When Hope is Enough

6 years ago

{I wrote this post about a month ago on my blog, there has been an update to this situation which I will hopefully write about soon, but for now I wanted to share this part of our journey with the Blogher community.}

 

It’s late.  Nearly 2am, and I’m wide awake, nerves jangling.  Paul and I completed a huge task tonight, one that will affect our family in a major way depending on the decision of forces beyond our control. 

After we were married 3 1/2 years ago, we applied for Paul to become a Permanent Resident of the USA.  About 2 years ago he was finally approved.  That in itself was huge, since we chose not to pay the exorbitant amount to hire an immigration lawyer and thus went through the entire application process without really knowing what we were doing half the time (ok…all the time).  All I know is, when we went to our interview at our local US Immigration office I was almost giddy when I pulled out our two big wedding albums as further evidence of our marriage and the officer calmly said “Wow, nice pictures.  By the way, you’re approved.” 

What we didn’t quite understand at the time was that Paul received a conditional permanent residence card (aka Green Card).  We had to go through the process all over again two years later, pay another whopping $600 just to get the word “conditional” removed from his Green Card so he can legally stay in this country and not be deported immediately.  Wow. 

Sooo..that’s what we just finished tonight.  Another huge amount of paperwork, another emotionally draining experience.

Ironic…I was just going through some old photos of us a few days ago:

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Would these two lovebirds have stuck it out if we’d known the challenges ahead? 

From day one of meeting Paul (almost literally), we have had to justify our relationship to someone.  Whether it was family or friends, professors, random people…US Immigration…we’ve become pros at explaining who and why and what we are. 

I do not mean to sound like “oooh poor us”.  I don’t mean that at all.  But I will be happy when it’s all over and we can just be who we truly are:  two people who love each other very much despite differences, despite similarities, despite good and bad history, despite being just regular old human beings with faults and feelings and bad days. 

I won’t lie…the logistics of getting married to someone from another country has not made this an easy path.  And for those of you in a similar situation, God bless you…really!  But maybe US Immigration has one thing right…by the time you sort through all the legalities and open up your most secret “evidence of your relationship” and tell them over and over and over again in 50 million different ways just how much you REALLY LOVE THIS PERSON…you will find that, in fact, you really DO love this person! :-)  (At least I hope so…no guarantees!)

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As I filled out the forms, and wrote the cover letters, and made myriad copies of bank statements and birth certificates and monthly bills and wedding photos and baby’s first photos, etc., etc….I said a prayer.  Many prayers actually.  I prayed that somehow I interpreted all this legal mumbo jumbo correctly and I’m not just sending a picture of me having just birthed a baby to a random person in Vermont for no good reason.  I prayed that whoever the officer is who gets the privilege of reviewing our file decides to have favor on our family and allow us to stay together forever. 

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So, there it is, folks.  My life, my hopes, my dreams, my love, in a big manila envelope.  May hope be enough.

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