stella face

part 14

We got married on Valentine’s Day February 14, 1981 on Miami Beach at a small bar in a hotel owned by a friend.  It was all decorated with hearts and flowers. The wedding ceremony was right there on the dance floor in the bar. A friend and co-worker of George’s who was a minister performed the ceremony and George’s son George junior was our best man.

We left the next day for Philadelphia where we spent 2 weeks meeting George’s family in Doylestown, Rhode Island and New Bedford. We went to Valley Forge and New York. I was made very welcome even though they were shocked to suddenly meet me the NEW WIFE.

When they did not even know George was divorced. His family wonderful people mostly Portuguese people who seemed to be so glad to see as they said George so happy for the first time in many years. I got to meet his brothers and their family. I was made to feel like I was welcome to his family even though I know they perhaps had their doubts about the marriage being able to succeed.

When we returned as all new couples we started to build everything from scratch, no money. No home. No credit and some debt from his divorce settlement and I had no car. The first year was very difficult going through the process of getting green card and becoming a citizen was a long hard process .No one knows what it takes to become a law-abiding legal working immigrant in this country.

I hear this expressed all the time by people who are misguided that ANYONE can come here and is easy to live and work here is WRONG WRONG. We went through so much medical exams, fingerprints, photos, background checks, family history, filing multiple forms and interviews with immigration officers. There were periodic visits from immigration officers and then study for a test and take the test to prove you have knowledge and understanding of how this country was founded. You had to know about the freedoms and rights of US citizens and political and government.

It was a long and arduous road but worth every minute to receive my Citizenship can I just say again thank you for letting me be a citizen of the greatest country in the world I am proud to be an American .I believed in my husband my marriage and this country and made a commitment to all 3.