So, my g/f Jackie reminded me that I'd started a website last year...and I'd completely forgotten about it...seems they've forgotten about me even! Humph...who needs them?! lol I think I started it with an email addy we no longer have too, as I tried all the current ones to no avail.
I'm gonna give the history of "us" here...so that when I reconnect with people from years gone, I can simply direct them here instead of having to type it all out again. Saves my brain!
Girl meets boy in July of 2001, after separating from her first idiot, and I do mean idiot! Amazingly enough, we met online first...but it was just in passing. I knew he lived waytheheckoutinSeattle and didn't really want to 'put myself out there' and get to know him. So hellos were traded, probably played a few games of crib at the MSN gaming zone (no longer doing the cribbage boards) but other than that, not much. Then a mutual friend planned a get together for who ever wanted to come to his house for the weekend. Turns out, he lived about 2.5 hours from me, so I couldn't NOT go!!! I mean, c'mon! I talked my g/f (also online) in Montana into coming with me. So she flew out the day before and then we drove up together. Oh what fun!
The very first person I meet when we get to this guy's place...was Howie!!! He showed us where to park and waited for us to get out of the car to give us a hug. It wasn't exactly this moment that I "fell" but I was struck by how incredibly handsome he was (and still is!!!) No, it wasn't til the next nite that we clicked and things fell into place. And by the third day we were both smitten!! BUT he lived in Seattle and I lived in Cambridge...not at all conducive to dating. So we decided to try the long distance approach and see where it would lead us.
He came back at the end of summer in September for my birthday (a couple days after the fact) and met most of my family, asked me to marry him and headed west once again. I was supposed to go meet him in November, but he got into a car accident the week before I was to arrive and was incapacitated....so I switched gears and got off my flight in AB and drove down to visit my g/f in Montana....GREAT trip!! Then in February I finally got to fly out to Seattle for a wedding of dear friends of ours (online, of course!) and he popped the question with a ring this time showing me how serious he was! BLING!
That following April I moved to Seattle!! Well, Lynnwood really, about 20 mins north of Seattle. I arrived on a visitor's visa that was to expire in 10 days. We immediately drove downtown and applied for an extension....and waited and waited to hear back. I'd originally gotten a 6 mos ticket (justincaseitdidn'tquiteworkout...) and by that date in October, we still hadn't heard back from immigration, so we let the ticket go. FINALLY heard from them in November that I'd been granted the extension and it's expiry date had already passed. Excuse me? WHAT?!?!?! Called immigration to let them know we'd just gotten the letter and asked what next. OY what a process. Sent a letter in stating the obvious and requesting yet another extension.
During this point, we got married. 03/03/03 a number he can't forget!!!!!! In Vegas, ONLINE!! Oh yeah, we did it internet style!!! That way no one had to get dressed up or leave their homes, it was awesome!!!
So in May of '03 we applied for an I130...Petition for Spouse of Non Immigrant....and we waited and waited and waited!!! Going on about life as a family. OH yeah, boy has a son from a previous marriage...Jake! GREAT kid! But I'll brag about him another time.
With the world being as technologically advanced as it is, we were given a case number that I could monitor online and see where it was in the process. Well, one day in 2005, I check it and see that it's now past the date that I submitted my forms and and and...where's mine?!?!! So I call them (this is akin to going to the Principal's office...knots in your stomach blech) and ask what the deal is....and they've lost my application. Ok, not lost, but definitely misplaced!!! And then they try to pass off that they're doing an "internal shuffle" of how forms are being dealt with and that I was going to be passed on to the California office immediately. I'm thinking this is a good thing, and I should go to the top of the list right...WRONG!! I go to the bottom of the list of that day...and wait and wait.
In the meantime we're still living our life and enjoying our family. And actually expanding it! Our son DJ was born June 7th, 2006! It wasn't til his first birthday that we got a letter saying that our application had been approved and that we were being passed on to the National Visa Center (NVC from here on out) WAHOOOO!!!!! Finally some progress!!!
Get a letter from the NVC stating that we now need to send in 380.00 and they'll get going on our app! Unreal...it was like a slap in the face! The good thing is they give you a year to come up with the funds!
That's when we found out that we were pregnant with Samantha....our surprise blessing!!! And it took us til January to get the $$ together and mail it off. Wouldn't ya know it...the blinking fee has gone up!!! It's now 400.00 and we needed to re-send our payment! ACK!! I'm about ready to pop with this baby and you're hassling me for more!?!?!?! So, it wasn't til after her birth that we got it mailed in...I was a little pre-occupied! LOL
Since then it's been a whirlwind!!! Got another letter in June saying that we needed a background check done on myself by the local police. So I go online and pay to get one done from the Lynnwood Police. In late July Howie got a surprise bonus from work that we had no plans for...so we talked about it and decided that getting hiring an immigration atty would be the best thing to do....at this point, it had been over 6 years since I'd set foot on Canadian soil and was wishing to go home for a visit at some point in my life.
