Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pysch Evaluation Gone Bad...

Our immigration case has taken a turn for the worse, unfortunately.  Eduardo went on Friday for his Embassy required psych evaluation.  At the evaluation he learned that the medical reports from the medical exams he had the week before showed some problems including an enlarged liver.  For most people this might not have looked so bad, but for him it did.  

I'm hesitant to even talk about it here as it's very personal, but my poor hubby had a DUI in 2007.  It was Halloween and we had been drinking and it was really just as much my fault as his.  But he's the one that got caught and we have been paying the price dearly since then.  Maybe by telling you all it will help someone out there see that the effects of drinking and driving are not worth it AT ALL!  

So anyway, because of his prior history, the enlarged liver is being seen as he might have a current problem with alcohol.  We know this is ridiculous because he barely has money for food in El Salvador, let alone alcohol, but there seems to be nothing we can do to change the mind of the psychiatrist at this point.  

We all have had MANY physical problems and sicknesses while being in El Salvador.  It took Liliana and I at least a month to recover after coming back to the States.  I think Eduardo's problems have only gotten worse due to his diet since I have left.  I am not there to take care of him and make sure he eats well.  And there's only so much money I can afford to send him every week.  It makes me really sad to think about it :(  

So for now the psychiatrist has basically sentenced him to 2 months of alcohol classes.  He has an appointment to return to the doctor on October 25th at which time the doctor said he will approve his medical waiver and we can proceed like we thought we were going to now.  

Tomorrow morning, Eduardo is also supposed to schedule an appointment with a gastroentologist to see what is really going on.  I'm praying for 2 things:  1) That they come to the conclusion that  alcohol is NOT the cause of his problems and 2) that my husband DOES NOT have some serious illness!  We don't know yet when the appointment will be or when the test results will come after the appointment.  All we know is that he will not be coming home soon.

When he told me I sobbed like I haven't since we left El Salvador.  It was too much to handle.  My poor baby witnessed it all too and I feel bad about that.  None of us slept that night.  I am carrying on now because I have to, but I'm torn up inside.  The only thing getting me through these days was thinking he would be home soon.  

I will keep you posted on what becomes of all this, if anything.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Liliana's Summer Days

So what I really want to do at 3am when I can't sleep is complain, but you have had enough of that from me  so I am going to focus this post on the most important thing in my life instead...Liliana!  She is what the blog is about anyway :)  And it's so fun to focus on her too!

Here is a photo re-cap of things we have done this summer so far:

At the Zoo!

Looking at the Zebras at the Zoo.  They were her favorite of the day.

Hanging out with her friend Henry.

We discovered bath crayons :)

Having fun at the State Fair!

Helping Mami at the Farmers Market.

At the State Fair again with Nana and Pops and rode on some rides that time.

At the park.

Our Wednesdays playdates with her friend Elise.

Playing with her babies :)

Being Cute!

Trying to run away from the picture taking :)

My gorgeous girl!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Checklist

We received the next step in our process last Friday.  It's THE CHECKLIST.  Oooh.  Eduardo received a packet of information in the mail including his official approval letter and a list of all the documents we need to gather and bring to the last interview.  Included in this, he is also required to have another medical exam since it has been over a year since the first one he had.  This will run us another $300 or so like the first one and some doctor in El Salvador is getting really rich off of the poor bastards people like us that have no choice but to go to them.

Eduardo has been trying to call to schedule his final appointment with no luck today.  He can't seem to get through to the right person who does the scheduling.  They won't just connect you with someone else, you see.  You have to hang up and call the numbers in the "packet", which is a number that will cost you $7 to call of course.  Again, a super wonderful way for them to make money.  We have to pay to make our own fricking appointment!  I'm hoping to hear back from someone on the forum to see if there is another number we can call.

Eduardo actually went for the medical today with again no luck.  He got there at 7am and it was too late.  The offices were closed on Monday so there was a backlog of people waiting.  They had reached the maximum amount of people for the day and told Eduardo to go back tomorrow and be there at 5am.  

The biggest bummer was that Eduardo had driven the car into the city and now wasted $20 in gas for NOTHING.  $20 may not seem like a lot to most people, especially in the States.  But in El Salvador, it's a lot of money and for hubby right now, it's a LOT of money.  Poor guy :(  So he drove home and packed a bag to then take the bus back to the city.  He is staying at his aunt's house tonight because there's not a bus from our town that will get him to the city by 5am.  He will call me tomorrow after the appointment.  

So I'm hoping tomorrow we make some progress and I will update ya'll.  My goals for tomorrow are to 1.) have Eduardo's medical exam done and 2.) to have his final appointment at the embassy scheduled.  The appointments are being scheduled for 3-4 weeks out at this point so I'm hoping that will give us a general idea of when he may be able to come back.  Yay!!  Whenever it is, it's not soon enough :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Miss El Salvador

I bet you guys NEVER thought you would hear me say that, huh??  LOL!  

