I spent this morning down in Oakland Park at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services building watching my daughter-in-law, Mariana, get sworn in as a naturalized citizen of the United States. I had never been to one of these ceremonies, but I have to tell you, it was really moving. Today there were 151 people from 38 different countries taking the oath. Here is the prettiest one:
We are all so proud of Mariana. She worked very hard to meet all the requirements. When my son Michael first brought his Brazilian girlfriend home to meet us, she was very shy and only spoke limited English. Michael was working in a cigar shop run by Cubans and was fluent in Cuban slang and Mariana had spent a couple years studying in Spain. Between her Portuguese and the Spanish she learned while abroad and his slang, they were able to talk with each other very well.
It’s very hard to get to know someone when you speak different languages. She and Mike would come over and sit on the couch. We would say something and Mike would translate to her. She would answer back to him (very quietly) and he would translate for us. Occasionally she would answer yes or no. Gradually her English became much better and if Mike would try to translate something, she would tell him to speak in English please!
But even with the limited conversations we had, I could see what a sweet young woman she was (and is). She is kind and generous and smart and makes my son extremely happy. We are all so glad she is a part of our family.