Lidiane Milagres Moreira Canestaro, affectionately known as Lidi, embarked on a life-changing journey when she arrived in the United States on August 1, 2011. Her story is one of courage, resilience, and adaptation, marked by remarkable achievements and poignant personal experiences.
Lidi began her American adventure as an Au Pair, residing with a host family in Marin County, California, for a total of four years, including two years as an Au Pair and two more as a family member. Her initial days were daunting as she grappled with homesickness and the challenges of a language barrier. Lidi candidly admits that her first few months were emotionally taxing, often marred by tears of homesickness. Her limited English vocabulary compounded her sense of isolation, and she felt her young charges weren't entirely thrilled with her presence.
However, Lidi's innate tenacity began to shine through. Her situation improved as she established meaningful connections, especially with friends who remain a vital part of her life. The fourth month marked a turning point when her English language skills saw significant improvement, and her relationship with her host family's children began to flourish. During her second year in the U.S., Lidi's life took an exciting turn as she crossed paths with Micah, who would later become her husband.
As she transitioned from an Au Pair to a student visa, Lidi enrolled at the College of Marin, attending classes for two years. However, in 2015, she moved to the East Bay, leading to a period where she went off her student status. This phase was financially challenging, as she juggled a host of expenses, living paycheck to paycheck.
In 2016, Micah proposed, and they subsequently tied the knot in the following year. This period of their lives was marked by relationship trials and shifting priorities. Yet, their unwavering commitment to each other steered them through difficult times. In 2019, they celebrated the arrival of their first daughter, Sienna. Lidi's pregnancy was marked by challenges, including gestational diabetes and a traumatic delivery that nearly claimed her life.
In the midst of these life-altering events, Lidi's world was further shaken when she took three-month-old Sienna to Brazil to meet her ailing grandmother, only for her grandmother to pass away 29 days after their visit. It was a trying period in Lidi's life, far from her family, and now with a newborn baby.
Four months later, she discovered she was pregnant with their second child. Amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they welcomed Giulia in January 2021. Since then, Lidi has been dedicated to the joys and struggles of motherhood and her own personal growth. As both of her daughters are American citizens, she's currently in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen herself.
Through these life experiences, Lidi has been propelled on a journey of self-discovery and growth. As someone who has battled with her mental health over the years, Lidi credits therapy as a crucial source of strength. She likens life to a bow and arrow, where pulling back the arrow is necessary for hitting the target – the harder the pull, the farther and faster it propels.
Lidi is passionately interested in issues surrounding racial disparity and discrimination, as well as social justice. She envisions a society where mutual support and a sense of community make the entire structure stronger. Lidi has also found a creative outlet in arts and crafts, and her unique talent lies in connecting with people and bringing them together.
Looking ahead, Lidi's future goals and aspirations are yet to be fully defined. She is in the process of deciding her next steps, a reflection of her ever-evolving journey.
In the context of her KUWT Brazilians group, Lidi fondly considers the members as her extended family in the U.S. It's a sense of belonging that has supported her through the challenges of living away from her family back in Brazil. For Lidi, this group represents a lifeline, a community of friends who she knows will have her back in times of need.
While Lidi's journey is one of individual triumph, her experiences also reflect the power of community and the strength that can be found in unity, support, and shared growth.