all— I wish I was doing more. But I felt it was important to say what was in my heart. Imagine a world where no one ever spoke up for what they believe in? That world frightens me.

  • Reply
    Kristin
    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Thank you!! I’m happy to see a couple bloggers delve into this territory FINALLY. We cannot afford to be quiet.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you for speaking out! Your family’s story is amazing and such a tribute to American values. I’ve been feeling this deep sadness for our country for months and it is getting worse. The leadership is trying to appeal to the public based on fear not fact and in the end, that never works. Although I don’t currently have children, my husband and I plan to start a family and are concerned that life is getting worse here not better..we worry they won’t have the lives we did. Stay strong. Keep speaking out. ❤️

  • Reply
    Blush Pink Ruffle Sleeve Tee - Veronika's Blushing
    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    […] feel like it’s strange to start this post without acknowledging my last post and the incredible outpouring of comments and discussion. I was completely taken aback by the […]

  • Reply
    Alia
    Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! I, like many others, have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach that our country is taking a step in the wrong direction. The divisiveness is running deep. But I am hopeful when I hear stories like yours and I hope this ultimately will bring people together.

    Remember the path forward is not always a straight line.

  • Reply
    Mary
    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Thank you so much for speaking up on such an important issue! I know that as a Mommy/fashion blogger you cant always weigh in, but I am so glad that you chose to this time!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    This is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart and your story.

  • Reply
    Anamika
    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    You have a beautiful heart, and if just even half the people in this world had a heart like yours, democracy would be the wonderful thing it was intended to be. But it is so sad to be living in a world where all the wrong things are happening in the name of democracy 🙁

  • Reply
    ERin
    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I too am feeling disheartened by what is happening. i think it’s important for people to speak up and tell their personal stories. Thank you.

  • Reply
    shaunacey
    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I appreciate this so much, thank you for sharing your story and for the reminder that silence is the same as giving permission for those injustices to continue.

  • Reply
    A
    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you for speaking up and using your voice and platform. The world is a scary place right now but I’m hopeful that change will come. Keep the conversation going! Love from Canada xx

  • Reply
    Candace
    Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 7:56 am

    I’m so glad you posted this. I go back-and-forth between needing to be updated on politics and current events and desperately wanting an escape in the form of friends, movies, and yes, blogs. I have been a proud fan of your blog for several years-before Harper! I’m also a proud American and I am so disheartened by what is going on in our world. I am 33 and I have never seen our country in such a crisis. Given that you were a refugee, I briefly wonder the other day how you were feeling about all this. I’m glad you spoke out-an incredible activist once said that silence is violence and I believe that has never been more true than now. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Monday Madness No. 127 - Don't talk feminism, live feminism, link love and a little rant - Spunkyrella.com
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