Updated: May 10
August has become a remarkable month for me. My story of becoming a United States citizen started when I was two years old. Hang in there as we rewind for 23 years.
When I was two years old, my dad applied for my permanent resident card. The process took longer than usual. I loved living in Haiti and so did my parents. When nothing worked for us, my brother and I had tourist visas. We would come to the U.S during summertime and leave before school starts (good old days). To us, vacation meant to stay inside one of our aunt's house in another country. Oh, what did we know!
When I was getting closer to graduating from High School, my dad felt a sense of urgency. So, our files were taken to a new preparer. As our files were there, we started to look into students visas. Suddenly, things started to move quite fast in 2012. I was in and out of school to do paperwork. I was even worried about my Philo exam (High school exit exam in Haiti). We came in the middle of the school year; I was supposed to be excited. But, at that time, the only thing my 17 years old self could think about was my exam. As I was waiting for my documents, I was studying day and night. Some of my classmates would share notes with me over Facebook.
When all our papers were in order, I wanted to go back home. But, that was a debate. Why would you, a lot of people asked? To finish the school year, DUH! I didn't speak English, so staying to finish my last year of high school was not an option. Plus, graduating Philo was a big deal to me. My parents allowed me to go back. I passed my exam after some sweat and tears. Then, I came back to the U.S. I had to study in English which was one of the hardest things I ever got to do. Around those time, I wish I had come to this country a lot sooner In my article "My story, His Glory", I shared my academic journey. Click here to read.
Fast forward to 2017, I was eligible to apply for my citizenship, but I lost my green card. I needed to travel in 2018, so I had to get a new card with the citizenship application money. In 2018, I applied for citizenship, but my application was sent back because I was missing documents. The documents were actually sent back. I gave up, and I was like I'm not applying again. But, earlier this year I decided to take another shot at this. So, I applied AGAIN. I was so shocked to see how fast the process was. I submitted all documents, paid the fees, did my biometrics. I was scheduled for an interview. Then, COVID happened, so my interview got canceled. After my interview got canceled, I just put the booklet they gave me to study aside. I was like why should I study if I don't even know when I would have an interview again. About 3 weeks ago I found the booklet as I was cleaning, I was like God will this ever happen for me? Then I downloaded the USCIS app and started reviewing the questions. I kid you not, the next weekend I got a notice that I had an interview scheduled.
Today I officially became a U.S. citizen. In the midst of all that is happening, the Lord has been gracious to me. I cannot help, but to praise him. I cannot thank my dad enough for working hard and not giving up on bringing us to this country.
My story of becoming a U.S. citizen is quite a long one. It was not a straight road, but it happened in due time. I almost forgot to tell you the story of how our car broke down in the middle of the street as I was on the road to Port-au-Prince (Haiti) to do paperwork. I spent some uncomfortable hours and my dad was worried. I went through it friend, but we are here today.
I just want to encourage you to keep the faith. Remember that "There is no straight road to life". Things may not be working out the way you want them to right now, but 8 years later you may l look back and see how everything happens exactly how they were supposed to happen. Be encouraged! The Lord is working on your behalf even if it doesn't feel like it.
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