Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm not afraid

Here are the lyrics from a song that gave me strength when I was preparing for my move to Mexico. Her name is Stephanie Smith. Name of the song is I'm not afraid.

I'm not afraid (I'm not afraid)
I'm not afraid
Sorry it's over
I think it's the best thing for now
I'm taking the mem'rys
I don't want to leave them all behind
Some were good, some were bad,
Some were in between
But I gotta do whats right for me and
I'm not afraid
To walk away, let me go for the last time
Finally got it strait for the first time
I'm not afraid cuz I know he's there to meet me
So I'll be gone, I'll be gone but not alone
I hate how it happened
But it just wasn't supposed to be
Lets not talk about it
Cause always looking back won't change a thing
Leave the good, leave the bad and the in between
I'm gonna do what's right for me and
I'm not afraid
To walk away let me go for the last time
Finally got it strait for the first time
I'm not afaid cause I know he's there to meet me
So I'll be gone,
I'll be gone but not alone
It may not be easy
Cause at it's best life is still hard
But He is with me
And I am not alone
Not afraid gotta go for the last time
I got it strait for the first time
I'll be gone but not alone
Not afraid to walk away
Let me go for the last time
Finally got it strait for the first time
Not afraid cause I know he's there to meet me
So I'll be gone, I'll be gone
But I'm not afraid
To walk away let me go for the last time
Finally got it strait for the first time,
Not afaid cause I know he's there to meet me
So I'll be gone,
I'll be gone but not alone
I'll be gone but not alone
Whoa oh a oh oh
I'll be gone but not alone
I'll be gone
Be gone, be gone

Preparing for the Move May 08

The house has been on the market for about 4 months doesn't look like like it will be sold before I go. I plan to call the bank for the house and car the weekend before I leave and let them know I am relinquishing them and where they can get the car. We understand this is a bad move for our credit. But I have been advised by a lawyer and a credit adviser that this is my only option and that the credit history will not follow me to Mexico nor Canada. I don't have a lot of big stuff to sale anyway. I am giving away all of my furniture to people who need it. All my furniture came to me with out me paying for it and when I needed it. I'm hoping to do the same for others. And all my kitchen stuff that I'm not going to keep I plan to give to an organization that helps battered women with children who are trying to get started on their own. So the only stuff I'm putting in the sale are blankets, some cloths, stuffed animals, nick naks and a few books. (I have a lot of that sort of junk) I have a paper on my fridge that has names on it with the furniture my friends have claimed.
My cats went to their new home tonight. It is a neighbor of my babysitte. He has a little boy. The little boy was soooooooooooo excited to get them. Which helped me a little. I already miss Zebbie. I always promised he I would take her wherever I went. But I think she will do well. Her new owner is a nice man who will love them and the little boy (Chase) is so happy. Teal just called me to let me know that Zebbie is hiding and they are letting her and Boots is checking the place out and playing with Chase.
Im getting really excited about moving.
We will have absolutely no money to spend on anything here in the States once we get to MX. If I keep the house and car and wait for them to sell then I would have to make payments on the loans and insurance. We will barely be making it as it is down there. Issac will do a great job of providing for us but it will be pretty tight. We have talked to a bankruptcy lawyer, and a credit specialist councilor and they both said our credit score will not follow us to Mexico or Canada. Also the credit counselor said that if it did happen that we could come back we could call her co. and they would help us figure something out given the situation. As an FYI the car is a Nissan Altima 2006 and I still owe 15,000. Iv only been paying on it less than a year. So the chance of selling it is slim.

Before the Move

So only 6 weeks left and Issac and I decided that Mexico City is not the place we want to call home. He has decided on a town called Tepatitlan de Morelos. Look it up some time its pretty cool. Its a city with a population about 2/3 of St. Louis but on a lot larger of an area. So basically people are not living on top of each other.


Geeessssssss. Im so excited. Kinda feels like I have a lot to do but really I don't. So much has to wait until the last min. I cant wait for us to all be together. Issac is so good with Alana. And we are so ready for our next one. We have been discussing names and he has checked into some OB's down there. Due to living in a smaller town none of them will be English speaking. So Issac will be going to every appointment with me. How exciting Im so ready to do that all again. And to see Alana with a sibling. She is a handful right now. I cant wait to have daddy around. Although I don't think he will be much help on the discipline part. Hes a push over all you gotta do is pout. Opps he will be reading this. lol. I'm just so happy and I'm trying to figure out how to tell you all that and its just not working. Well when I get there Ill send pictures and you'll see it all over my face. I'm at peace with him. Anyway I'm obviously a little nervous. Iv always been pretty flexible and able to adjust to situations but wow a whole culture and language. This will be so cool and yet freaky at the same time. Shawndra gave me this awesome book to read about Mexico and its history. It s really a captivating country. Ok I'm gonna stop now. Sorry for blabbing I'm just getting relay excited

Communication across a border Feb 08

Issac took a full time job at the hotel in Mx city. When they hired him they told him the shifts would rotate every 2 weeks. The only time this sucks is when he does eve. Alana and I were so bored tonight without papi. One of the employees told Issac they only switch once a month and if that's true I told him he would have to quite. I cant go a month without him and I know Alana cant and that he would die with out seeing her.

More from my mom

This is to show what all she did to try and help us before we made our final decision to move to Mexico.

Hay I need another address for now I am sending out the Hernandez Story to any one I can. I got 8 white envelopes from the post office, they are going t the white huse, Ellen, Oprah, 2 to Todd Akins and 2 to JoAnn Emerson. I will send these out to any one you can help me come up with at any time you can come up with a name. Please put it on here for me.... I want people to know that our country does not always stand for freedom as it states that it does. we talk and have wars to free people, I can't imagine not being able to go any where I want. please if you think of someone I can send a copy of let me know. I have lots of copies. I love you all. Mom

Then here is a response from my sister.

Not sure if this would help but you could try El Paso, Texas Mayor John Cook and Juarez Mayor Hector Murguia Lardizabal.

Here's some exceprts from an article I found:
El Paso Mayor John Cook and Juarez Mayor Hector Murguia Lardizabal embraced at the top of the bridge.

"Today is a historic day in the expression of friendship between two mayors, two cities and two countries. It is necessary for Washington and Mexico City to understand that our border doesn't separate us, it joins us," Cook said.

"Mexico is the most important country to the United States. They're not going anywhere ... if we build a wall it will set back relations with Mexico 100 years, and you can't blame them, they know what a wall means," said Neck, who described himself as a fifth-generation Texan.

Here's the whole article: http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN2538602420070825

A message from my mom in Jan 2008

This was a message my mom sent out. I put it on here because it shows how our struggle affected those who love us. She doesnt always get the story right but her heart is in the right place. :) I love you mom.

