Living the American Dream
Weibin Wang and Wen Shi met as students in Beijing, and married three years later. A few months after the wedding in 1986, Mr. Wang left for the United States to study geophysics, at Yale and then at Columbia. Ms. Shi followed a year later.
"We were very happy," she recalled. "We were finally able to be together. We were working hard, trying to realize our American dream."
And they did. He did research at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., and then shifted into computer systems to provide better for his wife and three children, working the last two years for Cantor Fitzgerald at 1 World Trade Center. The family moved to a house in Orangeburg in Rockland Country, where every weekend he cooked dumplings, noodles, even lasagna. On Saturdays he took his children to piano lessons, art school and karate; on Sundays he took them to a school in Fort Lee, N.J., where they studied Chinese reading, writing and culture. The family visited China when they were able.
"We want to instill a lot of learning and a lot of Chinese traditions," Ms. Shi said.
But Mr. Wang, 41, was also committed to his new country. In March, he became an American citizen.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 2, 2001.