Saturday, February 02, 2013

2012...a bit late

OK, so it's officially February and I've been working on the following post for over a month now. But I have a pretty good reason for the delay, I think!

2012 was a remarkable year for our family. It's the first calendar year we've spent completely living in Korea, and the first we've spent living together as a family. While 2011 brought the newness and adjustment of being a complete family for the first time, 2012 was a chance to settle in and make this "normal".

And although we started 2012 as a family of three, we finished it as a family of four. Welcome to the world, baby Carolina Violetta.

Failed passport photo #27.
Turns out this is harder to do with a newborn than a 3 month-old. 

The day of her birth was a truly remarkable one in every way and totally warrants its own blog post which I'll hopefully get to this year.  Suffice it to say it was a major adventure and we're glad it all worked out as well as it did!

Carolina's a great baby, Lucas has taken to his big brother role so well, and they absolutely love each other, as evidenced by this photo.

While busy in the kitchen, I asked Lucas to keep the baby entertained for a few minutes. I went in to check on them awhile later and this was the scene I discovered.

2012 also marked the re-opening of our immigration case. We filed directly with the Seoul embassy this time, a very smooth and speedy process compared to filing from inside the US. There were several lags due to my own dragging of feet in document gathering and such, but the petition (Step 1) was approved in about a month and then we were able to schedule the interview the moment we were ready, and we interviewed about 3 weeks after setting the date, so really a fast process. The interview itself went almost as expected - same result as our Ciudad Juarez interview in 2008, but the whole experience was much friendlier and much more pleasant. Thus, 2013 will bring the next stage, in which we attempt to bring the fight to the government in hopes of having someone recognize how senseless it is for Carlos to be banned for life.

Post-visa interview. Carlos and Lucas hanging out in Insadong, one of the more traditional districts in Seoul.
There are lots of stirrings in the immigration law and policy world right now, too. Every time one of these changes hits the news, I get lots of excited emails and messages from friends wondering if we will benefit. Believe me, if ever there is a law or policy change that directly offers us the chance to return to the US, I will proclaim the news loud and clear on this blog! Even so, as each obstacle gets knocked down for others with immigration complications, it renews hope that someday we'll get our chance. I had started to outline all these changes here, but I'm going to save that topic for its own post, so if you're interested in the immigration law and policy end of things, I'll be posting about it in the coming days.


Mom said...

Great to see your news posted here Am. Thanks for taking the time. We love you all!

gaby said...

Your daughter is so beautiful! You are such an inspiration to me! Glad to see everything is going so well for you! :)

A Christian College Student said...

I've been following your blog for a while. I'm also from the suburbs of Chicago and am currently living in Seoul. I've said a few prayers for your immigration situation and I hope it gets resolved sooner rather than later. And congratulations on the birth of Carolina!

Dee said...

Very Exciting!!!Your baby is beautiful!

Amanda Seyer said...

Hey there my new year post was late to. hahaha Its really good to see you guys are doing so well. It must be interesting living there, I can only imagine the trials and wonderful cultural experiences. As far as getting exciting emails and calls I feel you. With the most recent change of being able to request that the family member stay in the us during the wait for the appointment my sister was almost ecstatic. It was hard to break the news that it was an awesome change but did us no good. Your will to fight will never cease to amaze me.

Anonymous said...

Glad you and the baby are doing so well.

Naomi said...

Keep up the fight!! When the time comes, let us know what we can do to help you!

Congratulations on all that you have achieved, from the birth of that beautiful baby girl to keeping your family united under difficult circumstances. You are an inspiration to all of us!

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