Major congratulations are in order! Our friends and fellow expatriates "Gito and Mrtew" are now Canadian citizens! Or soon will be: they've passed their test and are scheduled to take their oath.
These guys have been through a lot to be together. Because Gito is not a US citizen, they couldn't live together in the US, since their relationship is not legally recognized. They stayed together through deportation and then the long wait of immigration. In Canada, they were able to get married, buy an adorable house in Windsor, and make their life together. Gito is now attending university.
We finally met in person for the first time a few years ago, and I'm sure we'll all see each other again. The Red Sox in Detroit are a great excuse to visit friends in Windsor. You can see Gito's amazing and unusual photography at eggfactory and Arte is Foto.
Becoming Canadian means a lot to me, and our journey from that first thought - "Maybe we should move to Canada... Could we? Should we?" - to the day we took our citizenship oath has, in many ways, defined our lives. But no matter how much Allan and I wanted to leave the US, we could have continued living in New York City. Gito and Mrtew, like our friends Tom and Emilio, didn't have that option. Tom and Emilio lived in constant fear of deportation; Gito and Mrtew were forced apart. It doesn't have to be that way. One day, it won't be. Until then, how many lives will be ruined?
Most of our old moving-to-Canada crew - a bunch of US couples who applied to emigrate to Canada within a few years of each other and found each other online - are now either Canadian citizens or soon will be. As each of us gets citizenship, we all celebrate. I feel a real bond between us all. They're like my extended family, Canadian edition.