Our gorgeous friend Aline is from Rio de Janeiro. She and her family have been like our extended family here in Chapel Hill (hooray for the Brazil connection!), and Aline became an American citizen last Friday. It was so cool for Marcos and I to be there and get a sneak peek into the process of naturalization, because we will be there next year!
Aline and her husband Dwight have two kiddos, Josh and Bella. Apparently, after the ceremony, Bella told anyone who would listen, "Guess what? My mommy's an American!".
The process of becoming an American is SO interesting. Part of the ceremony was fairly standard: we sang the National Anthem, the group of new citizens swore allegiance to the flag, and there were some sufficiently cheesy videos about how America is made up of immigrants, and my favorite, Lee Greenwood singing "God Bless the USA", with a slideshow of Americana in the background. The part that Marcos and I found totally fascinating was the oath that the new citizens took, renouncing their homelands and swearing to basically die for this country, if necessary. We were amazed at how powerful the language was. It confirmed for us that this process is a big deal. Sure we've been sending the Department of Homeland Security big bucks since we started the naturalization process just after we were married, but for those who take citizenship seriously, this is a really important event.
Giovanna was pretty excited too!
Congratulations Aline! Next year it will be our turn!