Friday, July 4, 2008
I never used to think much about the 4th of July. It was a day of parades, picnics and fireworks. It was fun but that was it.
But now as the parent of an international adoptee, it means a little bit more. After all the paperwork, waiting, paperwork, governmental approval etc. when your daughter finally becomes a US citizen its kind of a big deal.
It happened in the O'Hare Airport in Chicago. Right outside of customs they had a long table set up. You brought over the Brown Envelope given to you by the US Consulate in China. You were not to open it under penalty of, well, of something. Then you sat waiting for your child's name to be called. We waited for a long time. Now mind you we had a connecting flight to make and bags to recheck. We'd also been up for over 24 hours at this point. So the wait seemed like forever.
Finally they called Bunny's name. We went to the table. They handed us some paperwork. And said "Welcome to America." It was kind of anti-climactic at the time. But it really meant so much more than that. Bunny was now an American citizen. One in a long line of immigrants who came to America looking for a better life.
So today that is what I think about. I think about the journey she took from an orphanage in China to being a typical sassy, dinosaur obsessed, American toddler. That is pretty cool.