We went to the US Citizenship & Immigration Office Tuesday morning for Mian's interview. In the last moments the night before, gathering documents, we realized there was a problem. His interview notice called for all passports, all green cards, all former documents. We couldn't find a few of the advanced parole travel documents he'd been issued, but more importantly he didn't even have his current passport, it was at the Belgium embassy here in Washington, DC, awaiting decision on a travel visa. We assumed that would mean needing to make another appointment, but since the interview notice says to keep the appointment and show up even if you aren't fully prepared, we went anyway, disappointed that it probably wouldn't be that fruitful of a trip. I even spoke with my mother on the phone in the morning, telling her the problem and that we didn't know what would happen.
Instead, he was called into his interview and emerged not even ten minuted earlier, triumphant. Across the room he nodded at me, smiling and glistening-eyed. He'd passed his six question test of American history and cultural knowledge, he'd spoken and written a sentence of English, he'd even told his interviewer about his passport problem. Should be fine, she'd said, and given him a slip of paper to bring back at 2 o'clock that afternoon, for his oath ceremony.
After such a long journey, it was finally going to end that very day. He took his oath of citizenship and it was a really wonderful event for our little family. I was lucky enough to remember Faiqa of Native Born and Hey That's My Hummus's old post about her husband's naturalization and I made sure to tell him thank you. Thank you for doing this for our family. For making our future more secure, more firmly rooted in this country of my choosing, my home - now our home.
Did I mention that this all happened 9 years to the day after Mian and I met? How poetic, August 2nd has always been a special day for us. A day when our lives change forever.
|Coming to this stupid building for the last time. (Except for all the future times to bring M's family here.) Well, last time for M's case at least!|
|His welcome to America packet, including a letter from President Obama that starts "My Fellow American..."|
|M filing into his designated seat to take his oath.|
|Everyone's capturing the event.|
|Celebratory iftar/dinner at the American-est place we could think of. Chili's. The place we ate when he met my parents.|