Day 25: Getting an Education

Well, there was the hitch. I had been bugging him to get an official sealed copy of all of his transcripts before he left the country. He didn’t get anything sealed, in fact, he really didn’t get anything new at all when he went to the college to inquire about his records. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. The folks working at those colleges in Johannesburg were not at all amenable to helping Efrem get the correct documentation. (Xenophobia for the win). It turns out his having a sealed copy wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway, because the evaluation process requires international transcripts to be sent directly from the institution to an external company.

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Day 11, 17, & 18: First Halloween

This being Efrem’s first halloween EVER, I was pretty hype, but before he even arrived here I got a lot of pushback about participating in Halloween–mostly the whole dressing up and going out part– ‘It’s for kids,’ he says. He kept trying to convince me that we should just stay in on Halloween night, or that if we must go out, that he would just dress normally. Neither choice was acceptable…

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Day 14: Watching TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé

Both of us sat there, eating our “tacos,” shaking our heads, knowing how contrived these stories  were. But we couldn’t stop watching the train wreck. It’s already difficult enough to explain the K1 process to people who’ve never gone through it, without getting looks of skepticism or overhearing the whispers that the foreign citizen must be faking out the US citizen (or they’re plotting together) in order to thwart the immigration process and get a green card more easily.

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Day 12: Meet the Parents

Throughout our two years of dating and these last 10 months of paperwork to obtain the fiance visa, my parents still had never met Efrem. Sure there was kind of a phone call here, and a skype conversation, there, but Efrem had never come to the US and my parents had never gone to SA. It’s a terribly interesting order of operations: boyfriends/girlfriends usually meet the parents before an engagement occurs, but nothing has been “normal” in this relationship, so why would this be any different.

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Day 11: Getting A Social Security Number

I’ve been making myself nervous to go to the social security office, fearing that they would give us a hard time, not understanding his status and his paperwork. I looked up what I would need on the social security website for a noncitizen, and whether he would be eligible, and when that got a bit confusing, I finally went to our godsend page, Visa Journey.

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Day 3: Eating Donuts

But by Thursday, he was looking at me like, ‘okay, you keep talking about these donuts, when am I going to eat one?’

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Day 2 Through..: Cleaning House

I was pretty proud of the job I did cleaning and making space before Efrem got here. I turned my bed around and created two night stands, I moved furniture and cleared space to construct and fit an external closet rack for his clothes, I cleaned top to bottom. Clearly I was deluded to think that was sufficient.

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Day 1 – 2: The First 24 Hours in the U.S.

Today has been a whirlwind of emotions. It started with the nerve wracking drive to the airport. Over the past 10 months I’ve dreamed of this momentous occasion when I would watch him walk through the airport gate, heavy with anticipation of his facial expression when he recognized me holding a sign with his name on it. I thought my dream was going to be shattered when I got on the interstate and two lanes were shut down causing traffic to be completely stopped.

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