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Sunday, April 10, 2005

The great abyss

I'm tired of Seattle. I'm tired of being away from my love. She's in Toronto, and I'm here and we've both been waiting for over two years for my permanent residence application to go through. Of course, there are no promises with immigration. Except the promise that you will wait. And wait we have.

First you get all of your application materials together, which is time consuming, nerve-wracking and full of self-doubt. Gather your licenses and passports and credit card statements and phone records and pictures and videos and emails and cards and letters and ticket stubs accounting for the 100,000 miles you both have travelled keeping love alive everything you can think of that will tell someone with power over you that you have a family-class level case. Then fill out application after application and be very careful to follow the directions to the letter. Read all the guidelines and then read them again. Read case law - don't make the same mistakes others have - they are there to guide you.

Then comes the great abyss. For us it was somewhere in Buffalo, NY. A case number is assigned and then you watch the website to monitor processing times. They are only estimates.

In the meantime, flights and visits back and forth, bad food, sketchy Air Canada service, too many colds from too many strangers on too many flights, and too many questions from too many immigration officers. The suitcase is either too big or too small, as we ferry pieces of each other back and forth.

In the meantime, don't make plans - you can't do it. Save yourself the frustration. You are in limbo. We are in limbo. It's the greatest pressure on our relationship and at times it tears us at the seams - we want so much to be able to be like normal couples who can makes plans for their future and try and make them come true, but in this time of living inthe abyss, no plans can be made, because plans involve time and we don't know when that time will come.

If God wasn't there with us in this time of waiting, as we wander this dessert of immigration, I honestly don't know what we would do.

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