It has been a while since I have provided an update for everyone regarding the process of my wife becoming a U.S. citizen. It dawned on me a few days ago that I have been run through the ringer so badly with the process required to bring my wife to the United States, getting married, and then the whole process to get her the paperwork for her to become a legal resident, and now a U.S. citizen, on top of the fact that during this time we also had some major life changes to our lives that I kind of lost the way so to speak.
During this whole process for my wife, I became medically retired, which is not an easy thing to do, or complete when you work for the U.S. government, or for anyone else I don’t think. It’s, to put it simply, a pain in the rear. It’s stressful, and quite frankly, all I could keep my eye on was the final process of moving to the PI. During this time I lost my way. I became so focused on the end process that I forgot to see the process my wife is going through.
You see, to become a citizen, she has to take a test to prove her “worthiness” as a citizen. The questions they ask, probably could NOT be answered by a recently graduated student from a public U.S. high school. And yet, they expect someone from another country to know things that NONE OF US need to know to be a citizen. That alone is a big thing! On top of that she has to put up with me (I’m a pretty easy guy to get along with, but my back pain causes me to be a bear at times). And she helps me put muscle rub on my back to ease my pain, and she does so much more around the house because I simply can’t do it. She’s on the go from the time she wakes up, until the time she goes to bed. And I have not noticed all that she does as much as I should.
Also, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t showing her ANY emotional support of her “test taking day” and her swearing in day. Of course, I know it’s important, but I think like I guy. Let’s get this done, and let’s move on to the next thing. Right? Well… that’s not how it should be!!! And the other day I realized it. This is HUGE for her! It’s HUGE for everyone, and it’s HUGE for me. I just didn’t realize it. I, as an American, take my liberty for granted far too often. I was born with it. She wasn’t. And to become an American is an awesome thing, and I realized this because I know how much BEING an American means to me!! So, over the last couple of months when she was looking at dresses, or shoes, or whatever to pick just the right outfit to wear for those special days, did I care? Did I support her during those times when she was thinking of a day that was going to be so special and memorable to her? NO. Sadly, I did not. And I see now that I should relish and cherish this moment with her! It’s a big day! It’s a reason to truly celebrate!! Another person has LEGALLY come to and passed all requirements to become a U.S. citizen. Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself, because she has yet to pass the test. But, she has been studying for almost four years now!!! Almost since the day she got here! She’s ready for this!!
What I know for sure, is that I love my wife! I support her in her actions and desires to become a U.S. citizen. She will be a great American, as she views things as I do. She understands the importance of our duties as Americans, and our rights, and our responsibilities to ensure that this country becomes great again. Yes, we are already a great country… but we are failing miserably in so many areas, especially with our children.
I don’t want to make this about politics, since that is NOT what this is about. It’s about finding that spot in your heart and in your life, where you really start to be aware of your spouse, and the things they find important, and trying to be there to show you care about the things she cares about. And about supporting her in her decisions, even when it is about fashion, of which I have no idea!
I guess my message put plainly is this: If you are the man in the relationship with a Filipina in the process of becoming an American, or Permanent Resident, take into consideration that this might be something that she has looked forward to her entire life. Realize its importance and show her compassion and support during this time. It’s stressful for her, even more than it is for you.
Until next time, paalam, ingat, and God bless!