Father, son look forward to future after naturalization ceremony


by WHAS11


Posted on June 27, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 27 at 8:16 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Families were in attendance as their loved ones were sworn in as citizens of the United States.

One hundred and forty eight people from 48 countries around the globe came together in one place on Friday, June 27.

It’s a dream come true for many.

 “I’ve been praying all of my life to be in America and it came true; a long process but very happy to be here,” Grear Nayou, from Liberia, said.

Thirty-three-year-old Fiston, a Congo native, moved to Louisville in 2008 to be closer to his father, Gary Liebert.

Gary Liebert met Fiston’s mother in Congo while working for the Peace Corps in the early 1980s. 

"Unfortunately there was events happening there...unrest and revolution and we lost touch,” Gary Liebert said.

Fiston's mother died when he was just a young boy. It wasn’t until he was 25-years-old that he had the chance to meet his father in person.

“It was just a wonderful reunion we had by phone originally and then years later in person, I went to Africa and met him for the first time in many years,” Gary Liebert said. 

Fiston and his father have looked forward to this day for a long time. They've fought for years to get him an American visa.

That process took three long years with Gary Liebert making trips from Louisville to Congo often.

On Friday, Fiston is officially an American citizen with a new goal in mind of going back to school.

And Gary is happy to have his son by his side.

“It’s just wonderful to have him here with the whole family,” Gary Liebert said.