After what seemed like forever, the eagle has finally landed. It took the Canadian government approximately 16 months (less than the expected 26 months) to process my application for permanent residency. All the paperwork, medical tests, and mailing back and forth, has finally come to an end (actually, no. This isn’t the end because we have another five years for citizenship).
I am now officially a resident of the true north, and we are going a step further in establishing roots here as a family.
Now, this idea of residence, of belonging, of changing allegiance, is totally serious. Today is undoubtedly special, but at the same time, it’s just a stamp of approval on what will be (and what has been) my everyday here in Canada. This bitter sweet celebration has reached this stage of progress, but a bit of sadness tugs inside.
Maybe it’s guilt, tainted with a bit of denial that we will be here for the long haul. Trying to balance what ought to be excitement, with the memory of another land.
Or maybe it’s just drama because with globalization, and the blurring of roles of nation states, belonging here and belonging there are not mutually exclusive anymore. And with acceptance of each ones ethnicities, faiths, and cultures, ones identity is kept or continuously moulded into its most authentic self.
Or maybe it is because we’ve been here almost two years, and I can’t quite tell the difference anymore between official and unofficial, because I’m starting to feel like I belong, and have my routine down pat.
But despite the weight of my (inexistent) identity crisis, there is a world of a difference now that I am a permanent resident. I can’t deny how exciting it is to be covered by the health care system, to be able to get a license, and go to school or find work.
The sky is pouring blessings on us today, the way she pours everyday, and we’re embracing it all. Today, like all days, I celebrate being a resident of the world (that gets awesome benefits from Canada).
One day, I’ll write about our long process in becoming a permanent resident. And about being a pregnant visitor in Canada. And about giving birth here too.
But for now, me and my Canucks will enjoy some treats from Tim’s.