Ana beamed alongside sixty other immigrants on that bright September day. The long wait was over. Standing on the lawn of Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown, Virginia, home, she was seconds away from taking the Oath of Allegiance to become a new United States citizen!
Naturalized citizens do not take their citizenship for granted. They believe in America’s lofty ideals and have pledged to work for its progress and growth. They’re not blind to its failings nor to the anti-immigrant rants they sometimes hear. Yet they freely embrace this land that welcomed them, enabled them to succeed, and invited them to become new citizens.
This is Ana’s story. As CBF field personnel, we are proud to have played a small part in helping her dream become real. But becoming American didn’t mean Ana gave up her Colombian birthright. Far from it, it meant grafting her new American identity into her native heritage. Ana was now a citizen of two worlds, with love and appreciation for both.
Our Lord, create in us hearts of gratitude both for our country’s tradition of receiving the world’s most vulnerable and for our immigrant and refugee neighbors whose pride and devotion make us a stronger and more vibrant nation.
-Greg and Sue Smith, Field Personnel serving in Fredericksburg, Virginia