American Woman

My parents are Canadian. They grew up in Ontario and met in college at Queen's University. My dad is a metallurgical engineer. After graduating, he worked in the steel industry. But, as Pittsburghers know all too well, steel isn't really the best business to be in. So, when I was two years old and my little sister was a newborn babe, we moved to Texas for the much more successful oil business.

For lots of reasons that are too complicated to explain in a blog post, it took our family twenty years to become eligible for American citizenship. That is a looooooooong time! On Friday morning, I was the second member of our family to become an American. My little brother, Scott, was born here so he's always been both American and Canadian.

Every Friday, the Pittsburgh immigration office swears in twenty-five new citizens. When you arrive, they take away your green card forever. I was so glad to be rid of it!

Citizenship Ceremony

We sang the national anthem and then they had everyone stand up when your country was called. Canada was the most popular country but there were people from as far away as Ukraine, Ghana and the Philippines. Once everyone was standing, we all said the oath of allegiance.

Citizenship Ceremony

They asked a few people to come up and share the stories. I didn't share mine because I'm sure that I had the lamest story there. A woman from Bosnia who came here as a war refugee had the most powerful story by far.

Citizenship Ceremony

Then, they had you come up one by one to get your naturalization certificate. I loved how nice the immigration office was about taking pictures. At the beginning, they made an announcement about how big of a deal this was and how your family in the audience better come up and get a picture. It was so nice.

Citizenship Ceremony

I've lived here for as long as I can remember and always felt like an American, but at the ceremony it definitely hit me that this was a big moment! If you know me at all, you will not be surprised to hear that I shed a few tears. I am really happy to officially be an American after all these years.

P.S. My dress was actually a patriotic choice, since the First Lady has the same one! Speaking of the First Lady, our high school friend, Christina, just graduated from West Point and got to sit next to her at a fancy dinner. How cool is that?

1 comment:

  1. I know I've said it already, but congratulations again!!! I've never seen a citizenship ceremony before, so it was so cool to hear the details of it! :)


You are awesome.