Today marks the one year anniversary of my husband Jaime setting foot in the United States of America for the first time ever so I thought today would be the perfect day to share our story as part of my Make It Through Monday moment powered by Winkie's Hallmark & Gifts in Whitefish Bay. It's a bit of a crazy story and truthfully I'm still surprised it's our story but I'm truly grateful for how it all worked out.
Jaime is from a town in Mexico called Santa Fe which is about 45 minutes or so from Guadalajara. I met him through my Aunt and some friends who are also from Santa Fe on my first trip to Mexico with them back in 2015. I've always wanted to experience "real" Mexico so in August of 2015 I was given the opportunity to go to Mexico and stay in Santa Fe and the first time I met Jaime was when he picked us up from the airport in Guadalajara. The friends I went down there with on that first trip are originally from this town of Santa Fe and Jaime is like a second son to them so he stayed with us pretty much that entire week I was down there helping show us around since my Mom and Aunt were also on the trip with us. I definitely fell in love with Mexico that week I was there, especially their town of Santa Fe. The people are so nice, the food was amazing and you can't really beat the weather. It took me quite a while to admit but Jaime was definitely one of the reasons I liked it there so much. Although my Spanish was pretty rusty while I was there on that first trip we spent a lot of time chatting and getting to know each other. He was such a gentlemen and that was definitely one of the things I noticed first. He always opened doors for us, offered to carry our bags while shopping, cooked an amazing meal with three different kids of shrimp, etc. We were shopping one day and my Mom had been drinking fresh squeezed juice and not two seconds after she finished it Jaime was right there ready to throw it into the trash for her. It's almost as if he was keeping an eye on her so he could be there to grab it the moment she finished. She just loves to tell that story. :)
As I was leaving Mexico on that first trip Jaime and I exchanged numbers and I'm so glad we did because even then I knew he was special. By December of 2015, so just a few months after my first trip, I was ready to go back already and was invited to celebrate Christmas with my friends down there. That of course meant I would get to see Jaime again which truthfully I was really excited about it. In the moment it's hard to admit there were feelings right away but the funny thing about that is most people I'm sure already knew anyways. My Mom was the only person I was 100% open and honest with about my feelings for Jaime after just five months and one week of time actually spent together and if inside she was freaking out about this she never let it show.
Long story short Jaime and I continued to keep in touch and talk often and after a few more visits down there we realized we both had feelings for each other and had "the talk" about taking our relationship to the next level. Unfortunately because he had never been to the U.S. and didn't have a Visa he was not allowed to come visit. That was definitely a hard year on us when he applied twice for a tourist visa but was denied on both occasions. We of course worked through that and focused on our plan for moving forward. After talking with friends and family, some who had been in similar situations or know people who had, we decided that our best option would be to either get engaged or get married and apply for a Visa that way. After much thought and meetings with immigration attorneys we decided that actually getting married in Mexico and applying for a green card for my husband would be our best option so we did just that. On February 21, 2017 we signed our papers and got married in Mexico so we could start his immigration process. I make it sounds super easy and quick but let me tell you it wasn't. Preparing for that day was a whirlwind full of stress and running around. I thank God for my Mom every single day. She was amazing helping prepare all the necessary documents to make it all happen and I couldn't have done it without her.
Because any process involving the Government can be a challenge and very much outside my realm of knowledge I met with some lawyers and found the one that fit my situation best. Although you can go through this process on your own I felt much more comfortable having an immigration attorney handle our case. We chose Soberalski Immigration Law and I'm so glad we did. Attorney Soberalski and her team were amazing every step of the way making this process as easy as possible on us. What I appreciated most was how they prepared both Jaime and I for his final interview in which he'd receive his final approval or denial. Luckily after a year and eight months full of lots of paperwork, payments to the government and days filled with highs and lows, they scheduled his Immigration Visa Interview on Friday, November 9, 2018 and on that day he received his approval necessary to come to the United States as a legal permanent resident! I will never forget the feeling of waiting for him to come out of that building to tell me whether we'd be able to start the rest of our lives together or not and the moment that smile came across his face I knew he'd received his approval and tears of joy and gratitude just came pouring out.
He spent the next month packing up his things and spending as much time as possible with his family and on Sunday, December 16, 2018 we boarded the plane in Guadalajara, Mexico and landed in Chicago ready to start our life together. I know what I was feeling on that day but I didn't overlook his feelings of excitement but also fear. It was definitely a huge risk deciding to do what we did but I'm so grateful we were both willing to take the chance. Flash forward exactly one year later today and I still don't take for granted what the past few years have meant. This past year has definitely been a tough one but also so amazing introducing him to my life here in Wisconsin, having him meet all my family and friends who mean so much to me and seeing him experience so many new things. I give thanks every single day to the people who helped us through this process like my Mom who was there for me from day one. I literally can't put into words all she did for me and my Dad who supported me marrying a guy from another country who he had never even met in person yet. I'm not sure I'll ever fully understand what it was like for him that moment I told him of our plans to marry. He took it like the supportive, loving father he is and again I don't have words to express how grateful I am. Jaime's family have been amazing and so supportive as well. He is so close with all of them and I know they miss him greatly but they never make us feel bad for being so far away. To all my family and friends who introduced me to Jaime, who listened to me talk about him all the time, who were completely understanding as to why I kept our marriage a secret until he was here in the U.S., who welcomed him immediately into their lives and made him feel at home and to those who have been there for us, who continue to support us and will be in our lives for forever, no words can truly express just how grateful we are so THANK YOU!
Happy one year anniversary of being in the United States to my husband Jaime! Here's to many more!
Can you believe we're about a week away from Christmas?! I'm not telling you this to stress you out at all but actually to remind you that if you still need to pick-up some gifts, wrapping, party supplies, etc. for Christmas then Winkie's Hallmark & Gifts is the place to do it! They have tons of great gift options including Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, special candy and chocolates, candles galore and so much more! They also have the perfect card to give with your gift as well as different options for wrapping and gifts bags to make that present extra special. If you're having a party at your house make it easier on yourself and get all the cutlery, paper products, party supplies, etc from Winkie's Hallmark & Gifts. You won't have to do all those dishes and will have more time to spend with your loved ones. Whether you know exactly what you want and just haven't found the time to go or you have no clue and need some help from the team at Winkie's Hallmark & Gifts, they're waiting for you right on the corner of Silver Spring and Lake Drive in Whitefish Bay.