The American Dream

Paul and I were both really good kids. Our parents say so, really. We did everything we were told.

I was an immigrant to this country from Baku, Azerbaijan. We immigrated  to the US when I was 10, in 1992. My parents were amazing.  They gave up comfortable professional jobs and moved their whole lives to the US, to give their three girls the chance at a brighter future.

My whole life, my parents insisted that, “We brought you to this country to go to school and get a good job. Then the world will be your oyster.” I lived by those words my whole life.

My husband, Paul’s parents similarly told him that he wouldn’t be able to find a good paying job, without a college education. At the time, his passions, mainly classic cars and hanging out,  didn’t correlate to any pursuit in higher education.  Eventually he decided to earn a degree in biology, the most interesting subject to him, for most of his life, though he wasn’t entirely clear what he was to do with it, after graduation.

We both followed the guidelines our parents, and society at large had dictated. We got our education. We found our careers at a world renowned cancer treatment center. We met and fell in love. We got married, bought a house (no white fence but it was on the to do list) and had a beautiful daughter, Isobel. By many measures, we had built successful lives and a wonderful family.  In the meantime both Paul and I have been learning what makes us truly fulfilled. We were also learning what we feel is wrong with modern life in America, and how to avoid those pitfalls. The most important goals for us shifted towards being self reliant on our own land and raising healthy food for our family. In other words our homestead.

We were slowly coming to the realization that the modern American dream was a great dream–but it was definitely not ours. We joined a CSA thinking that supporting a local farm was enough to get our farming “ya-ya’s” out. It was  not! We started a garden, then began raising chickens and most recently rabbits. We want to be farmers. Live off our land, provide healthy food to others and educate little kids that mac and cheese is not a healthy meal–even if the box says “organic”! I mean, if you can become a scientist, why can’t you become a farmer?

Over eight years, we had four kids and two angel babies. We grew our family to perfection and our passion for farming and homesteading grew even deeper.  We work our one fifth of an acre to the fullest but have so many limitations.  State, county and city dictates prevent much of what we want to do.  If that weren’t enough, we have extreme limits on space, and never enough time.

A couple of our friends have successfully moved from their suburban homes to acreage and started to homestead to the fullest. I am so happy for them but I cannot help but wonder, what is it they have that we don’t? I know they worked hard for what they have.  They are amazing people!  Lots of time and effort went into the realization of their dream.  I don’t know their income, nor do I want to, but maybe being a single income home is all the world of difference.  I am a stay at home mom who home schools her kids.  I teach at the co-op (which I love) and have a little supplemental income but really, I am just a stay at home mom.  I love being able to teach my kids and spend their childhoods with them but I guess, in our society, that comes at a price.  Am I at fault?

One other difference I take note of in our friend’s success is their support group.  They have  100% support and encouragement from their families.  Both of our parents,  can’t fathom the idea that our live style choice is a desired one.  They don’t understand why we would want to raise our own meat bunnies and slave over a little patch of grass to grow our own vegetables. Maybe we are kidding ourselves, but a little support would sure feel good.

So why now, why am I wearing my heart on my sleeve and sharing this sad little story with you.   Because we found the perfect property.  We saw it on a picture, we saw a video and then we went and stood on what seemed to be “our” land.  It got so real–we could taste it.  I can close my eyes, and imagine my perfect life.  We made an offer and it got accepted.  We had 25% down and felt confident.  The plan was to buy the land, sell this house, use the resources from our home to build a new home and live happily ever after.

Loan denied!   We are too poor to get a loan.  We could have gotten someone to co-sign. My wonderful sisters came to the rescue. But we feel like if the initial process of getting the land loan require help, its not ours.  We cried, we pleaded with God, we got angry, sad and then, we accepted it.    We are people of faith and trust that God has a plan and we will follow it. But to be totally honest, being denied something that felt so right really sucks!  Ironically, the day I publish this post, Facebook reminded me of this…

I made peace with this and I think so did Paul.  The amazing part of this whole ordeal is that I feel closer to my husband because during a very stressful time, we were able to support each other.  I  never had doubt before, but now I have 1000% confirmation that we will always have each other.  I am also proud of my girls.  They are old enough to understand what is going on and both, at their ages of 7.5 and 5, brought me their piggy banks and told me that all of it should go towards buying our farm.  It made me happy, sad and proud at the same time.  They we  willing to give up their life savings to make mom happy!  I am doing at least one thing right!!  I thanked them and told them that we should hang on to those piggy banks for a pony one day!

