Last week was a huuuuge one at our house. With just 10 days notice Tim was invited to attend a ceremony to finalise his Australian citizenship, and so ended 6.5 years of his status as a Permanent Resident. He’s been working towards this day for about 8 years!
His ceremony was a small catch-up event which was designed to ease pressure on the city councils who had huge waiting lists. This meant that he could only take 2 guests and there were no gifts handed out. But it was still a beautiful venue to take the pledge and become an Australian.
Tim’s family was too far away to join us, but luckily my Mum was able to come down from Brisbane. It was a beautiful rainy day and very exciting to be reaching this milestone with Tim.
Once the ceremony ended Tim (sadly) had to hurry back to work. Mum and I made a quick stop to buy him a very important piece of national attire and then we raced home to set up a little Tuesday night party in his honour. Pretty much everything went wrong that afternoon (including me burning my hand with boiling sugar, and heavy rain that threatened to push the party inside) but by the time my extended family arrived we had pulled it all together and the rain hadn’t washed everything away. We ended up having such a great time together, and Tim passed the ultimate Aussie test by barbequeing for everyone in the rain. One of us!
Oh, and see that little tree up there in the middle of the table? When I found out that Tim’s ceremony wouldn’t have any gifts I was a little bit sad, since I’ve always pictured him receiving a little native tree with his certificate. So Mum and I went out and bought one instead.
I love that someday that little tree will be planted in the garden of a house that we own, and we will remember the night that we sat around it and celebrated Tim’s big day. It’s been really special for me to see how my immediate and extended family have fully embraced Tim over the years, especially since his own family is literally on the other side of the planet. He misses his people a lot, but at least he is surrounded by people here who really love him to pieces.
So a big congratulations to my Ameristraliano. Still every bit American as when he arrived*, but now a fully-fledged Aussie too!
* except for all those times when he said, “thanks mate” to shop assistants and waiters when we last visited the USA!