..and peaks again!
I had absolutely no idea how long six months to a year would feel. Or how hard a long distance engagement would be. The Tour Guide and I have had our ups and downs just like any other couple. And I’m sure we’ve had some different ups and downs from couples who are together.
The whole visa process is long and arduous and took longer than I anticipated. When we started the paperwork I thought he’d be here in six months or so. How wrong I was! First I had to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service for permission for The Tour Guide(USCIS) to apply for a K-1 Visa, also known as a Fiance Visa. That’s the part that could have taken up to six months. Little did I know when I thought we might have a Christmas or New Year’s wedding that was just the beginning of the process. We got notification that our petition was approved in December.
Then My Tour Guide could apply for the actual visa but only after obtaining all the information that ever existed about him. For obvious reasons the Department of Homeland Defence checks backgrounds pretty thoroughly. Logically I know that visa fraud happens – people fake their identities and such- but I have no idea how. I mean, I’ve heard of it, but it would be so incredibly difficult to pull off. So after obtaining certified copies of his birth certificate, his divorce decree, his police clearance certificate, his medical records including vaccinations and a USCIS approved physical he was eligible for an interview.
In March I did a whirlwind trip to England to attend the interview with my British beau, taking a nineteen hour flight on a Saturday and returning via the same route on the following Wednesday. We had a two plus hour drive to London for the interview. We were both sooo nervous because the U.S. government is pretty particular about who they let into the country to stay. It was possible they could say no. We built it up in our minds to somewhat of an interrogation. Hell, I half pictured him in a chair, in a dark room, with a light in his face!
Thankfully it was much more friendly than that. We arrived at the U.S. Embassy in London at eight a.m. for his nine a.m. appointment. We didn’t wait very long before a British gentleman called him to a window to request all his documents. Then we thought we’d wait for hours, but we didn’t. We were probably there a total of two, maybe two and half, hours before he was called to the window. After a very friendly exchange the interview lasted a grand sum total of ten whole minutes and we walked out of there approved!
In between all that time we’ve been getting to know each other better, having peaks and valleys and figuring out how to navigate a healthy relationship. There was a time or two I didn’t know if we’d make it. Everybody has baggage, right? But I think we’ve figured out how to make our baggage a full set of luggage on this crazy trip together.
The Tour Guide is flying here the first week of July. So finally, after this long journey, we’ll be in the same hemisphere, in the same time-zone, and together for good! This messed up woman can’t wait to start her new life with her sweet, loving, sensitive, handsome, messed up man!