Monday, November 21, 2016

Becoming a citizen

In the United States, becoming a citizen is a BIG DEAL! My good friend immigrated from Mexico, and after a long time here, a U.S.-born husband and two kids, she was FINALLY able to become a citizen! She went to Boise with her family for her final test, and found out that she PASSED and that the next ceremony was in exactly a week! Unfortunately, her husband could not take the trip to Boise with her again so soon. At first, she thought that she would just go up by herself and was trying to figure out who would watch her kids. I told her that she needed me to come so I could take her picture and give her hugs (and watch her kids). So, Marcela and I packed up four kids in my van and drove to Boise! When we got there, we checked into our hotel, and went foraging for food. Originally, we were going to take the kids to a movie, but they were having way to much fun at Chick-fil-a, as you can tell by the socks strewn all over. So, no movie. Ah, well.
That night was an adventure. Our boys slept together in Davis's sleeping bag. The girls wanted to sleep together (mostly Bri. Reagan had no idea what was going on) but that didn't work out. Reagan ended up switching between her sleeping bag and bed with me a bunch of times before finally falling asleep, and then throughout the night as well.

The next morning was the big ceremony. We got there, and there was no sitting room available any more. Fortunately, we were told that there were toys at the back of the room, so we basically hung out there during the ceremony.

It was a very cool experience. There were 34 people from 15 different countries, and the whole room said the Pledge of Allegiance together, which was fairly moving regarding the circumstances. A role call of countries was called out, and there were people from Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand, Argentina Brazil, the UK, and many other countries as well. Then all of the new citizens stood and repeated the oath of allegiance together.

After the oath was repeated, everyone received documentation that they were now citizens of the United States. Then, a video was played with the president welcoming everyone into the country, and then another video with a moving rendition of "America the Beautiful." After that, many pictures and hugs were taken and given.

This one is a representation of our craziness:
Anyway, it was an awesome experience and I'm so glad that I was able to go with Marcela. Afterwards, we celebrated the experience and her birthday at Tucano's. I have to admit that my eyes did leak a little bit. Somehow, I did not expect to get emotional about it, but it was a really cool experience that I will never forget!

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