Thursday, November 27, 2008

Home made Christmas decorations

Im just gonna put the pics up if you have questions on any of them just ask.

This next one I want to explain. I started a tradition when Issac and I got married that we would get a special ornament to represent our year. Although I dont have the last couple years ones here (they are stored at my sisters) Iknow we will have them at sometime. So this one I made you can see that the one strand says papi. The other three are me and Alanas name and some hearts for the new baby thats on the way.

I also have to comment on this next one. I have to say these are my least fav but are a good idea The wholes let the light from the candle come out and it looks nice at night.

This next one is of the prizes Im giving away at our cookie exchange party. I hope they like homemade decorations.

This next one is one of my fav. Its so we can hear Santa when he comes in.

These are the three garlands on my tree. Ribon, popcorn, and peppermint garland.

I think the rest of these needed to be rotated sorry Im getting lazy just turn you head. Actually my hubby and daughter are hungry so I gotta hurry now.

These last two are also some of my fav.


So yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving. One of my favorite traditions is to decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving. And of course there is always the food. The best thing about Thanksgiving is family. That is what I missed out on this year. Issac was great and tried to make it a normal Thanksgiving for me. Although it couldn't be to normal when no one here has any idea why I want to cook a big feast and invite family over. Lots of people here have already put up lights and trees and stuff so the decorations were not out of place at least. We did cook starting the night before I broke up the bread for the stuffing and left it out to get stale, we also made a new recipe from a friend of the families called penutbutter crunch cake. OMG that cake made my night. So waking up on Wed I was thinking "this is my Thanksgiving here we go." Then I rolled over and saw Issac looking at me. "Ok Im not sad anymore." Gosh how great to wake up to him. "Happy Thanksgiving honey." He said with a smile. "Happy Thanksgiving." Iv waited 2 years for that conversation. He said Im so glad we get to celebrate Thanksgiving today and we both thanked God for giving us to each other.
Ok mushy crap is over you can keep reading and not throw up. :) So we waited until Alana got up to get out of bed and we made our coffee. We had to clean up a bit that morning but only after breakfast of cake. Yummmy. Alana loved that, you should have seen her go. Then we started to get out the decorations. Im a faster cleaner than Issac so he was still doing the dishes as I spread the blanket on the Table and started to look at our inventory of decorations. I made almost everything we were to decorate with and I was afraid it just wouldn't be enough to bring the spirit of Christmas around. I love Christmas decorations and part of only having a couple months to plan a move out of the country is leaving behind things like decorations. I did recieve in the mail from Shawndra our stockings and my favorite blanket that has the true meaning of the candy cane on it.
All I needed was to hear Alana exclaim, "Wow, Balla." (Not sure I spelt Balla correct but its said like baya. Its Spanish for wow or cool.) Her excitement over the decorations got me even more in the spirit and we put on the Christmas tracts I had up loaded a week before. She was having so much fun moving the decorations from room to room and just looking at them.
Im gonna put some pics on here of them because I made them so I thought Id share.
So we started cooking around 12 and didn't finish until around 5. Issac helped fully and he loved it. He likes to help in the kitchen and is a good cook. We made green been casserole, candied sweet potatoes, dressing, and Turkey ham. And for desert we made a dump cake and Apple krugle aside from the other cake that by the end of the day was almost gone. We invited his family to come over at 6 and in true Mexican style half showed up at 7 and the others around 730. We sat down to eat Thanksgiving dinner at 8. In broken Spanish I enjoyed our conversation. This part of his family is extremely gentle with me about my Spanish and corrects me when I need it. They are so great about it all and we end up laughing at each other a lot because they will try to speak in English because they know it will make me laugh. It was great though. We also got to see our good friends Samantha and Brian online for a bit but due to the distraction of his family that conversation was cut way to short. Then we got on the web cam with some of his family from Mexico city who are very much like the ones who were over to visit. We played a game of rummy cube and aside from trying to explain why we celebrate Thanksgiving and how we do it felt like Thanks giving.
Today I woke up a little home sick but am feeling better now. Ill put the pics of my decorations on a different post.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Joy of Worship

