The waiting ends

Tropical Storm Pepeng has passed, and the rebuilding and cleanup is well on it’s way, but it doesn’t really make me feel any better. At this point I am stressing about losing her in some other freak event before getting her here to the U.S. My concern/paranoia is in full effect. Not to mention, I have yet to hear from the USCIS any more at this point. So, I decide to call the hotline number to get a status. I make the phone call, only to be told I am not giving the correct information for my soon-to-be-wife. “What do you mean”, I ask. That is not her birth date. Yes sir, it is. I am looking at a copy of the form I sent in. “Well, that’s not what we have in the system”, they say. Well, this isn’t going to be good. I know the government, and trying to convince them that they made a mistake is not going to be easy. So, after faxing a USCIS letter and a copy of her birth certificate to the number provided, I receive a response only month later. Only one month! And, it’s just about the same time I receive a letter stating that she is scheduled for her medical evaluation at the ONLY hospital permitted, which is in Manila.

St Lukes Complex, where the medical stuff is done
St Lukes Complex, where the medical stuff is done

Now, those of you that live there know what it is like to get things done in Manila. And I am praying for a simple day of testing, and approval. This, of course, does not happen. She was told that she would need to come back in a week to get the results. This doesn’t make sense to me, and I start asking questions. I find out, that they were told she could come back in a week to get the required shots in a week and could also get the results at the same time, or, get the results and get the shots required after coming to the U.S. At first, I thought this was a bad thing, but as it turns out, it is a good thing. I would recommend that your wives do this. WHY, you ask? Because if your fiancée comes here to get the shots required by law for immigration it can’t simply be done by your own physician. It MUST be done by an accredited Government Doctor, and they can charge whatever they want. I made some calls, and every one of them wanted upwards of $400 for them. It cost me another $50 for them to do it there, and they were all accepted here, because it was done by their doctors. Blessings, do come in disguises sometimes.

Not too long after her medical clearance is received, a letter arrives stating that I needed to call to arrange her interview date. So, this is calling the Philippines. It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Handled pretty quickly in fact. What’s the first date available? December 7, 2009. Easy to remember… the Day Pearl Harbor was attacked. So, I then start to calculate… how can I get her here FAST?!

The first thing I find out if that the interview date will give her a notification verbally upon the interview if she passed or not, and will be receiving the visa to come here. Next, it will arrive by carrier, within I believe ten business days. I’m thinking I’m good to have her here by the end of the year, maybe even for Christmas!!!

What’s that you say? She also must take a class to leave the country, which is required by Philippines law? Crap. So, I get online, and setup a day that I am PRAYING she will have her visa, because it is required for the class/lecture, whatever it is at the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. It is a simple class in which they tell the women that they may be treated badly, and tell horror stories of women being murdered by American men. Now, I’m all for telling the truth, but an exaggeration like that isn’t making me feel all warm and fuzzy. I have heard of some horror stories of women traveling overseas for employment, and there’s always going to be an occasional murder. It is, after all, the real world. A world where bad things sometimes happens to good people. But, I think this made her a little more afraid to come here. After all, how much does she really know me? It’s not like we’ve dated for a couple of years, had a lot of interaction in person, and families from both sides have been met! She’s flying 8,000 miles to marry someone she PRAYS is the same as the guy she chatted with for just under a year. That’s a lot of trust! A LOT!

Everything works out as planned. She gets her visa paperwork in time for the class. She takes the class, in Manila again of course, and is waiting for her flight. She arrived here in the United States on December 24, 2009 at 12:00pm. Well, after much immigration questions and locating her luggage, she walked through the doors… to be greeted by me, my mom, my sister, one brother, nieces, nephews, and friends with my god-daughters. I brought with me a new coat I bought for her. A wool dress coat to keep her warm. I gave it to her, and she looked at me like I was crazy… until she walked out into the weather. There was actually snow on the ground that day, and it was C O L D!!!

We all went to my moms house where a small feast was arranged to welcome her here. The trip wore her out, and she realized just how far it is from the Philippines to Michigan. After a brief party, we retired to our home, where I showed her around, she unpacked, showered, and took a nap.

I got the best Christmas present I could have EVER received, and I got it early. My wife was finally with me again! (I say wife, because since our engagement party, I considered her to be my wife)

Until next time, paalam, ingat, and God bless!

