Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hace un año

June 24, 2014 was a day of many tears and breaking hearts. The girls and I packed up our gear and clothes for the summer and boarded a plane to take us back to the United States. This wasn't like flying to Mexico without my husband and knowing I'd be back in just a few days. This time, I didn't know when we would see each other again. Mia was bawling her eyes out in the airport and Erika was sobbing over the injustice of the US immigration system. I was the rock in the middle, holding it together so we didn't all fall apart. What little idea we had about how our world was about to be turned on its head.

We had flown to Tijuana, crossed the border with Andrea's help, flown from San Diego to Portland, and crashed for the night with Corri and family. Bright and early on Wednesday morning, Jose called me and told me to check his case status immediately. I thought he was slightly crazy to be obsessing over his case and I'd been gone less than 24 hours. I logged into the USCIS Case Status app anyway and found the best news of Jose's life.

How was I to know that while our hearts were breaking, some immigration official was adjudicating our waiver favorably? I think everyone was in tears with the great news. I even ran upstairs to wake up Erika and tell her the news.

The last year has been full of roller coasters to put it mildly. It took us another month to go through the process in order to finally get that precious visa in his hand and cross the border. I had to drive the Escape down to Tijuana and pick up all of our belongings from the freight company and load up the Escape, fly to Mexico City, pick up Jose and the dogs, and flew back together to Tijuana. Crossing that line with my husband sitting by my side is a feeling that can't be described. Two plus hours at the line and sitting in a hot office while they processed his paperwork. We drove straight home without sleeping. Jose wanted to get home without any more delays and who could blame him?

How many years had we been waiting for this moment? How many fights and dreams and tears and fears were tied to this one little fucking visa? Our whole lives. That is what we spent 8 years of our lives trying to get. I lost track of how much money we spent in the process, I'm guesstimating about $20,000 give or take a couple hundred. And our legal fees were only a quarter of that. In fact, it cost us a bankruptcy so all those years of paying our bills on time went right down the drain when we packed up the family and moved to Mexico. I have no shame or embarrassment though. People have done it for much less.
This last year hasn't been easy but it's been worth it. After spending our whole marriage fighting against the injustice of immigration, it's hard to know how to live a normal life again. We went through months of bickering and fighting and trying to find our way back to what made us fall in love with each other in the first place. It's easy to get caught up in the rat race that is the American lifestyle.
A seed had been planted though while we were living in Mexico and that seed grew into a tree. A tree that is going to take our family away from our home and onto new and bigger adventures. We can finally travel the world as a family. Jose's dream has come true and now it's time to spread our wings and become world citizens. Only 71 days until our family moves to Spain for a year so I can get my Master's degree! Living la vida loca!!

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