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  1. I am going to apologize now, before anyone reads this. Why? Because it will be long. I am going to describe everything that has happened over the last two years of futility. Maybe it will help someone avoid what me and the woman I love has had to endure. I've posted here in the past, but I've been a little secretive for reasons you will understand as you read. Finding someone in this world that loves you is an incredible thing, and one wouldn't think that it would be so excruciatingly difficult just to be together. But it can be just that. Maybe it's even impossible, and I use that word very begrudgingly because I hate giving up. I met this wonderful woman online, at Internationalcupid.com. We immediately hit it off and soon began talking via email. That soon became Skype, then WhatsApp, and recently to FaceTime. After getting to know one another for a few months, it became obvious that we needed to meet. I had no problem with the idea of flying to the opposite side of the Earth to meet this fascinating woman. Except.... and here's the reason for my secrecy... I am what most would call a "registered sex offender." So to get it all out in the open, just as I did with her, here's the deal. In 2003, I was convicted of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior. This was a non-person, no contact, no victim misdemeanor. The it was the result of an internet sting and so there never really was a "victim". Nevertheless, I was behaving in a way that I should not have done, and the result was the requirement to register. I have not re-offended or been arrested in those last 14 years, and my fiance is completely aware of every minute detail. With that being said, I flew to Indonesia not being sure that I would be allowed entry because of the International Megan's Law. This is a law that makes all offenders give notice when they intend to travel. The US Marshall's contact the destination country to alert them that the offender is on the way and advise them to send the traveler back home. It doesn't matter the reason, or how long ago, or what the conditions were. Some countries comply (most do), and some don't. When I left to go see this woman, it was all for "hope" that I would get to see her. As luck would have it, I was allowed to enter. Our suspicions were right and we got along fabulously. It was like I'd found the missing piece to my puzzle... who knew it was in Indonesia??? After a few days there, I came back home. It was 3 months before I decided to go back again. It was getting difficult not having her by my side. We would speak each morning, both her morning and mine, and usually on Skype in her mornings. We would spend hours talking, numerous emails and chats on WhatsApp. This time, I had decided I was going to ask her to marry me. I took a ring and proposed. Praise God, she accepted and we became engaged. I was so freaking nervous!!! Soon after my return, we began discussing the fiance visa, and here's where it gets even more difficult. She asked me if there was any reason that I would not be able to sponsor her, and to my knowledge there was none. I couldn't imagine what the reason would be. But, because she had asked, I told her I would check to see. What I found made my heart sink. Because of my sex offense, I was not allowed to petition (sponsor) anyone into the United States. Why, I wondered would this have anything to do with it? Turns out, the Adam Walsh Act of 2005 (which interestingly enough became law after my conviction) stated that in order to protect children, registrants would not be allowed to sponsor people from other countries. What the....???? In our case, there were no children involved and we were both in our 40's and 50's. Nevertheless, that was the law whether it made sense to either of us or not. The only way to sponsor her was to get a waiver that states that I had proven that I was of NO danger to her. It didn't say that I should prove beyond a reasonable doubt, but that I was of NO danger to her. Still, she stood by me and decided we would move forward. But remember how I said this gets more difficult? Complicated is probably more accurate. Well, I couldn't apply for her to be my fiance because of one thing... she was still married. Before you let your imagination run wild, here's the deal. Her husband left her and has been with another woman for 6 years now. She has been separated that long. After knowing her for 2 years now, speaking every day at all times of the day, being at her house, seeing her around the world, I can tell you for a fact that this is the case. Her estranged husband, however, doesn't want the divorce because it will tarnish his image in Indonesian society. (But living with his mistress does not.) She could push for the divorce, but she will then become the evil person and be judged by his family and her church for the divorce, even when it isn't her fault. To make things more complicated, she lives in the family house that he continues to pay for, since the kids still have friends in the neighborhood and his mistress doesn't want to live in the house where his wife lived. Essentially, because of the guilt, she gets free housing. If she were to push for the divorce "against his will", it is quite likely that she will lose the house. In addition, she works for the company that he owns. She would then also risk losing her income. Not a good situation. Complicated, right? So we have several things to address. I cannot sponsor her without getting a waiver for the fiance visa, but she cannot be my fiance until she is divorced. The only thing we have been able to come up with so far is to have her leave the country and then get the divorce. We tried to get a visitor visa twice and both times she was denied even when she was able to prove in every way that she had strong ties to her country. Her family is there, her job is there, she is very active in church, she owns a home there (in a different city).. heck, her HUSBAND is there. Still, they said she didn't have enough proof. Twice. Truth be told, all we really wanted at this point was for her to simply come and visit where I live and meet my family. She insisted that I have my father's approval before I marry her. I love that respect for tradition that she shows. In between the two times she applied, I contacted several attorneys to get their input. Some said keep