Now, you may or may not know this, but I’m Canadian. As in, I was born there. I haven’t lived there since I was itty-bitty – I was raised in California – which, if you know me, makes MUCH more sense, but still, Canadian, I am.
And in that weird way that famly history and culture and your own personal inter-weavings actually MATTER to just you… I have maintained my citizenship all these years. It used to be that in order to become a U.S. citizen, you had to denounce your country of origin. And I just wasn’t comfortable with that. Now, that is no longer the case and hasn’t been for quite some time. And yet… thre is the issue of my small people.
Though we live here, smack dab in the middle of the country – where I have ties to absolutely nothing beyond the family I have created, I still want them to know, to experience, to BE….a portion of that crazy mix of who I am. Right? A Canadian raised in California – a girl who claims the surf, sun and sand FIRST, but is unwilling to pass up the heritage that comes with the Maple Leaf.
So, I waited until they were old enough to apply for Canadian citizenship. I jumped through the hoops that required special pictures, notarized documents, the original copies of their birth certificates and intense applications. And yes, fees. I filed the paperwork away with an impatient sigh when the response from the Canadian Consulate said I could expect a response in 6 to 18 months. Yes. EIGHTEEN months. And I tried to forget about it.
I promised myself I would begin my own citizenship journey when the small people were officially dual citizens.
And then a funny thing happened. Yesterday, a certified note arrived in the mail with
stamped in large letters. I didn’t want whatever it was to be sent back, so we rushed to the nearby post office….though we had never received an initial or even a second notice. And how is this for a little shock? When I turned in that
FINAL NOTICE (with yesterday’s date)
we were told the certified letter had been had been waiting for us since October.
And the letter was from the Canadian Consulate.
My small people are now Canadian citizens!! And according to the letter inside that envelope, they have been since September 22, 2011. The poor lady behind the counter apologized profusely – embarrassed that the U.S. Post Office has been holding a letter for us for close to 4 months. Just sitting there with it. No notes to us. No….. nothing.
And normally, I might be bothered, but I’m too excited to care.
Now my citizenship journey begins. I have filled out my application. (It took about 45 minutes) But that is just step one in what promises to be an eventful process. No, I’m not a Communist. No, I’m not a member of the Nazi party. No, I’m not currently married to more than one person. Nope, no felonies.
Tomorrow, I begin the process of collecting the nearly 20 pieces of documention I need to send in with that application. Should be a good time. Then there will be pictures. Mailing. Fingerprinting. Studying. An ORAL exam!!
And then a U.S. Citizen I will be. Could take a year. Fingers crossed for less, right?
Wish me luck.
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