I hadnt yet made a blog about finding a church here in Mexico. It wasnt easy I can tell you that. My husband and I were both raised baptist and were going to a nondenominational slightly charismatic church when we met. We decided when were still dating that both of us agreed on how to raise our kids. We wanted them to grow up in a church that had plenty of opportunities for them to be involved but not to force them into them. With this in mind one of our first tasks when I got to Mexico was to check out some churches. He had been going to one with his aunt that he liked a lot for him but he hadn't checked out the kids stuff yet. So we tried this church first. We got there a little early to find out if they would have someone for the kids that eve. Yes they assured us there would be a kids leader. So we went in to join in on the worship. I loved it right away. I could tell the spirit was there, people were all praising in their own ways, some dancing and yelling and some sitting with bowed heads. Although I couldn't join in to much due to no knowing the language of the songs and the distraction of Alana I could tell I liked their view of worship. But when I went to the bathroom it was dark and seemed dirty, no soap or towels to wash with. (Ok remember IM a nurse this is difficult for me.) So then after worship I figured it was time for the kids to go up. Issac and I brought Alana up to the nursery and we were told someone would be up shortly. Ok here where I freaked. The nursery had aunts all over, dirt on all the toys, dirty diapers on the changing tables, and the only couch in there looked like it had been run over with a dirty truck. Issac said this might be the best we can find so I said ok and waited. Soon the pastors youngest who is Alanas age came up with his older brother who is only about 8 or 9. No one else showed up. We waited about 45 min and when I couldn't stand it anymore we left. I was heart broken and bound to find a different church.
I went online and searched until I found an in home church that was just getting started. We tried it the next week. There were only about 8 people there but there where other kids Alanas age. Worship was with no music and when Issac later offered to bring his guitar and play they told us they didn't believe in instruments for worship. Ok we thought we can maybe deal with that. We don't agree but from experience we know as long as the church preaches Christ and doesn't stray from the gospel sometimes its ok not to agree with all the doctoral stuff. They had a nice lady who took all the kids to another room to do a lesson during the service and after only a few Sundays Alana was content to go with them. We liked what the pastor had to say and he seemed to stick to the Bible and what it says. This church only meet every other week though because the pastor also preached in a city about 2 hours from here. So on the odd Sundays we were checking out other churches. We went to a "Pentecostal" church one Sunday night. I have that in quotes because any Pentecostal I know from the states would pass out if they went in there. Seriously it was the driest worship service Iv ever been to (and I was raised baptist)!!! First off the pastor said "Ok now lets sing the normal." (so they sing the same thing every Sunday) And the poor young boy (looked about 12) who was playing the guitar looked absolutely mortified to be there. Also at this time I'm about 2mo preg and there is an extremely stinky lady sitting next to us. Sorry to add that in but I couldn't stay there. Oh and the church was only one room and there were no other kids. Everyone other than us and the sad boy in front were at least over 50.
In the mean time we had visited his Aunts house. This is the aunt I love to go see she lives here in the same town. Anyway she tells us we should give it another try and that they are doing more with the kids. That she is even taking over a class. Well I'm stubborn and didn't want to but we prayed about it and we decided to go.

This time we went to an am service. I swear to you that the devil had clouded my eyes the first time we went. The bathroom was clean and had soap and a towel (cloth but that's cool)!!!!!!!!!!!! Again I enjoyed the worship service and this time we waited around to see when the kids where to go. Oh they don't go yet. First the pastor takes any written prayer requests and prays publicly over them. Oh I like this a lot and I like the idea that the kids are kept in to see it. Then we did offering and another song. Ok now they are telling the kids they can go. I personally want to take Alana to be sure that there is going to be an adult in the room. I had already guarded myself again what the room would look like when we got there. But wait I round the corner and the carpet is vacuumed, only a few random ants, the couch looks like it has been vacuumed, The toys don't have dirt on them they all look like they were just disinfected and no dirty diapers laying around. Sigh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok Satan back off because God has shown us our new home. The lady who was to care for the toddlers did take a bit to get to the room but when she did she was warm and nice. We loved the sermon and as God does it hit home right to what we were needing to hear. We have been regulars every since. Only on one other occasion in and eve service have they not had a person for the toddlers and Alana was the only one there that night anyway. So she hung with us and no one seemed to care when she laughed out loud or said something louder than she should.