I know a lot of you know my daughter Amanda, She meet Issac while living in St Louis. She went there for more Schooling in the nursing field, I'm very proud of her getting her degree. She is a very hard worker and a fine Christian girl, God shared her with me, I am proud.... She meet a wonderful young man at her church in St Louis, they married , and they later had Alana. They may have lived happily ever after right there in the big city of St Louis, but , and there's always a but, right, well, Issac is from Mexico and they decided they wanted to make it right, so Issac turned himself in in prayer and hope to be able to become a US citizen, that's the way you should do it... He came here by crossing the boarder in Brownsville, he put a back pack on his back at 19 years old and walked across with collage students..... He later meet Amanda. Now all this young couple wanted was to do it all right. as Christians they were deeply in love and know they should marry, the wedding was Blessed by God, I know, I was there, of course, but I felt the power of God's presence there along with all there Church family and friends, it was beautiful. While waiting on all the paper work to be done, the church paid and become responsible for Issac and all seemed to be going well. Amanda became pregnant with Alana. They were in hopes that Issac would be there for the birth and not deported, but they picked him up on July 3, and he went willingly. Alana was born on the July 15Th, now I share this with you and others for prayer.. prayer is what God wants us to do, "talk to him" I know I do that, but not enough, I feel lead to ask others to pray. Truly pray. My daughter Amanda and her husband Issac have been apart now for 1 year 6 months. They paid an attorney, they have went through all the paper work. Because of the problems America is bringing up now days about illegal citizens, has cause them to not let Issac come here...the US has had this problem for a long time, it is just that now people are yelling about sharing our Country with others. People are people I understand that. My son in law Misses his wife and baby, Amanda and Issac have been able to get enough money for Alana and Amanda to go to Mexico several times, it is very expensive. Alana sees her daddy on the Internet most of the time, she Kisses and feeds her daddy now on a TV screen, I don't tell you this to feel sorry for her, I tell you this to explain that this is really happening, they live it, each and everyday... I'm asking for prayer, asking for you to share this with others for prayer. I have wrote our President, Joanne Emerson and even the Oprah show, only because It hurts to see such a fine young Christian family trying so hard to do all they can to be together. When you love someone and you can't be with them, we all have been separated from someone at some time, you actually can feel sick, very sick.... well this young family has decided that maybe if Issac can go to Canada, then Amanda and Alana can come there. Issac wants a better life and he desperately wants one for my daughter and grand daughter, so they will do this, go to Canada... I hurt to think my children have to go and live somewhere else, but I want what they want and that is to be together...... please pray with me about this, I am still trying to get to Joanne Emerson or someone who can keep my children, Issac, Amanda and Alana home in the USA.... they belong here now, Issac like many of us only wanted a better life for himself, young and desperate he made a decision to cross over, scared, you bet he was, we all our when we finally step out, and life has now happened, now he is trying to make it work. Please pray for this young man to be able to get a job in Canada and be able to reunite his family, he is trying so hard. My prayer here is not that you come up to me or write me and say your sorry my request if that you pray, that when you see me, say nothing, but think of this young family and say a pray each and every time you see me or any thing that will make you think of this Real Life Story, of this Real Life Family, and pray for them, they are not alone in having problems in this world, we all have problems, we all have lost in many ways, and we endure, but they are asking for prayer. Prayer in asking God "What now Lord", pray for strength and understanding in all this for them, they love the Lord Our God and want to be where He wants them, maybe there wave to ride for a while is in Canada, I don't know, but as I have said before God made the waves and we do have to step out and get on and ride them while here on earth, till the wave flattens. Amanda, Issac and Alana are in a crossroad right now, I know we will all pray for them, Thank you Church family and family for hearing me out, I love you all, but I know that God loves us MORE.... God Bless this sweet family and all the young family's that are trying to raise their baby's in the best way they know how. Kay

Specifics about paperwork needed for FM3

So they day went well all together in Guadalajara. We got the information we needed and it doesn't seem as scary now. We do have a lot of paperwork to get together. I have to get what they call an Apostile for my Marriage license and for Alanas birth cirt. They only cost $10 each so that's not bad. But we have to ship the originals to the MO Sec of State and then they have to ship it all back. We pay for shipping both ways unless we want them to use reg mail. Which you all prob know by now is not a good idea. So total this will prob cost us about $80. Not to bad. The big thing is time. We have until around Nov 20th to get this so hopefully it doesn't sit on a desk in the states very long. I plan to stress in my letter how important the timing is. We then have to get those Apostles and documents translated into Spanish this may be about another $40 We also have to get a copy of our apt lease and get a letter from the owner verifying that I am actually living with Issac. This should be free. :) We then just need three months of our bank statements and his income. There is no specified amount on the income. Yeahaaa. Also he has to get a letter from his work saying that yes he is working. And last but not least my favorite is that Issac has to write a letter saying he is responsible for my moral, and economical well being. OH and we have to make copies of all our other doc such as passports an stuff. Then when we get all this turned in then we just pay a few fees which add up to about $300us or so. This may all seem like a lot but if any of you have any idea what we gathered for the States and how much money we pored into fees this is nothing. We decided to apply for an FM2 which is a forever instead of the FM3 which has to be redone every year. I think there will be an amount of time like in the States where Im actually not allowed to leave but it is less than a year and we didn't plan on me making the trip to the States until about then anyway. So now we are praying for Gods speed on these documents so we can get them all in as soon as possible.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Scared about Immigration issues

As easy as it has come lately to pray for everyone I love I am struggling to pray for this immigration issue. Every time I kneel to pray with a sincere heart about it, my self starts to tell me that I have done this before and it didn't help at all. Which is so true I cant tell you how many time I was on my knees or face pleading with God to touch the lives of those we would come across in the immigration office. And not only did we not get what we were wanting but those people practically spit in our faces. They were all so mean to me and Issac even in their treatment. From what I have read we shouldn't come across that with the Immigration here but after the lawyer fiasco here we are so nervous. So I have been halfheartedly praying and really the whole time thinking its not gonna help anyway. Gods gonna do what hes gonna do and pouring out my heart only makes me crazy. So please pray for this issue for me. Today I did come across some verses that remind me I should also keep up the effort regardless of what the sinful self tells me. Also yesterday God reassured to me that right now I am where he wants me and of course didn't reveal anything about future.

Learning Spanish Oct

So yesterday when I was researching the FM3 I found a ladies personal blog about getting her own. I found that it helped me a lot to read about someone else who had been through a similar situation. That is what inspired this entire blog site. Here is my story of learning Spanish so far. This way when someone like myself is searching for help they can read my story and maybe be comforted by it.

So I started trying to learn the moment I fell in love with my now husband. At that pint I knew; mi casa su casa, vive, Adios, and caca. None of which are to helpful. When I became interested others at our church where to so Issac started a class using the Living Language books. I think we got to about the 3rd chapter before Issac got picked up for being illegal. Needless to say our life was upside down and the class fell off the radar. We soon decided to get married and at this point I was in nursing school and had more important things to rack my mind over. So Spanish was again on the shelf. After we married I decided it was time to commit again to Spanish I was now graduated from school and ready to continue learning. I ordered some CD's off line that where cheep but really good. They were called Advantage Language and are a computer program. I loved this. Tammy came over once a week and we did the lessons together. Soon Tammy was unable to come and the immigration stuff with Issac began to pick up. I also got pregnant somewhere in here and my memory was shot. But I continued to randomly do the comp program and was still trying to trudge through the book we had bought for Issacs class alone. Issac is always there to answer questions also. Ok so now I would say I have the knowledge of someone who has Spanish one in High school.
Then Issac has to go to Mexico and my life is crazy, sad, busy, just to much to worry about Spanish. The only reading I did was for stress relief and fun.
So here I am sitting in Mexico with the knowledge of High School Spanish one. I brought those comp CD's which I early didn't add that after about the Int part they had audio CD's also and I also got a digital translator with it that works pretty well even now. I also brought with me the book that started it all with Issacs class. I know I should have finished it by now but geesss didn't you read my excuses. So the comp one wont work because they can only be installed into one comp and that is at Shawndras in the States. So I hit the Living Language book (which also came with audio CD's). I got through this one I think early Aug. It is an ok book but mainly for memorization and for tourist. Im not exactly a tourist although thats what my legal status is. So now I feel Im at about Spanish one College maybe. If the people who communicate with me speak clearly and a little slower than normal I do ok. Also if they use words they know I know. :)
To continue my learning Im now working on increasing my vocabulary. I listen to the Audio CD's from Advantage Language while doing dishes, playing outside with Alana, Taking walks, during Alanas cartoons ext. Issac recently got Rosetta Stone for me and I whizzed through Unit one in like 3 weeks it had 8 lessons with about 12 sessions in each. Im pretty happy with that its mainly about listening comprehension which is what I need to master before I can dream about speaking it well myself. We will soon have the second unit up and running and Im sure it will be more of a challenge. I also recently borrowed Issacs cousins Spanish one and two books from Jr. High. So this is 7th and 8th grade Spanish here. But if you think about it this would be higher up in the States because the entire book is in Spanish. I also am reading through a book that his aunt used to lean English it has both in it and is pretty neat. Its called Expreselo todo en ingles, express everything in Spanish. The entire book has both languages like the title.
Gosh still a lot to learn but I will keep you posted on how it is going. With all these sources and being immersed in the population I hope I will be doing better soon.


