Leo Becomes A U. S. Citizen
Yesterday, Leo finally had his swearing in ceremony. There were 65 people being sworn in. Even one from Ecuador. Leo has felt like a citizen after having lived here for 30+ years. He thinks the best thing about the US is its judicial system. It works a whole lot better than many countries. He likes also the checks and balances with a 3 part government. AND he can get his Social Security in Ecuador without coming back here a few times each year.
Because we are in the middle of trying to get all our paperwork up to date to get to Ecuador, we had planned to head over to Stamford,CT where you can get a same day passport after his ceremony. He did have an official appointment for Mon. at 8:30 am, but he was told to go and give it a try without an appointment on Fri. Then at his ceremony, there were people from Voters’ Registration to sign-up people to vote and there was a person from the Passport Place in Stamford. She asked if any one was planning to travel out of the country this week-end. No one raised their hand, so Leo said, “I am traveling on Wed.”, so she gave him an appointment for 1:30 pm and hour after the ceremony.
Just some information for anyone planning to go for citizenship. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY A LAWYER. The paperwork is straight-forward, but the whole process does take quite a while. There is approximately a month between each phase. Leo sent his application (found online) on Dec. 11 and was sworn in June 20. It was a little over 6 months. This was the estimated time to begin with, so his was average. I had read on the internet that some ceremonies take 3 hours. We did not find that was the case. The people up for citizenship have to be there an hour before the actual ceremony. So tell any friends there to witness the ceremony to arrive about 45 minutes after the time they tell you to arrive. This ceremony took ½ hour. The judge spoke about 15 minutes and they called everyone one at a time to receive their Certificate of Citizenship (needed for a passport). They told relatives to get up and take pictures and the judge waited for each picture (very loose procedure, but nice). The new to be citizens sat with their families. We were in a small courtroom and there were a lot of people, counting the 65 people and their friends and relatives. People could sit anywhere, the jury’s chairs, in any available chair inside the inner area where the defense and procedures would sit normally for courts.
Three of Leo’s friends, Arlene and George Kawecki and Ron Pringle came to witness his swearing-in. He was so honored that they would take the time to come, especially since it was about an hour from where we all live. They have been his friends since we moved to CT, 20 years ago. They are friends who stayed close through the highs and lows of his life. He really appreciated their sharing this special day with him.
Off to the Passport Agency
At 1:15 pm we headed for the passport agency. In spite of the traffic and construction, we got there in less than ½ hour which really surprised us. We were processed quite quickly. The longest wait was the line to sign in. No sooner did anyone get to that window when they called their number to go to the window to actually be helped. That was one efficient system. We did have to wait about an hour to pick up the actual passport. They have 2 pick up times, 12:00 and 3:00. We went across the street to a BBQ place to have lunch/dinner. We lucked into a great place.Probably the best BBQ I’ve had. At 3:00, we got the passport, thanked God, and headed home. Unfortunately our extreme good luck had run out. On this side of the highway (I-95) the traffic and construction were so bad that we crawled home. I was so tired when I got home that I could not rest even though I tried.
I still have a lot of things to do with this apt. to clear it out. My motto: One thing at a time and everything will get done.