So, as many of you have heard, the first big step of our immigration process has been APPROVED! It’s a huge weight off our shoulders and a really exciting step for Billy and I.
Unfortunately, the weight that was lifted has just been replaced with the next few steps we have to take. There is still a bit more paperwork and of COURSE a lot more money that goes into the process. So it is not over yet, but it is surely getting there.
A lot of you have wondered what this means for us, so I’d love to take this time and explain the general idea of what we are going through.
The step we just completed was essentially a petition for Billy to come to the states. It was us submitting our information, kind of like putting our name on a waiting list. They checked us out, made sure our we are who we say we are and all that. The news we just received basically told us “we checked you out, you’re set to apply for the green card” I guess that news takes close to 8 months to decide…but who’s counting. *sigh*
Now what we need to do is send in all of our information. For Billy, that means police and medical checks. We both need to send in passport information and birth certificates. We need to send in our marriage certificate. I have to send in all of my tax information to show that I can support him moving to the states, even though he’s making more than me. But I am technically responsible for Billy so it’s a matter of making sure we are financially sound and won’t mooch of the government. (there’s a LOT I could say right here that I’m just going to leave alone). Between each step there is a few weeks of waiting. Right now our case is being transferred from USCIS to NVC, and even that takes a few weeks. We have been told it could take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months. Even 6 months but I’m just going to pretend I didn’t hear that one.
That all gets submitted, and then they send us a date for our interview. The interview is the BIG MOMENT. In that very moment the decision is made if he gets approved or not.
it’ll look a lot like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWXst70GO5U
After that- we get to FINALLY BE DONE with all of this. It’ll be the most glorious day in HISTORY. Until then, please keep us in our prayers. This next part of immigration is frustrating because it’s a lot of money and a lot of paperwork that is just time consuming. And we have heard that the place we are sending our information is pretty backed up.
Some things you could keep us in your thoughts and prayers for:
*Clear direction in what we need to do. There’s a lot of information and we aren’t using a lawyer so just pray for protection that we do the right thing!
*Grace for this time apart. It’s not getting any easier :-/. We won’t be able to spend Christmas together on top of it.
*Favor in the time process for these next steps. That all of this would happen supernaturally quick!
If I have your attention, I’d like to take this time and share a story that has been an amazing testimony that God has not forgotten Billy and I. He is aware and involved even though a lot of the time it hasn’t felt like it.
I have gotten Tammy Baldwin’s office involved in keeping track of our case. I called her early December and she was able to tell me that our case was with an agent- but we would hear from them in 30-45 days. That was putting us into January. And seeing as we thought we were going to hear about our approval early November, this was not good news. It really took the wind out of my sails. I realized I was having a really hard time trusting God to show up and take care of us. I know that He does, and that He is faithful, because I have heard so many stories. But I was really lacking expectation of Him in MY life. With that being said, my mom called my family together, Billy being on Skype, for a family prayer the night of the 17th. She felt strongly convicted that we haven’t really gotten together like this as a family to pray, that we all have been praying separately The prayer time was really uplifting and I was able to really express my lack of trust. I told God “I don’t know if I can trust you, I don’t want to ask you to intervene because I’m so scared of being let down. But I am choosing to trust you.” I was crying and literally so scared of praying that prayer. I asked Him to just give us a sign that we are not forgotten.
The next day, Billy and I were skyping. He said “you know Ash, I think it’s going to come tomorrow.” I just rolled my eyes and said “oooookay.” Even after the prayer I still had a lot of hesitancy in my heart toward anything too miraculous. The next day…I wake up and check my e-mail. There was an e-mail from USCIS saying that they had approved our 1-130 the day before. I literally have not gotten out of bed that fast since the day of our wedding. It was literally less than 12 hours after we had prayed. We had prayed late at night and I woke up pretty early, so I’m not even sure if anyone was working at the Immigration Office during the time they said it was approved.
It’s almost storybook perfect how God works. I will definitely use this testimony for my days to come and I thank Him for giving me an encounter with how much I can trust in Him. Call it luck, call it coincidence, but I call it God!
thanks for reading xx