Last Day Of Work? Check!

Whenever Ricardo and I discussed moving to Canada, one of the top things on his list that made him feel sad to go was quitting his job.  He has worked at Canto Del Sol for 4 1/2 years now and although the pay isn’t good, he loves his job.  He is most sad about leaving his customers.  There are people that visit the resort every year that always expect to see him there.  He has such great relationships with them (and a good memory) that he still remembers what they like to drink and all of their special requests.  What a guy!

Tonight was his last night working.   I felt a bit stressed for him the last few days and tried not to mention his last day because I remember how my last day felt working at Rogers.  I was so sad to step out into the unknown and I genuinely liked my job that it was very hard to put it behind me.  I know he felt the same way, based on previous conversations we had.

Ricardo called just 20 minutes ago as he always does when he finishes his shift.  (He’s so sweet and always asks if I need him to buy anything from the store on his way home.) I asked him how he felt and very excitedly he replied, “I AM SO HAPPY!!!” I was a bit taken back because of how sad he’s been about it so I started laughing and asked him why (thinking he got a really sweet tip or something.) to which he replied, “Because I’m moving to Canada!!!” 

Thank You Lord that I have the most adaptable, easy going, sweet guy to do this thing called Life with.  I am so relieved that he is excited for our move to Canada and I have all the faith in the world that his adjustment to life in Canada will be a smooth one.

Cheers to a new adventure! 

My Climb, My Bubble: This is How I Feel Today.

Today marks 1 week until the big moving day.  I love the idea of moving.  Moving for me, has always been a time to go through everything and decide if it’s still needed.  A time to donate, recycle, throw away.  I love that feeling.

Moving from one country to another though, even the second time around – doesn’t have the same sense of excitement.

Don’t get me wrong – this move for us is very exciting.  We’ve been working towards this move for almost 3 years now and I really feel in my heart that it’s the right step for us.  But because we are leaving behind half of our family, our home, our cats, for Ricardo – his job… We both feel like there is a little black cloud hanging above the “bubble” that we find ourselves in.

I’ve always referred to living in Mexico as living in a bubble.  For the last 2 years I have worked part time for my sister’s company which I am beyond grateful for.  I have made my own working hours, my own days off and worked as little or as much as I have wanted to.  I have little responsibilities in Mexico and have really embraced the slow paced lifestyle.  Mexico to me, has been simply incredible.  The bubble that I have been living in is about to pop.  I’ve been dreading it, I’ve been scared of it, and I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that it’s just a week away.  “Life” starts again in 1 week.  I will go back to working full time, paying rent, bills, car insurance, gas and all the other expenses that come up.  I wish the bubble could last forever…

As I was working last week a song came on that couldn’t have summed up the last 2 years better for me.  Where I was back then, and where I feel I am today.  The lyrics of this song are so powerful.

Living in Mexico hasn’t been all roses.  I have had several moments where I felt discouraged that Ricardo wasn’t able to travel back with me to Canada.  During our immigration process I felt at many times my faith was being tested, and although I was determined, the thought of giving up wasn’t very far from my mind.

This song says “Ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side – it’s the climb”  and “I may not know it, but these are the moments I’m gonna remember most, just gotta keep going…”  This is so true and it didn’t take long for me to realize that the immigration time lines or the start of our Canadian adventures didn’t matter – it was everything in between that was important.
I think the very hardest part of moving back to Canada is the fact that I already know that in 6 months, 1 year, 10 years – I will look back on life in Mexico and think “That was the best time of my life!”  Mexico is where, for the first time I saw my dad’s “other side” – the side that is genuinely happy.  (He loves Mexico just as much as I do and has lived/visited here for more than 8 months since I’ve been here.)  It has been really special getting to know this side of him and I’m so thankful for the times that we had here.  On the beaches of Puerto Vallarta I watched my Mom and Ricardo face their fears and go parasailing, a proud moment for me.  From the Mayan Palace to Hotel Sheraton I had the opportunity to introduce Ricardo to my family and show them a bit of the Mexican Culture.  Most importantly here is where I met the three most precious girls in my life, who I am so unbelievably proud of and who I will miss more than I can even put into words. Mis chicas, TKM!

It’s hard to close that door, it’s hard to walk away from the best time of my life.  But, it needs to be done – so I’m putting one foot in front of the other and trying my best to move forward.

I don’t know what Canada has in store for us but what I do know is that Mexico and the experiences that I have had here, will always hold a very special place in my heart.

A Sneak Peek At Our Immigration Application and a Trip to DHL

In a previous post I mentioned that I’ve been collecting documents since January.2012 for our immigration application.  This is when I really started focusing on it, but our “collecting” started from the moment we met.  Part of the requirement of Ricardo being issued a permanent residency card is that he shows we are in a genuine, committed relationship.

