More of Laura and Jonathan

Here are a few more pictures that I really liked.

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I am enjoying the warmer weather that Beijing is offering at this time. It snowed in Utah the morning that I left so 70′ feels wonderful.

Going to practice up on my Chinese as I have a class tomorrow afternoon.

Laura is getting married

While I was at home, Laura and Jonathan had their engagement photos taken. It was exciting that  I was at home to see the pictures right away and help Laura pick photos for their invitations.

Over the next few days I will show some of my favorites.

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It felt great waking up in Beijing this morning. Mark and I went for an early swim, but now I am starting to feel tired so a nap might be in store for this afternoon. I want to go for a walk as suppose to go up to 70 today.

I did not get upgraded so did not sleep as much as I usually do, but enjoyed reading a book so  tired today.

Waiting at the airport!

As I write this blog, I am sitting in the business class lounge in San Fransisco Airport. I have a few hours to relax before my long flight to Beijing.

Presently I am wait-listed to travel in business class, so I hope the Wayment luck holds for a little longer. I will just find out at the time of bordering.

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I am happy to say that checking in for my flight went very smoothly. Many times when I am checking in, I am asked to show my green card, so I was hoping this was not going to be the case. I did not want to go into the long explanation of my American passport.

In order to fly to China you have to have a China Visa which is in my Canadian passport. This trip Mark and I will get a new visa since we have moved to Beijing which will be put in my American passport . Should be the end to all my traveling woes! I can hope.

It’s Official!

This afternoon at exactly 12:33  (can you tell I was watching the clock) I received my US. passport. Tears again when I signed my name for the delivery.

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A phone call to my mom to say that I received it, and a thanks to Pattie and Bill for overnighting it to me.

I purchased a remembrance for me to take to China.

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Now I will be able to start my new life as an American. On Monday morning I will return to China, and I will be able to tell the taxi drivers that I am an American and Canadian Citizen!

Another big big thanks to my mom for all the hard work she did to make this possible for me. Love you Mom :)

Yeah for Patricia!

Patricia will be graduating from the University of Utah, with her pharmacy degree on May 6th. Patricia decided she would like to do a residency at a hospital next year to gain more experience in her field of study. It is a very competitive now, so she was thrilled to get 6 interviews in the following cities, Provo, Ogden, SLC, and Boise Idaho. Her top choice was the Veteran’s Hospital in SLC.

After the interview the hospitals rank the students and each student ranks their preferences and wait for March 23rd, when everyone sits nervously around their computer to see where they match.  I spent the night so I could be here for the announcement. It was suppose to be at 10:00 but she checked a little early and was ecstatic to her get her first choice. Another day of celebration!

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Congratulations, Patricia!

I think this is going to be a great year for the Wayments. (For the Veteran’s Hospital the first line stated the applicant must be an American citizen) No problem for Trish, but put a smile on my face :)

Happy Spring!

I can’t believe the crazy spring weather today. Sun, clouds, wind, rain and some snow. I am ready for some warm weather, but happy that I can still turn the heat on, when the weather is so cold. Mark mentioned that they have turned off the heat in China as of March 15. I hope it is warm when I return in April.

Laura’s flowers  (hyacinth) bloomed over night. They look beautiful on her windowsill.

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It was great to spend the weekend with my kids and celebrate Laura’s birthday.

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Will celebrate with Matt and Trish next weekend.

Let’s go shopping!

Over the last couple days, I have had a chance to do some shopping which has been very relaxing for me. It was Laura’s birthday this week which we are going to celebrate tomorrow, and Patricia’s birthday is in a couple weeks, so lots to shop for.

I found these matching jackets that I just couldn’t resist, and gave them to the girls last night as I have already been wearing mine.

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Now, I will just wait and see if they want to walk down the street wearing the same jacket as their mother!

My Canadian/American “rellies”

My dear mom just celebrated her 81st birthday. A gift from China was a must, a scroll with peonies (China’s national flower) in purple which is my mom’s favorite color.

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My great nephew “emperors”

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More birthdays, younger brother Jamie, Matt, Marek (will marry my niece Amanda in June)

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My baby brother (didi in Chinese) celebrated his 45th birthday. Niece Catherine joined in the party.

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My great nephews celebrate with their year of the tiger and rabbit plates.

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Always fun to celebrate with my family. I think they all loved the Chinese theme. My brother loved his hat and I think he will wear it again!!

My day at the Consulate

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.

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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.

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Downtown Toronto with the CN Tower in the background.

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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.

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Now that I have worked out all the kinks, my 3 sisters and 2 brothers are going to try and get their passport.

I am home, really home

Matt and I arrived at the airport yesterday filled with anticipation as to how the day would unfold. I nervously handed over my letter to the custom officer, and proclaimed that I was a new American citizen. He asked if the letter was from President Obama, and then continued with a line of questions concerning my green card. He studied the letter for what seemed like hours and and then left to consult with a supervisor about my situation. I watched and was filled with blissful glee when the supervisor yelled over “Congratulations”.
He returned, asked if I was going to frame the letter (which I might) and said we were good to go.

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When we landed in Salt Lake City it felt for the first time like I was really home. Today while driving back to Spanish Fork I felt complete happiness,  a sense of freedom from worrying about my green card, and a welcoming calmness that just enveloped me. I cannot find the words to express the sheer joy I felt with my accomplishment so I just took time to smell the roses.

As you all know traveling is a big part of my life, and so much time was spent worrying about possible problems and situations that stress was just part of my itinerary. Even the simple process of renewing my drivers license, setting up my will, or any legal procedure was a source of tension for me.  Now, I can relax and my life will not have to be consumed with the protection of my green card.

I have achieved my goal of becoming a dual (dualie) citizen which I will cherish for my lifetime. As my sister Pattie said,”you can take Joan out of Canada, but you can never take Canada out of Joan”.

Now, I can hardly wait for the next election when I will be able to vote!

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Tomorrow I will tell my tale of my day at the Consulate.