Friday, May 20, 2011

earning my stars and stripes

It's official! As of this morning, I am now red, white and American!

Thinking back, it was kind of a whirlwind - just over three months since I submitted my paperwork, though God told me to do this last year and I put it off until the last minute.Here are some photos from the day:

turning in my permanent resident card with Brie by my side

in my last minutes as a Canadian citizen

keeping Ben busy - it was a long wait!

what the kids were interested in seeing

more fun with the camera (a way to keep the older 3 amused)

registering to first vote most like will be for my husband!

all ALL American family (Reese was a little worn out from the process ;)

The most moving part of the ceremony was the time the judge allowed for the citizens-to-be to give thanks to anyone who helped them through the naturalization process. Many thanked the USA itself. One man wanted to become a citizen because he was rescued from a war-torn country and he wanted to be able to help rescue others in peril. I about cried at that one. It's so hard to image for many of us, the struggle that people must go through to get here. It's hard for me to imagine since Canada does not oppress its people.

My prayer, going forward, as a newly-minted American, is that I would never forget the privilege of living in a country founded on an idea that people have a right to freedom.Which leads me to the celebration part of this post:

Grab a bowl of ice cream or a cone (we did!)...

 ...and enjoy this song which kind of sums up how I'm feeling right now.

(Disclaimer: I debated whether to put on this song because I struggle with the knowledge that our idea of freedom often clashes with the image of freedom held dear by another people/country/culture and these clashes often result in death.The death of another person is not something I take lightly. What I do hope you will celebrate with me is my joy in joining a country that has dared to dream of its ability to provide freedom to its people and to provide the hope of freedom to those who do not have it. And rejoice that it is for freedom that Christ set us free (Galatians 5:1a)- and He paid the price for the cost of freedom with His life so we would not have to pay for it with our own.)

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