Omar and I first met about seven months ago on Facebook, which is an online community with networking for students, military, international groups, etc. I had just returned to the United States after a fifteen month tour in Kabul, Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy. Because I had loved my time there, I kept my assigned network as Afghanistan. This meant that anyone in that network could view my entire profile (i.e. pictures, blogs, etc.)
I had started a night shift at work—still serving in the military—and one night I got a message from Omar asking if I wanted to be friends. I said yes and we just started talking pretty much every day, about six to eight hours a day, for the next 2 weeks. It was daytime in Kabul while I was at work, so we were both working during these times and it relieved a lot of stress from both of us to have such a distraction.
Well, I don’t think either of us ever imagined that a romance would develop because we were so far away and such different backgrounds and cultures, etc. Also, both of had recently—about 6 months past—come out of serious and detrimental relationships. However, as most of the time happens with love, it just developed all of a sudden, and around two weeks of talking—on Facebook, then Yahoo Instant Messenger, then Phone and Video chat—we both expressed our desire to meet. We had both started to view the other in a more romantic sense and wanted to progress that relationship. This is one of the happiest moments I can ever remember. It is rare to find someone that so quickly and unexpectedly comes into your life and turns it upside down. We shared so many stories about our pasts and family issues, likes and dislikes, goals and current feelings about work and world issues. Everything matched up so perfectly. Even though we didn’t always agree, we had the same outlook on life—wanting someone to love and someone to love us, wanting to live in peace, and wanting to live a full life always ready to forgive and move on to better things.
So during this time, my brother got married and moved back to our home in South Carolina—about 3,000 miles away from San Diego—where I am currently stationed. I had never been completely alone while in the military, and although moments since my brother moved have been scary, Omar was and is always with me through everything. Always encouraging me to be strong and take care of myself. He has never asked for anything, although we did send each other packages during the first five months of our relationship. He always showed care and compassion for me and my issues first, even though he lives in a war-torn country and has a past that would make any man become hard. Instead, Omar became a loving, sensitive, open and honest man, which is rare these days. I couldn’t help falling for him deeper and deeper over the past seven months.
Early on in the relationship we had joked about visiting the Taj Mahal together, and around the end of March we agreed to try our hardest to make that a reality. That meant four months of hard waiting and lots of planning before we went. My family was not supporting me at all during those four months, and working in the military with day and night schedules while Omar continued to work 12-hour shifts six days a week was very hard on both of us. Life is just hard sometimes, and we both look back on those times as a test that we passed with flying colors. We remained positive and learned a lot about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as things in ourselves that needed fixing. When I look back now, I only think of happiness because we made it!
Around the end of June, I left San Diego to go on a one-month deployment with the Navy to Hawaii. This was the last month and a half before Omar and I would be meeting in India, and it was by far the hardest time we’ve had yet. New time zones and big projects going on for both of us made online communication almost impossible, while verbal communication—phone calls—was at it’s highest. In the end, this too was a trial that made both of us stronger and grew our love to a level of surety and commitment beyond basic love. We both felt that this was something more than a simple boyfriend/girlfriend relationship—the kind that fades with more arguments and misunderstandings and mistrust. Instead, this was a final and satisfying and completing commitment on every level. We decided that the Taj Mahal was going to mean a lot more than just a tourist visit.
It was at this time, around the first week of August that I retained the services of the Law Firm of Michael Solomon to help me and Omar with the K-1 Visa needed to bring him to the states to be married. A week later, Omar and I met for the first time in New Delhi, India after six months of waiting. It was the most amazing experience and feeling I have ever felt. There was so much emotion and nervousness and anticipation that led up to that moment, and over the next three weeks, Omar and I were able to say more to each other without words than all those months of type and phone/video calls ever could. I say right now, with a heart full of love and commitment, that Omar is the man I am going to marry. On February 21st he proposed to me after a day of sight-seeing at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, putting a ring on my finger showing the world that nothing would ever separate us or cause us to doubt our love for each other.
After returning to the states, our attitudes have shifted to hope and excitement, planning and celebration! My family has begun welcoming Omar in their lives and even my work has committed to helping us 100%. I have never been happier, and although it is very hard for both of us—once again, daily phone calls are absolutely necessary—we are making it through each day. We are both praying for a speedy visa issuance process until we can be together again. Thank you.