For the last 2 weeks we have been working on getting together all of the new supporting documents we need for our hardship waiver packet. Now that we are getting closer to our appointment on June 7th, our lawyer has given us a checklist of all of the documents she needs to update and put together our final waiver packet. Most of the things on the list are things she needs from Emma in order to show the hardship she has gone through and how being away from me has affected her. Emma had to get together recent medical records, doctor letters, psychologist letter, work letter, volunteering letter, and letters from friends and family about how these past 2 years have affected her. Getting this list from our lawyer was very exciting because it reminded us of how close our appointment is but at the same time very stressful. When we got the list Emma was in the middle of papers and getting ready for finals, so it was very bitter-sweet for her. Like always, Emma took on another project on top of school and work, and was able to manage working on all three things at once. The week before finals Emma spent most of the time traveling from Berkeley to Healdsburg and back. Monday she had a doctors appointment at UC Berkeley, on Tuesday a doctors appointment in Healdsburg, and then Thursday night an appointment with a psychologist in Santa Rosa. I am pretty sure she spent the majority of that week at doctors appointments and in her car. She managed all of that while sending emails to professors and volunteer supervisors asking for letters, working, and studying for finals. WOW, I get exhausted just writing and thinking of all those tasks at once, I can't imagine the stress Emma felt. That is the list of things Emma had to get together before she came down to Mexico this Friday. There are smaller and much easier things that we still need to get together. The majority of the stuff left on the list we already have and will just have to get together or print them out. My tasks are getting a few documents together that I already have and finding proof of the conditions in Mexico and how dangerous it is. I have been focusing on finding proof of violence in the places we have lived. Monterrey and Chimalhuacan were a piece of cake and Coyoacan was surprisingly not that difficult. Of course the incidents I found did not occur in the colonia we live in, but luckily what is considered Coyoacan has many colonias, and a few of them are not all that safe. I am also having people I have met in Mexico write letters about my good moral character. Once we get all of those things together, which is nothing compared to all the things Emma had to get on her own, we will be ready for our waiver appointment.
At the appointment I will pay the fee for review of our waiver and drop off the waiver packet. This appointment is pretty straight forward and quick. I will first pay and turn in the packet at the same time and then will be asked to see a consular official. The interview with the officer is just to verify that what we are including in our packet is accurate and true. Once the packet is turned in and I take the oath, we will be one step closer to me coming home. After the waiver appointment it can take up to 2 weeks to hear back from the consulate about the decision they have made. Our lawyer mentioned that it has been taking 7-10 days for her other clients who have recently gone through this part to get the visa in their hands if they are approved. We are hoping for a fast approval so we can get the visa and come home as soon as possible. If we are to get approved in 7-10 days we will be able to come home before my birthday on June 19 which would be the best birthday present. If it takes 2 weeks for us to get the visa, which would not allow us to come home before my birthday, it would still be the best present ever.
For now we work on the last few things for our packet, then wait and cross our fingers for good news. Hopefully we will be seeing you back in California very soon.