Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Citizenship






Today was the day we have been waiting for! At 8:00 a.m. this morning, May 12, 2009 Erin had to appear at the local field office of the US Dept of Immigration. She was finally being sworn in as an American citizen!
As of February 2001 when an internationally adopted child enters the United States on an IR-4 visa (indicating both parents travelled), they are an American citizen. HOWEVER, (isn't there always a "however?") there isn't a government agency that recognized that federal law. David & I flew to China knowing that Erin would be granted citizenship as soon as we both set foot on U.S. soil. And then we received her Resident Alien card in the mail.. Huh? Wait a second! She's a citizen. Nope. Not one agency recognized this law. I was one ticked off mama when I had to argue with the lady at the Social Security Administration on the day I registered to get Erin's social security number. The reality is that if your child received a Resident Alien card, then the government doesn't recognize your child to be a citizen.
In 2007 I realized that I wasn't going to win. I completed all of the paperwork within hours of the application fee being doubled. A few weeks ago, David called me at work to let me know that Erin was finally being granted citizenship.
Last night we all went to bed early so we could be up bright & early for the day's special events. We left the house & got to the field office by 7:35. As we walked in, we were greeted by security & had to pass through the screening process. Then we waited in a long line until they allowed us to go in to the Swearing In room at 8:00.
The first thing upon entering the room, Erin & I sat down at a table so that I could verify the information that is on her paperwork. Let me tell you I was pissed. We entered the U.S. on June 11, 2003. Her citizenship is effective October 2003. David made me shut up so that we get it all over with. He was probably afraid that Erin wouldn't get her citizenship.
After finishing up at "the table," we were directed to the seating area for the swearing in. Because Erin is a minor, one of us was allowed to sit with her while the other sat in the guest area (right next to her it turns out). David was stepping aside to let me sit with Erin. Our very decisive little girl decided that she wanted to have her daddy sit with her. That said, David sat with his girl while I sat on the sidelines.
While we all waited for the ceremony to begin, I got to observe David & Erin together. They played & chit chatted each adoring the other. They looked through the plastic bag that each new citizen is given. Inside was a small American flag. Erin loved waiving her flag around!
The ceremony started.
  • The field officer welcomed all of the people as they were becoming citizens.
  • Everyone rose to sing The Star Spangled Banner.
  • The field officer announced how many people were being granted citizenship & which country they came from. (China had 3 people.)
  • Everyone rose to say the Pledge of Allegiance. This was lead by one of the new citizens. He lead everyone beautifully.
  • The field officer then called each person by name to come & get their Certificate of Citizenship & have their picture taken. Erin turned her head into David's shoulder at that point & refused to look up.

When we were done, it was picture time! David snapped a few pics inside - even got one of me!

15 comments:

Super Mommy said...

Yay - finally!! I bet you are relieved.

Sandra said...

That's awesome!!

Dawn said...

AWesome news. When I finally become a citizen we should have a party.

Carol and Taylor said...

Our country is a bit better, having sweet Erin as our newest citizen.

Congrats on this momentous day!

Candy said...

Congratulations Erin! This has been a long time coming.

Love Letters To China said...

Congratulations! I had to file for Liam's COC and they said it could take up to a year to receive it. I didn't realize it took this long. So happy for you guys!

Michelle said...

Whooohooo Erin!!!! Congratulations!

fricke92 said...

Good news! (We still haven't done that step for Elise because it pisses me off, too!)

Magi said...

Wonderful news! I'm sorry you had to jump through this hoop.

Mary Beth in A'dam said...

Comment on your post about Mom, G_D are you listening....
We are NOT our moms. Don't forget, you have your dad's genepool too. I too look like a clone of my mom, who started getting Alzheimer's at age 75..now 84 and 5 years in nurs.home.
Most likely you will live a long and happy life, especially with your loving family. And if you keep blogging and talking and sharing. All the best wishes.
Mary Beth in A'dam, LID Nov 8, 2006

Vivian M said...

congratulations Erin on this most important of days...just one of many to come!

yaphastamps said...

Mazel Tov to all of you!!!

Shari McConahay said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you guys and very proud of Erin, she is such a good girl!

SoFlaMom said...

Congratulations to our newest citizen, Erin!
Michele

Kristina said...

Love the pics! Congrats to Erin.