So I recently found out that I have an inflamed gallbladder and it is directly related to being pregnant. A few interesting things we found out from the specialist is that its common in women here in Mexico who have had a lot of babies. This is only my second but I also found online that its common in women who have a history of breast feeding. Most likely I will have this issue with every pregnancy but it will only last during the pregnancy a lot like gestational diabetes. Something else that we found out that is funny is that the area we live in (this part of Jalisco) has a high rate of pregnancy and babies. This is funny because when I first got here after about the first month or so (before I knew I was pregnant) I told Issac every women seemed to have a baby or be pregnant. We both decided I was imagining it because we were so ready to be started with having our next child.
So about the gallbladder stuff. For now its just trial and error. I have a list of foods that are potential bad for it and ones that are good. The last couple days no matter what I ate it hurt pretty bad and I would be in the bathroom later. We (I say we because Issac and I are in this together) figured out that Dairy is bad. The list says in order don't eat eggs, pork, onion, fowl, milk, coffee.
Honestly the dairy is going to be the hardest. I eat dairy with every meal and love it. The power of Cheese.
Also I had a head ache all day and it just dawned on me that its prob because I didn't have any coffee. Although I plan to try it again after I start feeling better.
Apparently when the episode is better you can have more and it wont make you sick. The biggest thing is low cholesterol. So maybe its better it happened this way. Pork is so big down here and maybe this way I can keep my husband around longer. I plan for my whole family to have a healthy diet. Sure they can splurg when needed even though I cant. I could never deny them tacos. Man Im gonna miss those.

I'm blessed that it was just an episode of pain and no infection. I wont need surgery just to eat better.

Sept 16th

This is great. I love festivities. When in St. Louis their was always something going on we could go to. This weekend they are celebrating Independence day. They have stuff all the way until the 19th. We are going to most of the cool stuff this weekend then of course on Tue which is the actual holiday. Ill post pics at the end of the week. Also they are having this ball that Issac and I might try to go to. Oh I hope we can. We really need a nice night out. The great thing is it doesn't start till 9 so we can put Alana to bed and make it there on time. All the queens from their Independence day from 1930somethingn are invited. How fun. They will have a live orchestra, dinner, and dancing (which means I even get to make a fool of me and my husband. lol). It only costs 220 pesos. Which is roughly $22 a person. It will be great to get dressed up and look pretty before I get all fat. ha ha. Anyway Im excited so I thought Id let you all know. OH and one night they are gonna have men downtown serenading on horses. Ohh I cant wait. Alanas gonna love it, well me to. :)

clinic vs prvt part 2

So we made our decision. As I had said before Aunt Marti told me there was no difference and that we should go to the clinic because it was free and the dr. visits where cheaper. Issac and I went to find out about the Dr. visits and basically you get assigned a doctor and you keep him until delivery. Which is fine unless I didn't like him/her. I told Issac I could deal with this and that we should go ahead and check out the clinic hospital. As we are driving up to it I was trying so hard not to be critical. Its literally in the hood. There was a crowd of people waiting outside waiting to be seen or just waiting for family who knows. We went into a door that looked not as crowded and a rough looking security guard stopped us. She looked like she had just gotten out of prison and didn't act much happier. Issac told her we were their to check into the hospital, and see the rooms, to decide if we wanted to use it. She looked at us like we were funny to her and said we would have to go next door for that (the crowded one) but that their where no single rooms. Everyone shared by about 5 or 6 women. I wish I could see the shock on my face when Issac translated that on my way out the door. "What no single rooms." That makes no sense. I see a seen from a chemo room in my head with screaming babies and sick, tired moms. OMG. I think not, sorry wont see this momma sharing a room with many others. So our decision was made. When Issac told his aunt that we checked into it and their was no way she laughed, as if she figured as much. We saw another of his aunts in the store one day and told them of our decision. They kept trying to change our minds and she was telling me that she had all of her kids in the clinic. We asked about if Issac could stay in our room and they said no only one hour a day. Again I think not. He totally missed everything with Alana and refuses to miss even an hour this time. Also I don't feel like a spoiled American anymore either. One of Issacs friends helped him bring in our fridge and his wife is preg also. When we mentioned the clinic he made the same crinkled face as I did and said their was no way his wife would go their. Also our neighbors did the same thing when we mentioned it. So all of you who want public health care this may be what your looking at.

Scorpions in my house Sept

Yikes!!!!!, So last night after we put Alana to bed Issac and I are sitting on the futon watching TV. Out of the corner of my eye I see a "ball of loose string on the carpet." I look closer, gasp, and cling to Issac. OMG its a freaking scorpion. It was only a little over an inch long when its tail is stretched out but my gosh those things are creepy looking. This is only the second one Id ever seen and the only one in my house. It was kinda pale. I think it was trying to match the tile. Issac took care of it and said we need to be better about spraying with the bug spray every other day. "What" I though, "bug spray, that's a scorpion. But apparently that's what they eat is bugs. So if there's no bugs then there should be no scorpions. Now we don't have a lot of bugs but the random beetle or ant. But right outside our door we keep our trash and I never sweep and mop out there. I figure the bugs can live outside right. Well not anymore. No more bugs shall live with in 20feet of my door. Today I cleaned for about 2 hours and sprayed every orifice of my house. And the stairs outside. Yes I'm stinky. As I suspected when I moved the big trash can from outside the front door there was another one. It was darker brown but it was on the door. So again I assume they can change color a bit to blend. He was a little smaller than the other. Yikes I had to kill this one myself. They are much harder to kill than a spider. Yuck Yuck Yuck. I feel so gross. I'm gonna go shower now.

Last night I was having flash backs of being a kid and checking under my sheets for brown recluses. And of laying in bed all night watching the ceiling just sure one would come through from the attic, slowly creep down to our bed and eat me alive. I don't even remember seeing any back then. I just remember mom telling us to check under our covers before going to bed and as usual my imagination didn't need much more spark than that.

Trying to get info for Immigrating to Mexico Sept

Well here is a little update. Issac had two days off this week instead of one because we were planning to go get my immigration stuff sorted out. Well things didn't actually work out as planned. The piece of junk car one of his aunts sold us started to show us that it would never make the trip so we called to see if they could fix it before we went. (His uncle is a mechanic.They offered to let us borrow their truck for the trip and they would keep the car for two days to fix it. On the way home the truck wouldn't go a more than a few miles without dying, and the lights didn't work at all. We were driving on a country road with no lights and our baby in the car. AHHHHHHHHHHHH
Any way sorry for that rant. Obviously we couldn't go out of town to the immigration office so Issac searched online to be sure we had all our facts strait. For the most part we did but we found that Mexico like the U.S. and Canada, requires you to show a proof of sufficient income for the family. We don't have this. Issac is literally making 2/3s of what we are spending each month and we are doing our best to cut things short. The other 1/3 is coming from my savings from the states. We have enough to make it for about 6 months but a savings isn't considered and income to a country.

So were in a bit of a spot. Issac is searching for a better job. He needs to make almost double what he has now to be considered a sufficient amount by the gov for our family. He will basically be sponsoring us and they want to be sure Im not gonna need gov support. He has to find it in the next couple months or I will have to go back to the states with Alana and 6mo preg. Im kinda freaking out about that thought.