trying, others said "give up." I contacted my legislator and he offered to write a "letter of support" for her. Some people said this was a good option, others said it was bad. I spoke to a co-worker from Nigeria who, after trying EIGHT TIMES to come to the US, contacted our legislator and they were able to help him bring his mother. Other people said it would only make the embassy angry. I decided to go ahead and have them send the letter and unfortunately, it seemed to either have no effect, or made them angry. They basically replied that they have already given it their full attention and would again do so if she were to apply again. At this point, at the advice of an attorney, we decided to have her become a student in the US. She took a TEFL course to improve her English and applied to several colleges and universities. She was accepted by each one for which she applied. Surprisingly, her "ex" was willing to be her financial sponsor because he felt like the course would make her more valuable as an employee. She wanted to take a 4yr course, not ESL, and was excited about the potential. After doing all of the paperwork and going to the embassy, here's how it basically went down: 1. Why are you attending college? Answer: To get an education to start my own business in Indonesia. (For the record, this was true.) 2. Where are you going to college? She gave the name of the college and city 3. Does your family support you leaving? Yes. (In fact, her son and daughter were very happy for her.) Then, they looked at the computer, read a little and then asked the following: 4. Do you have any family in the US? No. 5. Do you have any friends in the US? Yes, I have several across the US. 6. What about your friend in Oklahoma? Do you still talk to him? She said "Yes, we still talk." They then immediately responded, "You are being denied." She was devastated. After all of the work, after being accepted by 4 different universities, it all came down to who her friends were. As you can imagine, this was a very strong hit to our relationship. I mean, what's the point if there is no hope of being together? A few weeks went by and after talking with a few more attorneys, I was advised to have her be a student in a different country. She could then get the divorce and we could begin the fiance visa process. This, by the way, involves applying, being denied, and then applying for the waiver. We decided that Canada would be the place so she would at least be in North America, far away from Indonesia. She applied at another college, was accepted, and even had a family member sponsor in Canada sponsor her. Again, we went through all of the paperwork and forms together as much as possible. It was quite frustrating, but eventually we got it complete. She filed the paperwork and waited. Denied. Intending Immigrant. At least Canada stated what the reasons were for their ruling, so she gathered additional documentation even though she had given documentation to begin with to address their concerns. She re-submitted the application with more documentation and basically got the same response. It was as if they did not even read any of the documents that she sent. I later found that the US and Canada share immigration information, so I assume this was the reason. They basically denied her because the US denied her. This was even more difficult on our relationship and she didn't want to talk for several days. Then, we put together our new plan. If she cannot come here, and I cannot go there, then we will meet somewhere else. She was willing to leave everything she knew behind to be with me, so I must be willing to do the same. Words have to have meaning and action behind them, otherwise, they are simply sound. So, I am now working to meet her in another country. This, however, is not easy either. First I have to deal with the IML (International Megans Law) and find out which countries I can even enter. Then, I have to find out which countries will allow me to stay. Then, I have to find a job. This is a difficult process. I am applying for positions around the world at various places now, and I'm also looking at starting a business in one other country. Throughout this time I have written to embassies, Ambassadors, Presidents (both Obama and Trump) Governors, Senators, representatives, attorneys, tv and radio talk show hosts, human rights organizations, made USCIS connections on Linkedin, The United Nations, various churches and other organizations and immigration departments in other countries. Most often, I get no reply at all. Still, love knows no bounds and believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails. She is really discouraged at this point. What is the use of loving, but loving in vain? We have seen each other several times over the past few years, usually somewhere in Asia, and we are hoping to see each other again next month. But we are both openly and honestly questioning the worth of being in love with someone we can rarely ever see? She is a vibrant, funny, tender and attractive woman... with a degree, no less. She has a right to be with the one she loves. Nevertheless, US law is punishing her for having done nothing wrong other than to fall in love. As for me, the same law continues to punish me even after I've paid my debt. In the end, all we want is to be together. I don't have any evil intention when I travel as I only travel to see this precious one that I love. She means everything to me. Still, after two years, we are really no closer than we were before. Our love is deeper and stronger, which is both good and bad. At this point, we are sad if we let go, and we are sad if we hold on. Now you've read the whole story. If you have any input that will help bring a solution, I would welcome your words. If you want to hate on me for being a registrant, go ahead. I'm used to that already. Nothing you can say would surpass the things I read on Twitter or the Yahoo comments section. Maybe there is something that I haven't tried, or haven't seen. If you have a positive suggestion, I'd willingly listen. If your suggestion is to quit, give up or walk away... you can save the energy and give your fingers a rest. After honestly discussing it, all we really want is to be together. My fortune cookie the other day said this: "A man only fails when he fails to keep trying." Word! Thanks for reading.
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