Gregory and I met in Kuwait in early 2012. He was on an extended middle-eastern vacation (after a civilian tour in Afghanistan).
I was an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker)in Kuwait working at a gelato shop. I worked in Kuwait for seven years total and endured many hardships and abuse. Life was not easy for me, but I sacrificed all of my happiness to provide for my family in Philippines.
Gregory and I lived in the same district of Kuwait and we met one day through a mutual friend. Greg was biding his time before returning to the states and I was secretly having a crush on him. Our friendship eventually turned to adoration and affectionate feelings, and over time, the adoration grew into love.
Gregory eventually agreed to return to the U.S. to prepare the way for me to be with him. Little did we know that the journey before us would be long, complicated and trying.
Greg's return to the U.S. in 2012 prompted the beginning of nearly six months of research and studying regarding our situation. In the Philippines, I am married. The Philippines is the ONLY country in the world where divorce in illegal. Although separated from my husband for almost nine years and living 12,000 km from home - the sad reality was, I couldn't even think of applying for a K1 visa until my marriage was absolved.
Gregory was back in the U.S. educating himself on the Filipino judicial system (and the annulment process)while I continued to work in Kuwait; hoping, believing we would be together soon.
We spent every waking moment on Skype - hours and days at a time. We slept with Skype on, side-by-side. Without the distractions that normally plague new relationships, we had nothing but time to communicate. We talked. We shared. We planned our future, and eventually we hired an attorney from Manila based on the referral of a friend.
Long-story-short, the attorney (Voltaire Gumban)bragged about his 100% success rate with annulment cases. What he didn't tell us was that he had never done one. After paying in advance, it still took the attorney eight full months to file the case. Within a month of filing, the case was dismissed by the Office of Solicitor General because paperwork was misfiled. The attorney quit the case a few days later via email stating that he couldn't work under such pressure.
Fast forward nearly two years: Greg and I coordinated a vacation together in the Philippines, and with the help of a friend at the White House and a Philippines ambassador, we hired a new attorney in Bohol. Our new attorney was able to do more in three months than Gumban did in almost a full year.
Several months later we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There have been many setbacks along the way, but in the end we just remember our promises of perseverance to each other.
With any luck the annulment will be complete by early to mid 2015. Once we file for immigration, its just a matter of months before we can be together again.