An important milestone happened in my life last week.
|Getting our Certificate of Citizenship|
I became a U.S. Citizen!
I know that most of you are born here in the U.S. and do not know what it takes to become a full-pledged citizen of this great nation.
Our story wasn't tainted with any drama or sad story (luckily), ours was simple and definitely almost the same as anyone else's who came to call this country home - we wanted to have the BEST LIFE we could possibly provide for our family.
|Our Welcome Packet|
To make a long story short, my husband came here first in 2004 on a Working Visa, I followed in 2006 on a separate working visa. My husband eventually qualified and changed our visa to an O visa (visa for extraordinary ability), and eventually we applied for Permanent Residence Status (Green Card Status), and then finally 5 years after that, we applied for our Citizenship.
So you can imagine how long our wait was.
But then again, you may be wondering WHY would we want to change our citizenship in the first place? True, we could continue living in the United States for as long as we wanted legally with our Green card, so why?
|Welcome Letter from The President|
Aside from the fact that as a citizen we can now VOTE, the United States is now MY HOME TOO.
And I want to participate, contribute, gripe and complain as much as anyone out there!
I want to live my life to the fullest and best way possible with all the unalienable rights that go with it! I know that the certificate is just that, a certificate, but it is the validation of everything we've worked so hard for for this country and it's people.
We had our ceremony in a small town High school in Illinois, attended by some friends and the sophomore class of that same high school.
We weren't expecting much with the ceremony, but it ended up being a very beautiful, meaningful and poignant day for all of us sworn in that day...
|Parade of Colors by the Junior ROTC|
|Lovely songs sung by the Mascoutah HS Choir|
"Star Spangled Banner", "America the Beautiful" & "God Bless America"
There were 61 immigrants (10 were physicians) from 28 nations that day. There was a refugee, now citizen, Guest speaker who gave a wonderful speech about making her "Set-BACK" into a "Set-UP".
The Judge had us all speak one by one, briefly of course, about who we were, where we came from and how we felt. And when my turn came, I almost cried (some did too - you can watch it HERE if you want to see).
Of course, though I consider myself an American now, I will always be a FILIPINO-AMERICAN.
My Filipino heritage is ingrained in ME, in who I am.
I am just lucky and BLESSED to be both!
|Welcome committee from the Daughters of the American Revolution welcoming|
us with gifts and greetings.
|First Selfie as an American with our friend Dr. Garrido who became|
a citizen that day too
And now that the Oath is done and everything is official, I hope that I, along with my family continue to contribute, give and serve this great country we call home!
GOD BLESS AMERICA
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