My ambition to live in the United States comes from my childhood. Many reasons forced people to change their home. In my case, nothing pushed me to leave home. People often ask me why I chose America and a U.S. citizen as my husband. I simply answer that I fell in love with my husband, and I love the United States. After that I always explain my reason further:

The country of my birth was known as “Persia” in the western world, later called “Iran,” was very popular because of its rich history and rich culture, and also attractive for foreign investors since it was full of natural resources. So during this era the United States became one of the most important trading partners of Iran. At the same time, different waves of Iranians and foreigners who traveled between countries to trade or study exchanged the cultures between Iran and America.

With this in mind, we might consider how the names like Persian culture, Persian carpet or rug, Persian cats, Persian saffron, and Persian pistachios, and so on have become familiar in the world. Under those circumstances, the western lifestyle was discovered by the Iranian society. Western fashion flowed through the country: western literature like Jack London and Mark Twain, western music, disco, Hollywood and American movies, clothes, hairstyles, burgers, breakfast cereal, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Cadillac, can you imagine that there was a very luxurious and direct flight between Tehran and New York in 1976!

As a little girl I loved Walt Disney World; I remembered that for one of my birthday parties I received a very cute Minnie Mouse toy as a gift. In addition, my lovely mom often read to me American children’s books. What beautiful pictures they had! It was not for nothing that I always used American style houses with colorful doors, dogs and fences in my drawings. Our family was sometimes invited for Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve. I loved the Christmas tree.

During the weekend we had barbeques with friends. My parents sometimes listened to old love songs and watched American movies. In my youth, Humphrey Bogart, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley were my favorite actors and singers. It was one of my dreams to study at Harvard University.

Despite the political relations between the two countries after the Revolution in Iran, which was the cause of the disappearance of all my American joy that I had in my country of birth, I definitely decided to be an American. I came to the United States, the country of my wonderful husband, in 2015.

I passed all processes, the civics test and naturalization interview.

Now I am waiting for the oath ceremony to officially become a U.S. citizen.

It is the time of heading home. Wish me luck!

Meetinghouse is a community storytelling project hosted by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

Read more stories from Maine at capstan www.pressherald.com/meetinghouse