I am sponsoring Ricardo to move to Canada via Family Class Sponsorship for Common Law partners.  We met in April.2010 and have officially been together for 2 years this May.11th (Which happens to be my parents anniversary as well… We were too busy this year, and forgot our anniversary.  Which means we forgot our parents too- woops! Happy Anniversary Mom and Ness)

Since January I have been putting together as many physical documents that prove our relationship as possible.  Here are some of the categories I included:
Cell Phone, Skype and Home Phone History which outlines all the calls we made to each other while I was still living in Canada.  My Facebook updates that help get a glimpse of our everyday lives now.  Rental Contracts for vacation units we’ve rented in Puerto Vallarta.  Receipts for big purchases.  Mail from our friends and family. (Thank You again to those who sent us Christmas Cards, Easter cards and letters to say hello)  Utility and Bank Contract agreements with our names on them.  Travel tickets including boarding passes from trips that I made as well as trips my family have made to visit us.  Finally, letters of support from some of the most wonderful people we have in our lives!

I put together a complete photo story with pictures from the first day we met until present.  It tells the story of how our relationship started and developed over time.  58 pages of Photos.

I arranged the application into 3 main categories. #1 Application Forms for the sponsor (Me), #2 Application Forms for the Applicant (Ricardo), and finally #3 Proof of Our Relationship.

This was our entire application the morning that it was sent.

To put this into perspective, at the tallest point it measured 4 inches!

Our application consisted of 359 pages not including the cover pages for each section. 21 pages for my forms, 82 pages for Ricardo’s forms and a whopping 256 pages that prove our relationship.  I feel really confident about the proof that we have shown in our application and if we are denied based on our relationship not being genuine, I will be convinced the officer is blind.

We were eligible to send in this baby on May.1st but with my mom and sister being here the week before I didn’t have a chance to organize everything.  (I would not have had it any other way, we had an amazing week!)  Finally on Saturday, May.5th, we were going to send our application in.  I had Ricardo sign the last few forms and on one form we came to a question that asked the dates of his previous marriage.  Ricardo looked at me with a blank look on his face…

R:  “Where’s my divorce papers?”
S:  “Rica, you were divorced on XX/XX/XX.”
R:  “Well, when was I married?”
S:  “Are you KIDDING me? You don’t know when you were married?  You only celebrated this 14 times…”
R:  “Well, I called the governmentt office last year to get the date, do you still have that scrap piece of paper?”
S:  “No I don’t have the scrap piece of paper, do you see how many papers are scattered across our house?”
R:  “I need to go ask then.”

Ugh… Ricardo went to get showered while I searched the house for the scrap paper that I was pretty sure I disposed of the week prior.  The divorce paper had the date the marriage was registered.  However, most official documents have a registration date that is later than the actual date so we weren’t sure.  We searched and searched for more papers and after 45 minutes found his marriage certificate! YES!!! Well, wouldn’t you know it… EVERY detail on that marriage certificate was as clear as day, EXCEPT the date of his marriage.  I’m not even kidding you, this was our luck.
I then realized it was Saturday and the government office was closed.  We couldn’t possibly obtain the date.

Finally, a brilliant idea – he calls his ex.

R:  “When were we married?”
MB:  “I don’t know, Why?”
R:  “Because I need it for our application.”
MB:  “oh, I don’t know… umm… I think it was XX/XX/12”
R:  “Ok, thanks…”
R:  “Babe, she said it was XX/XX/XX.”
S:  “Rica, that is impossible, that is a day AFTER your registration date on the divorce paper.”
R:  “Oh… Well, she was close then.”

Oh brother…  I understand the Mexican culture is laid back and easy going but COME ON, your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. Shouldn’t you remember it?!  It left me wondering what anniversaries are like in Mexico, does the male need to call a government office each year to confirm the date of their marriage so they can plan something special for their wife?  We had a few good laughs but made a pact that day that he will always remember our important dates lol.

We waited until Monday, May.7th,2012 to confirm with the gov’t office again and were on our way to DHL.

I had been waiting for this day for what seemed like FOREVER, I could not believe it had finally arrived.  We packed up our life in 3 different sized expanding envelopes and waited in line at DHL.

 Of course, I have to document everything with pictures – I would never leave you wondering what the DHL office looked like on May.7th, 2012 and how many people were in the line before us. =)

I told Ricardo to Kiss the application Good Luck before we sent it haha 🙂

The application weighed 5.5 pounds and cost approximately $56 CAN to send to Mississauga, Canada.  The application was received 2 days later on May.9th and there it sits.

The first part of the process is to review my application and determine if I am eligible to sponsor Ricardo.  (Once Ricardo lands in Canada this means I will be responsible for him financially for 3 years.  Which really means, If he were to ever take advantage of government assistance, I would need to pay the government back.)

The first part is currently taking 90 days to complete.  Once they have approved me, his file will be sent to Mexico City where they will then review Ricardo’s information and at that point determine if he needs to be brought in for an interview for further clarification.

The final few steps includes a federal police check request, and then they request his passport to insert his travel visa.  It could take up to 16 months or longer, but I am crossing my fingers everything will be complete within 9 months. (The average a few months ago was 6 months so here’s to hoping.)

After the application was sent, we went for lunch to celebrate.  We have always made a point to go out for lunch or dinner after we complete a big part of the application.  It has helped to keep us sane throughout this crazy journey and allows us to celebrate our small successes along the way.

I have at times been so frustrated with the immigration journey and how much time and money has been put towards it.  But I am thankful to have been able to summarize the first 2 years of our relationship into 359 pages.  It was so fun to walk through memory lane and see all of our old pictures and experiences together.  Something the average couple does not spend so long doing. =)

**Cross your fingers for a smooth journey for us**
*We will keep you updated.*

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