This Thanksgiving, Jeff and Jean Chindlund sat down with their children, Andrew and Sarah, and read the story of the first Thanksgiving from "The Children's Book of America." The book was a gift from some of Andrew's teachers at St. Mary's School, congratulating him on becoming a new U.S. citizen.
The holiday was even more special this year since both Andrew, 7, and Sarah, 4, became citizens of the United States earlier this week.
The Chindlunds adopted Andrew and Sarah three years ago from an orphanage in Russia. Though not biological brother and sister, three years later they are as close as any pair of siblings could be.
On Tuesday, Nov. 21, all four of them, along with other family members, traveled to Omaha for a children's naturalization ceremony. Over 180 children became U.S. citizens.
"We were very touched - it was very emotional," Jean said. "The kids don't understand how much this means, but for us this is the final part of the adoption.
"The ceremony meant more for us, but some day I hope they'll look back at it," she added. "I hope they'll know what it means."
Jean said the ceremony was overwhelming for the children.
"There were 180 children there, from nine months old up to 18 years," she said.
Read the rest of this article in the 11/25 Pilot Tribune.