Keziah, Boaz and Ezra holding their proof of U.S. citizenship papers! It has been three years and five months since we began the adoption process for these three children. It took twenty months for them to come home, six months to readopt them in the United States and now they have their proof of citizenship. This is the absolute last bit of paper work for their adoption!
Note: this is a complicated bit of bureaucracy. Our children became U.S. citizens when I (a U.S. citizen) adopted them. However, they had no proof of citizenship, so they had to
be naturalized to gain their proof of citizenship, which is what we did yesterday at a swearing in ceremony.
I had everything all planned out. Since we needed to leave the house at 6:30 Am, I would get up at five. That would give me plenty of time to shower, fix our breakfast for the van, gather the little one's clothes, fill water bottles, etc. So the night before I set the alarm for 5 and blissfully drifted off to sleep. I woke at some point in the morning (I can't see the clock w/out my glasses) and lay in bed planning out our day. Since I am a morning person, it's not unusual for me to wake at the first sign of light (4:30 Am these days). I was jolted out of my daydreaming by Judah's alarm going off in the other room, at 6 AM! The alarm I set the night before was set for 5 PM. I now have exactly 30 minutes to get myself and 13 children ready to leave the house for a very important appointment.
I quickly shoved the thought of a shower out of my head…while I could certainly shower in under five minutes, I knew that would be selfish. We only had thirty minutes, and as Mom, I needed to direct and delegate. Avi, unhappy about being awoken an hour early, was in no mood to get dressed. No problem, she was just wearing a little nighty…I would grab her dress and put in on her when we arrived.
What followed was, quite simply, a morning filled with minor crises: lost shoes, missing undies and forgotten water bottles.
We were about halfway to our destination when I thought I should grab Avi's dress and make sure she I had everything handy to get her dressed upon arrival. I quickly located her dress, only to find it soaking wet. A water bottle had spilled and her dress had absorbed every ounce. And let me just say, Avi's not the type of girl who is going to calmly wear a wet dress and get on with her day. Now what?
"Hang it up" Chuck said.
And so I hung it. Out our van window. I wasn't sure how much dress I could legally allow to flap outside our van, so I rotated bits every ten minutes or so. Each time I rolled down the window I was terrified the whole thing was going to fly out and I'd be stuck taking my four year old to an important government ceremony in just her nighty. Thankfully, the worst didn't happen and her dress was completely dry by the time we arrived.
Our Baker's Dozen, plus nephew Braeden
The next bit of drama happened when my father-in-law realized he was carrying a knife in his pocket…just before he was about to pass through security. The temperature was well into the nineties (despite it being only 9 0'clock in the morning) but he had no choice but to trek back to the van to put it away. Unfortunately, when back at the van he realized he didn't have his knife. He had left in on the counter at security. So back to the building and back to the van, then back to the building to join us. Let's just say he got a great workout.
The ceremony went smoothly. Our three children were sworn in and granted citizenship, along with seventy other people from 23 countries.
What a great day. We now have an all-American family (well, except for Chuck, who's actually Canadian…but one of these days).