We did end up finding a reliable car from a nice couple. Its a 95 jimmy and we plan to sell the piece of junk for some cash to add to the savings.

I cant bear the thought of us living apart again even for a few weeks. I know God listens he has always come through for me especially when money was involved.

If he is unable to find a job that will work for us, then I will look into cleaning houses or something where I don't have to talk to much to people. Then when I learn the language I will work as a nurse. I actually miss nursing so much I cant even tell you. But I still have a lot to learn around here. Issac drooped off like 6 resumes the other day and he has an interview at a tile comp today after work. Sounds like they would be able to start him at what we need. He told his work that he needed more money and they said they would give him a raise but I don't think that will be enough. We decided if he cant find something in the next month or so then I will look also. Day care here is really cheep so I wouldn't have to make or work to much to make up a difference. I actually wouldn't mind working part time or something as long as I get 3 mo off with the baby when it comes. I was really upset and freaking about all this for a few days. But God is giving me peace and I think he will work this out that I don't have to leave.

More odd things about Mexico Aug

So a few oddities that I havens mentioned before. I realized the other day that I was growing accustomed to them so I thought Id better share before they seem no big deal to me.

Advertising. So most places around here wont spend the money on getting commercials on TV. So what they do is have someone drive around with a sign on their truck or car for their company and yell through a bull horn their deals. This made me quite angry when I first got here. The gas companies all have their own song and diddy. I catch myself singing along as they drive by now. These are gas co that fill your house gas for you or sell by the tank.
Beggars or whatever you want to call them. Sure they say they are asking for a case, but who really knows. Like in St. Louis the dudes on the street in t-shirts selling candy saying its for starving kids. Anyway they walk right up into a store when your shopping and ask you for money. Also the workers. Can you imagine someone not getting arrested for that.
Street vendors. Man the street food is to dye for here. :) But seriously its so good a I cant even tell you all of it but a few are: the mixed fresh fruit bags with fresh squeezed lime and salt (chili powder if you want). Yummy, Also boiled corn with crumbling cheese, lime and chili. (If you'v seen Nacho Librea they eat it on there), Of course the Tacos. You'll crave them forever once you'v had a taste just ask Shawndra. There are a lot of others but those are my favorites.

I am in love with this place. Im so glad Iv gotten to see the brighter side of Mexico. Monclova is where his mom is working at the childrens home. That town is so ugly and dirt and dust are everywhere and it gets cold in the winter and super hot in the summer. The weather here has been great. Hardly ever over 75 and usually a nice breeze. I have no AC and haven t even missed it not one time.

privat vs clinic Aug

So as I said before we found a great Dr. We then went to see the hospital he delivers at. They gave a a tour and a price list. The rooms are so much nicer than the ones at MOBAP. And Shawndra Issac will get his own twin bed (pillow and all). The price for the entire visit is $1,000. (that's food, anesthesia, meds delivery, dr. all) Now they also have clinics here where the service is practically free. Im just worried we wont get the same personal treatment. See in Mexico if you are working your (Issacs) social number gets activated and you and your family (me) can get free health care. This prvt dr. we saw actually gives his pts his pager number. If I have problems I page him personally. But Issacs fam and some friends are acting like were crazy. So I may check into the clinic thing. We shall see. I think to use the clinic I have to have a more permanent status first anyway. Our next apt with the pvt dr. isnt for another month. What do you all think. Man that hospital was so nice and for $1,000. That's nothing compared to what you pay in the states. I know it would be money we could save. But having a baby is no joke and Id like it to be as comfy as possible. Anyway Im open to opinions as always.

Pregnant in Mexico Aug.

So as some of you all know a few months ago when I met Issac in Canada for a few weeks we tried to get pregnant. It was perfect timing according to my cycle, but God wasn't ready and we were a little bummed but knew he would do things in his time. Im amazed at how he proves this to you. So today we went to the Dr. and saw our little pea on the screen with a beautiful beating heart. I was way nervous about the Dr. appointment. IM pretty picky about Doctors due to my nursing career. This dude was great. He knows a little English and I a little Spanish. Issac was a smooth and gracious interpreter, and Alana listened and played well during the appointment. God is so good. So Im about 7 weeks pregnant. And yes that's how long Iv been here. We must have conceived like my first or second day here. I already asked and yes, they do have epidural. He says I get it when Im ready. Whoot Whoot. We will of course wait until we have to get it like we did with Alana. I think that's why she came so fast. So there it is we have number two on the way. Man Alanas gonna be a great big sister.

Slowing down July 18th 08

So as you all know (I think) my life before coming here was insane hectic. I was managing a 50 bed unit and a Neurodiagnostics unit at one of the biggest hospitals in the states, doing all house maintenance and taking caring care of Alana with little assistance. With out any other details you can understand that my mind and body was use to going 90 miles a min. This is why I was nervous about the whole house wife thing. I was afraid of the need and thrill I get from being busy. Well Im finding that this is just right, and my thrills come from other things. I am actually able to relax and spend "quality" time with my family. I found out today what that meant and I look forward to more revelations that are similar. While Alana was eating her breakfast and I was having my coffee it dawned on me that I was strictly paying attention to her. This may not seem like a huge revelation but were talking about someone who seriously has a hard time not multitasking. If Im not having more than one conversation I get board and begin one with myself in my head. Or if my hands are busy and not my eyes then there must be something around to read. And if Im not multitasking I tend to feel anxious, or distracted and unable to focus. So Iv been here what 3 weeks now and I find myself sipping my coffee and watching Alana eat. Im thinking of nothing else just how beautiful she is (and have you ever noticed how someone glows when they can tell they are your only focus, not the main focus but the only.) Gosh I pray that God will allow me to stay home with all of my children until they are all in school. Im gonna love this new section of my life. She is so amazing.

Things I didnt expect in Mexico July 12

Ok so instead of going into a whole narrative about my first few weeks here Ill tell you of a few funny oddities Iv found. Trash. This seems so simple. Cut and dry. Well the first week Issac tells Shawndra to listen for a cow bell. Yes you read it a cow bell. The next day Shawndra and I see a boy walking up my street ringing a cow bell around 8am or so......... Nothing else happens. Hummmm. Then randomly you start seeing my neighbors bringing there trash out to the corner. Ok so the trash dudes come and get it ,right..... Wrong. Soon the kid comes back around with the cow bell. (Soon being with in an hour, nothing is soon around here.) Then more people are bringing there trash out and standing by it in on the sidewalk. What the..... Ok so basically the trash truck comes then and everyone pics up there own bags, buckets, ect. and brings it to the truck. The guys help of course but you basically throw it in yourself. WEIRD. Couches. What could throw me off about couches. Well they are all small. Mind you the set Issac got for $200 is a little smaller than the others. But even the rest that I have seen in the stores are all tiny. Even the big ones. Whats up with that. And I know what your thinking but really they are not short people. :) Alto. This means stop. Apparently stop signs really mean, "slow down and see if anyone is coming, if not go, if there is see who waves to who first to go ahead." Also the signs are not always standing right on the corner like we are use to. They are posted to the closest electrical pole or wall to the intersection. Well I think that's enough for now. All in all I love this place and its oddities. I do believe I will fit in quite well in a few months.

