In America, I am a Legal Alien.

In America, I am an alien.

In America, I am a Legal Alien.

In America, I am an alien.

I am not protected by the constitution of the United States. I cannot travel In and out of the country on my own whim.

This is a bit of a problem.

You see, we have different passports.

I am Australian.

RM is American.

However, Love knows no passport.

We accept that we are complicated. We chose this. We chose to intertwine our present and our futures. We chose to intertwine our finances, our dreams, our hopes, and our hearts. We chose to get married with our friends and family in Australia and not in a courthouse. We chose not to get married with me on a tourist visa and then stay on hoping we would be able to apply for an adjustment. No, we chose to marry in Australia. Yes, this is a quandary of our own making.

I accept that in the current system of governmental regulation of international transit, authorities are able to place conditions on where I can live outside the country of my birth.

I chose when I married, like a shadow cast by Ruth, to make his people my people. But it is not that simple. Being married does not mean I can live in the US as we would like. At least not without going through a difficult {complicated, frustrating} process. A process that gives me the unenviable title of “legal alien.”

Processes I get. But, this feels like some kind of torture. Because, whichever way you slice it, the possibility of being forced to spend an unknown number of months apart from your husband or wife is not pleasant. That of course is my dry and unstated way of saying this whole process sucks butt. Yes.

I understand why governments want to curtail access to their “aspirational brand” but seriously, having to leave my husband (after just one month) is world shatteringly horrible.

The published statistics of the State Department feel sobering. Though (and this is great) all 6 of the Australians who sought CR-1 visas in the last year were successful, the median amount of time to process all the elements was 9 months.

Yes, 9 months.

Our experience is not unique; Many others face this kind of geo-separation. That others share elements of an experience doesn’t discount the reality of our own.

So too, though this, we hope, will be the last time we spend an unknown number of months away from each other, with the reality of deployments in our future it will not be the last multi month separation we will face.

We will cope. We have a covenant that is stronger than the distance of the miles between us. We have a sense of how we handle being away from each other. We will communicate as creatively, and as often as we can. We will seek to grow as individuals and together. But no matter what we know and what we think we know, this will also be new: we are married now. And I, I am a legal alien.

Image Credit: Heather Miller Photography


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