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Wife and step son immigrating to US soon - A few concerns

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My wife and step son will be doing their medical next week and their interview is on the 17th. If everything goes well I plan on flying them here sometime between the middle of February to the middle of March. I am getting excited and they are too but I have some things i am worried about.

The first thing is not a huge deal but might be a shock to them when they get here and that is winter weather in Wisconsin. I remember taking them to Ocean Park in Manila and they had a penguin exibit. It was about as cold as a walk in refrigerator. To me it was kind of nice being that it was about 90 degrees outside. They however were freezing and wanted to get out right away. I was able to snap a picture of them before they got out and the look on their faces is priceless. Anyways I have some ideas for how to help them handle the cold but I am open to suggestions.

The next concern is a bigger one. I need to figure out what to do with my step son as far as school is concerned. He is 9 years old by the way. The biggest issue is he is just learning to speak English. I was able to communicate with him and he could answer simple questions but his ability to speak English needs a little work. I am not sure if any schools around here would have anyone there who speaks Tagolog. I think he will get there but he just needs a little help. I was going to wait until the end of March when the current school year ends for him to fly them here but I have been told they will just give him a test to decide what grade to put him in anyways. I am in the process of finding a house to rent that is closer to work (so I can get home to my wife and step son sooner after work) and in a few weeks when I am sure where I am moving I will be calling the school in that area to get some information but if anyone here has been in this situation your input is appreciated.

The next concern I have is finding friends for my wife and step son and finding things to keep my wife occupied while I am at work for 12 hours until she finds a job of her own. My wife wants to get a job as soon as possible but i am trying to encourage her to take it easy for a couple months and get used to living here first. One area I am considering moving to has a city bus system so my wife could go places and it would almost be like getting on a Jeep to go somewhere to her. The other area doesn't so she would need a driver's license eventually (another concern for another time).

Those are some of the concerns I have.My wife and step son are leaving everything and everyone they know behind to come live with me and once they get here I am the only one they have until they start to make some friends.I feel like it is my responsibility to make them feel at home here and help them adjust to our way of living. Your input is appreciated if you have been through this before.


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Here getting used to the cold weather and in Wisconsin is going to be difficult, and being cold and gloomy expect her to get depressed from staying indoors and the cold, but as all thing this will pass but I suspect it will be a issue at first.

As far as finding friends it seems like Philippines tend to find each other here in the states.

Just be prepared and aware that the first few months while your fiance is here and she can't work, can't drive, etc she will become bored and more than likely become depressed, I have seen it numerous times. Find things to keep her entertained when you get home and take them places. If you can find a friend for her that would help. But be careful there also, there are girls from Philippines who use Americans to get here and then divorce them, these type of girls will be a cancer on your relationship. Screen her friends and if don't like things about them, then don't let her become friends.

I have seen more than one relationship end in divorce from hanging around the wrong friend.

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When you meet her at the airport be prepared with jackets, caps and gloves for each of them. Make sure when they travel that they change into long pants, socks and closed toe shoes like tennis shoes. Your idea that she be on the bus line is excellent as this will give her a way to get out and explore without getting lost of course as long as she travels in a straight line. Be sure to have a way to communicate back with friends and family in the Philippines. Skype, viper or Facebook messenger are some suggestions. Also, if you have cable be sure she has the Filipino channels.

As far as your son is concerned, your school district will test him and place him in the appropriate class. He will have tutors available. Be sure that he dresses like the other kids so he doesn't begin to become a bully target. Be sure to have that discussion of what to do. My 11 yo at the time, that was one of his main concerns. After about a week he was okay with everything. Now he fits right in and many kids to hang with. His first friend was a kid his age from Russia and they became good friends as they had a lot in common.

As it's been mentioned, be careful of who your wife chooses for friends. Filipino women can be trouble. Find a Filipino store and she can meet some other Filipino's there. Also, places around hospitals have a tendency to have their share of Filipino nurses which can be another place to meet.

Be supportive. Keep her involved. Visit different places within Wisconsin so she is not board with what's around her. Good luck.


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I don't know much about Filipino's in Wisconsin but in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Chicago areas there's lots of Filipino's. If you go to large Catholic churches you're almost certain to meet some. Downtown St. Paul has a Filipino grocery store called Phil Oriental. In a Chicago suburb they have a predominantly Filipino grocery store called Seafood City. It has a Jollibee inside and a Red Ribbon bakery.

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I don't mean to be flippant, but is moving to a warmer clime an option for you?

