We're home! After 664 days in Mexico, Jose arrived in the United States again on June 21st. It was exactly 2 weeks after his waiver appointment. Decisions are suddenly taking longer now, so we are lucky that it was only that long.
I had a flight to San Francisco booked for 9:30 am on Tuesday. I was dreading leaving Mexico without Jose again, even if it was for the last time. Jose and I spent Monday night packing all of his stuff from the last two years into a few suitcases in a great display of organization and dedication. At 2 am, just before going to sleep, Jose checked the visa website one more time for a tracking number. He had checked at 10 and there was nothing, so we were shocked when we not only had a tracking number, but an update saying the visa was ready for pick-up in Ciudad Juarez.
We immediately started planning. I canceled my ticket for the morning flight to San Francisco. The first flight to Ciudad Juarez couldn't be booked online, so we got to the airport at 4 am to try to by tickets last minute. It worked, and we left Mexico City at 6 am. At 8 am, we arrived in Ciudad Juarez, at 8:30 we were at DHL to pick up his visa. At 9:15, Jose had a visa! At 10:30, we were at the bridge at the border. At 11:00, he crossed over in the United States! At 11:00 we arrived at the El Paso airport, bought last minute tickets, and left El Paso at 11:30 to LAX. We arrived in LA and got to the plane to San Francisco during the final boarding call, so close that my parents had already recieved a call from the airline saying we missed the flight and wouldn't get in to San Franscico until 11:30 pm. On the plane, we surprised my sister, who happened to be on that flight and had no idea we'd be there. At 2:15 pm, we arrived in San Fracisco. It was the busiest, craziest, and most perfect timing I've ever seen. It truly felt like Jose was meant to come home, and we were receiving sign after sign that it was true.
It's been a little more than a month, but it feels like half a year. We have been so busy and working hard to get life started again. I thought that it would be more emotional to get home, but it felt just like normal life very quickly. Rather than the U.S. feeling new, Mexico just feels like it was a 2 week vacation a few years ago. Almost two years of suffering down there now feels like the blink of an eye.
-Emma and Jose (the American)