SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – As the country gets ready to celebrate its independence, seven local families have more reason to enjoy the holiday as they receive their citizenship certificates.

Twelve kids from eight different countries can now all call the United States home.

Sophia Hughes, 11, has been waiting about half her young life to have the same privileges her parents earned, and her younger brother was born into.

“The whole process took eight years, but now we feel full and happy,” mother Milena said.

Sophia and her mother immigrated to the U.S. from Columbia a few years ago. But due to adoption and name change delays with her new father, Sophia’s American citizenship seemed almost unreachable.

Now, one day before Independence Day, Sophia is celebrating what her family calls the most important day of her life.

“It means we are Americans. We are free and now Sophia can have all the opportunities this country provides,” father Robert said.

The Williams family is just as overjoyed to finally have official citizen documentation for their two kids.

Adopted from Haiti just two weeks after the country’s devastating earthquake, Christelle and Roderickson were just 3 and 4 years old at the time.

Now 7 and 8 years old, and still a bit young to understand what exactly this day means for their future, they know it’s a special day.

“We gonna get extra presents,” said Roderickson.

But dad says they’ve always felt complete. Now it will make life a little easier for their family of five.

“It’s nice to do everything as a family,” said father Doug. “We are going to Mexico. It’s been complete, now more of a technicality.”

The naturalization process takes a few years to complete and costs around $600.


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