BC: This is a story of a girls experience to Ellis island from Poland to America. Will it be an Island of tears or will it be the ticket to her future.
FC: My Journey To America | By: Mary Ademchek Really By: Julia Adams
1: Sad Beginnings January 26th, 1942 Dear Journal, My name is Mary Ademchek. I come from Poland. My Grandmother and I are the only two left in my family. My mother and father died in a carriage accident and my brother was never born. I was only 9 years old when they died. My Grandmother calls it beginning a new adventure, you know dying but I don't think it is any better that saying that my mother and father are dead and so is my brother. Leaving home is kind of like a big gaping hole in my heart . It is the place where I spent time with the people that I hold closest to my heart and I'm leaving it all behind. The only thing I have left from my mother and father are the journal they used to write in it every day and I intend to carry on that tradition in my family. And maybe one day tell of the adventures I have in America. My grandmother and I packed all of our things, I put all of my clothes in my little suit case then afterwards I put in my most prized position, the journal. | I wanted a better future but I didn't know it meant leaving every thing I knew and loved | Leaving home was the hardest thing I ever had to do.
2: This is my mother and father's journal and I am proud to say that I write in it when ever I can.
3: The only thing I have left from my mother and father are the journal they used to write in it every day and I intend to carry on that tradition in my family. And maybe one day tell of the adventures I have in America. My grandmother and I packed all of our things, we were only aloud one suit case so I packed all my clothes that I had then I packed my most prised positions,my mother's journal and my fathers pocket watch.
4: This is a picture of my mother before she died, I donated it to the museum.
5: I knew I had it but just to make sure I checked my desk every time couple of minutes and tore myself from my book just to make sure I had it. Once we were done saying good bye to everyone in our town we headed north to where we had to get on the train to get on the boat to sail to Ellis Island. I didn't know it yet but I was in for a long journey. | Mary Ademchek
6: I was so exited to see the Island!!! | This is my ticket for the ship to get to Ellis Island
7: February 7th 1942 Dear Journal, Today is our 9th day at sea and so far it isn't the worst thing ever. There are other kids that are my age and even though twenty degrees or below I always went up to the sky deck. I have never really minded the cold, whenever my dad and I would go outside I would always wear the same jacket and dad would bundle up in his two jackets a hat a scarf and gloves. That's why he nicknamed me PB (Polar Bear.)We are sleeping in a small shack at the very bottom of the boat, I want to make the best of this because even though we are on a boat to see if we are able to live in America or not I want to make the best of the situation no matter what it takes .
8: These were all th people who I saw that had to go back home because they had such a severe sicknesses I felt bad for them so on my last day on the ship I gave them my food.I felt compelled to help them.
9: My favorite thing to do is to walk up the stairs to the sky deck and watch the waves crash up ageist the boat. I always looked as though they were angry at it for some reason that was unknown to me. But My Grandmother and I used to come up with some pretty crazy scenarios. Most people might think that being on this boat isn't that fun but I think it's great. And it would be what my parents would want me to do. I can't help but wonder if they would be proud of me for going to America and leaving our home country for what could be my future. Some people might think well yeah they are your parents they support any and every thing you do. But think that in some situations like these it could be hard to determine weather or not they are proud of you.
10: I was amazed to see how big this room actually was | here is one of the dollars I got
11: February 11th, 1942 Dear Journal, I almost walked away from the sky deck and down to our little cabin when I saw something in the mist. Land, I couldn't believe my eyes. I went down to the cabin finding a couple of doctors and another woman next to my grandmother. One of the doctors told me she was very weak because of her cold and fell asleep but didn't wake up. They told me that I probably would have to go home. But then I told them that I was 19 years old and could take care of myself. They agreed then left me alone with what looked like my Grandmother. My real grandmother was as she would say a new adventure. I had to leave and begin my new adventure in America. The boat docked and I got off. Then I walked into the biggest building I had ever seen.
12: We are finally here and I am so relieved to know that I have a future her and I can achieve things that I have never imagined when I was at home
13: (Continued) February 11,1942 First came getting checked by doctors and that was easy because I hardly ever get sick. Next came a test on American history. The man who was giving me the test told me that I was very smart and asked me how I came to know of all it and I told him that I have a cousin in America and He writes to me very often and in his last letter he told me to read over all of the information he has sent me in years past and memorize it so I would pass this test. After this I went to get my money changed from polish to American. I only had three dollars and I wanted to keep one of them to show to my kids one day so they will know their heritage. So I gave the man my two other dollars. He gave me the American money and asked me why I didn’t trade in the third one and I answered “ Because I want my kids to know their culture”
14: These are all the people that were waiting for their money to get changed to American money
15: (Continued 2) February 11, 1942 ”.I walked to the dining room where they handed me food on an Iron plate. I didn't have much of a taste for American food but I was very hungry. On to the very last task, changing my name. I didn't want to change it but they told me I had to. I looked to the side and saw my cousin in the distance and I said Adam and the man in front of me said “OK Adams it is you are free to go Ms. Adams.” Then I ran into my cousins arms without giving my new name a second thought. It was then that I realized that I would begin a new life and it was that moment that life is not a burden it is a gift and you need to live in well in order to be happy.