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Shaun and Steph

What difficult sacrifices are you making?

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I never had a father. He was violent and left before I was old enough to remember him and my mother and I are very close and the best of friends. We talk every day and never fight, she's been with me through everything since I was a child. She raised me by herself and supported me through anything, she has always put my needs before hers and has always given me everything she had and tried her very best as a single parent. I've never felt like I've missed out on having a father but my relationship with her makes it so difficult to leave, especially now that she's getting older and has a lot of health issues. I would have wanted to be the one to help her as she has helped me, give back all the time she gave me. She doesn't really have anyone else who can take care of her and I feel like I'm straight up betraying her and abandoning her after everything she's done for me.

Of course my choice is already made, the papers are sent and the fees are paid, our papers are at the California Service Center so I know things will most likely go fast from here. I've been with my fiancé for over 5 years now and we're both so happy that after all this time we finally have a chance to close the distance.

I wouldn't go back on my decision but I also don't know how to handle it at all. I feel like there's nothing my fiancé or anyone can say that would make me feel better about leaving, I've been seeing a psychologist but all she says is "you can just call her and visit once in a while".

Have you guys had to leave people you love? How did you manage to be happy about moving with all the sacrifices? How do you just kick yourself in the butt and move on? :(

Shaun (USA) & Stephanie (Canada)

● First met online: 2008
● First visit (and first date): August 2009
● Engaged: January 1st 2014
● I-129F sent: April 15th 2015
● NOA1: April 22nd 2015

● NOA2: May 27th 2015

● NVC Received: July 1st 2015

● Consulate Received: July 8th 2015

● Packet 3 Sent: July 13th 2015

● Packet 4 Received: August 18th 2015

● Interview Date: October 2nd 2015 - APPROVED!

Visa Received: October 9th 2015

Border Crossed: October 15th 2015

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It's not easy leaving loving parents behind. Mine sacrificed everything to help me become the person I am today. Without their love and support I don't think I would've survived the long immigration process. They say they are happy for me now but I know they will miss me just as much as I will miss them. I try to believe that I am doing this for the right reasons - for love and to be with the person I love. I am sure your mother wants you to be happy and live a happy and fulfilling life. That can be the greatest gift you can give back to her. The one advantage you have over me is that Canada is a relatively short distance from the US compared to South Africa. It takes 24 hours at least to travel from here to the US so I won't be able to pop over for a long weekend or anything like that.

Go on and live your life and take her love in your heart. Visit and call as much as you can. Best wishes!

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I had to leave my mother just 2 years after my Dad passed away and I'm sure it hurt her a lot because she felt she lost another loved one by me moving to the US. She also had a lot of health issues. It was very hard for me but my uncles assured me that they would watch over her. We talked on skype and facebook every day. I felt that for once in my life, I had to make a decision FOR ME and not for anyone else. I wanted to have my own family and I knew she would understand that. My biggest regret was she passed away and I wasn't there because everything happened so quickly. This was 3 months ago. I came home for her funeral. I know I will forever regret not being there when she passed away. But I know my mother. And I know she passed away happy, knowing that someone is taking good care of her baby.

My aim is not to scare you. Reality is that things happen that we cannot control. The best you can do is to keep talking to her all the time, always show/remind her that you love her very much. The only thing our parents want most for us is for us to be happy. Show her that you are happy with the decision you made, and thank her for her support and strength. Maybe look into bringing her to the States eventually. Involve her in everything. Tell her fun stories. Ask her for recipes! When you can, visit her. And of course, grandchildren (I bet she will eventually ask for them).

My K1 timeline (4 months/NO expedites): http://www.visajourney.com/timeline/profile.php?cfl=0&id=163489

My AOS timeline (10 months):

08/16/2014 - Sent in AOS package

08/18/2014 - Delivered per USPS website

08/22/2014 - Text of receipt numbers received

08/27/2014 - NOA hard copies received (dated 08/19 and 08/21)

08/29/2014 - Notice date of Biometrics letter

09/11/2014 - Received Biometrics appointment letter

09/18/2014 - Biometrics completed at USCIS Raleigh, North Carolina

11/08/2014 - EAD / Travel Document approved and went to card production

11/19/2014 - Received EAD/AP combo card (dated 11/14/2014)

12/16/2014 - Received Notice of Potential Interview Waiver letter dated 12/11/14

06/24/2015 - AOS approved! Card picked up by USPS KY for delivery

06/26/2015 - Received green card by mail (Yay I can rest for 2 years!)

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My daughter still lives in Canada with her father. She didn't want to move away from him or his family. We Skype, message, and see each other as often as possible. It doesn't lessen any guilt or remove any pain. But regular communication is what we have. She is the main reason we chose the CR1 route because not travelling was simply non-negotiable. My husband hasn't seen his mother or brother in years, but he tells his family it's more important for my daughter to visit,and I love him for it even more, despite the guilt I feel about that too.

Once you become a citizen you can petition for your mom too. Maybe keep that thought in your head. Remember every sacrifice she made was so you can be happy. Don't let her down now and make it all in vain.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss


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