The trip to get to Tepa, Jalisco July 1st

Because Im not sure where to start Ill begin with the trip to get here. It was pretty rough. Shawn and I packed up the car the night before. He literally stuffed all my bags into the trunk of my Altima. When he was done it looked like we had lowered the back end. Yikes. We all got up early the next morning and after waking up Kyle so he could ride with Shawn back home we said our last good byes to mom and the girls. Man that was hard but I was so excited to go it helped a little. The drive to St. Louis was no big deal and was kinda funny seeing Kyle and Shawn practically sitting in each others laps in the back seat. When we got to the air port aside from having to rearrange a few things in my luggage and paying for the extra load in a couple of them things went smooth. Paw Paw Jay met us there to say his last good byes. Wow we will miss him being around sooooo much. Alana just loves Paw Paw Jay. Anyway that was hard also but again excitement made it better. The fuss of getting through security was made 10 times easier by Shawndras assistance. Geess that sucked doing by myself all those times. We soon found our gate and checked to be sure we had appropriate seats together. The first flight was uneventful except for Alana screaming "Seat belt, be safe." until the friendly pregnant stewardess gave us an extra belt to put around her. Alana then went to sleep feeling safe. All we could see out the window was the plane engine and I was determined to get a good seat so Shawndra could see out on the next flight. Dalas airport is big but we didn't even have to get on the little tram to get to our flight. Im telling you this trip was soooooo smooth at first. Oh except there was no where for Shawndra to smoke. And I must say that she handled it all quite well. We napped on and off for the 3 hour flight and Alana did wonderful as usual. Ok so now we feel a little jet lagged and tired of travel right. We know that we have to get on a buss now and that the bus is to leave about 1 and 1/2 hours after we land in Mexico City. The only declaration papers they had were in Spanish. Here we are trying to fill our our forms before we get in line and thankfully some dude notices our troubles and comes to our assistance. When we get in line I say,"Ok this doesn't usually take long." Why did I say that. Instantly three of the five desks or emptied and there are only 2 officers helping an entire flight of Americans. "Dang it!" A lot of frustration and a poopy diaper later we are safely through immigration and customs with Alana in Issacs arms and me close beside. Twenty minuets to spare until we need to be at the bus station on the other side of Mexico City, which if you haven't heard is no small place. Thank God for Issacs uncle at this point. Shawndra, Alana, Issac and I all crawl into a cab after waiting in another line and speed through the bumpy rough roads of the city. At this point Im so sick I cant hardly see strait. People drive crazy there, and this is coming from someone who drives in St. Louis. We make it just in time to get on the bus before it leaves, counting our bags as they put them on so we dont miss any when we get off (nine all together). I should explain here that the reason we flew to Mexico city and not Guadalajara is because at the time we bought our tickets Issac thought he was going to have us live in Mexico city. Thank God he changed his mind. Ok this is where the trip got really bad. "How are you honey." Issac asked. I can only imagine how green my face was at this point. Thankfully I felt secure that between him and Shawndra Alana was taken care of. I get horrible motion sickness even without a crazy cab driver in a crazy city. The bus was actually quite comfy and after a sandwich, water and a long time of having my face smashed up against the window and a plastic bag in my lap, I started to feel better. The bus ride was 5 hours. Yes you read it right 5 freaking long and boring, restless, sleepless hours over night. Ohhh but Alana slept through the whole thing which was a major blessing for all on the bus. Finally there........ But Where........ What the heck we are standing on the side of the road, in a small town, in the rain, at 5am. Alana is still being such an angel laying back in her comfy stroller looking around like,"What the heck are we doing." Oh and its cold, Shawndra and I are in tank tops. Thankfully Issac expected this and brought enough sweaters for all. Soon his aunt and uncle show up in a bronco,all happy and giddy almost. Weird people can be that full of energy at that time of day. Now just 45 min to go. Yeahhaaaa!!!!!!! Where finally here. Really this time. We go in through the big black metal doors and up three flights of stairs into my new home. Its about 7am at this point and Alanas well rested and ready to play. HEE Heee. Kinda glad I don't have pictures of me and Shawndra at this point. Then get this, Issac goes to work. Poor Issac had to go put in a full 8 hour after that trip. Wow maybe I should save the stories of the first week for another blog. Sorry this was so long but I felt like sharing. Shawndra thank you soooooooooooooooo much. I love you.

A notary is a notary right?

Ok so one of the last pieces of paper we need for the immigration office here in Mexico is called an Apostille. After all weve been through I had never heard this term until a few weeks ago. Apparently a few countries decided that this piece of paper would be used to confirm the signatures on birth cirts and marriage lic. Ok what eve we will get one. I go on the web site for MO Apostilles and it says all I need to do is mail in a request for them along with the original documents and a source of payment. The marriage lic had to be notarized it said. Also it says they only use regular mail unless you send a prepaid airmail envelope. So I find our lic and Yahooo it is already notarized. We put the packet together and are going to mail it from here in Mexico. Issac goes to three different places and everyone says they do prepaid for Mexico only and do not do prepaid for international. Well crap. So we call on Shawndra to do some more leg work for us. We send her the package and a self addressed large envelope for her to use to send everything back. Shawndra gets the package in three days (we used UPS) and puts it in the mail the next day. Yesterday was one week from that day. We are on the phone and she exclaims, "I got you letter, well wait let me make sure, yes its from the Secretary of State." We are both excited as she opens the letter and she says, "Is this all that's suppose to be here, Alanas birth cirt and your marriage lic." I say no there should be a separate letter attached to both. "Oh Amanda, hang on let me read this letter,"Shawndra says to me. Well SH##***, Im thinking what now. So apparently when the website said that the marriage lic had to be notarized it meant notarized by a MO notary or elected official and it was the Recorder of Deeds who notarized my lic. He is apparently appointed his seat and doesn't count. Sigh no double sigh. Why the heck did this dude even notarize it if his name doesn't count for crap. So I look up online how to get a different cirt copy and again Shawndra has to do the leg work. I sent her the form to fill out and mail. We are being extremely specific about the notary needed. Please pray that they get it right. Then once she gets that she has to resend the original packet back to the Secretary of State. So needless to say I freaked out a little yesterday. From what Issac and I understand we have no more than 4 weeks to get all this turned in or Alana and I will be making an unnecessary and expensive flight to the States in early Dec. My 180th day here is Christmas eve and I refuse to miss even part of that week being here with my family. We have missed 2 Christmases together thanks to the U.S. BS. Sorry didnt mean to be so harsh just still a little frustrated about the whole thing. So also please pray that the Recorder of Deeds gets this lic. back to Shawndra with in a week. Issac is going to call today to find out if after I have applied for my FM2 if I can stay until they make their decision regardless of my 180days. Ill keep you updated. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

First solid infor on extended stay in Mexico

We originally were asking around and had spoke with a lawyer here in our town regarding getting more permanent permission for Alana and I to stay in Mexico. We were lead in many directions and even after looking at the Mexican Immigration website were still confused. I read someones blog that suggested we just go to the office and ask for help. I had also read that we shouldn't need legal assistance, and that the office would be help enough. Due to our experience with the Immigration offices in the States we were nervous of just walking in and expecting help. Had we not had Katie by our side we would have been brushed aside so often. Regardless we knew at this point this was our only answer. We heard that most areas have their own little quirks to what they want you to turn in with your applications. At this point we were planning on applying for an FM2 for Alana and I both. We packed a bag for the day and headed off to Guadalajara. This was exciting for me because I had not been to this city in Mexico. Our first stop was the Immigration office,we left our back pack in the truck and just grabbed a couple diapers and a snack for Alana. The offices in the States are weird about bringing in bags. The building itself was pretty big and slightly intimidating. The first person we experienced was the officer who had to be sure everyone signed in and out. Issac asked her what level we should go to and she was helpful and had a smile on her face. As we waited for the elevators we noticed others who had bags similar to our back pack and we realized we could have brought it in. This was something to keep in mind for the next trip. When we got to the fourth floor there where tons of people from all different ethnic back grounds. This was familiar to us from being in the offices at the states. Although these people didn't look stressed or disturbed and instead just intent on why they were there. We saw a long line behind a desk labeled information. well there we go. We got in line and noticed its slow progress. Although this gave us heart because we also noticed how much time each person was given and they all seemed to come away with paperwork and looking like they had gotten what they wanted. There were people all over filling out forms with stacks of paper. When we got to the window the lady there was very helpful and answered most of Issac's questions. When she found out our situation she suggested we get an FM3 instead this is for anyone who will eventually want to become a legal resident. She also called over someone who looked like her supervisor to be sure she was suggesting the correct thing. The FM3 has to be renewed every year, like the FM2, but after 4 times you can then apply for the resident. You also can not be out of the country for more than 18 months in the 4 years before applying. This was ok with us because I only plan to make a one month visit in a year or more to the States. And after that we have no idea when we will have enough money for another visit. With and FM2 it cannot be converted into legal residency and when you decide to go that rout you would have to start at the beginning of the 4 years with the FM3. But with the FM2 you can come and go as you please and there is no time limit on how much you have to be in Mexico. We agreed that we needed and FM3 and began to ask more questions. She gave us a list of necessary items and two applications. Then she asked if we could read it and come back if we still had questions because most of what we were asking was on the information sheet. She told us we would not have to wait in line again but to just come up and ask. Issac and I went over the list in a little tea shop next to the office. We were relieved to see that we had most of the items needed and the ones we didn't have wouldn't be to hard to get a hold of. He went back in while I waited outside with Alana to clarify a few things and he said they were very helpful once again. On our way out Issac remembered that the phone number on the website wasn't correct and asked a security officer about it. The officer brought Issac into another area where he gave him a print out of the correct numbers, he told Issac to call if he had any questions about the application. We were blown away by the nice treatment from the officer. So although we didn't have all our ducks in a row at least now we knew clearly how to get them their. I will explain in another blog what we found we needed and how we are getting it.

