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Goodbye Latvia, hello USA


The road to American citizenship for a Latvian girl is expected to end this morning.

Laura Frye, 16, who was adopted by Tammie and Russell Frye of Somerville, is in Atlanta to take the Oath of Allegiance in a ceremony at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. Other family members attending today’s ceremony are Russell Frye’s parents, Ray and Barbara Frye of Lafayette, Tennessee.
“I am enjoying life,” Laura said as she rode with six family members Thursday toward the Georgia capital.
She first stepped on American soil in Atlanta on June 30, 2011, after a flight from Riga, Latvia. The Fryes waited for their daughter-to-be at the airport that night, along with their son Michael, 15.
They adopted him more than five years ago through the Morgan County Department of Human Resources.
Laura spent five weeks with the family that summer before returning to her native country. Tammie, Russell and Michael reunited with Laura in Latvia on Sept. 20. The four returned to Somerville on Oct. 2 as the adoption process continued.
The adoption was finalized in January when Tammie and Laura made a brief trip to Latvia. She has been in Somerville the past 10 months.
“I’m eager to call Somerville home for good,” she said.
Tammie Frye said after her daughter receives her citizenship certificate, she will be allowed to apply for a Social Security card.
“That is really all she lacks in the process, and she’ll be happy to have that card in hand,” said Tammie Frye, a first-grade teacher at Priceville Elementary School and a member of the Somerville Town Council. Russell Frye is self-employed.
Laura and Michael are home-schooled. They will be sophomores this fall.