In the past thirteen years, it's amazing to think of all the things that I've done - graduated college, become accomplished in my career, created my own family of friends, married the love of my life, bought my first home....and there's so much more.
|With my little brother, Warren, who also moved to CA.|
I'll say that staying here legally is hard work. Even after getting married, the immunizations that are required in order to file for the temporary green card seem crazy. I had to pay an INS approved doctor $500 to give me 6 shots, a TB test and draw blood. It's not hard to think of a million FUN things that $500 could be used for instead!
At the end of the day though, I'm finally done and can breathe that sigh of relief knowing that it was all worth it. I no longer have to worry about visa expirations, having to turn over my passport to the U.S. Embassy in a foreign country so they can stick bits of paper in it, worry about not being able to board a plane to re-enter the country... Life is good! The final step in my process will be applying for citizenship and while I will be doing that some time in the next couple of years, the pressure is off and I no longer have an immigration clock ticking over my head.
I've never been so grateful for all the support I've received from my family, close friends, and co-workers throughout this process. They've provided unconditional love and belief that I could do it, even when it just all seemed like too much. I'm a lucky girl indeed.