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Saturday, May 10, 2008

We're On Our Way Home ...

The last two weeks have gone by in a blur. Work has been so busy (as you can probably surmise given that I have not had any blog entries in that period). My blog readers can always tell what my load at work is like by the entries in my blog. The longer the time in between entries, the more stressed, harassed and overworked I am! Thank God that the weekend is finally here. Two blissful days of personal time. Not counting errands to run and chores to do ... but at least I can do it at my own pace and without a schedule to follow.

Some good news though. Jojo finally got his "Advanced Parole" documents. I got mine a few weeks ago. That sounds kind of sinister. "Advanced Parole". No, that does not mean my hubby and I were doing time in the slammer and are now out at large. Just that we are now no longer restricted from traveling outside the US. That still sounds sinister ... "restricted from traveling outside the US" ... does that sound like we're illegal immigrants that crossed the border in the middle of the night? Rather, it just means we are on our way to getting our greencard and foreign travel is now much easier and more relaxed.

We are so thrilled to have it. I've been dying to back to Manila. Can't wait to see my family and friends. Can't wait to visit my favorite spots. Can't wait to relish the comforts of home. Can't wait to go shopping in the tiangge (bazaars). Can't wait to eat my favorite foods. Bottom line is I can't wait to go home! After all this time, Manila is still home to me. Believe it or not, because of all the immigration complications and concerns, I have not been back in 7 years. SEVEN YEARS. Many times friends, family and our immigration attorneys have urged us to go home, after all, we are here legally and everything is being processed the right way. But because of the Sept. 11 tragedy, and the resulting stricter immigration laws, we just didn't want to risk it. So we've been patiently waiting and waiting and waiting.

Ironically, now that we can ... we are taking our time in planning the perfect time to go home. I used to think that as soon as I got the go-ahead ... I would take the first flight out to Manila! But practicality rules over excitement in this case. First, our current workloads are just killer ... Jojo is not allowed to take more than 3 days off at this time. In my case, I just got a new assistant and dumping everything on his shoulders is tempting but not feasible unless I want to lose him. Plus taking off for a month so soon after getting the "advanced parole" is not strongly encouraged. We've been advised not to take more than 10 days outside the US. Given these scenarios, the next couple of months are out of the question. Our next plan was to go home in Sept. or Oct. of this year. But my sister is getting married in late Oct., which means my whole family will be here around that time. Our last option is to go home for the Christmas holidays. Dec. is the best time to be in Manila anyway so it works out fine. The only concern is airfare is double (even triple the price) and my workload is even heavier towards yearend. But we'll definitely figure something out ... after all, this has been a homecoming that we've been planning and anticipating for the last 7 years!


jol said...

The thought that you are finally coming home is exciting all of us. Wonder how it will be when Jojo and you show up in our home. Best news!

leslie Ty said...

JO !!!! WHEN ?????? =)

i'm sooooooo excited !!!!! I need to do prepare! =)