Post Author: Scott Fortune (65 Posts)

At the time of this writing, I am 42 years old. I’ve been married to my Filipina wife since December 2009. She is from the Province of Pangasinan, Philippines. I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area in Michigan. I’ve worked in many fields throughout my short career, mostly in Architecture, computers, and law enforcement. I’m medically retired from the U.S. Government due to a back injury and look forward to our move to the Philippines. My interests here were yard work, guns, and hanging out with friends. But because of my back injury, I’ve had to shorten what I can do to just hanging out with friends. Not a bad thing when you’re retired, right!? Also, I’m sure I’ll find some new interests when I get to the RP. We don’t yet know where we will be moving to exactly, but I expect it to be on the main island of Luzon. I look forward to moving there, getting healthier, and experiencing island life.

Learn a Philippine Language


    • Scott Fortune says

      LOL… yes Neal, this trip happened in 2009. My wife arrived at the end of 2009. The intent of the articles were to show the journey for me and my wife getting meeting, going through the process of bringing her here to the U.S., and now… moving to the Philippines.

      A lot of people thought that it was a current event. Sorry for the confusion.

  1. says

    I enjoy read your writings every time. Now those things are past, but be lucky you did this in U.S. Denmark, where i come from, have much stricter rules and takes much longer time. I look forward to your next post, your talent for writing a good story is obvious.

    • Scott Fortune says

      Axel, thanks for the compliments. They are very much appreciated!!

      I’ve heard some horror stories from other countries, and some WONDERFUL stories from other countries too. I hope that ANYONE and EVERYONE looking to bring the love of their life finds the difficult times ahead a small bump in the road to a very rewarding outcome.

  2. Donna West says

    A very nice and romantic love story. I know it was worth all you both had to go through to be together. Little did you know then that you would be making the trip back to the Phils so soon and to stay this time.

  3. bret says

    What the…? You did have me somewhat confused in your last couple articles with your dates and timeline and thought at first was a typo. The whole time I was thinking this was your first go at it and to Phils. My suggestion is to point this out. I feel a little mislead since you have been contributing articles.

    • Scott Fortune says

      Bret, I’m sorry you feel misled about my articles. It was not my intention. My author description at the end of each article does state that I am and have been married to a Filipina since 2009. The original articles were meant, intentionally to describe the process each American, or other foreigner usually goes through in order to find, meet, and then get their wife or fiancee back to their native country. My articles will also, from this point, be more recent, and show our process of moving to the Philippines.

      I did not expect to retire so soon, and return to the Philippines, but it is something we have decided to do, and our LiP Editor, Bob Martin, and I thought it would be nice for someone to be able to follow the entire process.

      Again, I am sorry if you feel misled. That was NOT our intention. I can see how not reading my brief biography or starting at the middle of my articles could confuse you or others.

  4. Paul Thompson says

    Thanks to Neal I figured out that you had taken me for a ride with Mr. Peabody and Sherman in “The Wayback Machine” I understand now.

    • PapaDuck says

      I know it was a great feeling to get your wife there to Michigan just in time for Christmas. I know your really looking forward to your move there as i am looking forward to my trip there on the 19th. Can’t wait. Take care and have a nice day.

      • Scott Fortune says

        Papaduck & Paul, yes, this is an article line that is written in a past tense form. Sorry for the confusion, if any. Your mind is NOT playing tricks on you, nor am I. At least, that was not the intention.

        Yes, Christmas 2009 was the best Christmas ever! I am NOT Ralphie from “The Christmas Story” asking for the Red rider 200 shot, range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and the thing which tells time. My wife, was even better!!

  5. says

    Your telling me that all of this time I have been giving you support, when in fact this is all behind you HAHAHAHA, Dear lord I need to stop reading this so early in the morning I must of missed something hahahaha! Did not have the morning coffee 😉

    Anyway this is FANTASTIC! What a Christmas present! The day I saw my wife (as we were already married in the Philippines) walk through the gates to join me here in the UK was amazing, the feeling we both shared. However it was a long 7 hour drive home from our airport here, and we stopped on the way to see Stonehenge, after we arrived at the house she was really tired, she too took a nap, and she was ready to meet the family! From then on our life has been amazing, I have never been this happy in all my life. So after living here in the UK 3 years we are moving back to Cebu to live. We are both very excited and are looking forward to that day!

    • Scott Fortune says

      Sorry for the confusion, this is not a “War of the Worlds” 2012 remake about a Philippines journey. It is real, it just happned three years ago. :)

      Believe me, we thought that this would be beneficial to current foreignors going through the process of finding a Filipina wife. So that they could experience that process through my eyes. I will be continuing my process of marriage, and what will now be our challenge of moving to the Philippines, and the process we will be taking for that adventure.

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