My sister-in-law just got engaged last Saturday. It was a very touching moment. Right after a scenic flight, she, along with her daughter and significant other, went straight ahead to the lobby where her family and closest friends await for them to come in. I was serenading her with my guitar singing their theme song “All of Me” while her loved ones were giving her roses one by one. She was in tears of joy. And finally, his now fiance knelt down and ask her to marry him, showing her the ring. And she said yes .
The day I got engaged was too far from that.
Not that I am jealous or anything. It’s just really far from that. Being in a long-distance relationship, you plan to close the gap and there’s a certain way how you’re supposed to do that. One should go where the other one is so they can be together. We chose to take the K1 Visa route (also known as Fiance Visa) where the American citizen can petition for his/her fiance given that they will get married within 90 days.
People might ask, “How can they plan for a wedding in just 90 days?” Or maybe will have the impression that both parties will have to decide if they really want to marry each other within 90 days. That’s just what the reality show 90 Day Fiance tell you. You are required to marry your petitioner but you have to be sure that you want to marry that person and that you really love him/her, not just because you want a green card.
Applying for the Visa
My husband’s younger sister got engaged last 2013. She wanted me to sing on her wedding day which was planned to be held on June 2015. I was about to apply for a Visitor Visa but we thought of applying for a Fiance Visa instead since we couldn’t wait any longer to be together for good. Marte, my hubby, was not yet an American Citizen that time so he processed his naturalization papers first and after about 9 months, he got approved.
Unexpectedly, my father passed away. This event broke my family’s heart especially my mother. I lived with my parents. If I would apply for a Visa and get approved, that means I’d leave my mother alone. Good thing my sister’s family just live across the street. My mother told me to continue my application and stop worrying about her. My sister said that she’ll take care of our mother and that I can petition her while she’s younger and strong and be with her again if I process my papers soon.
You’re maybe asking, “If he’s your fiance now, how did he propose to you?” Good question. It was just some sort of agreement between us. We both feel that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. I didn’t get that teary-eyed-he-knelt-down-to-ask-me proposal. And I didn’t have a ring which is not a big deal to me, anyway.
Marte just visited me once prior to the application. He visited me to finally see me in person, to get to know me more and to spend time with me. That time, we were not thinking of getting married yet but we already realized that we’re really meant for each other. He planned to visit me again after two years, but instead of spending the money for a vacation, we used it to process the Visa.
He was my fiance but my friends were looking for a ring. I just told them that if he would indeed give me a ring, he would probably not send it through mail. He would probably give that to me in person. Deep down inside me, I wanted a ring. But I didn’t want to expect. He told me that we needed money and asked me if it’s okay if he won’t buy me a ring anymore. We’ll be having wedding rings anyway. I said it’s okay. I’m understanding, you know. 😛 It’s just more practical. So, it’s okay.
The day of the interview came and my Visa got approved after a week, just in time before his younger sister’s wedding. A week before the day of my flight, Marte went to the Philippines again. This time, to pick me up.
The moment I saw his face again made my heart jumped. He’s so handsome. ❤ He’s tired and didn’t have enough sleep in his flight but we’re still awake ’til about 5 AM just talking and cuddling and enjoying being together again. He kept saying how beautiful I was and that he loved me until he said he’s going to give me something. He said he’s a very private person and then I knew where it was headed. He then gave me the ring and asked me to marry him. Pure joy.
Literally in my pajamas…
Meeting the Families
For his first visit, we stayed in his dad’s house who was also living in the Philippines that time. There were dramas on both sides of our families that somehow didn’t make his visit 100% perfect but we still treasured those moments together.
The second visit though was better. I spent half of the week with his family on the father side and he spent half of the week with my family. That was the first time my other relatives met him. My family got to know him more and I’m so grateful how he enjoyed staying in our house even though it’s small and literally warm inside.
During our flight, I was asking him a lot of questions about his family, “Do you think I can be friends with your sisters? What’s your mother like? Do you conserve water when washing the dishes?”. I know the last one’s not about family but I want to make sure that I’ll be doing it right in their eyes. He would just say, “You’ll find out.”
And I did find out. I’m really blessed now that I’m a part of their family. I learned a lot of things from them. I miss my own family but I was like a brat in my own home because I’m the youngest child. Here, I feel good doing things around the house while I’m still waiting for my work permit. I enjoy learning how to cook and doing things that a wife does for her husband. #newbiewife
Marte and I decided to get married on our 5th anniversary, July 8. We applied for a marriage license and phoned the district court to schedule our wedding. The ceremony was short and simple. It took only about 20-30 minutes. My mother, sister and niece were there, too through Skype. Hehe.
Though simple, it’s a fun and memorable one. Marte’s dad cooked for our wedding reception. His family and friends were there. We still did Filipino wedding traditions even though there were only like 25 guests. I was ironically sad that my family and friends were not there to witness how happy I was.
A New Beginning
Every K1 Visa holder has a different story. Some had grand proposals. Some had big weddings. Some encounter more problems and challenges than me. But this is my story. And it made me realize how being together is far more important than a ring with a stone and how marriage is far more important than a wedding. In this journey, there will be sacrifices. I had to leave my family and friends. I had to leave my country only for a man. But this man is my one great love, my present and my future.
And our adventure continues…
This post was in inspired by the prompt: Visits from LDR Blogs.
Other Posts I Love with the Same Prompt:
The Value of a Visit
How to Plan a Holiday with Your Long-Distance Boyfriend
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