Citizen Iain

On March 15, 2001, Iain and I met online, totally by chance, because of an Oscar Wilde quote. Today, nine years later, almost to the day, and after quite the journey in between, Iain became a United States citizen.

At 9:00am, we walked into the Unites States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and one naturalization ceremony, one last mountain of paperwork, and several hours later, we walked back out onto the sidewalk, and I turned to Iain and said, "You can totes get arrested now!" And he laughed and high-fived me.

Iain was one of 46 people from 21 different countries who became citizens today. It was a beautifully diverse group; I spoke with people from Asia, Africa, and South America. Before the ceremony started, as friends and family waited in the courtroom while the applicants trickled in slowly after being processed, a white man behind me remarked, "Some of these people don't even look like foreigners!" I laughed into my sleeve.

The judge gave a lovely speech (parts of which are excerpted in the video here), reminding all of us observing that we had something to celebrate, too—because our country is better today than it was yesterday for all the brave and determined and hopeful people who have chosen to make this place their home.

He encouraged the new citizens to vote, to write to their congresspersons, to run for office themselves—and noted that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm are naturalized citizens.

I felt very patriotic. And very much in love with Citizen Iain.

Congratulations, Citizen.

Iain and I both also want to say thank-you, from the bottom of our hearts, to a group of current and former contributors and Shakers who made donations to a Citizenship Fund, to help pay the cost of Iain's citizenship application. Our most profound thanks to Deeky, Misty, Mustang Bobby, Portly, Space Cowboy, Petulant, Oddjob, Chet Scoville, Jeff Fecke, and Litbrit, all of whom were in our thoughts today.

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