Sunday, December 18, 2011

MR. USA

Friday was a BiG DAY!  Andrew became a UNITED STATES CITIZEN! For those of you who do not know, he could have stayed a permanent resident forever.  As a Citizen, he gets to vote. And, he can work for the govt if he wants to. Andrew had no interest in becoming a citizen, but his company has a few contracts coming up with the military, so we figured it was best he had his Citizenship, so he was eligible for more job opportunities.
His swearing in ceremony was in Concord, The State Capital.
We had to be at the US District Court at 8 AM.
My parents and niece met us there.  It was REALLY windy out and we were kind of in a rush, but my mom got this photo as we were getting out of the car. No one looks happy, but we were. haha. I was trying to figure out what we needed to bring in. I had NO Idea we would be in there for 2.5 hours! For Anika, I brought in ONE diaper and her diaper wet bag...that's it! whoops. Should have brought books or toys or something.

There was quite a line to go through security. I used to go to the  Federal Court in Boston ALL the time. IN fact, I went there every single day for 3 months back in my former life. I knew we needed a photo ID to get in...there was also a big sign saying to have it ready when you go through security. MY DAD forgot his! My parents live an hour away from the court. My dad was all dressed up- even in a tie which he barely wears.  He was starting to get disappointed, but when we got up to security I told the guard my dad forgot his ID and he let him in anyway :) Thank God. Oh, but my dad had a pocket knife in his pocket they took (and he got back after).

That jacket my dad is holding. Ya, it is his jacket with a patch that says "National Rifle Association" ...he had that on and they STILL let him in! haha
Andrew had to go to the front of the court room where they had seats for all the immigrants.  He then had to sit there and we waited for all the other people to get seated. IT WAS a whole hour until the ceremony started.  As you can imagine, Anika had NO interest in sitting still. So, we went and walked around out in the hall. Oh, when we had walked into the court, I asked my dad about his "pet cat" in his house and told him "My friend" aka my blog friend Jenny was concerned about it. He wanted to know WHO the friend was and asked if she wanted to talk to him about it. I was like, no- She is pissed off you have a dead bobcat in your house! And I didn't want to say a blog friend but he kept being like 'have her call me if she has concerns about it" hahahah.. um, no.

PS. I had NO idea we were "matching" until people commented on FB! haha.  We had to get up at 5:30 AM and I picked the outfits last minute having no idea it would appear we were matching.
She wore her 4th of July bow since it is patriotic.
 I have been giving my ALL Time favorite light brown boots a break lately and have been wearing these black boots I got at the 2nd hand store for $15! They are leather and all. LOVE that store!

She was making so many friends at the court! She is just such a social butterfly.

Andrew registering



When we were outside the court room waiting.  Andrew had to stay seated in a seperate section, but all of the family had to just wait and wait and wait. We did have seats, but Miss A had no interest in sitting in them. My niece was a little antsy too. She got to miss the morning of school to attend the ceremony since it is educational. 

Anika practicing to be a judge!
The Governor of NH, John Lynch, made his rounds and was talking to a lot of people. The people to the left of him were from the Senators' offices and the House of Reps offices. They have people from those offices there because the immigrants are now VOTING Citizens! The Governor also gave a small speech, but he is coming to an end on his term and he is not running for re-election, so he was not there to get votes. HE was just there because he finds the process and ceremony important. I think that is pretty cool. He didnt say that, but I have heard that from other political people.

There was a class of 5th graders from a local school who sang a bunch of Patriotic songs. They did a fabulous job. My mom was video taping the whole ceremony, but was running out of tape, so she didn't get the kids singing. The Judge also gave a very heartfelt speech that I enjoyed. There were 37 countries represented and the Judge called each country and the New Citizens stood up when their country was called.  When NZ was called, my mom, dad, me and Kaelyn all cheered. After the ceremony ANdrew said NZ got the loudest cheer...which I was surprised it sounded loud to him because Im pretty sure it was just my family cheering! haha. When the Congo was announced, the people next to us did some kind of call..like a mating call..wait, not mating...but it was obviously cultural.  The Judge said a lot of the new citizens were very skilled people brought here by big American companies because of their skills.  There were doctors and engineers. There were many people who have been living here for 20 years already. There was a girl sitting behind us from Kenya. My niece is very social and was talking to her. Actually, my niece was also trying to show off and being fresh to me and I told the Kenyan girl to not do what my niece did! ha. The girls name started with an H. H told us her dad was becoming a citizen and he was a doctor, but they have been here for 4 years.  So, H asked my niece if she could get a picture taken with Anika!! haha. When I was in the hall H kept coming up to talk to Anika and kept saying how cute she was.  H had her own camera and gave it to my niece to take and my mom took some with mine.  I wasn't that hesitant about her holding her for a photo, surprisingly. AND, Ill admit, this is NOT the first time someone has asked to take their picture with A!  And, its not the first time I have said ok. I mean, the people are never visibly sick and I always wash Anika's hands. And, its in these types of safe situations, in my opinion. I know some people may think I'm a whack a doodle , but whatever.  I have my neurotic behavior about a lot of things when it comes to Anika, specifically the food/drink that goes in her body. I am pretty intense about it and she has a lot more restrictions than you probably care to hear about.  We all have our  own neurosis I guess.
ANika acted about the same as she did on Santa!! She was just like, whatever. 