My sister Joanne happened to be visiting when we called a lawyer....oh I'm so glad to have had the extra set of ears listening and taking notes. Turns out we'd done the whole thing WRONG!!! All that filing and waiting....was to have been done while I was in Canada....HUH?? No one told me that!! Never once had we lied about where I was living! In fact, at one point, during one of the many calls I made to Immigration, I was told "As long as you have a petition pending, you're alright to be in the States." Come to find out....that's if Howie was American.....tiny little detail that we had no clue about!!
The lawyer then advised us to move and move right away, back to Canada!!!! Continue with what we were doing, but get our butts back to the homeland! Within 5 wks I had me and the kids packed up, ready to go!
We left Washington on September 20th about 5am....and drove with two kids, cross country to my parents house here in BFE....Brantford, Ontario. Howie flew home on the 28th as he has a pretty good job where we were, and his son is still here going to high school. And ideally, we'd all like to be living together in WA!
Howie and Jake came for a visit in December for Christmas and New Years, and while they were here, we popped over to the local law enforcement office and requested a background check on me. Within days we got it and I sent it to the NVC on Jan 9th. And the waiting continues!!! Got another letter on the 23rd stating that we had MORE paperwork to send in (Why on earth didn't they ask for it in the last letter!?!?!?!) and in the request was another background check. Called them and asked if the one I sent in wasn't good enough or if it was overlooked....do I really have to do it again?? *side note: every little thing you have to get for them, costs money...every thing you send them, costs money!!!* The answer I got from them, "Please call back in 10-15 business days and we'll have an answer for you" You have GOT to be kidding me!?!?!?! I managed to wait a whole 6 business days and called back again....and got correct info. The background check they want done on me HAS to be from the RCMP with fingerprints. OY!
Call the RCMP and it's gonna be $75.00 to do the prints and send them off to Ottawa, oh and it'll take 120 days for this to happen. WHAT!?!?!?! I don't have that kind of time!!!!!!! So I do some research online (mom did really) and found out that if you do electronic prints it takes 72 hours. That's more like it! There was one place in Kitchener that does them for $35.00....SOLD! Had my appt on March 2nd and got them in the mail on the 12th...super quick!!!! I mailed them to NVC on the 12th (quicklikebunny) and got notice that they received my paperwork on the 23rd.
And the waiting continues!!!! *sigh*
What's the next step, you ask? Well, from what I've read online, they'll be sending me a letter telling me when my interview is. Typically a month in advance....and with notice that I'm to go to one THEIR doctors and get a complete physical done with chest x-ray, HIV testing and TB testing. I get the results in a sealed envelope and I'm to take that with me to the interview. This is the YAY/NAY interview!!! I try not to think too much about it as it's quite nerve wracking! They could very well say "NOPE, sorry, you broke the rules by overstaying your visitor's visa, too bad, so sad...." OR they could say "YES, please be reunited with the rest of your family and live in WA...." Either way, I'm pretty freakin sure there'll be tears!!! Not just from me either!!! My parents are anxious to get on with their septuagenarian lives!!!! While they keep reassuring me that they LOVE having my kids here and what a blessing it is to be a part of their lives at such a young age....they really want us GONE!!! And I really WANT TO BE GONE!!!! I enjoy being an adult!! I miss my husband TERRIBLY and I abhor single parenting!!! I'm a much nicer mom to my kids when Daddy's around!!! I have way more patience for them when he's around to share the burden! He came for a visit in March for Samantha's 1st birthday and it was HEAVEN!!! I could go to the bathroom in peace...shower with NO interruptions!!! Things other parents take for granted!! lol Ok I'm rambling here....back on track....After said interview, which we're guessing should take place sometime in May (hopefully not during the week I'm in Seattle/Maui!!!) then the plan is to have DJ's birthday here in Ontario on the 7th and take off on the 8th!!! Hit the road Jack, and don't look back! I have to keep this goal in mind or the possibility of not going home is just too depressing! In fact, we've now incorporated "please help us get home to Washington" as part of our daily prayers at bedtime with DJ! He's quite desperate to get home too!!! When Howie left in March he BEGGED to go with him on the plane!!! How heartbreaking is that!?!?! So thinking and saying we're going home in June is puttin the positive out there!!!!
Ok....in a rather large nutshell...there it is!!! Took me a couple hours to do this too...with several interruptions....I'd like to thank Google for that draft auto saved stuff!!! Couldn't have done it without ya! LOL
Til next time....ciao!