Friday, January 12, 2018

TToT: American Citizenship Edition

I am thankful that decades ago a young man from the Philippines became a veterinarian and was hired by the USDA to inspect meat in federal meat processing plants as part of the team that ensured the food supply in America was safe.
I am thankful that out of all the possible jobs from sea to shining sea, he was sent to a plant in a tiny town in Western Kansas.
I am thankful he met and married my sister, and became my brother.
I am thankful that another of my siblings came safely home from his service in the US Air Force
bringing with him my niece and his wife, a woman born in Korea. 
I am thankful that both my brother-in-law and sister-in-law 
joined my family while I was still a child...
That having family from foreign lands expanded my world view and gave me an appreciation for the gift of diversity.
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to witness my brother-in-law in a federal judge's chamber in Thomas County, Kansas as he competently answered questions on American history that the majority of natives would have struggled to answer correctly.
I am thankful that the judge after commenting on his impressive grasp of the history and Constitution of his adopted country, swore my brother-in-law in as a US citizen as my sister and I proudly looked on.
I am thankful that many years later a large group of my family were able to gather in a court room in Sedgwick County, Kansas as my sister-in-law, after successfully completing the requirements for naturalization, stood with a group of immigrants as they all took the Oath of Citizenship to become Americans.
I am thankful I live in a country that boasts a statue that was gifted to US by the country of France and placed in a harbor as a symbol of welcome to those who come to this land seeking a better life.  
And I am thankful that as an American I have the right to free speech and the ability to say that anyone who disparages people who desire a better life or to be part of my native land does not speak for me.

Ten Things of Thankful


  1. I'm thankful for you and your writing. And for knowing that I am not alone in this country that feels so foreign to me these days.

    1. I have been thinking of you recently. Hope 2018 will bring you good things. I need to catch up on my reading over at your place. The school year has been so hectic. I am behind on just about everything it seems!
      And yes...I just feel so sad and discouraged most days about the state of our country. I keep hammering away at my representatives letting my voice be heard. I only wish I could say I felt they are listening!

  2. Beautiful post and, like you say, a great reminder that one person does not speak for individuals.

  3. Replies
    1. So sad that circumstances made me feel I had to say it.

  4. Agreed. All too often those who are born to (a family, economic advantage, culture or country) loses (or perhaps never has) the perspective that allows true appreciation.
    Good Post and good to 'see' you here again.

  5. I think you hit the nail right smack on the head with that assessment.
    And it is good to be back. I need to carve out space for this exercise so I don't grow bitter!

  6. Well said. I think it is important that those of us who value free speech use it wisely to try to make this world a better place. May we use our words to unite people to embrace positive actions towards those who may look and speak differently than ourselves, who may have a different religious preference, or may vote differently.
    For you to have been there for the swearing in ceremony of a relative becoming a citizen must have been so amazing and heartwarming.

  7. Amen, amen, AMEN! This was a wonderful statement on the value of diversity learned by personal family experience. These days I often find myself ashamed of the one who is supposed to represent our country... to represent us. NO, he doesn't. The great majority of us, whether Democrat, Republican or neither one, bears no resemblance to the man who mocks the values we cherish and flaunts it... and thus far gets away with it. I have always believed in supporting our leaders, but this time I cannot. You were blessed by the additions of these wonderful people to your family. My own grandmother came from Sweden at age 7, without that crossing to begin a new life in the Midwestern United States, I would not be. My other grandparents were first generation Americans of German immigrant parents, and respected members of a proud German community in the Midwest. I owe much of my character to them, and the values they brought with them. I can only imagine how proud you were to stand there witnessing these two family members become citizens of our wonderful country. I pray that God will soon lead us into returning to an America with arms wide open. Thank you for stating the case so well!

  8. Wise words.

    It's true, things aren't the same and I feel for good people like you who are left to deal with those, in charge of your country, making a mockery of it.

  9. I think it would be wise for US citizens to remember that (chances are) they descend from immigrants. One of the strengths of this nation is diversity.


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