A's Story

I know I've mentioned many times on this little blog that my husband is Armenian, and I think I've even mentioned that he wasn't born here in the U.S. But I haven't ever really shared his whole story. I find it fascinating, and I know a lot of other people do too...so I thought why not share it with you all?

A was born in Azerbaijan in 1985. Now, I know very little about this country. Or that entire area of the world, to be honest. But it's somewhere in the vicinity of Russia and Armenia...and at that time was a part of the Soviet Union.

Little Bebe A

When little A was born, he was welcomed by his parents, as well as two older siblings. His brother and sister were both in their early teens at the time, so you can just imagine how spoiled little baby A was. He is still the golden child of the family. It is beyond obvious.

A grew up speaking Russian and Armenian, and he is still conversationally fluent in Russian...somehow the Armenian language slipped right out of his brain. But I am super excited because this means I will have bilingual babies! The majority of the time his entire family speaks Russian (as I sit there mesmerized, catching a random word here or there), and we've both agreed we want our kids to learn both languages from day one.

A's family moved to America in the summer of 1992, not long after the dissolution of the Soviet Union when things got a little crazy. From what I understand, the area they lived in was predominately Muslim, and for some reason they were running all of the Christians out. In fact, a few days after they left for America, his family found out their home had been set on fire. They actually moved here as refugees, sponsored by a church in Oklahoma. They picked up and left everything they owned, every person they knew, and moved to a foreign country where none of them spoke the language.

Little A started first grade not knowing a lick of English. He says one of his earliest memories is crying in class on his first day, confused and not understanding anything that was happening. Break my heart why don't you! But luckily, the social butterfly has always been alive and well within him, and it didn't take long for him to pick up the language and make lots of friends.

It wasn't as easy for his parents. Imagine having to start your life over from square one, learn a new language, and somehow support a family. They had a lot of success before they moved here...I can't imagine losing it all. But somehow they turned it all around, and every single one of them (his parents, his brother, and his sister) have been very successful here.

Naturally, A grew up in a very traditionally Armenian environment. He was completely immersed in that culture, other than when he was at work or school. A year out of high school he decided community college wasn't the route he wanted to take, and he enrolled at Oklahoma State University on a whim. Imagine the culture shock that he had going into a fraternity house with a bunch of crazy college guys...yikes. But, as always, he jumped right in and didn't miss a beat. By the time I met him just a few years later he was as Americanized as it gets. (I've actually heard his dad say this with a bit of disgust, "Oh, you're a real American boy now!")

Early College A. Love it.

So when I have mentioned that it may have been tough for his family to embrace this little blonde haired, green eyed, completely un-domesticated Oklahoma girl, I mean....umm, really tough. They naturally assumed he would marry an Armenian girl. Why wouldn't he? His brother met his wife back in Russia, his sister met her husband there....what in the world was he thinking!? But I do have to say, I have never once felt the slightest bit of hesitation from his sister or mother when it comes to them embracing me wholeheartedly. If they weren't thrilled about me being a part of their lives, I never knew it. Of course it was a bit tougher for the men....they were mainly concerned he wouldn't have anyone to take care of him I think. But four years in, I'd have to say we're at a pretty great place.

I love nothing more than sitting down with his sweet little mom, or his sister or sister in law, and asking questions about their life. I'm completely fascinated. I discover so many little gems that I'm so incredibly glad I'm nosy enough to ask about. They have lived amazing lives, and I want to know all about it!

I remember once, right before we got married, his dad told me I won the lottery because I was marrying an Armenian guy. They have SO much pride in their culture, and I think that's such a beautiful thing. His dad has also asked me where I'm from. When I answered Oklahoma, he said, no, where are you from? Umm...America? Nope. I had to dig back and tell him....Germany? I think? I'm a lot German and some French and...umm....yeah. He wasn't very satisfied with that answer.

Even though it's been a bit of a challenge merging our two very different cultures, I am so glad. I feel blessed to be a part of his wonderful family, and to be a part of something as crazy and wild and beautiful as the Armenian culture. 

More than anything, I'm just incredibly proud of the man that A has become. He was faced with hardships that a lot of people don't have to deal with. He put himself through school 100%. He worked at UPS and had another job at our campus fitness center, all while going to classes and keeping his grades up. Now, he is the hardest worker that I know, determined to do something incredible with his life. And I have no doubt that he will. I'm proud to call him mine, that crazy little Armenian. 

My Love

8 comments

  1. that's such an inspiring story. I'm fascinated by other countries and cultures. I don't know anything about the Armenian culture but that's great y'all will teach your children a second language. I'm working on French and Spanish with our boys. when they're young children is the best time to learn a language I've heard. they are little sponges ;) thanks for sharing his story. that's really awesome that they were able to become successful here after losing everything. I can't even imagine.

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  2. Loved this story girl! Reminds me a little of my hubby and I. :) Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo ♥ Shar
    http://sharmartinez.blogspot.com

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  3. What a sweet story--thanks for sharing!

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  4. What a beautiful story. You make a beautiful couple! Have a good week.

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  5. Awww!
    That totally made me smile! It's kinda cool being with someone from a different culture. I always look at the children angle. Your kids will be so well cultured, and that's awesome!

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  6. So sweet! :) Good for Arsen and his family, to rise up from starting with nothing. And he's lucky to have you, such an adoring wife!

    Evani
    simplyevani@gmail.com

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  7. you two are a DARLING couple.

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  8. That's the sweetest story ever! Good for him, and what a blessing for you to have him and his family in your life! :) You two are so adorable together. So glad I found you and your blog via The Cooks. XO

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment...each and every one makes my day just a little bit brighter!