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Becoming American

A couple of months ago I highlighted the lengthy naturalization journey Ana has had to under go to become an American citizen. While we were on vacation she got an email that 7/14/21 would be the day it finally all paid off. Sadly because of Covid protocol friends and family would not be able to enter the building to witness the event. Just the same we went downtown to the federal courthouse to support her.

When she went inside Bridget and I made a bee line to the nearest florist and got a bouquet of red and white flowers with a blue bow. We hurried back and found that they were doing the ceremony in the lobby of the courthouse and streaming it on YouTube. It was all over in less than 10 minutes and we all cheered. There were several ceremonies today but with Ana there were 28 people taking the oath from 23 different nations proving the US truly is a melting pot.

I snapped photos like there was no tomorrow hoping the American flag and the wind would cooperate. To my surprise a young man in Army fatigues asked me to take a photo of him with his naturalization certificate as he appeared to be the only person there alone. I of course obliged and thanked him for his service. He didn't seem distributed to be flying solo but knowing how proud I was of Ana I'm sure he has family somewhere that wished they could attend. We were blessed that it was a mere 15 minute drive for us but others had to travel much much further.

I announced to Ana that to celebrate we needed to buy her a gun, listen to country music, play baseball, eat apple pie and hotdogs then complain about foreigners. She laughed and agreed to only some of it so we made our way to the Rivermarket to eat greasy burgers before returning to work. That evening we walked around Liberty Memorial as it seemed like the logical place to be following such events.

From there we made our way to Town Topic burgers for pie and retired to Case Park to watch the sun set and take in the cool night air. The first time Ana visited America in 2009 I took her to that spot immediately after picking her up from the airport. I was living in Raymore at the time and couldn't wait to spend time with her so I found a place for me to point out various landmarks and for us to make out before going home to rest. It seemed like the perfect place to wrap up this day. I am so very proud of her and can confidently say that the USA got a little bit more special this morning courtesy of my sweetheart.


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