We then felt free to explore the city a bit. We found some book stores and thankfully bought me some reading material in English. We also found a Starbucks and got some yummy coffee for the way home. The trip was good and we now had a trail to take.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Currently October 2008

At this point we have decided to stay in Mexico. We gave up on the Canada plan for a couple reasons. First off it is a lot of money. We have poored a lot of money into the States and are not ready to do that again. Also the move alone would cost to much for us to afford. Once we got there we realize that we wouldnt have the family around that we do here. Family is so important to Issac and I both which was what attracted us to each other in the first place. So as it stands Im planning to stay here in Mexico with Alana and Issac.

As for now I am still here on a visitor status. My next blog will be regarding the FM3 versus the FM2 for extended stay.

So my Spanish still kinda sucks but is getting better. I seem to be retaining more vocabulary and am understanding more of the conversations around me. I still cant strike up a normal conversation with people and that is kinda getting old. But all in good time I suppose. Im now 13 weeks pregnant, may be a little early to spill the beans to the world but I cant keep my mouth shut about it anymore. Those of you who know when I came here know that I must have gotten pregnant as soon as Issac looked at me. lol Seriously though we are supper excited. Alana is going to be a wounderfull big sisiter.

Issac is doing well at work and we are just praying that he is making enough for the gov here to agree to let him sponser us. We are still adjusting to a major decrese in income and are still dipping into our savings quite a bit. But we are trying to get better.
We have a private OB and plan to have the baby in a private hospital. Some of his family keeps trying to convince us to go to the free clinic but they have no idea what Im coming from. In the clinic you share a room with 4 or 5 other women and their babies and are only allowed to have the dad there like an hour a day. Issac missed everything with Alana and refuses to miss a min this time around. The hospital is actually really nice and its so cheep compared to the states. We have put back the money for all of that and are good to go for a bit. I cant express to you how excited about this we are. As most of you know Issac and I want a big family and were so ready to get started on that.

What we found about Canada

I so look forward to July. Let me start by saying our trip was beautiful and and perfect. We had a great time together as a family. We truly felt we were on a vacation. Issac did find an employer, we found a wonderful church, and awesome people. We also found that any government issues take time. More than what we are willing to give, or money more than we have. After talking to 2 lawyers, a lot of legal immigrants and a wonderful lady named Betty we found that it takes a lot of money and at least 3-8 months or less money (still quite a bit) and 1-1 1/2 years. With this information and a lot of prayer Issac and I have decided that God as well as us want our family in the same country in July. Alana and I will be moving to Mexico the first of July. We will only be bringing what we need and what will fit in suit cases because its to expensive and scary to drive all the way there. I will be saving and putting back enough cash to assure that when the immigration paperwork goes through that Issac, Alana and I will be able to afford to move in one year. In the mean time before I move I will be applying our family to the skilled worker visa in Canada and applying to jobs there to see if that can help to move things along. Im so ready to be living under the same roof as him. This last two weeks truly proved to me that he completes me and Im no good with out him. Also Alana needs him so badly.

What to do now (visa denied)

This is from a letter I wrote shortly after finding out about his permanent bar.
I didn’t tell a lot of people right away because I was so upset that I was considering asking Issac to come back the way he came the first time. I found out after bringing it up to Issac that others had suggested the same. It was tempting at the time because we felt so let down by the legal system. When Issac and I decided to seriously consider this option, we both knew it would not be the right thing to do. We knew that God would not be honored by such an act. We quickly backed away from this thought and will never return to it. Many of my friends and family have cried and are devastated with the outcome of this case.
I’m certain that in Mexico or Canada I would have to start over and become a staff nurse for a few years in a hospital to acquire the position I’m in now.

Here is a section from a letter Issac wrote:
I prayed to God, I shouted to God, I cried to God and asked Him for strength and peace. We had to pull ourselves together, and start planning on what was next. Then, it came to me. I went back to Monclova since there was nothing else for me in Cd Juarez.Once there started to do some research on and how to get there. Everything I found was pleasing. It was like an answer, like an open door. We both started doing research about it, and that’s when I decided to come to to be able to go to the Canadian embassy and figure out more about it. At this point, we are ready to move on; we are ready to go were we can be together.as a visitor. Once there, I would Find a job and a place to stay, then apply for a residency and request toHave my family come live with me. We chose Windsor because is right at the border with Detroit where Amanda can work at a hospital while i work in Canada. What we are looking for is a church that can help us settle there, as well as a body of believers that loves God and pursues Him. We want to find a place for us to have fellowship and worship our God.
The old saying goes that home is where the heat is. Issac, Alana, and I have only been home about 2months out of the last 21months. We are really our happiest when together and I see the truth in this saying frequently. I have recently heard a christian song (that I wish I knew the artist and title to) where she speaks of leaving and not being afraid for the first time. How she knows God will be waiting on her. Not afraid and Not alone. All this to say that Alana and I are going to be with Issac for good in July. As of right now its kinda up in the air about where we will actually be joining him. The permanent visa process in takes around a year and a half. They also have providence work permits that you can go there on while you wait. If Issac and/or I can get one of those we plan to and Alana and I will join him in If we are unable to get that we will join Issac in and live there until we can get the permanent visa to go through. I have never been more sure of anything (other than to marry the man of my dreams). This has been a true test of our love and devotion over this last year and a half and we know for sure all we want in life is to live for God with each other and alot of kids. Issac will be meeting Alana and I in Canada on April 5th until April19th for a sort of work vacation. We will be spending time together and relaxing (we got a hotel with a pool. ) and we will also both be applying for jobs and I will be visiting the consulate that is in Detroit, MI to apply for our paper work. There is a nice lady there that we met through a Hispanic church who knows and understands the laws. She is going to the consulate with me and to some job sites with Issac. Please pray for us that this trip is fruitful. The work permit rests upon us finding a job that the government dreams important enough to allow us to stay. After this trip I will come home and train someone to take my place at work, get my financial issues straitened out (yikes this will be rough) and pack my junk. Anyway if any of you have questions please fill free to ask. We don't have anything to hide and always enjoy educating people on how messed up our legal immigration system is. We are not accepting any negative remarks at this time.