Ok after that forever long story here is the real reason for this post. Last night for the first time I was able to translate (for the most part with out Issacs help) the worship songs. Once I translate them I try to sing a long. (My tong is always so tired after church) Last night I was able to truly worship God and not in my native tong. I sang two different songs with not only the understanding of the meaning but the swelling in my heart to know that I meant every word I sang. I cant in a blog or really in anyway of words describe the feeling of worshiping our maker. But recently I have only been able to do it alone and at home with Issac playing or a CD. It is so much better when you are surrounded by other Christians who are praising God and showing him how much they care and love him. My heart is swelling even now as I write this just to know the peace and surrender I felt during those songs. After I just thanked God for showing himself to me and to Issac and for bringing us to this church.
This also means that my Spanish is improving more than what I thought it was. See I study and study but with out real world practice I don't know that Im progressing. So that is that God has given me his Amazing Grace and allowed me to worship him through song with fellow Christians. Just wanted to share my joy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A video about what some have to live through

I was sent this the other day from a friend who is in a simalr situation as me. I wanted to post it. There is no reason why these kids should have to live this way.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Shipping items to Mexico

What a freaking pain. Even after giving away more than half my household items and selling a lot more I still had a few shelves full of stuff at Shawndras house. Mostly sentimental items I just cant part with. We planned on using the money from what we sold to ship it here and my church in St. Louis said they would pay the rest. Well obviously we cant ship it all because alot of whats there is picture albums but some of the other stuff and special christmas decorations Shawndra boxed up to send. She went from DHL to UPS because we found that they would be "easier" to use. Or so we thought. When she brought the box to them the first time they told her they needed a list of every item in the box. This was my fault I knew this and forgot about it. When she brought it back list and all they asked her the dollar amount value for the contents. Well she said everything is used and at least a year or two old it's all just sentimental. They said ok took her money (over $300) and told her they would deliver it to my door step. I get a call on Wed from UPS in Guadalajara telling me they have my package but cannot send it to me because of a few of the items that are in it. Aparently the Christmas dishes that were in the box have lead paint on them. Ok seriously I could almost promise you the rusted metal play equipment that Alana plays on in the parks here are painted with lead based paint. Sience when does Mexico care about that kind of stuff. So I decided to look it up. Not sure you care but here are two sites I found and none of them say anything about lead based paint. (, Issacs convinced someone in the UPS office liked the dish set and found a reason for us to be forced to abandon them. OH there was also a small bottle of liquid that came with the VHS cleaning kit that we forgot about. I don't care about that. So our choice is to abandon the items and receive the rest of the package or pay a fee to have the whole box shipped back to Shawndra. Ok, we abandon them, you can have my freaking dishes dang it. So she sends us a form to fill out and fax back, we fill it out and fax it the next day for about $15pesos. Oh then she informs Issac that they need to know the approximate value so they can charge us a 60% importation fee. What the crap Im paying an importation fee on stuff that's old. Ok so we say the box isn't worth more than $25US. "NO" she says. We have to price each item of clothing at no less than $3US. And they are estimating the box at $50. "Ok Fine $50 it is just send us the box." Then on Friday evening around 6pm the lady calls back and says she is sending us a list of items in the box so we can price each item. Why you may be thinking, well we agree. Apparently if the list from the states isn't priced individually on a box that is worth more than $50 then you have to price it all so their is a "receipt." So she sends it. I almost want to attach it to show you how crappy it looked. The top of the paper was a computer print out of some screen showing geographical data on Shawndra and us. Then under that they hand wrote extremely sloppy (Issac could hardly even understand it) the list of items. And they were very non descriptive. It would say things like 1 towel. Is it a hand towel, is it pretty, does it have holes. Who knows. So I price everything at $1US or 50cents and the clothing at $3US each. The total is $68US. We faxed it back to them today and tried to call to see if they got it. Well no one answered guess they close early on Sat. We will check back first thing Monday.
So on top of the over $300 we spent on getting it shipped we get to spend prob another $40 on importation taxes. We are wondering if sentiment is worth all this.
Now to end saying long story short, here is the lessons learned. If you send anything to Mexico be sure you write a price down that's less than $50. And there is no good way to ship anything to Mexico considering the Mexican postal service sucks.

