Hi. My name is Tom and I guess I will be the one you hear from. Riza is in the Philippines and has limited computer access. Me, what else do I have to do besides watch movies alone and wait as patiently as possible for Nebraska to do it's thing?
Riza and I met online in an open chatroom a year ago. We seemed to hit it off and progressed from that forum quickly to private chat, then direct, followed by nearly daily emails and frequent snailmails. I called her on the phone a couple of months later. Even with the bit of language barrier it was amazing how easily we talked and how MUCH we found to talk ABOUT! We met in person in September, 2003. I was going to wait until October to go when her city had a once a year festival, but neither of us wanted to wait any longer. I am very glad that I went when I did. I was made welcome by her family whom I stayed with for two weeks.
On a trip to a remote island I decided "why not??" I felt more comfortable with this gentle lady than I ever have anyone, and that includes being previously married for ten years. I asked her to marry me and she said that she would like that...if her family agreed. Though she is well beyond "legal age" there is a deep respect in this family for parents' opinion. Her dad is a sea captain and I heard from him the very next day via cell phone. We had spoken before when he was docked stateside and found that we too had a lot in common and talked like old friends, but this was a bit different...I was asking him for his daughter's hand. I felt like a teenager as I listened to this man speaking very seriously to me from aboard his ship somewhere in the middle of the Pacific. In the end though, he agreed and said that he gave us "his blessing".
I came home and started the I-129 process. Had I have KNOWN exactly what the deal was on the timeline (where were you guys then?? lol) I would have at the very least used a relative's address in New England and filed through Vermont. Had I have done that Rizamae would probably be in Manila this month, doing her part at the Embassy there. There would be no question that the visa would be in her hands in time for her dad's hometime during March, April, and May. That is the plan, you see. I am going back to get her as soon as it is approved. We want to have an informal ceremony for her family's benefit right there in her home city. Nothing LEGAL, that will wait until we get back here because of the K-1 status. Instead, I did what I thought I was supposed to do and filed from right here in Illinois where I currently live. THAT little move landed our application in what seems to be a deadzone in Nebraska *sigh*. At least I did the right thing by applying for the K-1. I understand it is still the fastest, much faster than the spousal visa (which makes no sense at all to me).
And so, we wait....just like all of you guys. We talk, several times a week now. ("You worried about me being able to SUPPORT her while we wait for the green card, BCIS?? I can support her in STYLE on what I am spending in phone cards!!" lol! ) We text message. We email daily, sometimes more than once. Sometimes she calls me as well. The other morning I got a call from her and found it as a "missed call" on the caller ID when I woke up. I called her back...and she couldn't hold back the tears. That was why she had called, because she was missing me particularly badly. That was rough, maybe because I felt my own tears just under the surface...
We'll wait. We're committed. There is no doubt about this. What folks have trouble understanding is that sometimes a forced long distance relationship like this can make a couple stronger and more appreciative of one another. That's us...and I'm sure a lot of you guys too.
Thanks for listening and I'll look forward to being a part of your group.