Friday, June 24, 2011

Just in time ... but not quite

I found out half an hour ago that our I-380 was approved. Recently the Federal Courts decided to question whether or not these can be filed concurrently with an I-485. Had they not done so, we would have received our green cards with about a week to spare before our current visas expire. Then we wouldn't be in the situation we are: shitting bricks over whether or not Big Love will be getting paychecks next month. I cannot imagine that our I-485 would be approved fast enough but who knows if we could speed it up and avoid applying for the H visas. Who knows. It is all a gong show and I feel like a dryer ball being tossed around in the heat.

..... about 8 hours later....

You'd think that by this point I'd be able to understand all the steps and what happens when, well, not so much. The bad thing is that sometimes my head spins when I try to figure it all out and the good thing? Well, an I-360 gets approved and it is even a much better development that I first thought! After talking with our lawyer, this was what he was hoping for; it's a best case scenario!

We felt pretty strange for awhile, questioning why we are here and what brought us here, are we going to have to pack up and return to Canada, etc. But for now, I'm just going to enjoy some Canadiana as I watch Rookie Blue!

Monday, June 20, 2011

WW Sweet One

"Stop it, Sweet One! It hurts!" she shouts as she plays by herself, wrestling a package of disposable diapers. I assume the diapers are winning if she's the one shouting stop it!
There are moments when I look at my Little Man staring at me and I am positive that I have seen his face before. I am not sure where. Is it a resemblance to a family member? I don't know. But his face is familiar as if I have known him long before he was ever here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blue eyes, staring at me

After two days of 3.5 hour long naps, this Little Man has decided to stop sleeping it seems. He didn't sleep for more than 35 minutes at a time today and yet he'd wake up completely exhausted and wanting to go back to sleep. At 6:45 I brought him upstairs to start getting him ready for sleep since he was acting completely exhausted. I changed him, fed him, read to him and turned on his lullaby music while I started to rock him to sleep. Well, he fell asleep, then woke up screaming as if wakened by a bad dream. Big Love worked on him for 45 minutes but he woke up shortly after being put in the crib. Now it is 9:25 and he seems as bright eyed as ever. Luckily he is not fussy. Just not wanting to sleep. One of these days I will have to start making him go to sleep on his own, but not tonight. (Although the last two nights he was totally showing that he might be ready for it!) Argh. Babies. If only we could get a print out of what was going on from minute to minute!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Can't do anything but hope for the best

My lawyer drives me nuts. While I fully believe that he is completely competent at what he is doing, I want to punch him in the head! Over the past three or four years I have been regularly trying to get our green card application moving. I'm not one to leave important things to the last minute but every time I tried to voice my concern he told me that all would be alright and there would be no problems because he anticipated that we should have green cards in our hands before our R-1 and R-2 Visas ran out.

April 2010 - I finally get the questionnaires and lists of everything the lawyer's office needed to put together our application
June 2010 - after a few emails asking what was going on and where we were, the lawyer tells me that he just needs to put on the finishing touches and all will be good.
....more emails go unanswered as I try to find out where we are with everything....
November 2010 - FINALLY! I hear from our lawyer and he says that he just needs a few more things before putting in the applications. WTF! I thought they were already put in! Needs checks made out to Homeland Security for our applications. Another WTF! because we've already provided him with them. Oh! But it was so long ago and they are no longer valid so we need to provide new ones. Ok. Still told that all is going to be fine and we don't have to worry about anything.
Early 2011 - the church receives notification from Homeland Security that our applications for green cards has been received.
May 2001 - Big Love starts to have some concerns that we haven't received our travel documents and whether or not he'll be able to work once our visas expire. I told him that our lawyer said everything would be ok but I phone his office just to confirm. As with many other emails, I am sent to voicemail with no returned phone call. A week later I call again. Same thing. A few days later I email and ask what is going on. We finally get an email that is not very good news. Our visas expire July 2, 2011 and something happened so he can not file the two petitions concurrently and things are backed up in California with the applications, and blah blah. We have to apply for completely new visas while the green card stuff is in process so that Big Love can continue to receive pay checks. While our lawyer says there is still nothing to worry about in regards to our green card applications going through, it may be another year before we have the actual green card in hand.
June 11, 2011 - The new visas have not been applied for because we are waiting on our lawyer to tell us he's got his part done and how much the checks need to be made out for, as well as the fact that Big Love's passport has expired and we're waiting on the new one being delivered. Again, the lawyer says he has no doubts that we'll be accepted for this new visa and so we are preparing for a worst-case scenario of losing out on half a month's pay which can not be retroactively paid once the new visas are approved. We know we're going to be ok and we have some savings, but if we have to go the full half a month, all of our savings will be gone. We are not happy about this and it is a stress that is sitting in the back of our minds 24/7. I can not help but believe that had our lawyer gotten onto these a hell of a lot sooner as I had been requesting, then this would not be going on right now.

There's also a possibility that we may not be able to renew our Driver's Licenses in time for their expiration on July 2 (only get them as long as we have a valid visa) and so to put salt in the wound, Big Love will be on an unanticipated holiday but we won't be able to go anywhere! Not even to the nearby beach for Sweet One to play. (We were there the other day and to say she loved it would be a gross understatement.)

How I hate having my fate in the hands of mere mortals.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Finding the music

Sweet One was walking around the porch while I sat with Little Man on the anti-gravity chair that I got for Mother's Day. After only a few bites on her green popsicle I heard music that was carrying through the air like only live music played outside can. I had a feeling it wasn't far at all given how precisely I could hear a lot of the rhythms; there was clarity that would have been distorted into a mush of notes if it had been traveling from further away. On the other side of the block there is a Big House with a large lawn that was once home to a prestigious person in this little town. Our house is actually on land that would have once been the orchard to the Big House. I was pretty sure that that was where the music was coming from.

I asked Sweet One if she wanted to go and find the music. Her reaction surprised me somewhat as she was ready to give up her popsicle to go on her search, wearing only a shirt and diaper. Luckily, it didn't take long for me to persuade her that she needed pants and sandals. Big Love was pretty much done cleaning up the few dinner dishes that BBQing leaves behind. I tied Little Man into the BabyHawk and we were off.

Sweet One ran around the block where we came upon a band of about 12 playing swing music, big band style to a small crowd. Little Man didn't allow me to stay for long but Sweet One having a most enjoyable time sitting in her Daddy's lap and listening to the music. When they got back to our house Big Love said that Sweet One was up and dancing for awhile. Swinging her arms and bouncing up and down. Oh, to be a little girl again. The sole dancer in a small crowd, moving whichever way the music moves her without a care in the world!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gaining independence

There is nothing quite like watching Sweet One figure new things out. When she manages to do something on her own, the look of pride (and perhaps surprise) at what she has just accomplished is enormous. It radiates. She gets so excited and shouts, "I did it!" She's also started telling me, "I can do it" so that I will stop helping her and let her do it on her own. This new sense of independence she has is bittersweet. As my sister mentioned when I told her that my niece sounded so grown up since I last talked to her on the phone: "I love it and I hate it."