America’s Newest Citizen

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:

America's newest citizen

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.

Michael and Mariana
I love this picture. That smile is just so proud and happy. And there were 150 other smiles just like it this morning. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these ceremonies, please go. I thought maybe they just herded everyone through and that the people running it would be bored by doing it so many times, but that is not the case! They took the time to make it a very meaningful ceremony. Of course, having a family member taking part makes it even more so. We are celebrating today. God bless America!
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3 Responses to America’s Newest Citizen

  1. reubensmith2013 says:

    I loved seeing the pictures. In my days as a reporter, I covered Federal Court and never tired of attending these ceremonies. I always found them very moving and felt so proud of the hard work these folks did in order to become a citizen of our country. Congratulations to the new American.


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Allison Hunsaker says:

    This is wonderful! Tell Mariana congratulations. Thanks for posting this.

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