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How It Feels To Be A New American Citizen!

Wednesday

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I rarely post pics of myself with silly faces on this blog, but today I don’t care because after five years, I am now a citizen of United States! Yay!! After finishing my ceremony and holding this beautiful bouquet from my mother-in-law, I felt like I won a beauty pageant. When I was younger my family in the Philippines actually kept on telling me to join those pageants. Haha! The day I became an American citizen was one of the important days that my husband, Brent, and I had been waiting for. Even though it was an exhausting day for us (we drove from Houston to Irving just for the ceremony), it was worth it. It will definitely be an unforgettable moment for the both of us.

I honestly never dreamt of living in America and calling this place my home. If it were not for the fact that I wanted to be with my husband, I would never have moved here. I’m aware that some people think that if a woman from my country marries an American, she is only doing it to get a Green Card. At first, I was the target of that kind of judgement from others. It saddened me to hear this, but it also made me laugh because at the time, I didn’t even know what a Green Card was. Haha! Of course, I heard some stories about those  women who would partake in those foolish acts, but not me!  My husband knows that if it was not for him, I’d be perfectly happy living with my cats in the Philippines. 😉 Anyway, here are 3 things that I’m most excited about now that I’m a new citizen of the USA!

 

  1. Goodbye to Expensive Fees – We are so grateful that we finally don’t need to pay immigration fees just for me to stay in the United States. I am thankful for Brent’s hard work in helping me with this, especially when he was still in grad school and everything. If you are an applicant or have just become a U.S. citizen, you know how EXPENSIVE the whole process is. I thank God that He provided for us and made all of this possible.
  2. U.S. Passport – This is the first thing that I’m trying to get done after my oath taking ceremony; applying for an American passport. I always heard that if you become an American passport holder, it gives you a lot of opportunities and easy access to travel abroad. For example, if I want to visit my sister in Switzerland, I will no longer need to apply for a Tourist Visa. Here are the lists of the countries that are Visa-free when you are U.S. Citizen.
  3. Petitioning My Family –  I heard about this but when an officer told us about it during the ceremony, and it made me feel emotional. I thought about my mom and how I might have the opportunity for her to live here (unless my siblings protest… Haha).  I also got teary-eyed thinking about my siblings, my Ate and my Kuya (“older sister” and “older brother” in Tagalog), and the chance that they can live here too. Well, as long as they pay their own fees that is. 😉 I honestly don’t  like the feeling of living so far from them. I feel that life is too short and family should always be close together and spend time together. Especially with my kids growing up, I want my family to be around them. I sometimes feel jealous of my Filipino friends and relatives in Los Angeles. They have their whole family and even extended family living in the same town! Is this a Filipino culture thing? Maybe, and I love it!

 

Anyone here having the same experiences as me? What excites you about living in the United States? (Besides the refillable drinks and big food portions…)

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4 Responses to “How It Feels To Be A New American Citizen!”

  1. Aww this is so sweet and touching. Congrats on becoming a citizen. I hope your family can someday move to the U.S. The first thing I did after my ceremony was register to vote. I was so excited about it. Now, I see the circus surrounding both parties, and I’m not even sure I still want to vote. –Sabine

  2. Suki says:

    Hey hey Em, I am enjoying reading your blog! You did such a good job! I save your website as my favorite! There are so many helpful makeup tips and travel tips. I am looking for the blog you have for teaching how to take passport picture for kid. I am thinking to help Aidan to get a passport for him to go back to China this year.

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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