10/10/12

Happy Anniversary FTD... A fairy tale Love Story


Today FTD and I are celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary.  We were married on 10/10/10 after a lengthy battle with USCIS.  My friends, I didn't marry an Australian, I married an "Alien." The US Government does not make that easy to do. Homeland Security crawled so far up our asses we are still shitting red tape.  So today it makes me very happy and proud to say two things, 1. Happy Anniversary FTD, I love you!  2. I told you so USCIS, we are still together, madly in love and have a baby!  

Today's post is the story of us.  This story starts out as a true fairytale, then gets a little crazy when the government gets involved, and takes FTD away from me, at a time when I needed him most.  It certainly is not a typical love story...

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My entire dating life I insisted that I would never meet my husband in a bar. Well, I was wrong.  I met FTD in June of 2008 in a hotel bar in Vienna, Austria.

I was at the end of a two week holiday traveling through Europe with a girlfriend from a small village in Austria. When she had to return to work I headed to Vienna where my flight was scheduled to depart two days later. I figured I would just wonder around the city and take it easy during my last two days in Europe.  

Little did I know, the 2008 Euro Football (soccer) Championship was going on. The streets of Vienna were PACKED with tourist.  Not long after I arrived the riot sirens began to go off.  I was alone and  freaking out. Time for Plan B, hide in my hotel until my plane took off two days later. 

The first night I was sitting at the hotel's bar finishing up dinner, when FTD walked up.  I didn't really pay any attention to him until I heard him say the the bartender, in a desperate tone, "Two fingers of your best scotch, my good man.”  I could not help but laugh out loud.  The poor guy was clearly in need of a drink! 

He heard my laugh, turned and said, “Ha, someone speaks English!”  I laughed again, and told him I was an American.  When our eyes met A HUGE rush of fiery energy shot through my body, I lost my breath.  He introduced himself, said he was from Australia and extended his hand for a shake. When I touched his hand that same fiery rush of energy shot through me again. He later told me the same thing happened to him.  We ended up talking and laughing and closing down the bar.  It really was love at first sight…

I should interject here that he was at the end of his two-week holiday in Austria with his grandfather.  His fraternal half is from Austria.  He had been staying with relatives and had only heard and spoke German for the past two weeks.  His grandfather was also very difficult during the trip, which was the reason for the desperation for a drink. His stories of the difficult grandfather and relatives kept me on the edge of my seat, and on a few occasions laughing so hard I was in tears and nearly falling out of my seat.

I digress…

After shutting down the bar he asked if I would like to take a midnight stroll through Vienna while the streets were quiet.  Of course I said yes!  He could have been a psycho serial killer picking up lonely Americans, but I didn’t care, I was in love.  We stepped out into the street, he took my hand in his, and off we went.  Once we made it back to our hotel, he asked if he could see me again tomorrow, gave me a kiss on the cheek and went to his room. 

I had NO intention of ever seeing him again. I am American, he's Australian, we were in Austria!  Nothing about that made sense, or had any promise of a future.  I've had my heart broken once or twice before, no way was I going to sign up for that again! I could barely sleep, so I spent the wee hours of morning telling myself he was too good to be true, and was probably an psycho serial killer after all.

I woke up mid morning to my phone ringing.  Since he was the only person I knew in Vienna, I ignored it.  I snuck out of the hotel for lunch, walked around the packed streets and retreated to my room midday for a nap.  When I woke up there was a note under the door from FTD.  It said how much he enjoyed my company, and really hoped to get to see me again.  Ugh. I couldn’t hold out anymore, I was actually missing him. He answered my call on the first ring. We met in the lobby 20 minutes later. He took me on a short tour of the area around our hotel and then invited me to dinner, I declined but agreed to a drink afterward.

Long story longer….

We met for the drink. Afterward we walked the streets again hand in hand.  At one point we stopped and sat on a bench where he pulled out a set of tear drop earrings. He said he purchased them for me earlier in the day when shopping with his grandfather.  I was speechless.  He was way too good to be true!

The next morning my flight was leaving so he came to my room to help me down with my luggage.  In the lobby he told me that he had ordered a car service to take me to the airport because, “He wanted to make sure I made it safely to the airport and needed to see the Vienna city centre on the way.” LORD HAVE MERCY!

As I pulled away from the curb, I looked back at him standing there and burst into tears.  Why was I leaving FTD on the side of the road in Vienna?  This was a once in a lifetime meeting, and I was leaving! 

Needless to say I cried the whole 10-hour flight home.  Once back in the States there was already an email from him telling me how much he enjoyed meeting me, and to please let him know when I had made it home safely…. I cried some more. 

We Skyped everyday for a few hours for the entire month of July.  By the end of the month he (finally) asked me to come to Australia ASAP.  He was running a business and could not leave.  I was changing jobs so the timing was perfect for me.  I flew to Australia on August 13, 2008 for two weeks.

On December 4, 2008 we flew back to the states together. (so much for 2 weeks!) He spent the holidays in the States with me. My family and friends loved him and gave me their seal of approval, not that I doubted it… 

We spent the next two years stretching Visa’s out to the max. Never separating, always traveling together.  We were sick in love!  Then in May of 2010 my mother called me in Australia, and said we needed to come home quickly, my grandmother was very sick.  We went to get his Visa from the US consulate and were told, "NO!" 

Not only was it a no to the Visa, it was a, no more Visa’s for 5 years NO! He was no longer going to be considered a tourist. He had spent too much time in the states over the last two years and was officially a flight risk. Our only option was to move our wedding plans up to ASAP.

USCIS told us that I had to fly back to the States alone to file the I-129F Fiance Visa paperwork to get Adam back into the states. I still had to fly back to my ailing grandmother So I booked the next flight out, alone. Leaving FTD in the Melbourne airport, not sure when I would see him again was the hardest thing I have EVER had to do in my life.  

I went home and filed the paperwork immediately.  I also filed every letter possible to expedite the process, called my congressman, and anyone else I thought could help. I spent nearly 4 months in agony, scared, unsure, annoyed. It did not matter how much I loved FTD, both my government and the Australian government dictated whether or not we could be together. I hated it.  We were Aliens in love.  I hate being an Alien. 


Thankfully it did not take a year for the visa to come through. Were back together on September 1, 2010.

We married on October 10, 2010 (10-10-10)

Of course there is so much more to the story.  The fairytale beginning is the best part. The crazy two-year Visa dance is a whole other story. The rush to get married was not awesome, but we had always planned to marry.  We just wanted to try to wait until we could figure out how to pull our families together. And the process to stay together now is frustrating.  We are married and in love, but that is just not enough for Homeland Security and USCIS, we have to prove it every couple of years with fees and petitions from family and friends. 

 The red tape is crazy and the fear of having FTD taken away is too much to think about. None the less, today I am celebrating my marriage with my soul mate and our beautiful child.  It's true, everything does work out in the end...





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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer, blogger and proud debut novelist - The Devlyn Disguise. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more about April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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