God Bless America
Fast forward fifteen years and here I am a Citizen of the United States of America. I’ve been living here in California for fifteen years, longer that I’ve lived in England. I’ve made it my home, my family and friends are here.
It’s been a roller coaster these past fifteen years, with many lows but many highs. It was no joke that our move to the USA changed the direction of my story. I’ve been exposed to so many varied experiences that had we stayed in England I would not have had. Not the least of all meeting my husband, as well as the many friends who I consider family.
Fifteen years, a decade and a half. It’s startling to realize that fifteen years have passed since that day we loaded into the blue van and made the drive to Heathrow Airport. Much has changed, but so has much remained. The friends and family that stood with us that day to bid us goodbye is missing one (my Granddad passed away a year and a half ago), but otherwise the family and friends stand by us - having come out for weddings, birthdays, and just becauses. I think my nan has been out at least once a year since we’ve moved here, and my aunt is a close second. But our circle of friends and family has grown.
On April 29th I stood with 430 like minded individuals from over 60 different nationalities and took up the oath to defend and uphold the constitution of the United States.
Choosing to make this decision was not an easy one. Despite claiming the USA as my home, it was still difficult to take the step and even begin the process. Much to the frustration of my husband at times, I kept putting off filling out the paperwork. It wasn’t until with a dear friend, also needing to become a US Citizen, that I started the process. I filled out the paperwork, and mailed it off the last day of December. I had the completed paperwork sitting around for a month or more, and my husband and I had made a deal that if I didn’t mail it off by December 31st he could lick my face (I abhor my face being touched, let alone licked). True to my nature, I waited until December 31st and barely made it to the post office before they closed for the year.
I then waited, and tracked my progress on Facebook where many of my FB Friends offered encouragement each step of the way. From fingerprinting, to the interview and test (taken in March, here is a snippet of what I wrote the night before I took the test: "Yikes, I can’t even write but I so want to document this monumental day. It’s a BIG deal. So big I haven’t given a whole lot of thought to it. I’ve been going along for the ride and now, here it is." to the final oath taking day my cheering squad rallied around me and congratulated me and buoyed me on.
Now I don’t miss an opportunity to share that I’m a US Citizen. I am still often asked where I am from by random people, and I tell them I am from England but three months ago I became a US Citizen. It’s my conversation card.
There are times I can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that I am now a US Citizen, but for better for worse I am.
One foot in England, one in America and now a dollop of French (but that is a WHOLE 'NOTHER story!!!)