I never imagined that following your dreams would be so difficult and exhausting!  But here we are.  Staying put for a little bit longer.  Not giving up.  Trying to get more equity to our name.  I feel guilty for feeling sad and angry.  I am blessed.  I have a healthy and happy family.  I live in my home that I love  and I have my chickens! I know that if it is meant to be, we will be farmers.  I know that dreams come true and I hope that one day we can have the whole family happy and celebrating our farming success. Until then, we will continue to work our 1/5th of acre and do the best we can.  I think we are doing a pretty darn good job!!

Thanks for listening!  Many of you have sent prayers, good vibes and lots of juju our way.   We appreciate our community and love you all so much.  I know great things are coming our way!

 

 

6 thoughts on “The American Dream

  1. Your post is very interesting and very close to home. We too had longings, prayed and readied ourselves for that property that we knew was coming. We found it and went to view it. It really was incredible, what we envisioned as our dream home. The house in 5 acres had been on the market for a very long time. Michael and I had agreed we would not make an offer on any home until our was on the market. We hurried to get ours on the market. It took 10 times longer then planes. We were so excited. The day we put up a for sale sign, our dream home put out a sale pending. I was crushed, it sold and my heart was aching. I thanked God even though I was so disappointed, but I could not look at another house. A year later I had a small heart attack. We decided to put up an above ground pool so I could exercise. God showed/directed us to a family selling a pool. We met them purchased the pool and became instant friends. A house across the street had been vacant. It had 2 flat acres etc. we looked into buying it. Contacted the owner who said he would put it on the market. We waited and waited, when they gave it a new paint job we rushed to get a loan. We were preapproved however the banker said while I know the house your interested in isn’t on the market one just came up in the same neighborhood. It was 1.5 miles from the other house. We went to the open house the next day, stayed all day, praying about the house. Made an offer that day. So did others. We were asked to increase our offer but decided against it. It was what God put on our hearts…. we were the lowest bidder and YES God blessed us with this house. Moral of our story… this house is 116 years old and when the first board was laid God already had our name on it. This home far exceeds anything we would of ever envisioned for ourselves. His vision for you is larger than life and whatever you have dreamed us imprinted on Gods heart. You dream property us coming. Ready yourselves it more than you would ever hope for. HE is the Lord Almighty, & God does things in a big way! Our lives are testimony of this!❤️ I’m thankjbg God for what’s to come in you life. 🌷🌷🌷

  2. Having only met you briefly over a pot of comfrey, I stand in awe of all that you and your family accomplish. I’m sorry the dream location didn’t work out, but I also know that something will be out there for you when the time is right.

    1. Joan! You are so sweet! Thank you for your kind words. We are having our open house at the end of April and would love to see you there…I can message you the details if you wish.

  3. Unless god changes lending policies, you’ll be waiting a long time to get a home loan if all you do is wait on him. You can say that he has a plan for you… but that’s just something people say to themselves to feel better about their own lack of effort or knowledge. You’ll find many banks hard pressed to loan to you on your husband’s income alone if his income is meager. Sorry, but that’s how it is. I’m confused though on the whole process where you said you put in an offer on the house and then the loan was denied. Did you not get a pre-approval from the bank first to know how much house you could afford? I’d recommend taking first time home buyer classes. Many large realtor companies offer them and it could explain the process and what’s required to get the house you want.

    1. Thank you, Lucy, for your comment. I am very glad that one of our readers has all of their ducks in a row…its wonderful to know that some people work their butts off and get to live their dreams. It gives me hope. I am not sure what a mediocre salary is…not sure where my hubs fits in but it is enough for us to own a great house and for me to stay home and focus on homeschooling our kiddos! As for asking God for a policy change…that’s a great idea! I’ll run it by bigG next time we chat!

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