Both Germany and the United States have nationality laws that state the following:
1. No matter where you are born, if at least one parent is a citizen of the country in question, you are a citizen of that country.
2. No matter the nationality of your parents, if you are born in the country in question, you are a citizen of that country.
3. Dual-citizenships between the United States and Germany are recognized.
4. Therefore, if you have one parent who is American and one parent who is German, you are automatically born with dual-citizenship.
5. If you are NOT born with dual-citizenship, but decide to switch later in life, you cannot keep both citizenships. You MUST choose.
My mother was a German citizen when she had my sister in Germany. Therefore, under two laws, my sister is a dual-citizen. My mother then became a United States citizen. Then she had me. In the United States. Therefore, I am only an American citizen and cannot apply for German citizenship without giving up my place as an American. We know that isn't going to happen.
So...how to bypass the whole visa problem? Well, thank God Germany deals with all visa and citizenship matters on an individual basis. Maybe the nice people at the German consulate in Chicago will hear my plea that it was not MY choice for my mother to become an American citizen between birthing my sister and I.
And thank you, God, for the ability I have to persuade total strangers into giving me exactly what I need (proven by my recurrent success in telemarketing, of course).
Now, to work on that whole speaking German thing...
Wuensch mir viel Glueck!
I really need to learn how to do an umlaut on here.