support group

Ok so here it is check it out. I actually haven't done anything on it yet.

support group

Ok so here it is check it out. I actually haven't done anything on it yet except give a couple of topic ideas.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Comming soon (hopefully)

I originally started this blog to see how much interest I could get for an online support group. I have gotten more people to tell me they would be interested than I thought I would. Most of them have only contacted me via-email but are asking for the site. I think I am up to the task and Issac has agreed that it would be worth the money. I'm thinking once I get it going it will pretty much run its self. (we shall see.) So I'm seeking opinions and ideas about the website and how to get it going. I have a sister that will be helping me a lot but I also would like others ideas. So please comment away.I know I do want it to be interactive and allow people to express their feelings openly, although I will also moderate it because we all know their are those idiots who will take any chance to tear someone down and that is not at all what we are looking for. But for the most part I hope to be able to leave opinions open.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Not getting remarried in Mexico

In one of my previous blogs I talked about how we were thinking that getting remarried here may help us to skip dealing with the U.S. system and the long way of getting our appostille for our Marriage lic. Also we thought it would help with all the name confusion. Well this proved to be a bad idea. We went to ask what we have to do to get married. In Jalisco (the state we live in)if you are to marry a NonMexican Citizen you have to get permission from the secretary of state. That's not what they call it but I think its an equivalent. This person is in Guadalajara and who knows what we would have to say to them to get approval. Also you have to have a birth certificate with an appostille. Well I have my birth cirt here in Mexico and it was not one of the documents we sent to my sister in the States. So we are back to trying to get our Authenticated marriage lic and then the appostille. My sister had already mailed off the request for my daughters birth cirt so now that will happen in two different times. We are just praying that all this takes place before I have to book a last min flight to the states so I dont extend my 180 days. Time is ticking away. Also we are waiting on his uncle to send Issac our bank statements from our account in Mexico City. We havent moved it to here yet because we want my name on the new account and cant do that without our FM3. We need the bank statements for the FM3 application. His uncle works a lot and well hes Mexican and although most days I love the culture sometimes its to lax for me. One min Im ok with all this and I remember who is really in control of my life (God). And the next moment Im in agony dreading the idea of leaving Issac even for a couple weeks right before Christmas, and being 6months preg. Also the idea of spending the money on a last min plan ticket. If we could wait for our visit to the states we could get cheaper tickets. But again (breath Amanda) God is in control and he knows where that money should go and if you need to make a visit in December. So for now my documents are all over the place and we are waiting on all of it. Im trying to be patient. Its funny because after all we have been through and all the waiting from the last 4 years you would think I had gained the patience of Job but no. Im still very much Amanda and wish this was done yesterday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

what others did after Issac visa was denied

After hearing the final verdict our lawyer Katie wrote a letter and sent an e-mail to the Chief of Immigrant Visas in Ciudad Juarez. In this letter she explained that a legal error had been committed with our case. That the officer said that Issac claimed to be a U.S citizen and that there was no proof of this. She explained and showed the documents showing that the Immigration office in St. Louis had previously droped this charge from Issacs case due to their being no evidence and because Issac stated that he did not make this claim.
She received a letter back telling her how a congressional office could contact them and that if she wanted to speak to them she would have to use the Call Center. Well there's a dead end. I have had a few people try and no one has been able to get through on the call center line and it also costs a lot of money. So you get to pay to be on hold for a long time to not get through to anyone.
Katie also sent a letter explaining all of the above to Legal net to request for Advisory Opinion regarding our case. Legal net is an email channel limited to immigration attorneys to inquire about the status of visa applications or request an advisory opinion on the denial of a visa.
Katie also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of state alerting them to our issue.
From all of this inquiry Katie received a letter stating that Issac admitted to the consular officer under oath that he stated orally to an immigration officer at the POE that he was a returning U.S. citizen, and that their was no legal error made.
When we asked Issac about this he said the officer was cruel and asking many repetitive questions and in different ways. Issac is unsure of how the officer came to this conclusion but is certain it was during the confusing part of the interview. So long story short in the end an officer was allowed to treat my husband like a criminal and use cruelty and frustration to confuse him during the interview. To understand this better you should read Issacs story of how the interview went.

