Visiting Lalibela

Visiting Lalibela

Monday, February 7, 2011

officially a citizen!!

Thursday, Micah stood before an official at the USCIS office in Rapid City and swore an oath to be a citizen of the U.S. He had to raise his right hand, hold a flag in the left hand and repeat LOTS of big words to the official. We are so proud of him- it was a hard oath to repeat but he did just great. All of the kids were there to watch - homeschool field trip.

We have been waiting for this certificate for months, as it got lost at the department some how and he was officially a citizen when we landed on August 9 in Minneapolis. Since he was listed as 14 years old on his birth certificate (long story here - we believe he is 13 and his birthdate will be officially changed soon) he had to sign his certificate himself. The other kids received theirs in October and I signed them for them.

Now that the kids have been home 6 months we can petition to officially change their names and birthdates. We will be thrilled to have the paperwork portion of their adoption done.

Since I write this blog to encourage others to adopt, I wanted to be honest about birthdates here. Many times, Ethiopian families don't know when their child's birthdays are. Most babies are born at home and their are no official birth records. The Ethiopian calendar is different than ours (I believe it's 2002 there). Finally, if the family does know an accurate birthdate, this information may die with the parents when they die. In our family, all 4 new kids came home with the same birthdate just listed years apart. Now, we know they weren't all born on the same day, just on different years, so we've done our due diligence to determine their accurate ages, with bone age scans and visits to the dentist.

So, what does all of this mean? In our home, "birthdays" are our way to celebrate that child for a day. It's a day that they are lavished with cards and gifts and are made to feel as special as they are.

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