Well, it's true.  There are a lot of things I don't miss, but there are also a lot I do miss.  I spoke with my suegra (mother-in-law) yesterday and every time I hear her voice, it takes me back to the country I called my own for what felt like so long.  It's true what they say about things.  We really do always miss and want what we don't have.  

I have been ever so glad that Liliana and I returned to Indiana when we did, but I honestly wish we could go back for a visit.  I wish we could go back and say our last final goodbyes.  I just don't feel complete with it.  When we left, it was only supposed to be for a couple of months in the summer.  I NEVER even imagined it would be August and we would be approved and not have to go back to El Salvador.  I honestly still can't believe this is all so real!

But we never properly said our goodbyes and I was never able to fully show my appreciation for all of Eduardo's family putting up with my grumpy ass for a year and a half.  LOL.  If I had the money, I would fly down there in a heartbeat to wrap it all up.  I do still have ALL of my belongings down there as well, you see.  And the control freak in me cannot stand the thought of other people touching or packing my stuff up, including my own husband! Ha.  

I am making my list of the things I want Eduardo to bring back, but I don't know how he will do it.  I think I will have to pay for extra bags.  He has said we will go back at some point and get everything, but who knows when that will be.  

Liliana misses her brother and sister desperately.  She has been asking for them a lot.  I found our large wall collage frames in storage and hung them in our room here.  She looks at the pictures of Maynor and Daniela all the time and says how she misses them.  I can't even imagine what she must think of all this.  I know she is dying to see her papi.  I made the mistake of telling her he is coming soon and now she is asking all day long if we are going to pick papi up at the airport today.  Her poor little 2 1/2 year old brain can't wrap itself around the concept of "soon" quite yet.  

So yes, I think Liliana longs for the ever-flowing watermelons and frescas of El Salvador and the loving family atmosphere around all the time.  But I also know we are happy here more than ever and I know she enjoys all the freedoms we have here than we did down there.  

I'm glad that Eduardo and I agree that we will always have two homes...El Salvador and Indiana!  And we will go back and forth as much as life allows.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We've been Approved!!

For those of you who have still not yet checked out my new blog at, check it out!  

On there I have told the story of our recent Visa Approval.  My husband was approved officially on July 26th and we just found out on Monday.  It's a great victory for our family!  We are still finalizing paperwork so it could still be a while until he returns to the States, but atleast we know he is returning for sure.  Again check out for all the exciting and heart-wrenching details.  Let's be honest here...immigration is no walk in the park!

From the Beginning

I'm so excited there have been a lot of new visitors to the blog lately!  I have had a lot of questions about how my family's immigration process began.  I've pretty much blogged about it from the point of when we decided to go to El Salvador.  It was on a different blog though and I still have yet to merge the two.  Feel free to check out to read about how the process went for us in the beginning. It also chronicles our 9-day trip driving from Indiana to El Salvador.  I hope you enjoy and for those of you in El Salvador or going through the process, I hope you get a laugh or some comfort in knowing you are not alone in your experiences :)  Then come back here and share your comments!  

One of the greatest gifts I have gotten over the past 3 years is this amazing online community I have formed through this blog, the Immigrate2us forum and on Facebook.  I know it's my purpose now to support and share my experiences with others the way so many have helped me and have been able to show me the light at the end of the tunned when there was none in sight.  Thanks to everyone for that :)  I will never stop fighting for immigration reform and immigrant rights!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Our Waiver is Approved!

We found out on Monday that our waiver has been approved in El Salvador!  Yay!!!  I know so many people have been right there with us through this process and praying for us and with us through all our struggles.  I want to thank everyone for that.  Without this blog and all of our online support in particular, I don't know how I would have gotten through the past 3 years of this immigration "nightmare".  

Our waiver was officially approved on July 26th, 2011.  

We are now waiting for the next step in the process.  It's not over yet!!!  It won't be over until I see my love walking towards us in the airport.  

We are waiting for the embassy to send us or call us with a checklist of documents that may need to be updated.  Since our waiver was officially approved in under a year, we may not need to update many things, hopefully just the solvencia (police report) and his birth certificate.  Once we find out what we need then we get his last appointment date to turn those documents in and they do one last interview with him.  After that, they will send the passport with the visa stamped in it to our house in El Salvador.  Once Eduardo receives that passport, I will book the tickets for him to fly home!  

Now getting all these last things wrapped up can take weeks or months. I am praying it will not take long.  PLEASE let Eduardo return in a couple weeks!!  PLEASE!!  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sunshine Daydreams

Is it Monday yet??  I keep asking myself this.  Fortunately I am keeping myself busy with work and playing with the cutest little girl in the world until Monday morning.  But being busy certainly isn't keeping me from thinking and daydreaming about the future.

