Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Things First.

'USCIS To Issue Redesigned Green Card'Image via WikipediaForgive me for not blogging sooner, I'd don't think I've been so busy since...well since I don't know when.  My every waking moment has been all about our new website StageNStream.com and live streaming theatre from the Hollywood Fringe.  I'm certain I'll blog about that later, but first we have hit a monumentous moment in out relocation to America.


I can't really explain what that means to us.  We hid, or coped with, the stress of not being permanent residents for two and half years.  It became just a 'normal' frustration, always there and seemingly, out of our control.  At times we felt foolish for buying our house, how stupid to buy a house in a country where you aren't even considered to be a permanent resident.

The cards themselves arrived with no obvious logic to order or timescale.  When I got mine, I felt such relief that I welled up and struggled to keep the British stiff upper lip.  However that was nothing, as we had to wait the longest for my youngest son's card.  His card arrived on Tuesday last week, I opened it just before I headed off to set up for my live streaming marathon at the Hollywood Fringe.  I was a mess, all stressed from my project and astonished that we were now in a new phase of our American adventure.  Not a pretty sight.

Obviously, our four year old had no idea what this meant, though that day he did bring home a painting of the stars and stripes from pre-school.

Our 8 year old, however, knew exactly what this meant, "Does this mean we can get a pet hamster, now that we're allowed to stay?"

And bang! We're back to the grind of the everyday.  But this time we're 'normal', just like everyone else.  Trying to earn a living, trying to fit in kids' birthday parties and deal with the everyday pressures.  No more trips to our immigration attorney, no more $5,000 checks to the USCIS and no more figuring out what achievements might persuade the lovely person in Nebraska; who ultimately decided that we could stay.

In a way, it feels like we've just arrived.  That we've been in some strange in-between land for the last few years.  Suddenly we've landed.  Ok so we've not American citizens yet, but we are here on a permanent basis.  In some ways the UK has become a foreign land to us and some parts of American culture have become so much a part of us, that we no longer notice them.

We finally seem to be starting this phase on a more level playing field with the rest of America.  We have social security numbers, permanent resident cards and a hunger to work hard and do the best we can.

To close this chapter I have to say that there's one thing that I've consistently found refreshing from the moment we arrived in the USA.  Here, generally, though obviously not always, people are happy and confident to pile praises on those around them who do good work.  So in keeping with my permanent resident status, I can't recommend our immigration attorney more highly.  We saw a lot of attorney's before choosing him.  He was open, honest, straightforward and, here's the clincher, he was the only one who actually had a strategy for our application.  Thank you, Tucker Sandler!
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