Visa apointment (Amanda)

We finally received the long awaited call from Katie, saying that Issac’s visa appointment had been scheduled. We were so excited. This was it. We knew that Issac would be turned down for the visa, but this was one more step that was necessary in order for me to file for a waiver to begin my case for “hardship on an American citizen”, which would allow me the chance to get my husband back into the country for the sake of our family.We now began the tedious online process of scheduling our waiver appointment. (From what I understand they randomly put the appointments up a few weeks in advance in order to prevent people from making the appointments and selling them.) This new process of having online registration is supposed to be making this whole thing smoother, but it actually made it more stressful. We had at least five or six people getting on at all hours of the night trying to get this appointment for us. I had my phone on day and night waiting on someone to call and say they got it. I finally got one about a week from his visa date. (There has to be a better way to do this.) When we got the visa date, Issac quit his job in Monclova and went to stay with a pastor in Juarez where the consulate is. We paid our fees and he got his shots, the medical checkup and the fingerprints that were all necessary for the appointment. (and were all expensive as well).My lawyer gave me the waiver packet to take with me, as I had planned to arrive in after Issac was done with this initial visa appointment. I was going to arrive just in time for the waiver appointment.Issac went to his visa appointment and went through hell. I wasn’t there so I’ll let him explain that in his part of this letter. I could hear the devastation and desperation in my husband’s voice when he called me 5 hours after the scheduled time for his appointment and said he was told to wait in a waiting room alone while the officer made his decisions. Now I was nervous. I called Katie and she said it was normal. Katie had previously expressed that she wished she could be there to help him but that lawyers are not allowed in the consulate.Issac called me about eight o’clock and said the officer told him he would have to come back on Monday for his decision. This was a Thursday.I don’t think I can explain the frustration, stress, unease, and plain fear I was feeling over that weekend. I cried and poured my heart out to our church explaining what had happened to Issac. They cried and poured their hearts out to God for my family.On that Monday Issac called me; his broken spirit evident in his voice. He told me that the officer not only denied Issac’s visa, but he also took away our right to apply for a waiver on the basis of “hardship on an American citizen.” I was crushed and dumbfounded.

Where I was before I left the States

This is a section from a letter I wrote.

In November 2006, I was promoted to Lead Charge Nurse, and I know I cannot find similar work in I am the Assistant Manager of the Neurology and Neurodiagnostics Departments at Barnes Jewish Hospital, in Due in part to the worldwide shortage of nurses, Barnes has a vacancy rate for management-level nurses.Many nurses in the are either newly trained or close to retirement.I am in high demand here in the United States and particularly at the hospital where I am currently employed, because nurses who are my age with my experience are rare.It would be extremely difficult, even with my experience, to acquire a nursing job in Mexico.

Here is a section from a thread I had put on my family site.
Amanda Hernandez - Feb 10, 2008 View | Edit | Delete | Viewers
I put my home on the market yesterday. Kinda sad but its a progressive step in the direction to be with Issac. Man I really love this house. Issac and I had planned on having four more kids and living here for 10years. Pray for us this kinda stuff is when it get hard to deal with. And when I start getting pissy about the whole thing. I'm sure I can get another house but this ones exactly what I was looking for and I got it at a great price. But enough of that and time to move on. God is really teaching us to store our treasures in heaven and not here on earth. We prob aren't gonna have a lot left here when all this is said and done.

The Visa apointment (Issac)

Now for those of you who have not yet had your appointment do not let this sway you please press on. I pray that they soon make the employees there treat immigrants with respect. I as have many other have petitioned to the government officials to see that this happens. I have no idea if that will go far but for what its worth here is our experience.
This is a section from Issacs letter and is his words.

The trip to the embassy was a 12 hour bus ride. I kissed everybody goodbye; since i was going to leave to go back to the united states from Cd Juarez. I was to cross to El Paso and catch a plane there to St Louis. We had the plane tickets ready.

I stayed at a pastor’s house there, which was a blessing for us. I got there October 29th. I went to get a physical exam at one of the authorized clinics the following day. We spend so much money on that exam. Plus i had to get shots as well.

November 1st, I got up for the appointment. I was ready, at peace and determined to get this over with. I headed to the embassy. Once there, i got in line. It was a very, very long line, and everybody there was going to deal with visas and immigration. I got there at 7am.

It took forever to get in. I went from one waiting room to the next. Finally I came to a window where they took my fingerprints, and checked my paperwork. The pictures they asked for were not like the ones i had on me so i had to go outside and get some fresh pictures taken. I came back and i got another waiting number, only to go to another waiting room.

At last, i came to the final waiting room, where the immigration officer interviews the applicants.

After a long while they called me up to window “27”. I will never forget that window. I walked up to the officer and saluted him saying hi. He replied and said; “why do you talk to me? Do you know me?”

I apologized. He started the interview and i answered all of his questions.

He was upset at the fact that I was speaking to him in English and kept questioning why I spoke it so fluently. He then asked me how I entered the US and I told him exactly how it happened. When I finished, he basically said that I was lying. He commented that my English was so good and that no Mexican could learn English outside of the US. I answered saying that i wasn’t lying and that I was being serious. That’s when he lost it. He started yelling, screaming that i was wasting his time, that he had a lot to do and that I was a liar. I didn’t know what to do nor say. Then he proceeded to call security to escort me outside the building and wait there until he felt like talking to me again. I had no idea what was going on. The people that worked there witnessed me being escorted out of the room and told me that this guy was mean, but not to worry because he would have to call me back by the end of the night.

By this time it was about 5 o’clock pm. I hadn’t had anything to eat all day and had the worst headache ever. My knees were shaking. After 30 minutes or so, he sent another guard out to get me. The first thing he said to me was not to speak unless I’m spoken to and not to do anything else. Just be there and stand still. He took my fingerprints, gave me a receipt and told me to come back to pay the fingerprints fee. He then told me to come back the following Monday.

I went back to the pastor’s house and felt like I was falling to pieces. The whole weekend was so bizarre. On Monday I did what the officer told me to do. There I was again in front of him and waiting for him to call me up.

We started the whole interview all over again. He asked me about Amanda, about church, about how I learned English about when I came back to México on a voluntary departure. He then commented about the fact that i had been charged with a false claim in St Louis. He asked me again how I entered the US and I told him. Again, he insisted that i was lying. He himself decided to charge me with this same offense that had been dropped in a US court of law. He then said that there was no waiver available on earth for me because of this charge and that i was banned from ever entering the United States again. He did this all on his own speculation, with no proof and no witnesses. I was guilty until proven innocent.

I had to ask permission to say something, so i did. I then told him that we had brought this very same charge to a judge and had dropped it. I asked how he could charge me with the same thing again. He said he was under a different jurisdiction and there is nothing else that could be done.

I told my lawyer about that and she said that once they decide on something, nothing can be done, especially with a charge like that one.

My entire world felt apart. I felt my knees crumble and my spirit at its lowest point. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I was supposed to go home to my wife and daughter. It was supposed to be over.

I bitterly cried myself to sleep. We cancelled the flights. We cancelled our plans.

Just like that, our dreams were shattered.

Waiting on the Visa apointment

This is a section from Issac,
January came. I missed my wife’s birthday, valentines day, we missed our second wedding anniversary; I missed my daughters first birthday as well.Still, no news on the visa appointment.At this point, we had been apart for 8 months. It was quiet. Every time we would try to contact the embassy, all they would say is, “we will let you know”.It was so frustrating. We never knew what would happen or when. By September ’07 the appointment date was finally set. It was set for November 1st ’07. I was ready. I have never been so anxious for anything in my entire life.I was going home. We had been waiting on this appointment for a long, long, time.I remember talking to people and hearing them saying something like; “Oh, it’s been a year and a half already? It sure went by fast” that would totally crush me inside, since that year and a half was the worst time of my life, and it felt like 10 years.It was finally here. I was to go to the embassy in Cd Juarez, apply for a visa and get denied because i had been in the states illegally.After that, my wife would be able to apply for a citizen hardship waiver”.This would allow my return to the united state to be with my wife and child, as our separation was an obvious hardship on her as well as Alana. It was to be a routine process.