For a long time I surrendered to our state of unknown about life.  I gave up on trying to figure it all out and about constantly wishing for the future.  I had to stop daydreaming about what life would be like once we were all back in the States together again.  

Well since Monday the daydreaming is back full force.  It's been hard today not to get carried away in how everything is going to be.  I'm a doer and an organizer and planner.  I like knowing what's going on at all times.  I think this is the biggest growth I have had since living in El Salvador.  Learning to let go of CONTROL.  If you are involved in the immigration process in any way, you know that you have absolutely no control.  For the control freak like me, this has been a good learning process for me.  It hasn't been easy, but I've had to find a balance in life.  

Today I just couldn't help myself.  I found myself on the phone with Eduardo trying to plan our future.  I wanted to know where we are going to live when he comes back, where he will work, where we will get the money for the place to live, what we will do in the meantime during the wait until he actually gets his social security number and on and on and on.  My mind when crazy for a minute with ideas and questions.  

Thank God I have my husband to bring me back down to earth.  We discussed some of my questions, but it wasn't really going anywhere.  He finally said to me very nicely that he wasn't going to entertain any more of my daydreaming until after Monday.  He said after Monday, he will discuss anything in the world that I want, but not before then.
I can understand where he is coming from.  We don't really know what's going to happen on Monday and it really is fruitless to keep trying to answer questions there are no answers for.  I just have to be patient and know that it will all work out like it has up until this point.
I never imagined I would do so well coming back to the States on my own for instance.  But it's been a good learning experience for me and everything that has happened has just happened.  There hasn't been too much to plan.  Opportunities just seem to present themselves.  That's where I get to step back and allow things to happen.  

Luckily my Grandma is coming tomorrow and will spend the night and we will see my aunt on Saturday.  Hopefully with all that and my markets and making veggies this weekend, I won't have too much time to daydream :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Verdict is in...

BUT they haven't revealed what it is yet! 

On Monday I was doing my daily check-in at and I saw that someone on the El Salvador forum had their waiver approved.  The exciting part was they turned their visa waiver in the EXACT same day as we did!  I got so excited I could hardly breathe.  I knew our turn would be next and I was determined to find out if the embassy had received the additional hardship evidence I had turned in.

You see last Wednesday I finally compiled all my new documentation of my current hardships now that we are living in the U.S.  I kept feeling this urgency to get the papers to the embassy and my attorney was not being any help.  I decided to scan everything and send it by e-mail.  I kept wondering if I should fax it as well, but I kept hearing that it was really expensive to fax internationally, like $5/page and I had about 22 pages.  I emailed my attorney about this and once again didn't get any feedback.

So back to Monday.  I decided I would call the embassy and find out if they received my additional evidence.  I searched everywhere for the phone numbers.  I probably called about 10 different numbers to all different places to find out what I could.  I finally found a number that worked.  

I got right through to the exact person I needed to speak with directly at the embassy.  She was very nice and helpful.  I told her I was checking to see if they received the evidence for my husband's case.  She asked for his name and looked up his file.  She told me that they did not receive the evidence, but that a decision has been made on our case!  I was in shock.  I repeated what she said.  BUT, she then said she couldn't tell me the decision or any details on the phone.  That I have to either wait for the letter or have Eduardo go into the office next Monday.  He could have gone today, Wednesday, but of course they were closed for holidays today :(  I asked again if they had taken into consideration my additional evidence and she said there is no record of receiving that, but they did make a decision on the case.  Ugh!!  

So I'm not sure how to feel at this point.  I was flying high on Monday.  I seriously felt like I had 10 shots of espresso in me and didn't know what to do or who to call.  Thank God Eduardo made it home and we were able to talk about everything.  We are both worried about them not knowing I am living in the States now, but hopefully it doesn't matter.  Hopefully they approved us anyway and we can move on.  

Since it's under one year since we filed our waiver, we hopefully will not have to do the medical exam again and provide the current taxes and some other documents.  Those things seem to set people back even after the approval.  My mom and stepdad are our co-sponsors and they haven't even done their 2010 taxes so I'm praying to God they don't ask for them!!  

So stay tuned to what happens next.  Will it be an Approval or a Denial???  Let's all pray for the best :)

Good news is that even if it's a denial, I recently found out that it will actually be a NOID, which is an Notice of Intention to Deny.  They send you that and give you 30 days to send in additional evidence that may help your case and eventually end up with the approval.  So either way it comes out, I feel hopeful that it will work out for us.  I would then be able to send my documents in again at that point.  

But again, let's hope it's just an approval!!!  I'll let you know what happens on Monday...