I thought I was all done writing about getting Italian citizenship on this blog. But of course I’m not, because even though I did most of the work for the rest of the Familia, who are lucky Italians-by-birth, to get their Italian passports, I don’t have a single Italian ancestor. I know this because for Mormons genealogy is a religious imperative, and members of my family have been tracing our roots back to the Middle Ages since before I was born.
I hope you enjoyed our little jaunt to the Philippines yesterday. Now back to Italy. We had decided to move to Italy by October 2007, which at the time was one year away. Now all we needed to do was to collect birth, death, and marriage certificates for Tony and all his ancestors in a direct line back to Domenico. It came to a grand total of 32 certificates, plus the Naturalization papers for Domenico. The documents had to be requested from the vital records offices of five different states and two different towns in Italy, and then most of them had to be sent to the Governor’s office of the various states for an Apostille. The basic function of an Apostille is to make an official-looking certified document look twice as official and certified. The way the Apostille looks varies from state to state, but the most important ingredient is usually a gigantic gold seal.
If you’ve missed the beginning of this story, I’m telling about how we moved to Italy. The rest of the story can be found here:
Rome Temple Groundbreaking The Story Begins . . . Welcome to the Famiglia
Since Grandma Familia had been a good source of information about her side of the family, Tony decided to call his mother and see if she knew anything about whether and when Domenico was naturalized. As fate would have it, she had recently paid a visit to her uncle Blaine (Domenico’s grandson and the genealogy guru of the family). With her sisters, she had been able to see his store of genealogical documents. They had copied an entire file box full of family papers from the Bodreros. Actually, they weren’t Bodreros. They were Boudreros. Since Domenico spent his young manhood in France, He adopted the French spelling of both his first and last name. For the rest of his life he went by Dominique Boudrero. Domenico also had a couple of brothers who immigrated to Utah but kept their original Italian surname. So in Logan there are two branches of the family: the Bodreros and the Boudreros.
Lately we’ve been talking about the new Rome L.D.S. Temple and why it is important to my family. If you missed the first two posts in this series, here they are:
When Tony and I got married, one of his aunts gave me a set of pasta dishes, along with Tony’s grandmother’s recipe for Chicken Parmagiana. “Welcome to the Famiglia,” began the recipe. I didn’t really understand back then everything it meant to become part of this family.
After our wedding, Tony and I went back to Utah and B.Y.U., where he busied himself finishing a business degree and I went to work at an immigration law office. A few more years brought the birth of our daughter, Tony’s graduation, and our decision to start a business in Southern California. We looked forward to a life of uninterrupted sunshine together on a long sandy beach.
We found out when we arrived that Gianfranco, the man who worked at the Comune and helped Tony to get his citizenship two years ago, passed away three weeks ago. We were saddened to hear of his passing and wish peace and consolation for his family.
I had intended to celebrate the 100th post on this blog by taking it public. It has been private for several months, ever since we were in difficulties with Teresa in Saluzzo. My hope was that we could celebrate the 100th post by having Tony’s Italian citizenship officially recognized. No dice. But I’m making it public anyway. I’m tired of feeling like if people knew my thoughts they wouldn’t like me. They would. And it doesn’t matter anyway. My blog is a true story.
This has not been the best week as far as citizenship is concerned. Mainly, we have been getting more and more apprehensive that it would not happen before we left for our trip to the U.S in a week and a half. We were afraid that my long-expired tourist visa would be a problem at the border. Tony went with Carla to remind the Mayor to speak with Gianfranco on Wednesday, but it didn’t happen.
Last time we checked with Gianfranco, he had still not received faxed responses from either Manila or San Francisco. As our time ticks away, we decided it was time to call out the international troops.
Amusingly, enough, Tony got up at 1 a.m. Thursday to call Manila. After several dozen tries, he succeeded in getting past the busy signal to an unhelpful secretary, who put him on hold and then hung up on him. He called back immediately, and when the same secretary realized it was he again, he transferred him without speaking to him.
Today was the fateful meeting with the Mayor. We all dressed up, but in the end, there was too much delighted squealing echoing through the corridors of the Municipio for our comfort, so I took the two little squealers downstairs, and we went to the optician to get my glasses fixed and then sang “Five Little Ducks,” and several other counting-down songs as we waited in the piazza outside.
Meanwhile, Tony and Carla waited for the Mayor. We had arrived nice and early, since last time Carla went to speak to him (about us, before we moved here) he had scheduled five people to meet with him at 11:00 a.m., and he didn’t arrive until 11:30.
This question of history is one I’ve been puzzling over for the past few months. It is more than an academic question for me. In fact, it turns out to be both personal and practical. Who am I, after all? What are my roots? Where are my loyalties? To whom and to what are my duties? For the less peripatetic, perhaps these questions are easily answered. Indeed, probably there is something pathetically lost about asking them at all. But I cannot help asking, because I possess, as yet, no clear answer.
Productivity for us here in Italy seems to be more a product of serendipity than careful planning. It’s not that we don’t plan exhaustively. But sometimes things turn out better when we just go with the flow. Our internet has been grinding to a halt fairly often lately. We can get reliable dial-up, which us O.K. for email and other more basic tasks. But we cannot send large attachments, and forget about Skype calls (we don’t have a home phone, and we’ve been trying to set up quite a lot of things for our trip to the U.S.)., or web-conferencing.