Friday, November 25, 2011

What are you thankful for?

Today, on the day after Thanksgiving, has got me thinking about what I am thankful for this year.  I have a new outlook on life and a different set of priorities from years past, and my new perspective might help someone out there discover something that they can be thankful for.

1)    I am thankful for the opportunity to finally see an end to all this misery and heartbreak.  Our future is still currently up in the air and rides on the shoulders of an immigration judge, but even knowing that the end of this journey is near is a blessing.  Whatever the outcome may be, we will face it united, as a family.
2)    I am thankful that Alberto is in Minnesota, even though he has been residing in county jails.  June of this year was the first time we had seen one another face to face in 1 year and 2 months.  Since then Ashley has come to know her father in a way that talking on the phone and looking at pictures never could. 
3)    I am thankful that Alberto has rediscovered his faith in God.  Faith has the power to move mountains and gives us the strength to take whatever life throws at us.  He is well on his way to becoming the man that I knew he could be, someone to admire and be proud of.
4)    I am thankful to be employed.  I work with people that care and support each other in the good time and the bad.  I feel blessed that I was guided to apply at this organization, and only more so to become a full-time employee.
5)    I am thankful for my family; my parents, my siblings, and my extended family.  It is amazing how a family will rally around a member that is in need of support when they need it the most.  There are people in my family who are anti-immigration, but those are the people I have largely learned to ignore from a young age.
6)    I am thankful that my daughter loves me, even though I have not always been the best mother I can be.  It pains me to admit that I cannot remember the first year of Ashley's life and though I may never forgive myself for that, she loves me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rollercoaster of Life

So the sentencing hearing went as expected yesterday, actually better than I was anticipating.  Alberto was sentenced to 1 year plus 1 day just as the probation officer had told me.  Something I didn’t expect was the Probation officer didn’t alter her report to include the correct dates that I had given her last Wednesday, so when Brian let me read the report before the hearing I corrected multiple inaccuracies.  Then Brian stated all of the changes I had made to the report, telling the Judge that ‘his client has never been 110% with dates’.  It was at this point when the prosecutor looked over at me and smirked.  We all know our strengths and weaknesses and dates just happen to be one of Alberto’s weaknesses.  Alberto was ‘released’ at the conclusion of the hearing but of course he didn’t go anywhere because of the immigration hold.

Lance called me on his way back from ICE and told me that immigration has Alberto marked as having been paroled into the United States.  He doesn’t know why they would have done that, but he is certain that Alberto will need another hearing which could be this week, but will be most likely next week.  I had a pounding headache at the time so I don’t remember much of what he said and I asked him to email me the details he discovered.  His plan was to follow up with the person in charge of Alberto’s case at ICE today to get an idea of a timeline for preparation.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Change will commence in…

Here we are again on the precipice of change only this time I don’t know exactly what to expect and that scares me.  Alberto’s probation officer called me on Wednesday to talk to me about him.  I didn’t expect her to have so many questions and I hope I was able to create a picture of my husband clearly in her mind.  The probation officer was personable and soft-spoken and I definitely hadn’t expected that so I suppose I told her more than she expected.  I talked about our relationship and how like any normal couple we’ve had our disagreements, but we always talk it through.  I’ve never been afraid of Alberto nor do I believe him to be capable of violence.  I acknowledged that my brother-in-law Caña is a volatile, violent man and I had never signs of the same behaviors in Alberto.  We discussed his use of alcohol and I described Alberto as a social drinker who knows his limit.  She asked about his temperament, if he had any mental illnesses, would I trust him with our daughter and other questions along the same line.  Then at the end of all this, she wanted to know why Alberto left the country in 2008.  I gave her the full story, with nothing omitted, though I could hear the pain in my own voice.  I spoke of the race to keep Alberto here to face the charges, his compliance with the orders of the immigration judge, and the painful kick in the gut when we received that approval a day too late.  I spoke of the battle to get our case processed by the USCIS and the invocation of my *favorite* Senator that finally gave us results.  I spoke of the anticipation of the visa appointment, and the gut wrenching pain when he was denied the second appointment.  I offered to bring in the documentation for her review to which she replied it wasn’t necessary, but this information was extremely important to her and his case.

