The long wait

Today marks 2 months since I returned to the US from China. I can honestly say it did change my life and the way I look at the world. Even though I was immensely comfortable there, I was still an outsider. They do things differently, approach daily life with a different attitude, and eat a lot of spicy food most of the time.

Ok, the last bit was a joke, but even in Shenzhen, more known for bland food, it was still a minefield for my unprepared palate. Rachel has since taught me how to ask if food is not spicy in Chinese , but I don’t know how much good that would do me, as what might not seem spicy to the server, could still make me cry.

Anyway, I miss China. Ten days was not enough for me and I feel I just got a snippet of what there was to see. I guess you could compare it to going to New York city for a week. Sure there’s a lot you could do, but you still couldn’t approach what it’s like to really experience the place.

And just spending a week in New York city doesn’t tell you about the rest of the US, neither does spending ten days in Shenzhen tell you anything about China. I’d really like to spend a year or more there, and travel all over the country. I know that could be really uncomfortable at times, and could reek havoc on my digestive system, but still, it’s something I really want to do.

Besides, I really miss my sweet Rachel. I miss her every day. Each day past is another day I could have spent with her, and it’s lost to eternity now. Each day I don’t want to lose another day, and I’ve been saying that every day for two months.

Unfortunately, I can’t just jump on a plane and go, and simply stay there for a while. It’s tempting every time I get paid to think, I could just buy a ticket and go today, but I can’t. The responsibilities of being an adult.

It’s just as hard for her. She’s tired of hugging her laptop to say goodnight to me, and having a man that’s just a voice on the other end of a phone line. We both want to do something to speed things up, and we’re both doing everything we can, but at this point, there’s nothing more that we can think of. Just waiting.

I look up my case status on the USCIS site several times a day, hoping it will magically change to “approved” but it’s always the same… Next week will be 6 months since it’s been received by the USCIS. It only takes 15 minutes to approve a petition, and when our turn comes, then we can be excited, and begin the next long wait.

Yes, the approval is just the next step. Then the petition get’s sent to the embassy in China, we file some more paperwork, and she has an in-person interview. So even once the approval happens, it could still be another 3 or more months before she can actually come here.

It’s hard to think about getting married when you have no idea when you can get married. There’s no way we can set a date until the petition is complete.

I think it would be easier for me to move there (not that it’s easy to move to China… It’s actually quite difficult, unless you are an English teacher.  I know everyone would think I would think I would be crazy to do that, but I also suspect those people don’t quite understand how hard it is every day to miss someone so much and can’t be together. Anything you can do to shorten the time, you will do, just to get one more hug.

Until then, I keep looking for solutions, hoping for a break.


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