I was having a phone conversation a couple days ago that got me thinking. In the convo we were talking about my next trip back to Indianapolis and how long Liliana and I would stay. We travel back to Indy from El Salvador every 3 months. I only get a 90 day visa each time I enter the country which I could extend, but the main reason I go is to make money to bring back to our virtually economy-less country. The trips have been hard and I prefer to go for the minimum amount of time necessary. The main reason is mostly about Eduardo. I know Liliana is good at adjusting to new situations easily, but the international travelling takes a toll and after about 2 weeks, she is good and ready to be back home, which is now El Salvador.
From the beginning of our Immigration journey, we knew Eduardo would eventually have to leave the U.S. and return to El Salvador to apply for residency from his home country. We were nervous about that idea, but we were in the beginning stages of applying. When the time got closer, the decision was fairly easy. It was scary, but easy to make. We both completely agreed that the best choice for our family was to stay TOGETHER no matter what! I had read so many stories about other families being literally torn apart by immigration and I was determined not to let that happen to our family. Eduardo's other 2 kids had grown up never knowing their papa and I was certainly not going to let that happen to Liliana. Eduardo and her have always had a good strong bond and I wanted to see that continue to build. It was hard saying goodbye to everything I have ever known and coming to a country I hardly knew, but I was willing to do whatever it took to keep us together. That was what we are trying to do in the long run anyway, so why not stay together through it all?
I understand this situation is not possible for everyone. We are lucky Liliana was still a baby and not in school and I have a flexible at-home job. Staying in the States trying to work full-time living on my own with a toddler just wasn't an option. I saw no way to make that work without compromising my values as a mother. And to this day I still won't compromise in certain aspects of our life.
I'm not saying Eduardo and I have been the perfect happy couple in ES either. Far from it actually. This journey has tested our relationship far beyond anyone's comfort zone. But we continue to rise about it and keep our heads up. We know we can get through this and come out on top. I know that if our relationship can sustain these couple of years, we will last a lifetime.
Back to the phone conversation! I was saying how it would be nice if I did have a place in the States I could go to for a couple months with a car to work. We have been struggling financially and I am willing to do whatever is necessary to put food on the table for my family. From the other end of the phone I got this reply: "You wouldn't do that even if you had a car and apartment here because you just aren't willing to be apart from Eduardo." I was taken by surprise by this comment. Am I meant to feel guilty that I don't want to be separated from my husband? Am I supposed to feel guilty that I want my daughter to grow up with her father through these vital early developmental stages? I just haven't been able to get that comment out of my mind. Yes, I will do whatever I have to, but I feel I have already given everything to keep us together. What more can I possibly give? And why should I feel bad about it? I think the fact that we want to be together is a good thing!
Yesterday we went for a visit to one of our aunt's houses. They had been in town and we gave them a ride back out to el monte. I commented to Eduardo that Tia Minga and her husband Don Nacho are always together. They go everywhere together all the time. They have 8 children, have lost 3 and have endured so much in their lives, yet they have stuck together in a way I don't know if I have ever seen before. He had even gone to the States one time and came back because he couldn't bare to be away from his wife. Many saw that as a stupid move, but I see it as more romantic. When I mentioned how supportive Don Nacho is of his wife, going everywhere with her and helping her in every way, Eduardo said they have always been like this their whole lives. He said "it's because they love each other so much." That really hit home and I respect them as a couple so much and aspire to be a couple like them even as we get older. No matter what happens in our lives, I know I will always stand by my man.