Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mom is Now a U.S. Citizen!

My wife became a citizen of the United States today.

She had studied hard for her citizenship test and passed it a couple of months ago. Kai and I had helped her prepare a little bit by quizzing her, but mostly she did it on her own.

My wife said that she wanted to be a citizen of the same country as her husband and son.

A couple of weeks ago, at our parent-teacher conference at school, when his teacher asked Kai what he was most proud of, he said he was most proud of his mom becoming a U.S. citizen. The teacher had meant for Kai to talk about some personal achievement that he was proud of, but I liked his answer nonetheless.

The oath ceremony was to take place at noon in the Federal Building in downtown Chicago. I would already be downtown as I work only a couple of blocks away. I really wanted Kai to witness this as well.

My wife would pick up Kai at school and then drive to the train station where they would take the train into the city. We spoke to Kai last night that he would have to ready to go promptly. If he had any type of incident at school that caused him to be late, that would ruin Mom's big day. We also told him that he would have to be on his best behavior in the courtroom. If he didn't think he could do that, then he should decide to stay in school. He hesitated and thought long and hard, and then told us that he would like to go downtown to be there for Mom.

This morning I met them at the Federal Building and Kai was calm. Apparently all had gone well at school.

We had over an hour wait before the oath ceremony began. Kai sat nicely in the courtroom while we waited.

We found out that 105 new citizens would be taking their oath on this day from over 30 countries.

The judge finally emerged just past 1 pm. We were sitting in the back of the room but the judge said that children were welcome to come up front near her to witness the taking of the oath. I encouraged Kai to go up front and he did along with one other youth, and had a good view of the entire courtroom.

It was quite a moment when all 105 stood and the judge took them through the oath. No pictures are allowed in the courtroom until the judge grants permission, which she did at the end of the ceremony.

Here you see my wife receiving her citizenship certificate from an immigration official.

And we all posed for pictures with her.

We were touched that my wife's sister-in-law and her husband came for the ceremony.

Afterward we had lunch and walked around downtown to play some Pokemon Go before taking the train home. At dinner we asked Kai what was the best part of his day. He said besides catching Pokemon, it was seeing Mom become a U.S. citizen.

Indeed it was.


  1. My wife is thinking about getting her citizenship soon also. Good for your wife. So many citizens in the US take our country for granted. It is good to see people wanting to become a true citizen of our nation.

    Kai had a proud moment with his mother.

    I really like those last two pictures. I am sure you will enlarge, print, and frame, at least one of them.

    1. I think that it many cases, immigrants have a more full appreciation for this country than those who have lived here all their lives.

      It was great that Kai could be there. We will treasure that moment.


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