It was the summer of 2006. I had been separated from my ex-wife for about 7 months, and was preparing to go through a divorce. I was looking for a date in my area (Central Iowa). I'd had an Asian girlfriend in college, and maybe I was remembering those days fondly, so I decided maybe I would give a small preference to Asian women in my online dating experience.
I stumbled upon a website called Asiafriendfinder.com. I thought that was pretty cool. A website for meeting Asians! I typed in my profile and uploaded my photos. Then I checked the Des Moines, Iowa area. Zippo. Oh well, it was a nice thought. I forgot about Asiafriendfinder. About 2 weeks later, I had all these emails in my inbox. It was at that point I realized that AFF was an international site, and most of these letters were from Chinese women. I didn't know what to think. Yes, I was kind of looking for an Asian woman, but not one who actually lived in Asia!
Most of these letters I think were not even real people, but who knows? Out of maybe 15 letters, I picked 2 that I thought were real and sincere women. I was correct in both cases. One of these women turned out to be Mai Anh, my future wife from Hanoi, Vietnam. The other woman lives in Guangzhou, China, and the 3 of us still communicate regularly. In fact, as soon as we get a visa, Mai and I plan to visit Guangzhou to meet her in person before we come to the U.S. Weird, huh?
Anyway, back to the main story. At first, I didn't take it seriously at all. I thought that even if she was a very nice lady, she lived too far away, and at that time her English wasn't that great and I'd been through that before and didn't care to repeat the experience. But somehow, emails became very long, and very serious. And I asked her some really hard questions after a while, and I thought for sure that would be the end. But it wasn't. Then emails turned into phone calls, and the phone calls somehow became twice a day, every day. Then, before I knew it, I was on a plane to go meet her. Wow! That changed my life.
Not only did I gain a wonderful wife (any year now, USCIS), but I gained a wonderful family also. 4 months later, my parents and sister and brother-in-law came to Vietnam and we had our engagement ceremony.
Now it is just waiting, waiting, waiting. Some days, I feel pretty good, and other days not so good. I wish we had filed earlier, before the engagement ceremony, but we can't go back now. We were imagining that it would really only take about 5-6 months, but that was last year. Now we haven't seen each other since July 8, and it is difficult. Good luck, everyone!