Thursday, May 5, 2011

Otherwise occupied...

Are you starting to get the feeling, while coming to my blog periodically, that I am not getting a lot of art-time lately? Me too!!! I am seriously in withdrawal! Tomorrow I am dedicating a good portion of my day to letting loose in my studio!

I do have some pretty good reasons, though- the new baby in our family and the trips involved with that, spring- and the work that our lawns and gardens demand, kids (need I say more?), a daughter having oral surgery, and of course the event I have been working towards and preparing for for months:

I became an American citizen yesterday!!!

I am very fortunate that being married to an American meant that my wait was shorter than some others have to go through.

Still, we have been at this since January 2007- four and half years! I have been fingerprinted and photographed (passport-style) more often in that time, than most people are in their entire lifetimes!

Mountains of paperwork, many interviews, lawyer's meetings, and endless submitting documents- it's all done!

And being in the Denver area means that everything is done the same day- I had my test and interview yesterday morning and was sworn in after lunch!

This is a very happy event for my me and my DH- who can now stop worrying that I will be deported.
What he thought I might be deported FOR- well, that's never actually been clear...

I learned a lesson a long time ago from my Grama- and I was thinking of her too, yesterday when I took my Oath of Allegiance to my newly adopted country.

My grandparents emigrated to Canada from Holland in 1952. They had six sons and Europe was still war-torn and struggling to get back on it's feet. They wanted their sons to have opportunities and lives that they knew wouldn't be possible in their home country.

They left all of their family behind, they were not able to speak English, and literally had almost nothing when they arrived in Ontario.

What they did have was love, a desire for a better life, and a determination to learn what it meant to be a Canadian.

Grama said they believed right down to their soul that choosing a different country to live in meant you had to truly love your new country and make it your own- that the "old country" ways were meant for the old country.

Both of my grandparents learned read, write, and speak English in a relatively short time, and they didn't spend any time sitting around saying "things aren't done this way in Holland...".  They became Canadians in every sense of the word.

They were required to renounce their Dutch citizenship to become Canadians and they did. I bet it wasn't easy, but they wanted to be true Canadians and were willing to do whatever it took.

I am fortunate in that I am able to retain both Canadian and US citizenship. On the way to my test and interview yesterday morning, I thought about what I would say if I was asked to give up my Canadian citizenship.

I moved here for a better life- a life filled with love and joy and peace and contentment, shared with the man I want to be with for the rest of our lives.

I have always been proud to be a Canadian girl, and that won't ever change. But I am thrilled to be an American now, to be able to fully enjoy- and give back- to a country has been lovely and welcoming to me since I crossed the border!