Monday, September 19, 2016

Obtaining Citizenship

Last week was a pretty exciting week in the Quintana household.

Hubby just obtained his US Citizenship. It’s been a long road, especially for him, but he’s done so well since we first moved to the US seven years ago. When we moved to the US, he didn’t speak any English. He didn’t know anything about the culture, and he was completely lost for several months. But he’s worked hard, and look where he is now.

When we lived in Saint Louis, he started taking English as Second Language classes through the community, and we’re both so grateful to the teachers who were willing to spend the time and effort helping him understand the new language. His wife wasn’t always as patient or supportive as they were.

Once he advanced to the final level of those classes, he moved on to community college, taking English as Second Language classes there, focusing more on test taking, essay writing and note taking. Once he finished those courses, he moved on to get his generals. It’s been a long road, but he’s so close to finishing his bachelor’s degree, and I couldn’t be more proud. He’s put a lot of effort into his education, as well as adapting to the new culture.

We’d heard a lot about the citizenship process, including the super hard test, and when we drove down to Boise, I was definitely more nervous than he was. We went through the questions over and over until he told me to stop because he couldn’t concentrate anymore. His interview ended up being a breeze, mostly because he was confident in his English. The questions were second nature to him because we’d practiced so much.

We were given a paper for his citizenship ceremony, and when we arrived, I was astounded by how many applicants there were. They stated during the ceremony that there were 179 applicants and 53 different countries represented. Hubby was the only one from Bolivia.

The ceremony was very solemn, but incredibly joyful. You could see on their faces their excitement at obtaining citizenship. They didn’t take it for granted, and they had put in the effort for the rights that so many of us don’t even think about.

I’m grateful for my husband, and for the example that he’s given me. I’m grateful for this country, and for the rights and freedoms that we’ve been given.

God bless America.