Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 90: Three Months in Exile

Wow, I don't even know where to start. I've been wanting to write this post all week long but now that I'm sitting here, what do I tell you? A list of the goods and bads? Cry and whine and moan about my life in exile? Tell you about the tears we've all cried and how homesick we get at times? Maybe a little of all the above.

First off, the time seems to have flown by and it feels pretty much just like home. You turn around and your kids are growing up and you don't notice the passage of time. Time, it's very fluid here. I was a night person at home and I'm a night person here. The girls keep similar hours because we can. If I stay awake until 2am working on my scrapbook layouts or researching something, I can sleep in until 10am and it's no issue. José hits the gym early in the morning and he comes home. He's a morning person and he always will be.

We have settled into a routine now. Erika can hold a conversation in Spanish and Mia is right behind her. I can't even imagine how much they will improve over the next three months. We work on their school work in the afternoon but we don't wrap our schedules around it. They are already learning so much just by being in this situation. By becoming fluent in Spanish, they can test out of the first year of Spanish in college and save themselves hundreds of dollars in addition to setting themselves up for a higher paying job.

The girls don't really have many friends here. We've met one other American-Mexican family here in a similar situation but we've only been able to get together with them once. They are used to constantly having their friends over to the house and playing and it has taken a toll on them. They get lonely and homesick more often than they might otherwise with friends to distract them. Heck, Mom and Dad don't really have any friends here either so I get all of my interaction from the internet. Without Facebook, I'd be a goner.

I feel like I'm at a standstill in my life right now. We aren't moving forwards or backwards, just sitting and waiting for something to happen. That something is the United States Immigration. They played with our minds these last couple weeks. A big announcement about how they were going to reopen all the denied I-601A's from last year. Then a few days later we get text messages and emails that our case has been reopened and we'll be notified about a decision within 30 days. A few days later, we get more emails and text messages that our case has been denied again. An emotional roller coaster for José who doesn't understand the process and what each email means or what its consequences are. Now we are back to waiting for the official receipt that USCIS has received our I-601 waiver so we can begin the 6-8 month wait for another response.

In the meantime, I spend hours a day planning our next move out of this country. There are so many beautiful things about Mexico but I don't want to make this my long term home. I would rather stay on the move and explore the world than remain behind the 12 foot high concrete walls that surround our home. I've lost my freedom here and that alone is what kills me. Our next stop is going to be Guatemala this fall and we'll stay there until we can head overseas. I'm researching every possible program that will get us to Spain for longer than the 90 day Schengen visa. Right now our ticket is being able to either get a student visa and study there on my GI Bill or being accepted into the North American Language and Culture Assistant program. Come what may, I'm going to create a future for my family.

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