Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am officially an American!!

I am officially a daughter of America.
My 20-year odyssey to this moment ended today when I took the Oath of Allegiance in Chattanooga and became a naturalized United States citizen.

                                          My naturalization certificate

Why it took that long is a story I'll have to tell you another time (preferably over a meal). Suffice it to say that I am overwhelmed.

At one point during the ceremony at the National Guard Armory, we each had to stand up and say our full name and our country of origin. I started crying as I listened to those around me. Netherlands, Peru, Iran, Canada, Vietnam, Nigeria and countries in between.
101 people. 45 nationalities. What a sacred moment.

I'm thrilled that a year from now, I'll be able to vote in my first federal election. Not only will I have a choice, I will also have a voice.

                          One of the pamphlets in my naturalization packet

Today was extra special because of the friends who were there to cheer me on. Thank you, Ansley, Bill and Angela, Patty and Tom, Nancy and Vern.
You honored me with your presence.

                                          The dinner party crew

I especially want to thank the people who prayed me through the many tough parts of this journey. You know who you are and you know what I mean. This is like the biggest "ebenezer" of all, isn't it? :)

I am not just Nigerian anymore. I am now Nigerian-American. I have fully come into the two parts of who I am.

Everything in me wants to stand on top of a mountain somewhere (or at the very least, a table in a public place) and scream: "MY IMMIGRATION JOURNEY IS OVER!!!"

It's on to the next chapter of my life.

                              The first day of the rest of my (American) life

13 comments:

  1. Congratulations Lola!!! So happy for you. This makes me smile.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so very, very happy for you, Lola!!!

    Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
    hither by thy help I'm come;
    and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
    safely to arrive at home.
    Jesus sought me when a stranger,
    wandering from the fold of God;
    he, to rescue me from danger,
    interposed his precious blood.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You look beautiful! Welcome to being an American. Big hugs and kisses.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lola, I've always been honored to call you friend. Now, I am so honored and feel that our nation is truly enriched to have you as a citizen. I love you dearly. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my goodness, this is huge news!! I'm so excited for you to vote :).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations, Lola!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Way to go, Lola!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is fantastic news! Congratulations! The USA just got smarter and brighter!

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Good Job" NEW YORK your buddy

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't know you personally, but from the bottom of my heart I thank you for coming to America and doing it right. I'm so glad you are now a fellow citizen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, Britney, and for reading. It means a lot to me :)

      Delete