TheHalfExpat’s Weblog

Navigating two worlds in one house.

Something to pick up the mood June 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — thehalfexpat @ 11:41 pm

 

I’m starting to freak out a little!

Filed under: Uncategorized — thehalfexpat @ 11:32 pm

Well, this whole visa thing isn’t going so great and it’s only been, what, 2 days? 

Yesterday, I started to get worried because when I thought that the USCIS center was processing applications in 6 months, I was looking at the wrong place.  I was looking at the California center, not the Nebraska center where the paperwork told me to file.  When I checked the Nebraska time frames, they’re running at about 10 months!

Well, today I can’t tell if it’s gotten better or worse.  When I checked the delivery status of my letter online today, it said it got to Nebraska yesterday, but then went on to California!  I was so confused.  I called the post office and all they could tell me was that there was a change of address filed for the Nebraska address and my letter was forwarded to California.  So, I got on the USCIS website just now to try and figure out what the hell is going on.  Turns out that they are forwarding all mail to California for my particular application.  However, the only way I found that little bit of information out was by digging around in their press room page.  There is no link to this anywhere near the actual form page and the form itself still does not reference the address change.  How are people supposed to know these things or even know to look for them?  I really hope this extra day in the mail doesn’t end up messing with the acceptance date.  This is so frustrating.

I guess the only silver lining to this cloud is that it is being processed at the California center which is on the 6 month timeframe.

 

Crossing fingers…and toes June 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — thehalfexpat @ 3:19 pm

As I’ve mentioned, my husband is not a U.S. citizen.  What keeps him here legally is our marriage.  After we got married in 2004, we applied for his green card based on our marriage.  However, since we had at that point been married for less than 2 years, they would only give him a 2 year conditional visa.   And here we are.

If you’ve never gone through this (and chances are that you haven’t), it can be quite a nailbiting ride through American bureacracy.  It probably also doesn’t help that I am a world-class procrastinator.  D’s visa expires on 6/29/08.  I sent in the HUGE packet of paperwork yesterday.  That’s 6/25/08. Yup, I like to live on the edge.  To be fair, they say to send it in during the 90 days before the expiration date.  So, I did. 

To get the visa in the first place, you have to prove that you have a real marriage.  Luckily, we have a kid that we were able to show off and you have to give them tons of paperwork like tax returns, rental agreements, etc.  To get your 2 year visa turned into a 10 year visa, you basically have to do that all over again.  I think I sent nearly 75 pgs of paperwork.  Copies of our mortgage agreement, our bank account, our loans, our car insurace, even our Costco membership.  You also have to provide at least 2 letters from people who have known you(the couple) since before you (my husband) were given your visa and can attest to the fact that you have a true marriage.  The idea is to drown them in paperwork, so they have no reason to not believe you. 

So, I sent it all out yesterday, and they should be getting it today.  Hopefully, they’ll accept it and approve it quickly.  The current time frame for completion of an application is somewhere around six months.  This is really cutting it close because in six months we’re planning a trip to Brazil for Christmas and New Year’s.  I’ve read elsewhere that they’ll often give a 1 year extension while you wait for approval but I’m not sure about this.  Unsurprisingly, the U.S. government doesn’t give a whole lot of information or details about this process.  You know, why be helpful?

So, for now, we’re sitting here with our fingers crossed hoping for the best.

 

If this is how she treats her friends… June 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — thehalfexpat @ 6:39 pm

Scene: Last night, my daughter’s bedroom.  She has a large sticker on her shirt that I’ve told her she can throw away or move someplace else.

Avi: Here Dora!  You can have my sticker.  I don’t want it anymore.  (Dora is a giant doll)

She picks Dora up and gives her a huge hug.

Avi:  I love you Dora!  You’re my best friend!

She then proceeds to throw Dora across the room.

 

Time to get to it. June 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — thehalfexpat @ 6:40 pm

Ok. 

So, I’ve had this blog registered to myself for months now and I’m finally forcing myself to get started and write a post already.  I haven’t posted previously because I have a somewhat largish fear of failure and rejection. (Why yes, I do think getting my neuroses out right away is the best way to win readers.)So, I’ve decided I just need to write something so that I can get it over with. 

A little bit about me.  My name is Jess, I live in Indianapolis with my Brasilian husband and our 4 year old daughter Avielle.  I don’t have a puppy (yet!) and work full time.  I’m a sometimes good housekeeper and cook and an oftentimes good mother.  I’m not sure exactly how or what I’ve got to say here but you can rest assured of 2 things. 1) My grammar will oftentimes be extraordinarily lacking and 2) I don’t have a lot of faith in my writing abilities so, I may end up with nothing funny or interesting here.

So, now that I’ve made my life sound so exciting and interesting, here is to hoping for lots of stories of mothering the most stubborn (yet cutest) kid on earth, life in suburbia, and trying to make a mixed culture household work.  And hey, maybe even some of those stories will be well-written!