After 16 months of waiting, a trip to our MP’s office, and 18 days in which our kids had no health care at all, Benjamin and Abigail are finally official Canadian citizens.
Apparently, we were supposed to have filed their paperwork with the Canadian embassy in the States — even though we did file it with them and they mailed it back to us saying we had to file in Canada. This mix-up (can you really call staggering incompetence a “mix-up”?) was what caused the delay. A harsh phone call and a fax from our Member of Parliament seemed to resolve it fairly quickly. If only we’d tried that earlier…
Both our kids also retain their U.S. citizenship. While the U.S. requires dual-citizens to renounce their alternate citizenship (even though that renouncing is rarely officially recognized by the other country and dual-citizenship can be retained anyway), Canada does not. Our kids will be able to have both U.S. and Canadian passports (the combination allowing them to travel virtually anywhere in the world), go to school, and get a job anywhere in Canada or the U.S without hassle. It was a lot of work for their parents (mostly Nicole, who navigated the bureaucracies of both governments to get this done) but it will give them a level of freedom with their future that few people enjoy. We will raise our children with pride for both their nationalities, but with a broader world view than each would dictate individually.
In other news, our oldest dual-citizen pooped on the potty yesterday. He announced that he needed to pee (“Ben pee potty!”) so Nic helped him into the bathroom, then left while he did his business. After a few minutes she opened the door to check on him and he says “Leave Ben ‘lone!” A few more minutes later he steps out the door and announces: “I POOP!”
It was a very proud day for us as parents.