Last week I was in the small village shop where my husband lives in North Wales getting a few stamps and things. The woman behind the postal counter actually remembered me because I wrote a blog post when Duvain and I got married. I'm embarrassed to think how little update my blog these last few years. But how cool to know that someone across the world, nearly 5,000 miles away took the time to read about my life and the day that mattered so much to me. (If you're reading this, HI!!)
I've made the decision to sort of drop off the Internet in some ways. I still have Twitter but I deleted the app from my phone. I obviously don't blog with any consistency. I do get on Instagram and Facebook often enough to be in the know but that's about it. I made the decision to cut back because I want to focus on real life, the life that's live and happening right now and not through a little phone screen or computer screen.
Plus, immigrating a husband to the US, having a teenager with a boat load of school issues and having a kindergartner...well these things have taken over. They are my priority, as they should be.
Speaking of my immigration husband! His immigration interview in London two weeks ago went smashingly well and it was such a smooth process we both left the US Embassy feeling a little dumbfounded. I was so fortunate to meet him in London even though I didn't need to be there at all. But I felt like I needed to support my love in this big change in our lives and especially his.
Duvain should get his passport with his immigrant visa in the mail next week if all goes planned. He'll need to enter the country by November 9th to avoid having to do the process all over again so we've got a tentative plan for me to go over there again for our first wedding anniversary (August 17th) and stay in the same hotel we stayed in the night we got married. Then I'll hang out there for a few weeks and he'll come back with me at the end of August. (Interesting side note: In the 3.5 years we've been together we've never seen each other on my birthday! Hopefully this will be the year it finally happens!)
I'm not sure I can adequately express how intensely difficult the immigration process is. It's not been too terribly difficult in the legal and process way. We choose not to hire and attorney to save money and it's been fairly straight forward for the most part. A little hiccup here and there but nothing I felt like we needed an attorney for. But. The emotional and separation side of immigration has been very, very difficult. It all sounds so romantic to a lot of people... American girl meets a Brit. They fall in love, travel back and forth between their countries, get married and then Brit immigrates to the US. There's so much more that I can't even really begin to describe. Being so far from the one you've picked is awful and horrible for the most part. I had to remind myself often that at least my love wasn't in the military in some dangerous, secretive place where I wouldn't hear from him for weeks or months at a time. For that I know I'm lucky. The separation, time difference and my own stupid brain has made it quite difficult. Recently I realized I was picking fights over nothing because I was wrought with stress and anxiety and missing my husband. How ridiculous is that! Start a fight because you miss your spouse!
I am so happy to have an end in sight. Or rather a beginning in sight. I can't wait to be able to make plans with Duvain and know that he'll be here. I can't wait to get to everyday married life and see what is in store for our family. I just can't wait to be together on a regular basis. Here we go, Big Dee, it's the adventure of a lifetime about to really get started!
I also realize I haven't updated about Derick and his schooling. He was supposed to graduate this year but will be delayed about a year. In February I hired the best attorney in the area who specializes in getting kids help when school districts have failed them. Amazingly the school have FINALLY made efforts to get the testing and help that Derick has needed for his entire high school career. Hiring an attorney was a difficult decision because I felt enormous parental guilt that it was my fault somehow (why do we parents do this to ourselves?). But I tell you, it was THE BEST decision! Derick passed every class this school year and he got several credit by exams and the school agreed to free summer school (normally around $250 a semester) to further help Derick catch up.
Derick turns 18 TOMORROW OH MY GOD so it's now entirely up to him if he continues to keep going to school. He's not said he doesn't want to go so that's a positive sign. He also know the consequences if he chooses to not finish school (mom doesn't run a free B&B). I am so proud of Derick and I can tell he's feeling better about himself, too. This next year will be the real test but I think he's up for it. He's got a HUGE group of people behind him cheering him on and offering him all the assistance he needs. I just really hope he takes advantage of all the opportunities he's being given.
Lastly, Jackson graduate kindergarten! He's a proud first grader! He's had a few behavior issues in school that we're working on and I hope to get a good team of people around him, too, to help him on his journey.
You know the biggest lesson I've learned recently? Life is all about doing it as a team. I would be no where if it wasn't for Duvain, my family and my friends. The people that surround me are the reason I function and am well. Thanks a million to you if you're reading this. You are the reason I am well.
(A special shout out to Jess and her husband Willy who helped me get to the UK! Thank you guys SO MUCH!!)