It's been 7 weeks. I miss the days when I used to count down, not up.
I'm trying to stay positive. Really. I am. But this past weekend was rough. I know it shouldn't have been any different than the weekend before that or the weekend coming up, because it's just another weekend without him. But this weekend my positivity punching bag got a beat down. I don't even know what that means, but just go with it. He was supposed to move here Friday. Friday was supposed to be the end of this. The end of all the bad parts of a long-distance relationship and the start of days filled with nothing but the good parts: falling asleep in each other's arms, waking up with body parts draped over other body parts, phone calls that don't cost an arm and a leg, kisses goodnight, the ability to talk to each other after 6 pm. Oh, and our wedding.
Sometimes I think I'm bitching about nothing. Oh, boo-hoo, I have to wait another couple weeks? Pull up your big girl panties and get the hell over it, right?
But when you had your heart set on one day, the first day of forever, one weekend without him feels like... forever. Cue the melodramatic soundtrack.
My friends knew Friday would be hard for me, so Joey planned a happy hour to distract me with beer and bar food. Which totally worked until a few hours later when I realized I was surrounded by couples. Adorable couples. And then I wanted to throw up my turkey melt and Fireman's No. 4 Ale and throw it at them like monkey poo. OK, not really. Monkey poo was too harsh. Maybe banana peels or that glittery confetti that sticks to everything for days on end. But I love my friends to death, and I don't know if I told them or not, but I definitely appreciated the distraction. It's much better than the alternative, which would have been me sitting at home wearing Cayden's T-shirt and consuming multiple bottles of $3 Oak Leaf Sweet Red wine and pints of Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked ice cream until I threw up in my lap and threw "glittery confetti" at the Notting Hill actors on TV. Or maybe I would have watched "Like Crazy" on repeat and screamed at Felicity Jones' character every time it got to the part where she violates her student visa for three months of sex. Idiot.
I'm preparing myself for the fact that it will be at least another month before he'll be here. Even if we find out tomorrow that the visa is approved, he'll have to send in his passport and then wait for them to send back his passport and visa. From what we've read, the Embassy will tell us this could take "up to 10 days." Yeah, just like it will take "2-3 weeks" to hear back about our additional processing. Cayden has read on forums and message boards, it took up to 9 weeks for some people to get their passport and visa back. Do I believe everything we read on the forums? No. But do I believe everything the Embassy tells us? Not for one fraction of a second. That being said, Cayden can't book a flight or put in his 2 week's notice at work until he has that visa in his hand. Otherwise he could end up unemployed for months over there waiting for his visa only to move here, marry me, and end up unemployed for three months while he waits for his Adjustment of Status paperwork. Money poo, I tell you.
Oh, I forgot to tell you, I heard back from Congressman Sessions' assistant last week. She said, "I just talked to the Embassy and they said that although his visa was refused under the Immigration and Nationality Act, that's just a technicality. It's just in additional processing and they're working on it. Oh, and they said they are very aware of your wedding date. When is that by the way?" to which I wanted to answer "DID YOU EVEN READ ANY OF THE PAPERWORK I GAVE YOU???" but instead said "In two weeks, so I'm sure they're very aware of the fact that that's not going to happen." She wasn't able to tell me anything I didn't already know, unfortunately, but I thanked her very much for her help. I know she didn't have to take the time out of her day to make that call for me, so despite my smart-ass remarks, I truly am grateful.
Sidenote: If they want to do additional processing on your visa why can't they just say "We need to do additional processing" instead of "We regret to inform you that your visa has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Nationality and Immigration Act." Quite an extreme and judgmental technicality if you ask me.
Not only am I grateful for Sessions' staff, I'm overwhelmingly grateful for all of your help. I can't even count how many of you sent letters to your congressmen and senators about our situation. Some of you even recruited your coworkers to send letters (Cassidy Counce... you're amazing). And some of you even called your grandfather who just happens to be BFFs with the Uruguayan Ambassador to seek words of wisdom (Jessica Robinson, you truly are an overachiever and I love you for it). Many of your emails made me cry. At work. Thanks for that! No, but seriously. You guys freakin rock. And believe it or not, some of the congressmen have been responsive!
Email from Congressman Kenny Marchant's office:
Dear Ms. Parajon,
Your friend, Tashina Landis, recently notified our office of the problem you and your fiancé are having with an immigration visa. I am sorry to hear about your complications. In order for our office to conduct a Congressional inquiry, please provide me with your address.
I gave her my address and told her what the Embassy had told Congressman Sessions. She replied promptly.
It is a good thing that you have notified Congressman Sessions, since he is your representative based on your address. Please continue to use his office in this situation.
When a visa application must go through additional processing, unfortunately a Congressional office cannot interfere. Sometimes the Consulate will request more evidence or a background check is taking longer than planned. I understand that your fiancé has done much for his country and has followed all of the rules. Consular officers are specially trained to handle immigration visas and interviews, and sometimes they look in detail at something that you and I would not think to be a problem. Sometimes someone might even have a similar name to your fiancé, causing the background check to take longer than planned. A Consulate will have their reasons for postponing a visa, even if their responses sound vague.
I regret that I am not able to give you a more favorable answer. Unfortunately you must wait to receive additional notifications from USCIS. Congressman Sessions will be able to address any further concerns. I wish you and your family the best of luck.
This is the most helpful response I've received so far. Although she admitted that they can't do much, I love that she took the time to explain things the best she could. I want to send her an Edible Arrangement or something to show my appreciation. You, too, Tashina.
Carolyn Sanders got a call from Congressman Russ Carnahan's office in regards to her email, asking her to have me contact them directly (which I plan on doing at lunch tomorrow). I'm sure they'll tell me to contact Sessions, but it doesn't hurt to try anyway. Carolyn, I owe you!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I love all of you! Or, as we say down here in Texas, I love all y'all!
I know the only thing I can do now is wait. And hope. And stay positive.
And throw glitter.