Thursday, May 15, 2008

a celebration of citizenship

this morning, about 4.30 a.m., my eyes were peeled open with all kinds of thoughts racing through my head - resettling an iraqi family, community garden dedication, helping aida register for college courses, neighborhood politics, national politics, demolishing our bathroom this weekend, and geoff's citizenship test today.

we will travel to louisville this afternoon for geoff to complete the final stage of becoming a citizen of the u.s.  this includes an interview and an oral exam of u.s. history and government (for this he's only had a bit of time to study but i promised him they will not withhold his citizenship if he can't remember how many representatives we have).  if he passes everything, it is sort of official as of today.  he will be booked for a swearing in ceremony sometime in the following months and at that point, he's in.  fortunately he does not have to renounce his australian citizenship in this process.  geoff and isaac both will possess two passports.

i think we've been surprised at how moving this really is for us.  of course it's a big deal.  i've had the honor of witnessing one of these swearing in ceremonies with some bosnian friends of ours and i was deeply touched as i watched a room full of people from all parts of the world become americans.  in the span of an hour their access, rights and sense of self was transformed by the freedoms they were guaranteed and the privileges secured.  it is a tremendous occasion.

for geoff, this is a profound reflection of god's work in his life and a significant measure of his commitment to place and purpose as a missionary.  this city, once a temporary stopover for graduate school, has become his home.  although he rarely laments it out loud, his long-term residency here has cost him a life in australia (and this not only a place with the highest quality of life in the world, but one with all things familiar and cherished, and his beloved family).  god has been faithful in these years and geoff has made choices that have produced a genuine affection and adoration for the bluegrass of kentucky and a life in lexington. 

arriving at this point we see  the unexpected and the good in it.  with only a few days from celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary we can safely say you just never know what's in store...


upstream said...

Fantastic - really enjoyed reading this guys!

I know what a big deal is it for an Aussie to become an american :) and what it says of your commitment to place etc

WITWATW said...

Good on you guys. This is a big thing! Wish we were there to celebrate with you. God Bless. xxxxx

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Victory said...

I hope that all went well!

Patrick & Lydia said...

Friends, it's been too long since we've seen each other and talked. We need to arrange a visit to Knoxville/ Lexington! Geoff, that is amazing news - assuming all went well: Congratulations!!! I think I can imagine that finalizing the process is much more than "just paperwork". A few more years and I might follow :) Oh, and P would like to add "You must like it, since you refuse to get out" (tongue-in-cheek)
Much love to you guys, P & L