|Citoyen des États-Unis|
|Federal Courthouse, courtesy of Senator Hatfield|
At 24 years of age, Maty left her family and home in the dusty African city of Ouagadougou, half a world away, to make a new life for herself in the far away dreamland they call America. She came here to serve as a nanny for a young family in Portland. The year was 2004 and the father of that family had been called to serve in the Iraq war. The mother, an immigrant from Africa herself, needed help caring for her two children. The baby boy, Matthew, was a special needs child.
At that time, Maty commanded a mere handful of badly pronounced English words and phrases. She was (and is) an excellent cook and a coiffure and she had (and has) a beautiful capacity for empathy and compassion, but beyond those, she had no "marketable" skills.
|Nadia reassures Maty, who waits nervously to take her seat in the well of the courtroom|
- learned to read, write, and speak English;
- earned state certification as a nursing assistant;
- learned to drive a car and obtained an Oregon State Driver's License;
- joined a union and worked as a health care professional;
- and now, become a citizen of the United States of America.
|Naturalization oath administered|
|Thoughtful, when it was over|
So, although she's very proud to be a citizen of this country, she's not resting on her laurels.
|Lady of the day and her proud hubby|
"And say thank you to Matthew, too. He's the reason I came here."
|Maty and Matthew|