Friday, June 13, 2008

This is what I signed my son up for

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

On Wednesday, I stood holding Destructo Boy alongside dozens of other immigrants at the U.S. Citizen Swearing-in Ceremony. I held up my right hand and said the above oath for him. Though he didn't have to, Destructo Boy held up his pudgy hand as well.

I am happy that everything is over and all parts of the adoption is finally completed. However, as I was saying the words, I felt a little bad for Destructo Boy. He didn't choose to "abjure all allegiance to any foreign prince." He didn't choose to leave Korea. Other people (including me) made that choice for him. How will he feel about this when he is old enough to understand?

For those of you who are US citizens by birth, read the above words. Did you know what you are obligated to?

3 comments:

snoopyjoanne said...

yay - congratulations DJ! i'm so glad to hear that the citizenship ordeal is finally over. intriguing thing about that oath...no of course i never knew what it entailed since i was born in the US. what are they referring to here: "that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law"???

The Senakams said...

So glad the ordeal is over! Yippee!

I just became a US citizen about 7 years ago, and I had NO idea that I had signed up for all those things you listed. Oops. Guess I should start reading the fine prints. :P

Cindy said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hello:

Firstly, congratulations on the citizenship!

Secondly, I wanted to pass along support and encouragement to you in finishing your dissertation. I got pregnant my first summer in grad school...found out I was pregnant the day before my comp exam.

A year later, during my last semester of courses, I had my second daughter. She was five weeks premie, suffered a rare congenital heart arrythmia and spent two weeks in NICU before we brought her home, still not knowing if she would survive.

I took my last comp exam about two weeks later. I'm sure they just passed me out of pity. Then, with a toddler and infant around, I somehow managed to write a dissertation and graduate over the next three years.

The first time I told my advisor I was pregnant, he tried to be happy for me and told me that he knew I'd be able to come back and finish the program. The second time I told him I was pregnant, he just sighed and didn't even say anything. I know he didn't think I'd finish, and he was very disappointed. I hope he's proud of me now!

Anyway, just wanted to give you some encouragement. It totally can be done. No, it's not easy, and you won't get to have the hobbies that other grad students might have, like boozing and sports and sleeping late on weekends, but you really can do it!! Good luck!