When Tatyana Sharfman applied to immigrate to the United States, she was not yet sure that she wanted to leave her native country of Russia. Her aunt, who had left Russia in 1992 and now lives in the San Fernando Valley, was determined to bring over the rest of the family, and so Sharfman began to fill out the necessary documents.
"She kept asking us, 'What are you doing over there?'" Sharfman recalled. "We didn't take it seriously, really, but we filled out some papers just because we had these papers."
Sharfman knew that it was typically a long process to emigrate from Russia, and she did not really expect to be accepted. However, one day the approved documents were returned by the government, and her family faced a life-changing decision: "To come or not to come?"