Friday, April 13, 2007

Step One Point Five

It's filed. My daughter's petition is now officially with the US Embassy and we are now tasked with the part that requires patience - the waiting.

Today was uneventful. Unlike yesterday. The difference? My attitude mostly. I went there completely surrendered to whatever was going to come at me. My God is in control! I repeated to myself over and over.

I disarmed the guards with my smile, surrendered all three of my electronic devices - two mobile phones and my iPod - at the security check, sat down at the DHS and waited for numbers to be distributed, and went to the window when it was my turn.

Same officer. Better mood. I made small talk, which I routinely do, and I was off to pay the required fees.

After a stop at the American Services section, an hour later I was out the door and on my way to work.

Lessons learned today:

Hundreds of Filipinos line up at the US Embassy in Manila everyday. Each one wanting, or needing, to go to America. All walks of life are represented in the long lines and waiting areas: the ultra-rich, the well-educated, the uncultured, the regular Juans and even the poor; all hoping to get their taste of the US. Each one lining up at the crack of dawn to face their dreams, or dread, of sitting across the powers at the embassy that will decide their fate.

If there is a will, there are many ways. My goal is to save money and taking cabs for each trip to the embassy is starting to burn a hole in my pretty purse(s). Today, I discovered an alternative form of transportation in the form of a neighborhood shuttle. Not only did I save on travel expenses, I got to clock in a good number of steps on my trusty pedometer from my five block walk (7,373 steps so far and the day is far from over!). As of last count, I now know three routes to the embassy. Admittedly, cabs are the fastest way to get there.

Someone knows more than me. Two of my good friends, R and J, are way ahead of me in the game and the ones who pushed me to follow their lead. Because of their lessons learned, I have a much clearer path to walk on. And because they have been where I now am, I truly appreciate the encouragement and comfort they provide when they say, "We understand how you feel!" The best part is having someone tell me, "Here's what you need to do next..."

People are thinking the world of K and I. My pastors and friends are all cheering us on through this. The scriptures they share and the little smiley faces they send to my mobile keep me propped up. Without them, and my new friends in the blogosphere and on Twitter, this journey would be a significantly bigger challenge.

K and I have officially begun altering the course of our existence. It hasn't fully set in that the people we love dearly - our friends and family in Manila - will be left behind. I refuse to dwell on the thought that potentially, we may never see them again. Thank God for cyberspace, our world is much smaller and people are only a website, a chat, a Skype call, and a Twit away. Nevertheless, I sigh at the possibility.

Staff raised like Moses, we now wait for God to do the rest. Whatever that may be.

song playing on my ipod: you're all i have by snow patrol


sexy mom said...

God is so good--and like you, i put everything in His hands. in fact, i have BLIND FAITH!

i didn't realize people still go on long lines in the US Embassy. i thought everything is now by appointment and drop box.

Thelma said...

hi sexy mom! yes He is, indeed. now to wait for what He has next. pray with us!

i think the drop box is for non-immigrant visas... i'm not sure since i've never had to apply for one. the long lines i saw were for people migrating to the US. everyone there actually had appointments and numbers...