My USC wife and I live in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We are going through the I-130 / I-129 process so we (as in, "I") can move to Florida. Her employer can transfer her down there and I can pick up my railway career there (hopefully) as well. We can't get out of here soon enough. And winters here in Niagara Wine Country aren't nearly as severe as the rest of the country.

One October evening, years ago, I was waiting for a city bus in Niagara Falls, N.Y. (the Number 40, "Buffalo). A young man was waiting with me at the stop. He was from Australia. He was working all summer in Pennsylvania as a camp counsellor. I guess he made a side trip to The Falls, before making his way to the Buffalo Airport and eventually home. He was dressed in shorts and a tee-shirt and the weather was in the upper 50s. He was shivering. He asked me how cold it gets here in the winter. I asked him, "Fahrenheit or Celsius?" he said, "Celsius." I told him it rarely gets below -20 in the worst days of winter. He didn't believe me. So I told him, "Did you notice how all the police cars here are four-wheel drive SUVs?" I wish I could have bottled the look on his face after I explained it that way.

Anyway, best wishes to you, your wife and your stepson. I'll ask the missus to put in a good word for all of you with the man upstairs.

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1. Warm clothes are a must. Also, if you don't already have electric blankets on the beds, then get them.

2. Living on a bus line is a great idea.

3. The school will place your step son in the appropriate grade. You will be astonished at how fast his English will improve. Five years from now, his mother will be talking to him in Tagalog and he will be answering in English!

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Hi JG. Make her feel welcomed.at first she will be kind of shy.do yourself a big favor take a few days off from work when she gets here like I did so she doesn't feel lost. Get TTC & GMA on your tv.allow her to call home a lot it will make her feel better so she won't be lonely while your at work. I use G/3 TELECOM for $22.00 unlimited a month Works fine

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Winter - I dont think any Filipina will ever be ready for this!

1. Layering worked for me and thick socks.

2. Heat at 70 degrees inside the house.

3. Walking outside with tall boots

4. Make sure to encourage your wife and kid to use lots of lotion and facial moisturizer (to minimize dry skin - had a bad case of this) and to save them from wind burn (my daughter)

5. learn how to use lip gloss - hell use vaseline

6. we wont die if we dont wet our hair for 3 days. if she can't help it, buy her a good hair dryer, its a good investment.

7. water water and lots of water to avoid dehydration.

8. nose bleeding is normal due to our body not acquainted with the winter.


Kid at school - I have a 12 yr old when we arrived here in the US.

1. Make sure to bring his latest transcipt of records

2. Bring his birth certificate (2 -3 copies preferred from NSO. Its expensive to send documents to the US)

2. Tell him as early as now that school will be extended because school ends in March in the Phils vs June here.

3. Not a good english speaker, no worries. School will evaluate his capacity. Will even give tutor if necessary. On your part, please learn how to speak in Filipino. Thats also a good way to bond.

4. Its going to be rough on the first couple of months.. Bullying is inevitable as the accent alone is more than enough to catch the bully's attention. My daughter had a couple but her Tatay is very supportive. We taught her that she needs to learn how to defend herself. As long as she's not the cause of commotion and she is just defending herself (not the first one to hit) we wont mind appearing in the school's discipline office. She has our full love and support. We were called three times and on all occassions she is just defending herself. She is doing better, hell awesome in school now with a 3.75 GPA and a Spelling Bee contest scheduled in February!

5. Prepare your patience

6. Love the kid so much to make him feel that moving in the US is a not a bad decision. This  right here will be one of your nightmares if it doesn't work.

7. Do things, lots of things outside school.


Wife and friends - I used to work for an international company back in the Phils hence I am not used to "being at home". It took me 1.5 months to convince my husband i can't do what he wants me to do (like what you are planning to do). The more people she meet outside the house the easier for her to learn the culture. She wont learn the culture inside your four walls. Plus the kid is in school and you at work, get the picture? I dont have drivers license too until now but that did not stop me from not working.

Tips for the filipina wife:

1. The filipino channel - YES get it

2. Make sure her family has internet so they can talk

3. Teach her how to use the bus/train system whatever you have

4. Compromise on the food... Rice is a staple food for us.

5. Again, lots of love and hugs. Tell her i love you everyday.

6. And did I say learn Filipino/Tagalog? :D


For the american husband

1. Love your wife and she will love you back with all her heart

2. Family is very impt. Its part of the culture.

3. Please make sure to do the "money talk" before everything else. What can be sent home, when its too much, when will it be enough. You know what i mean right?


PS: I may living far but i can be your wife's friend. I dont have any pinay friend!


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