Then my niece wanted a picture taken with her new friend too!

Then the family got to go through the gate and meet up with our immigrants :) Here is Andrew getting his Certificate.  This was after he had to do the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and sang the National Anthem with the group.

The Governor (Who by the way said Anika's name right and Commented on her awesome patriotic bow made by Danielle), Me, Ani, Andrew and The Judge.

Same with my parents and niece. Luckily you cant see the big rip in my panty hose...oh, yes Anika ripped them after we were there for a few minutes. She was also farting up a storm. Gotta love her!

Leaving...

Anika is next to get her dual citizenship done...and then me.  One at a time, but Andrew's was definitely lthe most expensive to get done. AND, we didn't even hire a lawyer, I was our lawyer, otherwise it could get WAY more expensive.
After being at the court for 2.5 hours, we went next door to breakfast! I have NO idea how Anika was still running since we were WAY past the normal time she naps. I did have to nurse her in the court house bathroom AND change her nappie with her standing up because there was no changing station.


Nona and Anika at breakfast

She was such a good girl and ate LOTs of food.  People kept coming over to her to say hi to her. She is such an attention whore. One boy came over and actually pet her head. Ok, that one was kinda weird..and my mom was being nice to him and said "why aren't you in schooL?" and he didn't answer and then his dad said "he is home schooled' ha. whoops.   I then said I was going to home school ANka and my whole family laughed at me! Rude.  

Oh whoops this was out of order.
After breakfast, I had to go to work :( 
OH, I forgot t say before, my boss had someone from my firm come to the ceremony to take photos for us! So, I will be getting those photos as well. Her photos will be wayy better than mine. It was very sweet!
Friday night my friend Molly and her sister came over for dinner. Molly is home visiting from CA. I had not seen her since July. She brought Andrew an ice cream cake shaped as a FOOTBALL since that just says America! haha. It said congrats Andrew with a little American Flag on top. I forgot to take pictures before we all ate it!
Anika got a little American flag at the Ceremony. She was waving it at the ceremony and my work person took some photos of her with it, so I hope they came out. Here she is at home with it!
Also, Andrew wore a pin that his friend's dad in NZ gave him when he left NZ to come over here and marry me. The pin is an American flag and NZ flag together as one pin. IT was from WWII. Andrew wore it on our wedding day on his suit and obviously it was symbolic. He wore the pin on Friday too!  WE ALSO got MORE pins- American flag pins from the American Legion men at the ceremony.  IT wasn't until Andrew was sitting there that he realized what a big deal this whole thing was.  Its a big deal to become a Citizen of this Great Country and it was emotional. Well, it would have been more emotional for me if I wasn't trying to keep my baby quiet. I definitely felt proud to be an American. Oh that song played a lot! haha.
Andrew's brother called him this weekend and asked why him and his wife were not invited to watch. My mom had asked Andrew why is brother wasn't there too...to be honest, Andrew just didn't think of it. Again, he didn't think it was a big deal! But, he realizes now he was wrong.  He said it was very cool and he is glad he got to keep his NZ citizenship too :)
This weekend was VERY busy, but I will have a separate post for all that :)
UPDATED after I wrote the post: Andrew received a packet at the ceremony. I just looked at the contents. It contains a big yellow envelope within the envelop that says "A message from The President of the United States" Inside is a letter from President Obama welcoming Andrew. haha. Then, there is a book with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Another book called The Citizen's Almanac and contains a lot of historical events, speeches and letters. Also, a pamphlet called "The Voter's Guide".  A passport application  and a folder for his certificate of naturalization! There is also a card with the words to the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance. Also, here is the oath he had to take:
"I hereby declare, an oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of The United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God"

5 comments:

  1. A HUGE CONGRATS to you all! I know how much paperwork and legal stuff you had done to get Andrew there in such a short time after arriving here in the US - and so great that now he can work on those military contracts and vote too - so many good things about him becoming a citizen! Glad you were all able to be there together for what I'm sure was a very special moment! Great pics too! looking forward to the ones your co-worker took as well - what a great xmas card that would have made - too bad it wasn't earlier:( Although maybe you wouldn't do as a xmas card anyway...:) Anyway - congrats again!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay Andrew! This brings back memories of my own foreign self becoming an American a few yrs back :-)
    I still think it's funny you had some random peeps take pictures with her. Oh Ashley, you crack me up! But it makes a lot more sense that it's a foreigner asking you. Being aware of all the other cultures out there, I know that this is 'normal' for some. If it was an American person asking, I would be a lot more weirded out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so great!! I'm so excited for yall! Glad her bow was such a hit! And I love how y'all matched!! Soooooooooo precious!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! You met the governor and had pictures and such. Fancy pants :) Not that I didn't think it was a big deal to become a citizen, but I guess I just didn't realize that there was a certemony and stuff. How cool!

    Congrats to Andrew again!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yay Andrew!! Honestly I had no idea what a huge deal this was, but that's so awesome that Andrew is finally a US citizen! A looked so pretty in her little outfit. I like how the most Andrew ever smiles is when he is in a pic with her :) That is weird that people ask to take pics with her. I mean, I guess in this case, not THAT weird because she was from another country, so that might not be weird there, but still. What are you supposed to say?! I'd be like...uh, okay? Haha :) Anyway, congrats to Andrew again!

    ReplyDelete