My mom also sent a letter, along with pictures to the Consulate, any talk show she could find, many Senators and anyone she thought may listen. For the ones who actually did look into the case they received a letter exactly like Katie's. So without explanation all these people assume that what the consulate says is factual and strait forward. Little do they know of how my husband was treated and talked to on that day.

I wrote a nice letter explaining the hardships and misunderstandings of our case to the Chief of Immigrant Visas in Ciudad Juarez. I explained the ill treatment Issac received and asked why these immigrants are not allowed legal representation inside the consulate. Also I wanted to know why the interviews were not recorded. There is no proof of what this officer says. We all know someone with a badge is not always legit. Anyway he didn't respond so I sent another letter that was a little more harsh and told him what I really thought. And I then received a letter identical to the others that were received.

My sister sent a letter every week for a month or so and then pretty often after that to the consular office. They finally wrote her back sometime in late may 08 or early June 08 with the same response as the other but with one difference. On the letter to Shawndra they said, "but this case is under investigation." I nor Katie had been informed of any investigation. They said in this letter that they would get back to my sister as to what they found. Shawndra has heard nothing since and has written to ask about this "investigation".

Legalities about the Visa apointment

The other two posts on the visa appointment are from Issacs and my point of view as far as how we felt and what we went through. In this post I wanted to put in some of the legalities related to the Visa appointment.
On September 18th, 2006 our lawyer received a letter stating that the National Visa Center had received our case. On this letter it expressed what our next steps would be. I will list them here.
We were to pay the Affidavit of Support fee bill and the Immigrant Visa fee bills in advance of receiving the Instructions Packet and Affidavit of Support form. This must be in cashiers check or money order, the Affidavit of Support Fee Bill was $70, and the Immigrant Visa Fee Bill was $380. I got these cashiers checks to Katie and she mailed them along with and Immigrant Visa Fee Bill bearing the case number.

On October 23 2006 our lawyer Katie received a letter from the National Visa Center stating they had received our fees, along with 6 pages of what we needed to do next. Thank God we had Katie. We actually already had everything ready because she knew what they would be asking for. I will do my best here to explain what all they wanted us to return to them before they would schedule his appointment. I am getting a lot of this wording from the actual letters in case you are wondering where the weird language is from.
1)A complete Affidavit of Support(I-864)form (this form is 8 pages long and contained all information on me possible from the last 3 years)
2)Application for Immigrant Visa (DS-230 Part I) (this was 4 pages long and was some logistical information about Issac for the last 5 years)
3)The sheet that the office had sent bearing the case number and barcode information
4)copies of my pay checks for 2 months, my tax statements for that year, and my W2's for that year.
This information was sent October 30th, 2006 via certified mail for $35.

By November 17th we had heard nothing so I contacted Senator Kit Bonds office to see if they could inquire on our case and ask for them to expedite his appointment date. Katie sent all necessary documents to the Senators office.
December 12, 2006 Katie received a letter from the National Visa Center stating that we had not given them all the necessary documents. Attached was a note that read:
Important Notice: The U.S. Department of State has recently changed the processing of petitions of the U.S. Embassy of Consulate assigned to process your immigrant visa application. The National Visa Center will provide additional assistance to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate by collecting civil documents requested within this checklist letter. NVC will also schedule the immigrant visa interview appointment once your case is qualified, a visa number is available and the U.S. embassy or Consulate has notifies NVC to set an appointment.
More or less this should help to make things go fast for those in the future but has set yet another delay for us.
We were not to send in: A copy of Issacs Mexican Passport, an official copy of our Marriage certificate, A copy of Issacs birth certificate, and a completed copy of the form DS-230 Part II unsigned (it was to be signed at the visa office)(it was a 4 page form with pretty much the same info as on the other form.)
This packet was sent certified Mail on Feb 16th 2007 for only a couple dollars.

On May 3, 2007 our lawyer sent an e-mail asking about Issac visa appointment. She explained that our I-130 was approved by CIS on June 7, 2006, and that on October 30th 2006 we submitted the DS-230 PartI and the I 864. Then when were notified of the change in process we submitted everything else Feb. 16, 2007. She was asking if we kept our place in line after the change in process or if we got put back to the end until the last bit of information was received.