The probation officer told me to expect Alberto to receive a stayed sentenced for the minimum possible; one year plus 1 day.  He would have 5 years of probation with no conditions imposed because this charge, though a felony, was still minor in nature.  She stated that any time he was still in jail for on the immigration hold would count towards his criminal sentence and if he served 2/3 of his sentence by the time we were able to obtain his release from immigration’s grasp, his obligation to Hennepin County would have been fulfilled. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Interesting Questionnaire

Another interesting questionnaire going around!  Since these are a good way to get to know each other better, I would like to invite anyone else who wants to join in. I first found this questionnaire with Lisa over at From One Country To Another. Check out her fun answers, and I hope to see yours!

What was the first thing I noticed of my husband's when I met him?
His deep brown eyes, and cute butt! (I'd never seen corduroys look so good!)

Where would I like to go on a honeymoon?
Spain would be an awesome destination, but as long as mi bizcochito was with me the destination wouldn’t matter.

Do I consider myself an adventurous person?
I guess so, at least more so than my husband.  I like to travel and try new things.

Beach or pool?
It’s all about location.  Typically pool though

Do you have a secret you've never shared with anybody?
I imagine I do, however it’s so secret I forgot what it was!

Summer or winter?

Kisses or hugs?

Sweet or salty?

Strawberry or chocolate?

Black or white?

Favorite color?
Purple, Green, or Blue  (I’m adventurous and indecisive)

Your favorite table game?
Monopoly  (Favorite game memory was the night I taught Alberto found to play…  I still maintain that he cheated!)

What's your favorite drink?
Crystal Light; Wild Strawberry!

What is your favorite [alcoholic] beverage?
I have never drank without getting violently ill on numerous occaisions, so I stopped trying.  Less than a swallow should not make someone that sick...

What is your favorite movie?
Robin Hood: Men in Tights ftw!

Your favorite month?

What's the first thing you think about when you wake up?
Oh good God it’s morning already?!  I just got to sleep two hours ago…

Would you forgive infidelity on the part of your spouse?
Love forgives all things, however I honestly don’t know if I could forgive that particular offense.  Let’s hope I never have to find out…

How many rings before you answer the phone?
Depends on how long it takes me to decide if I want to talk to you.

Do you know how to keep secrets?
Yes, but apparently I spill the beans when I talk in my sleep…

Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

Do you tell your honest age?
What is the point in lying?  If you don’t lie, you don’t have to remember what you’ve said.

What's under your bed?
Dust and possibly a refugee camp of spiders that I haven’t located yet.

Have you missed school or work due to the weather?
Minnesota + Winter = Yes

How long have you had this blog?
May of 2011, so about 6 months


Friday, November 11, 2011

Interpersonal Relationships

Dear readers, I have to admit I’m a little apprehensive of what the future holds for us.  Above and beyond the legal and immigration issues, I’m experiencing a whole different type of anxiety I hadn’t anticipated.  How am I going to make the transition back to an intimate relationship with my husband?  Will I acclimate to his snoring easily or will I want to smother him with a pillow after the first few nights?  I also remember him being a cover hog and a restless sleeper when over tired.  I know it shouldn’t be an issue but I’m still the same weight as I was after Ashley was born.  It makes me uncomfortable knowing that although I haven’t gotten any worse, I definitely have not gotten any better.  Alberto says that how we look outside doesn’t matter because it’s what we have in our hearts that makes us truly beautiful, which is utterly amazing coming from him because he has never talked like that before. 

To be truthful he has never been one to declare his feelings verbally, so you could say I went through most of our relationship guessing how he felt.  I can count on my fingers and toes the number of times I can remember him saying “Te amo” before he left for Mexico and still have digits to spare!  Alberto is the reason I always said ‘Mexican men are emotionally constipated’ which I usually follow up with some quip about how alcohol is a natural laxative for this affliction.  The only time I can remember Alberto committing a spontaneous PDA was when he’d been drinking and grabbed my posterior in front of his brother.  Considering I had just saved him from getting carted off to jail for being a moron, it was the least of my worries. This time he has spent in jail has been good for him because he’s learning to express what he would never say before.