Communicationg across the border

While we waited for Issacs Visa appointment we did all we could to stay united as a family. We used the web cam every night and more often on the weekends. As Alana got older she would interact with the computer screen. Now that Im finally here with him its hard for me to remember those times. The first time she pointed at the computer screen and said Papi Issac and I felt a bit of remorse in this time that should have been happy. After her first birthday she even started doing things like trying to feed him and give him drinks thought the screen. They would play patty cake and do copy cat. We visited him as often as my work would let me. We know that we were blessed beyond most families in our situation when it comes to this. Due to my profession I was paid well enough to afford the trips and we would buy only what was necessary. We visited him 5 times in the 2 years we were in different countries. Each visit was always stressed because we wanted to spend as much time together as possible but yet his family was all excited to see me and Alana. The first trip was for 3 weeks but after that the rest were only for a week at a time. This was such a hard time for Issac and I but Alana seemed to do ok with it. It was all she knew. Here are some entries from some of my previous blogs during this time.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I continue to love my husband more and more each day as impossible as that sounds. I still falling head over heals for him. Issac reminded me the other day that what God unites let no man seperate. Nothing in this world can truely seperate me from my one and only love. Alana has gotten to where when she hears the IM bell she looks at the comp screan to see Issac. She laughs and goos at him when hes on. Babys are amazing at how much they know. Im confadent that she knows thats her daddy. Im excited to see her in his arms once again. We are going there Dec5hth to the 15th please pray for a safe trip for us both.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

So I havent blogged in awhile because I was going through some inner termoil. Im doing better now thanks to our God. I dont want to go into all that becasue most of you know whats up anyway. If not no need to worry like I said Im doing better. So we are now looking at June or July for Issacs retun. Im praying for him to be here for Alanas first birthday. Please keep that date in mind (July 15th) and pray specificaly for it. God does want us to be specific sometimes. If it doesnt happen Im sure he has his reasons but it will be a bitter sweat day for us if he is not here. Thats how I can discribe Christmas, New Years, Our birhtdays. All bitter sweet this year. Anyway God is realy providing daily for me and Alana. Its alittle stressful some days but we will make it. God has provided me with a strong sense of survial. Alana is my reason for keepen on keepen on. As one of the gospels states "To live is Christ to die is gain." So I live today for Christ. So Alana is more and more like Issac every day. I told him she shares his need for attention. She will litteraly act like she can breath if I dont sit and stare at her while she is eatting her bottle.

First visit to meet daddy

Alana's (our daughter) doctor released her at 8 weeks old to be able to travel out of the country. I was still on maternity leave so I went and stayed with Issac in Mexico for 3 weeks. So this is a blog entry from another site that I actually wrote while I was there.

We made it and I cant explain how good it is to be in the arms of my husband holding our baby. Now I know what its realy supose to feel like. Realy I dont have many words except that if your home is where your heart is my home is in mexico right now. And I wont be home after I leave until Im back with him. It only took Alana one night to get warmed up to Issac. She now wants him as much as me. Which is a nice break for me. I can actually leave her for a bit and do things with 2 hands. The kids here are all so good and try so hard to communicate with me. Im realy doing better than I thought. ok gotta go feed alana now. Oh shes doing great with the bottel Issac loves feeding her and always burps her. man its realy great to see him with her.
Here is an entry from Issac;
Amanda was able to come to visit with me for the first time after Alana was born in September and she was able to stay there with me for 3 weeks.I got to hold my daughter for the first time. She was already two months old.When they left, i had to drop them off at the airport.It was heartbreaking. I was praying to god in tears to end this whole nightmare and bring us back together.

Taking care of a newborn alone

I was released from the hospital, with Alana, on July 17, 2006. Two days later, on July 19, 2006, a massive thunder and windstorm hit St. Louis. The storm left our apartment without electricity for a week. It was extremely hot. I was still in pain from Alana’s delivery and could not care for her by myself. When our apartment lost electricity, around 7:30 p.m., I was alone with Alana and did not know what to do. Without electricity, we did not have air conditioning. Alana became very hot and would not eat. I still had many hormones running through my body and was extremely emotional and off-balance. I was in no condition to make any decisions of my own at that time. Alana would not eat because she was feeling my anxiety and she was too hot. The temperature rose to over 103 degrees Fahrenheit in our apartment. I was nursing at the time and became engorged because of Alana’s refusal to eat. The pain and discomfort from the engorgement, combined with the heat, made it difficult to think of anything else. If Issac had been here, he would have found a safe place for us to stay, and I would not have been stressed with the task. Issac would have been able to think more clearly, and would have made these decisions for me.

Eventually, I decided we could not stay at the apartment. At 9:00 p.m., I packed up everything and took Alana to our Pastor’s house. I was still very stressed and emotional. I was also extremely uncomfortable, because I was only a few days post-partum. Between bouts of pain and tears from both Alana, and myself, I had to pack my belongings along with all of the belongings necessary to care for a newborn. Staying at the pastor’s house was very stressful. I had no privacy, and I was still bleeding. While I was at our pastor’s house, I called my sister Shawndra. She lived two hours away, so she could not come get us for a few days.

On Saturday, July 22, 2006, Shawndra drove to St. Louis and picked us up. This was only one week after I delivered Alana, and I was still in pain. So, the drive back to Shawndra’s house was very uncomfortable. I was still bleeding and bruised. I also still had the stitches from the episiotomy, which takes about six weeks to heal. When we finally arrived at my sister’s house, I started crying. I felt so overwhelmed. Alana and I stayed at Shawndra’s house for two weeks. During those two weeks, I was unable to use my webcam, so Issac and I were unable to see one another. In addition, Issac was not able to see video his daughter until two weeks after she was born. Both of these obstacles created incredible stress and sadness for me.

After we returned from my sister’s house, I hurt my back while moving furniture in order to baby-proof the apartment. Afterward, whenever I picked up Alana I felt a spasm in my back. My back continued to hurt for five months after this injury. I remember continuing to have back problems when Alana and I visited Isaac in Mexico for the second time, in December 2006. Alana was approximately five months old. After Alana was born, doing even small tasks such as grocery shopping and the laundry were extremely difficult for me. Since the laundry machines are in the basement of my building, I was forced to leave Alana alone in the apartment as I ran up and down two flights of stairs. The other option was to carry my newborn and a load of laundry with me up and down two flights of stairs. If my husband had been here, I would not have this anxiety, as he would be able to stay with her and make sure she did not cry or somehow hurt herself while I was in the basement doing laundry.

Labor without Issac

The first couple of hours at the hospital, my friends kept trying to get the webcam set up so Issac could watch Alana’s birth. However, we were never able to get the webcam to work. Between contractions, I talked to Issac on the phone, but it was very hard for me not to be able to see him. I knew this was also extremely frustrating for him. I know he wanted to be there to help me. Knowing that he was upset made me even more anxious.

I had planned on having a drug-free childbirth, but in the end I was unable to do so. Throughout labor, I was constantly worried about the fact that Issac was not going to be there in person for our daughter’s birth. Once I found out that the webcam was not going to work either, and he would not even be able to watch it, I became even more upset. So, I gave in and had the epidural. I didn’t have the strength to do otherwise.

Although I had a great amount of support during my labor and delivery, it was not the same as having my husband by my side. It was very difficult for me to go through labor without my husband to be there to share in this incredible experience. Also, I was concerned about Alana’s health during my labor and delivery. I had been put on Prozac one week after Issac left, which was two weeks before Alana’s birth. I was worried because Prozac can cause respiratory depression in newborns.