CENTENNIAL – A ceremony in Centennial officially welcomed 51 children of all ages and backgrounds to the United States as citizens. Eight out of those 51 children are adopted.
News 5 caught up with two of those adopted kids, 15-year-old Kira and 16-year-old Nicholas Taylor. They live in Colorado Springs with their parents but have journeyed far to get here.
“I was born in Kazakhstan which is right by Almaty,” Kira said.
The Taylors adopted them back in 2003, when Kira was just eight months old. Event though they were U.S. citizens from the moment they arrived, this ceremony makes it official.
“Now they’re teenagers, it really made them think about what they and how it is an important factor in their lives,” said Lisa Dorr, Nicholas and Kira’s mother.
But there were also some younger faces, kids of ages four to 18 attended, representing 27 different countries – and each was recognized.
“I think it was wonderful and really touching how diverse it was,” said Kira.
“These are our future,” said Dorr. “And it’s so important all these different perspectives from all these different countries around the world.”
Even Rockies great Vinny Castilla, who previously became a U.S. citizen in the same room as these children, took a moment to share his journey to success from Mexico to America.
But now Taylor gets to write her own story and find her own opportunities. Next, she wants to attend a university and major in biomedical engineering.
“I feel so fortunate to live here because there is a lot of freedom here and there’s a great education system,” she said. “There’s just a lot to love about America.”
By pledging allegiance to the United States of America and making an oath to support and protect it, she now gets to be a part of this nation she loves.
And her parents get to celebrate their kids’ achievement. “We feel so grateful, we have such wonderful kids,” Dorr added.
And they all get to cherish their international family. “We’re kind of a special family,” Kira said. “And I think that’s good, we’re kind of what it embodies to be American.”
The family is also celebrating the anniversary of Nicholas and Kira’s adoption on December 22.