I cried at work today.
I hate crying at work. It is worse than crying in front of strangers, and is perhaps exacerbated by the fact that I am a teacher. Kids are sweet and curious creatures, and little distresses them more than a teacher in distress. So, when I showed up for afternoon sport with my tear-stained face and red eyes, concerned students lined up to ask if I was okay. Two even did the ‘Friday Feeling’ dance to cheer me up (this involves a very dorky hip wiggle and some equally dorky arm waving – it makes them laugh, at me, when I do it each Friday). It didn’t work. It just made me cry more.
You see, I heard from the U.S. government today.
They received my application for a green card (good). It is in the queue to receive a green card (pretty good). They are currently processing green card applications prior to March 2002. No, that is not a typo. And yes, that means there is a 6 and a 1/2 year wait list (not good at all).
Suddenly, all the plans that Ben and I are making, including where we will live, seemed to flush themselves down a giant toilet. All I could think was ‘my friends go home to their significant others every night, and I don’t’. The weight of that feeling crashed down on me as I imagined another year or two or three of this long distance arrangement.
I called Ben. He responded as someone does when they are side-swiped. That was 8 hours ago.
Since then I have spoken with my mother (the American – not that the Americans seem to care much about that VERY close family connection) thrice, and she has sent a couple of strongly-worded emails to the American government. I am pretty sure these will not make ANY difference, but I think they made her feel better.
I have also spoken to hopeful friends, and helpful friends (and in times like these, hopeful and helpful are equally welcome). And I got a lovely email from my bestest friend (yes, Ben) also telling me to stay hopeful.
With all this hope and support keeping me buoyant (not to mention two glasses of a very nice Barossa Valley Shiraz), I have searched through website after website trawling for ways to circumnavigate the machinations of a slowly turning government agency. I think I have found my answer.
The E-3 visa is a new kid on the block, and is open only to Australians who have a university degree, AND who have a job offer in the U.S. I have two out of three, so all I need now is someone stateside to take a chance on an Aussie girl who is bright, hard-working, resourceful, and creative. Oh, and the biggest plus: the E-3 takes about 2 days to secure an interview, and about 30 days to process.
So, now I (hopefully) line up interviews for my September/October visit to Seattle. Then, (hopefully) I will find an employer who sees the benefits of hiring a brilliant Aussie woman, who just happens to have some red tape stuck to the bottom of her shoe.