Today, along with around 4900 other excited foreign-born green card holders, I became an American citizen at an enormous ceremony watched by another 5000 people inside L.A.’s Convention Center.
I made some new friends along the way, Elva from Mexico (pictured above, left) and Tatyana from Russia (pictured above, middle), as we took the final steps to citizenship. It’s a great privilege to be welcomed by another country and I know I am very lucky to still be allowed to hold an Australian passport and citizenship at the same time.
Feeling a little bit teary but very happy, I registered to vote at a table near the exit before emerging to an even bigger crowd of family members and friends all cheering and ready to celebrate the newest Americans who made their way here from 120 different countries.
I was able to raise a glass with dear friends at dinner later in the evening. It was a big day for me. I am the last in my immediate family to become a fully fledged part of this magnificent country. It has been very kind to us in the fourteen years since we first arrived, scared and unsure. We’ve set up our home, established careers, brought up our children, and made the most amazing friends here and now I can’t imagine not coming on this fantastic adventure. Thanks for having me, America!