Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sigrid's Naturalization Ceremony - January 19, 2012

We have mentioned in previous posts that Sigrid was working on becoming a US citizen. This past Thursday was the big day.....the final review by US Immigration officials, taking the Oath of Allegiance and, picking up the Certificate of Naturalization.

Our appointment was for 8:30 am but we were in the downtown Kansas City parking lot by 7:30 am. We didn't want to risk being late due to traffic congestion during morning rush hour. It was a short but cold walk to the Federal Courthouse. The temperature was 22 deg with a stiff breeze. Edel was going to join us but she has a bad case of sciatica and would be in too much pain to enjoy the day. We really wanted her to come since she went through the same process years ago when she immigrated from Germany. Scott did join us and really had a good time.

We got through security and checked in about 8:00 am and then sat in the gathering room until things got under way just before 9:00 am.

Sigrid turned in her Green Card and did a little more paperwork and then returned to the gathering room with a program of the ceremony events. The ceremony didn't start until 10:00 am so we had another hour to wait before the real fun got underway.

Sigrid was one of 60 people from 33 different countries gaining citizenship at the ceremony.

I only got a few still photos since I was using the camera to get video during most of the ceremony. I am still working on the video and may post a clip if I can figure out how to use Photoshop Premier (first time user).

Waiting for the judge to enter the chambers.

The judge gave a nice talk about citizenship and his ancestorial roots. He then introduced several other speakers who provided information on voting and Social Security. The oath was administered, we all recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and then the Certificates were handed out much like they do at school graduations. It was very nice and there were lots of emotions filling the room.

A post ceremony photo in the court room. After this photo, we completed and submitted the forms for Sigrid's new Social Security Card and got her registered to vote. It was so convenient to have registration tables set up just outside the doors of the court room for all the new citizens to take care of these important tasks.

Sigrid really liked the mural and flag. At the top of the mural it has the words "We the People". Sigrid also really liked that. I have photos showing the words, but I liked this photo of Sigrid the best.

As we left the Federal Court House, we could see the next batch of future US Citizens going through security. I don't know how many sessions they have each day or how many times a month they hold the ceremony.

We were very hungry after the ceremony so we had lunch at Sigrid's favorite restaurant, the Cheese Cake Factory. Scott had no choice but to join us since he rode with arm twisting necessary since he loves the food as much as Sigrid.

Today goes beyond just being a great day. This was a once in a lifetime day. We are so very happy and relieved that it is now history. Before the end of the day, Sigrid submitted her application for a US Passport. It will be 6-8 weeks before we see that baby.