Yesterday I got to experience something SOOO cool! My friend, Santi, became a US citizen!! Finally! He has lived her for the past 9 years, and has been married for the last 8! You may not recognize him, but I refer to him often on my blog. Him and his wife are our bffs/neighbors that I often refer to. I just haven't posted a picture yet. :)
When they invited me to the ceremony, I thought it would be the 3 of us, (Paul had to work- he is not happy about that now), in a court room. I almost felt silly for going. We get there and I find out that over 1200 people are becoming citizens that day!!! From 109 different countries! Isn't that AMAZING?
The whole event was pretty emotional. Not just because my dear friend is FINALLY a citizen, but to see ALL those 1200+ people become citizens too- ugh- it was awesome! Like, after someone accepting Christ, getting baptized, getting married, adoption/birth, this was one of the most emotional/coolest days ever! (in that order of course) But this event is right up there. It was awesome! If you get a chance to go, you must!!! Paul is so disappointed he missed it!
What got to me was when the guest speaker started talking about how now they were free. Free to worship as they please. Free to EVERYTHING. It was an awesome reminder of how blessed we are as Americans. They also had to take an oath to DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION. UMM, every American should have to do that- it seems natural born citizens could care less about our constitution. But I'll digress... this was a joyous occasion. One that, for the moment, made me forget all the bad stuff going on in the land that I love, and it made me remember why I loved her in the first place. :)
Santi's favorite part? Well, after they took their oath of citizenship, the presiding judge turned to them and said, "let me be the first to tell you, Congratulations, My Fellow Americans." After the ceremony, Santi's boss wanted to do a video about the whole thing, (like 2 mins long and will be linked here eventually), and he asked Santi about the ceremony. He went on to say how awesome it was to hear those words, "my fellow Americans." He said he heard them many times, but it never got to him till now. Umm, yeah, that made me cry for sure.
He has loved America for many, many, years, and so it was one of the happiest moments of his life to become an OFFICIAL citizen. :) Just to show you how much he loves America: When 9/11 hit, he had lived in America for about a year, and had been married for only 3 days- he was so upset about the attack he went to the Army to enlist. He couldn't of course since he wasn't a citizen, but come on, how cool is that?
Oh, and now to confuse you. Santi has officially changed his name to James. So I finally introduce you to Santi, and now I tell you to call him James. :)
So I give you JAMES and his beautiful wife Elise. We love y'all sooo much and we are so happy that this day finally came! I was blessed to be a part of it!