May 4th, 2007 Katie received the reply that we then received multiple times after this when we tried to ask about our visa date. The letter read:
All documentation necessary to complete the National Visa Center's processing has been received. As soon as an interview date has been scheduled, the designated representative of this case (applicant, petitioner, or attorney) will be notified. The US Consulate of General may require additional documentation at the time of the interview.

June 26th, 2007 Katie wrote to Sheila Mileszko (Immigration Liaison)(this was to the U.S. state department) explaining our situation and asking them to enquirer about our appointment. Along with this we attached a Privacy Authorization Form so they knew I was ok with them looking into our case. This was the first of many. We received a letter back from her office directing us to the letter they received from the Visa center. It was quote for quote the same as the letter above.
My mom, my sister, and I all requested for the State offices to look into our case and all three times we received the same exact letter in return.
During this time I moved into a new house and we were sure to alert the office of the address change.
I want to note that at this time Issac had been in Mexico and I in the states for almost a year and a half.
Finally September 28th, 2007 we received the letter giving us the date. An immigrant visa interview was scheduled for Issac at the U.S Embassy/Consulate in Ciudad Juarez on November 1, 2007 at 0730am.
Issacs visa was denied under section 212 (a)(6)(C)(ii). This section states that if you claim to be a U.S. citizen you must be denied a visa without waiver.
For full details of how his actual appointment went read the other posts titled visa appointment.


So far I have posted blogs about us and our story. More about how this situation has affected us personally, mental, spiritually etc. But I also want this blog site to be helpful for those looking for concrete information on the immigration system. So here, I am going to put a list of what all we put together for our I-130. Basically an I-130 is what the U.S. grants to you saying that you and your spouse are legitimately married.
I, Amanda was the u.S. Citgizen Petitioner for Issac my Spouse Beneficiary.
List of Additional Documents in Support of I-130 Petition. This list is in addition to the two four page applications.
1) Copy of Biographical page of U.S. Passport for Petitioner (me)
2) Copy of front and back of Marriage License
3) Copy of letter from Petitioner's (my) gynecologist confirming her pregnancy, dated December 28, 2005
4) Copy of bank account statement, in joint names of Petitioner and Beneficiary, dated March 15, 2005 through April 14, 2005.
5) Copy of Transfer to Tenant Rights, transferring tenancy into joint names of Petitioner (me) and Beneficiary (Issac); with copy of original lease.
6) Copy of bridal registry at Bed Bath & Beyond. (this was to show how "normal" our wedding was)
7) Copy of engagement notice in newspaper (also to prove we were "normal" and excited to share our news with the world)
8) Copy of wedding program (again proving we did the whole shebang)
9)Copies of photographs of Petitioner and Beneficiary together. (This was because I wanted them to see first hand how happy we were together)
10) Documents showing we made a purchase together as a couple on a credit.
Oh and dont forget the check for the fee of $185. Along with a mug shot (passport style) of both of us.

On June 8, 2005 our lawyer turned in this packet along with a letter explaining that Issac was in removal proceedings and we needed a rush on the application. At this time his next hearing for removal proceedings was Ocotober 4, 2005.

On February 15, 2006 our lawyer wrote to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to inquire as to the status of our I-130 because we had heard nothing at this point. She expressed to them that our case had been pending for over 8 months and that we still had not been scheduled for our interview. Our previous hearing in October was delayed to March 7th and our lawyer expressed this also in this letter asking again that we get our interview before this date.

Our Interview was finally scheduled on May 30, 2006 I give specifics of this in another blog. Long story short the lady was very busy and wasn't ashamed to show us we were not her only "thing" to do that day. Some of the things she asked me was when Issac entered, how many children he had (none), where we were married, and if Issacs parents came to the wedding and where and when I met them or his family, also about Issacs work history. They asked Issac our wedding date, my work history, where and when he met my family, when and how he was arrested by INS. They also asked me if I was aware of Issacs status when we married. She wasn't exactly nice and gave us no impression one way or the other what her decision was. She did tell Katie our lawyer that they would try to get our answer to us before Issac had to leave for Mexico.

