Monday, November 18, 2013

8518 Miles

As a naturalized American, one of the rights bestowed upon me is the ability to “sponsor” my parents.  I’ve always heard the term “sponsor” and it is probably the easiest term for what actually takes place. “Sponsorship” for my parents meant pouring over instructions on how to fill out several applications. These applications included an I-130, an I-485 and an I-765. The I-130 is a Petition for Alien Relative. This application proves my relationship to the individual being sponsored. The I-765 is an Application for Employment Authorization. This allows for a work permit to be issued prior the approval of the other two applications. The I-485 is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This is the longer of the other two since it is for the “green card”. The I-485 cannot be progressed without the approval of the I-130. Within these 3 applications is an I-693, which is a medical examination that has to be filled out by a state authorized physician and submitted to USCIS sealed. This may require the applicant to obtain vaccines depending on the antibodies that show up in the blood test. There is another form called a G-325A, which collects biographical data for the applicant. There is also an I-864 which is an Affidavit of Support for the applicant. This ensures that the sponsor will be able to financially support the applicant. At the time we completed these documents I was a stay at home mom. We filled out an I-864A which is a Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member. Since I was putting “zero” as my household income on the I-864. I had to be able to list my husband’s income.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In Their Desperation

In their desperation, they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand – Alfred, The Dark Knight 

I thought of this recently because I’ve been thinking about a couple of things with regard to immigration, the “why” and also the “how” of when the act of migration is actually completed.

This past summer I made contact and re-connected with my cousin while working on my parent's change of status applications. I referred to her in a previous entry as my Gemini twin. Our families have not connected in a long time for reasons I will not address in this blog. I was trying to be casual about asking if she knew anyone in Lagonoy, a province in the Philippines where we use to vacation. Lagonoy is also the province where my mother was born and my cousin’s grandmother was born. They are sisters and my cousin and I are actually a generation apart although we are close in age. Lagonoy is rural and is approximately 267 miles away from Metro Manila. Lagonoy is the place where I had to dig up information about the beginnings of my mother from 8,518 miles away (according to Google) from my home in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Face Off Part I

In my 20's I was a fan of the WB. I watched Charmed, Roswell and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my college roommate.  I’m not sure what resonated with us, the music, the characters themselves and fascination with all things occult?  I cringe now 15 years later watching Charmed at the YMCA while working out but I do it anyway. I am reminded of my time with my roommate. 

I was thinking of an episode of Charmed where the cast went into this alternate universe to find themselves cast as “the bad guys” rather than the good guys. In addition to being dressed in black leather, eye liner and black lipstick, they actually went around doing evil rather than good. In the course of the episode, both sides found themselves working together for a common cause. In the world of the good guys, someone did an extraordinarily good thing. In order to maintain the balance of their worlds, one individual in the alternate universe had to do “a great evil”. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gemini Twins

I have been considering the issue of duality. At the very surface level, I am a Gemini, 2 sided, 2 faces. This seems to be an ongoing theme in my life and something that I seek (sometimes unknowingly) and something that I process continuously. It’s probably why I love Batman/Bruce Wayne so much. I love the tragedy of an individual that channeled his pain/rage/anger/madness into something that beat back evil with his bare hands. Both Batman and Bruce Wayne are masks and hopefully somewhere in between is just a man/soul. Both masks are his demise because neither is sustainable. Can one person, although extraordinary, really fight evil?

I have also worn many masks. Some have come to pass. I use to pretend to be American. I mimicked an accent and a demeanor that I thought characteristic of American children. I did this in my adolescence and college years and even during my 20s. I did it to fit into a way of life as a means of survival. If children can make fun of you for having the wrong set of clothes, imagine what they will say about cultural differences? I couldn’t hide it all the time. Imagine what the kids said over liverwurst sandwiches and hopia (a Chinese/Filipino pastry) in the lunchroom. I also couldn’t hide a mindset. It is taking a mountain to change this and hopefully I can cover this during a different entry. This has been on my mind as well.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Faith Rewarded

Truth isn't enough. Sometimes people deserve more. People deserve to have their faith rewarded. - The Dark Knight

 This past Friday was pretty awesome. I logged on to the website and saw that the I-130 applications for my parents have been approved. These applications verify my relationship with my parents. when I checked the status of my dad's permanent resident card (also known as a "green card"), it says that it was produced and was being shipped. My mom on the other hand has to get a police clearance or a certificate of good conduct. Her biometrics (finger prints) were not accepted. She has always had super dry hands and although she has gone twice to have them done, it just didn't take. This is the last step before they also accept her I-485 (adjustment of status) application.

So after all this time, their belief that our time here, good and bad, is paying off. They, we, are now legitimate in the eyes of the law. Legitimate as people, a family, and no longer looking over our shoulder fearing that knock on the door that might destroy our lives here.

Friday, September 27, 2013


Who am I and what I am doing here? I guess this is practice for a neaurotic chickenshit writer that won't write for anyone else other than herself. I know that feel more whole and more like the person I should be when I write. I guess this blog, although only for myself, is a path to that person. Otherwise, I am mom, writer, wife and former undocumented Alien. This is how I view the world, anger management and how I will make it through. I no longer pay for a therapist so for the time being, this unpublished blog will have to do. It gets cumbersome to whip out the cute little notebook and write. People always want to know what you are writing about. Its usually me bitching about things, people and circumstances. I don't want to make this blog a bitchfest though. At least I will attempt to channel my world intake with some kind of thoughtful output so I'm not a hot mess when all is said and done. I'd like to think that there's someone out there reading me (emphasis on the words neurotic and chickenshit). Some day I'll hit that publish button but for now, just wanted to introduce myself and start off the right way.