Matt and I awoke early on Monday morning with the hopes of being on the road for 5:30. Mom got up to make us some delicious oatmeal, so we actually hit the road at 6:00.
I enjoyed more of the drive this time since I knew where the Consulate and the parking lot was in Toronto. The city has a beautiful skyline.
Toronto lies on the shore of Lake Ontario, the easternmost of the Great Lakes. Home to more than 2 million people, the city is the key to one of North America’s most vibrant regions, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). 4.5 million Canadians live in the GTA, the cultural, entertainment, and financial capital of the nation. The city is also the seat of the Ontario government. (From the internet)
We arrived early, enjoyed our hot drink at Tim Horton’s, and walked down the street at 8:15. This time around we were second in line, and were admitted into the building at 8:30. The clerk this time was a young woman who we think was new as she asked many questions of her colleagues. She questioned the amount of social security, until I pointed out to her that this was the quarterly report which showed the amount for every three months. Mom did receive grade school records which were almost unreadable, so she wrote a letter asking for a clearer copy, to which she received a letter that stated the years she attended the school. That was all we needed, but she did take her Spelling B Certificate, and her Boys and Girl’s Club card, which she said were all helpful. My hopes were rising as she took my passport application stapled on my pictures, and told us to go to another window to pay the $135 passport fee. We were then told to have a seat while she organized all the papers and the Consulate officer would call us back in 20 minutes.
Needless to say I was very hopeful, excited and ready for a celebration, until 10 minutes later we were called back to the clerk’s window. She noticed that my middle name Cecelia, Cecilia, was spelled the two different ways on my documents. She emphasized that they were suppose to be the same on all legal documents. We went back and forth with me trying to explain until finally Matt said “whatever works”. We slowly walked back to our seats with most of my hopes dashed. A few years ago when my mom went to get her permanent resident card to live in Canada, they noticed her middle name Frances was spelled differently so she had to fill out a form and send it in to have it changed which took a month. That was all I thought of, and figured the whole process was going to be put on hold while I fixed that problem. Not a good feeling.
Fifteen minutes later we were called back again, this time to meet the Consulate officer. He questioned the difference in spelling and then said it really didn’t matter, they just wanted to know how it should be spelled on my US passport. A sigh of relief and the excitement started to build as he looked thru all the papers. I was delighted to sign my name on the passport application, and then the questions concerning my green card started. When was I planning on returning to the US, to which I answered tomorrow. He then said the following statement which I will never forget “As an AMERICAN CITIZEN you may not enter the US with a green card.” Oh Oh!!, I asked about my options, and he said he would return.
Matt said, “Mom if that is what you need to do, is stay in Canada for 2 or 3 weeks to get the passport, then that is what you need to do.” The officer returned and stated that a letter could be drafted to explain the situation, but was not a guarantee to enter the US. With that I said that was what I would like to do, he said raise your right hand and you can take the oath. My feelings up, down, up, down, and then here it was, what I had been waiting for. As I said my eyes filled with tears as I said “I do”
Matt and I walked around Toronto and enjoyed a delicious lunch at a seafood restaurant.
Downtown Toronto with the CN Tower in the background.
After a few hours we returned to pick up the letter for my entrance to the US, and drove back to my mom and dad’s home.
My family joined us for a celebration dinner at a Mandarin Chinese Restaurant.
Now that I have worked out all the kinks, my 3 sisters and 2 brothers are going to try and get their passport.