On June 27, 2006 we received a Notice of Approval of Relative Immigrant visa Petition.
Date petition filed 06-10-2005 date of approval of petition 06-07-2006. This took an entire year.
The letter states;
The visa petition you filed has been approved. The beneficiary for whom you filled has been given the appropriate classification. Note the approval gives no assurance that the beneficiary will automatically be found eligible for visa issuance, admission to the U.S. or adjustment to lawful permanent resident status. Whether the beneficiary gets a visa is decided only when and application is made to a consular office; whether the beneficiary is admitted or adjusts status in the U.S. is decided only when and application is made to an immigration officer.
And the box that was checked was number 8) stating;
The approved I-130 has been sent to the National Visa Center, located at 32 Rochester Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801-2909

And so we had proved to the U.S. government that we got married because we loved each other and not because of legal status.

Issacs voluntary departure date was July 3, 2006 and he was in Mexico.

On September 5,2006 our lawyer Katie began corresponding via e-mail with the National Visa Center to be sure our approval arrived. On September 18, 2006 she received and e-mail stating: The National Visa Center has received your inquiry regarding Issac Hernandez. After searching our records, no information was found regarding this case. Please contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to verify the status of this petition.
On September 27th Katie received the letter stating that the National Visa Center had received our immigrant visa case. And so started our journey toward a Visa appointment for the U.S. I will title that post legalities of the Visa appointment.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Whats in a name

When Issac and I went to get our Marriage lic in the states we encountered a nice lady behind the counter who had a gold heart on her front tooth. Gotta love St. Louis. She seemed to enjoy her job anyway. She was helping us fill out the form when she asked what last name I was to take. I said Hernandez. She said no you either take the whole last name on his ID, keep yours or hyphenate his whole last name with your last name. Well I was excited to take my fiances last name so I said ok Ill be Hernandez-Franco. So I got my name changed on everything like most newlyweds do. I did keep my old passport because that's just to much of a pain to change. When I had Alana I gave her what was now mine and Issac's legal last name. 
Now back in Mexico when we were in the doctors office for our OB visit the doctor crossed his brow and said, "Where are your parents from Amanda." I crossed my brow and said, "Missouri" I was thinking what the heck is my OB asking that for. The light then when on. AHHHH hes looking at my last name. In case you don't know in Mexico people keep their fathers last name and mothers last name. This does not change when they get married. So here this doctor is looking a very white American with that last name. I quickly nudge Issac and say,"Explain my last name." Issac then realizes the confusion and quickly explains to the doctor.
The other day we were filling out our application for Alana and I to get our FM3. They ask your father and mothers names, and then put a line for other names. And after reading some other blogs about the FM3 process I realize they will most likely make my ID under the name Seyer-Wicker.  So Issac and I decided we would call the immigration office to decide what to put on these lines and what is the best option from here.
At this point we have decided to get remarried here as to acquire a legal marriage lic in Spanish from Mexico and not have to go through as much U.S. bureaucracy to get ours from there. When we go I will produce my passport and birth cirt which has me as Amanda Seyer. And when we register Alana we will show the same items.

Therefor in the U.S. our legal names will be Hernandez-Franco, and in Mexico my legal name will be Seyer-Wicker and Alana will be -Seyer, along with our other kids.

Marriage Lic Apostille/Just get married

As I said in "A notary is a notary" My sister sent off for our Authenticated Marriage Lic.(we now know this is what its called). She mailed it off with our request, and a check for $10. She received a letter in the mail on Sat saying that her request was not granted due to there being no fee with the request. AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Seriously this is ridiculous. Needless to say my sister is not a happy camper, nor I. She sent an e-mail (a sweet one Im sure) regarding this issue. Because of the time delay this will now cause, Issac and I have decided to get remarried here in Mexico and forget the Apostille for the lic in the states. Sure why not right maybe it can be romantic. We have actually found that this may help with our name issue anyway. (I will put this in a diff blog called whats in a name). So now Shawndra is going to send a new request to the Secretary of state to get the Apostille for Alanas birth cirt. and hopefully we will have those documents in our hands in a couple weeks. Aside from that now Issac and I just have to get married again and he needs to write his letters. So Im getting remarried in the next coming weeks. :) Pray for now cold feet. lol.