Against a backdrop of thunder and rain, 14 mothers from four continents were sworn in as American citizens Thursday morning at the World Peace Garden in Sacramento’s Capitol Park.
The tempest just added to the drama of the moment for the moms from Ecuador, Honduras, the Philippines, Iraq, South Korea, India and the former Soviet Union – some of whom had been waiting for this day for more than a decade.
Gloria Lim of Tracy, a native of the Philippines, said her journey to become a U.S. citizen started 15 years ago.
“It’s a miracle that happened from God,” said Lim, a mother of two. “I will enjoy this moment with my family, have a meal, apply for my passport and then I will petition for my mom and dad to come here.”
Soraya Manzor, a Chilean American working on her doctorate in environmental engineering at UC Davis, said before she became a citizen at Thursday’s special Mother’s Day naturalization ceremony, “I felt kind of strange here,” but after passing the interview and the tests, “I am feeling very proud of all the steps I took to get to this point,” she said. “It’s a landmark in my life.”
Kellyn Alonzo almost missed the ceremony. She, her mom, Reina Raudales, and her 2-month old daughter Chelsea, walked quickly through the rain and under the gazebo at the World Peace garden so she could take her oath of allegiance. All three generations broke out in smiles after the ceremony.
“We came up from Lathrop,” where she works for Amazon, Alonzo said. “I’m so excited.”