I know I haven't shared all of the details of our story yet, but I wanted to talk a little about how hard it is being away from my husband. Because of his current immigration status, he is stuck in Mexico. I, on the other hand, am in Ohio with my mom, who has been battling complications from Grave's Disease. My boys are with me for the summer. (They live with their dad during the school year, because I knew they would be miserable in Mexico.) Since Jorge couldn't come with me, I am here and he is three thousand miles away!
If you have never been through this yourself, you cannot imagine the heartache of being separated like this. Knowing that your own government doesn't place a high enough value on families to keep them together doesn't give one much confidence! A lot of people think that once an immigrant has residency, they can't be deported. This simply isn't true. Jorge had residency for several years, and he was still deported. He was not guilty of a violent crime- most people who know a little bit about immigration think that's the only way a resident can be deported. That is also not true! As a matter of fact, Jorge fell in a gray area- if he had been here illegally, he could have stayed. If he would have had his residency for SEVEN MONTHS longer than he'd had it, he could have stayed. As it is, he was given something called voluntary departure, or VD, because the judge had a soft heart and wanted him to be able to come see his kids. We were told that he could reapply for his visa after six months in Mexico. But we are scared about that, because several people have told us that they were told the same thing, only to be told when they applied that they had to wait THREE YEARS to apply... No one seems to be able to clear this up for us, so until we go for our appointment, we have no answers...
Being here while he is there is horrible. We talk every night, one way or another. I was using calling cards to call him, but then I set up skype so I could call Mexico, and that has worked for us. Problem was, he couldn't call ME on it. Last week we remedied that by adding a Mexican skype number to our account, and I set up call forwarding so when he calls, I don't have to be at the computer. Now it rings into my cell phone and it almost feels like we are just a normal couple, apart for a few days... That is, until I think about how long it has been since he has kissed me. Or when the last time was that we cuddled and watched a movie. Or had dinner together. Or any number of other mundane things people usually take for granted! And it will be almost six weeks before I see him again- 39 days, if I manage to buy my ticket home next week at the right price... It may not sound like long to you, but when your heart is in another country and you feel like you can't live without it, six weeks seems like an eternity!!!
Sometimes when we talk, I cry. Hearing his voice is like balm to my soul, but sometimes the missing is so painful! Yesterday was one of those really painful days, and today wasn't easy either, but hearing his voice tonight, and the sweet words he said, hearing him tell me how much he loves me and that everything is going to be ok- well, it helped a lot. The tears tonight weren't so much tears of pain as they were tears of joy and healing- joy at hearing his voice, and healing of the rough emotions from yesterday and today.
I think part of what made today hard- but somehow so exciting at the same time- was seeing pictures of him that his brother posted online. I wasn't there on father's day, but the whole family got together and Tony was kind enough to send me the pictures he took of Jorge. Seeing my husband's face after all this time- it was like a knife to my heart because it made me miss him so much, but it also made me laugh with the sheer joy of seeing his face again! I am not sure if that makes sense to anyone who has never been through this, but that's how it is for me. I miss him so much it physically hurts!
Tonight we talked for 45 minutes, and it felt so good to laugh and joke with him, and remember things we have done together... Tomorrow he is going with a group of guys to the stadium where the PanAmerica Cup soccer games will be played this year. They are going to put on a play for about 600 people, and the Jorge will be giving his testimony. His first time speaking in front of a crowd that size, and I will miss it!!! I know he is going to do an amazing job- he loves being in front of people and he loves to share the Word, so he will be right in his element. I just wish I could be there for this mile-stone event...
I want to put a human face on the immigration issue, for those of you reading this who don't know much about it or who think it only affects "immigrants." I want you to know how much it hurts the families who's hearts are on both sides of the border. I am American- my husband is Mexican. Our nations are separated by an imaginary line across a really big desert. But there is nothing that can separate our hearts!!!