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.
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.
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.
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.