Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An American, one day later.

I am borrowing a photo my son Brad took the other day on one of his trips into Washington DC. It seemed appropriate to my post.

I also found Lee Greenwood's Proud To Be An American here. It was played at the end of Citizenship Ceremony yesterday.
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This morning when I signed on I read comments from nine of my on-line friends. Thank you all for congratulating me and I can’t tell you how much that means. I am overwhelmed by your kindness and feel very blessed to know you.
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Janet, thank you. I always am very happy to see you here and appreciate what you said.
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Antigoni, thank you also for leaving such a kind sentiment.
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2SweetnSaxy, Fellow American, how sweet those words sound to my ears this morning. I’m grinning from ear to ear right now.
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Eve, wow, I’m still emotional this morning and when I read your words I had tears in my eyes. I think I will be that way for a while. Lee Greenwood will most definitely be at that party.
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Cathy, it certainly was a big day. I didn’t realize you originally came from England, so knowing that you went through the same thing, I can see why you can relate.
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Abraham Lincoln, I also shed a few tears. When I was in the waiting room I watched as a young family posed by the American flag with their new citizen certificates in their hands, such a look of joy on their faces and the tears came from them and from me, and from Gregg. It was a day full of emotion and it didn’t take much to start sniffling. Thank you for your welcome. It too means a lot to me.
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Birdlady, thank you for the congratulations and the warm welcome. It is a wonderful feeling to have so many wishing me well.
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Papercages, so sweet of you and thank you.
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Lindsay (Cheshire Wife) thank you too for your good wishes and for saying such nice things about my blog. To answer your question, in England I am still considered British and will have a duel nationality, but over here I am considered to be only one nationality, American.
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My journey to American Citizenship happened in four stages. When I first came to the States to coin a corny old phrase, it was for love and the thought never even crossed my mind.
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The second stage was thinking about becoming a citizen but because I had a great love for my parents I thought it might hurt them. They would probably have understood looking back but I didn’t want to take that chance. I had too much love and respect for them. And maybe I wasn’t a hundred percent sure at that time anyway.
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The third stage was me wanting to become a citizen but I had heard of the dreaded test and saw the 100 questions that I had to learn. My eyes went wide when I downloaded them off the Internet, and I told myself there was no way I could memorize all that. In reality you are only asked a few questions and it was so easy. As you often do, you wonder why on earth you were so worried but I don’t do well on tests. I am emotional and emotions tend to take over, I get brain freeze under extreme stress and no matter how much I study for these things, a glaze goes over my eyes and all knowledge pours out of my ears, I kid you not. I remember back at school being continually screamed at by a math teacher when I didn't 'get it' the first time round, being called a dunce more than once. I often wonder if that left it's mark as when I think back to that time I still get very uncomfortable. As it turned out, just like visiting the dentist, the thought was worse than the actual event. I did learn everything on those 100 questions, found out so much about American history that fascinated me, it was like a ripple in a pond and I wanted to learn more, and am still learning. When those questions were asked by that very nice gentleman at the Customs and Immigration Service, knowledge had stayed between the ears and I didn’t hesitate with my answers.
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The fourth stage was the realization that I had put roots so deeply into these shores and that I had lived here longer than the first part of my life in England. I will always love the place of my birth and there will always be an England inside of me. You can take the girl out of England but you can't take England out of the girl so they say and that's true, but America is my home now and I have grown to love her and want to give her my 100 percent all.
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So, here I am, one day after, an American.

8 comments:

Roy said...

Warmest congratulations Denise.
Of course you will have to find a new name for your blog now. {:)

JGH said...

Let me add my congratulations!

Last year I went with my friend Vasanthi to get her citizenship. This was at Federal Plaza in NYC and they had something like 36 native countries represented. It was fun to hear the cheers and whoops as each country was called out. (My friend is from Sri Lanka). I see that they played the same video for you that we saw. It was a wonderful day and strangely touching for me as a witness.

Enjoy your new status as citizen!

Denise said...

Roy, my goodness, I hadn't even thought of that but I think I will keep it a while :)

JGH, thank you so much. How interesting to hear of your friend from Sri Lanka. She must have appreciated you going with her knowing how nervous I felt.

Thank you both for dropping by. Really appreciate it.

Mary said...

Congratulations and welcome! We need more citizens like you that have given deep thought to just why they want to be a citizen. For those born here, we become too complacent sometimes....ready to criticise but forgetting what a wonderful place this is and how lucky we are to be part of this nation. It's perfectly all right to still love the land of your birth, but taking the step to commit to the land where you live is important, too. This way you give back and don't just take, as some do. Welcome!

Reluctantfarmchik said...

Oh wow- you inspire me! I was born/raised in S Africa. I've been in the states for longer than I lived in Africa. I'm still a green card holder. I've been threatening to become a citizen (the last of my family to do so) but also dread the test. And the process. Hmmmm. I could also have a cool "citizenship" blog entry.

Maria said...

I also want to add my congratulations! I wish you all the best for your life as an American citizen!

cheshire wife said...

Congratulaions! Are you really no longer English or are you going to have dual nationality?

I have been meaning to tell you that I love the photos on your blog and it is fascinating to read about life in another country.There is an Arte Y Pico award waiting for you on my blog.

Louise said...

This and the last post are just beautiful. They brought tears to my eyes. With so many today doing nothing but being disgruntled about our country, it is so wonderful to see someone embrace it. Congralations, and welcome! I'm so happy for you.

(And I think the dentist is just as bad as I make it out in my head to be!)