On Monday I became a US citizen.
As you probably already know I am German. I was born and raised in Germany and moved to the US with my husband after we had already been married and had children, which were also both born in Germany. Moving to the US was a big decision and a turning point in my life. I left everything behind. My family, my friends, familiar customs and places. I had also just lost my dad two month prior to brain cancer. The language was no big hurtle, but I remember very vividly how lost I felt. Over the years, life in the US got easier for me and I made friends and became more integrated. Still, I never felt that I was a part of the US society. The thought of becoming a US citizen formed.
After I heard through some of my German friends several years ago that Germany loosened its laws to allow dual citizenship, which was unheard of before (you would have to give up your German citizenship if you took on another one) I got very excited and started my research. It turned out that taking on the US citizenship was the easier part. The harder hurdle to take was with the German government. They had to give their approval for me to keep my German citizenship before taking on the US citizenship. Without that I would automatically loose my German one. Some of my friends had already started their paperwork battle with the German offices. They all made it sound that it would be an almost impossible task to achieve (well, for everybody else besides them) and I felt very discouraged. My collected research paperwork was moved into a drawer to gather dust.
A few years later at a moving away party for my friend Katharina, I met Markus and his wife Manu. Both became dear friends of our family very quickly. Markus and Manu encouraged me to continue to work on my paperwork towards becoming a US citizen. It turned out to be a much less complicated task then expected. Almost a year ago I sent my application away and was approved by the German government to keep my German citizenship after taking on the US citizenship in less then three month. I will never forget that special day when I got to pick up the official certificate at our consulate here in Denver.
Well, and the rest is history. Applying for the US citizenship was very easy for me, since I had already been living in the US legally for much longer then five years. Last Monday I completed the final testing on my knowledge of the US government and history. I passed without a mistake and was sworn in as a citizen the same afternoon.
I was excited that my husband and my friends Manu and Markus could attend the ceremony. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and encouragement. I could not have done it without you.
This special occasion calls for a celebration with Hugo. Hugo is a refreshing soda/ champagne drink enhanced with elderberry flower syrup, lime and mint leaves. It is THE summer to go drink in Germany. I got to taste it for the first time last summer while visiting a German winery in my home region Palatinate. It is refreshing, minty and bubbly, just the way I like it.
Please take a glass and let’s raise it. Prost, Zum Wohl, Cheers to letting me being a part of your country and a new chapter in my life. I am sending my love to all of you and thanks for all your continuous support.
|Hugo – Champagne drink with elderberry flower syrup, mint and lime||
- 100 ml (3.38 fluid ounces) Prosecco or Champagne, brut, (I like Korbel brut)
- 150 ml (5 fluid ounces) mineral water, bubbly
- elderberry flower syrup
- organic mint leaves
- 2 organic lime, juiced
- 1 organic lime, sliced
- ice cubes
- Crush/ muddle 4 mint leaves and add to a champagne or bigger wine glass.
- Add a small amount of elderberry flower syrup, about 1-2 teaspoon (5 -10ml). Be careful not to add too much, otherwise you will end up with an overly sweet aperitif.
- Add the lime juice, champagne and mineral water. Stir well a cocktail spoon.
- Add more mint leaves and lime slices.
- Serve with a straw.