Browsing Category: USA

Emigration: we have arrived

arrived

I keep starting and closing or deleting this post, I think because I don’t know quite how to write it all. Or even how to just get started. I’m writing this on an ancient laptop that will be my machine for the next few weeks or months. I am writing this from my mom’s dining room table, which will be my desk for the next few weeks or months. I suppose you could say that we’ve arrived at our new home, but that doesn’t quite feel accurate.

After a ridiculously long journey (and let’s not even talk about moving day) from Joburg to Phoenix, Dean, Harley and I have arrived at my mom’s place. The flights themselves weren’t so bad. Harley slept a lot and was generally just a trooper. The first flight was pretty nice, but the second one was a much older plane and less comfy. Regardless, eventually we made it and have started our new life here. But it all just feels a bit surreal still, and I feel so totally out of place. Continue Reading

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After (almost) 10 years, one week left

one week left

October would have been ten years of me living in South Africa. Almost a decade of my life spent in this amazing, complicated, beautiful, bizarre country. I have lived here longer than I lived in The Netherlands, which was a huge part of my formative years, and despite the fact that South African Home Affairs never resolved the issues with my residency, I truly feel like South Africa has been my home for a decade. It’s hard to believe that in just a week, Dean, Harley and I will be getting on a plane and moving away.

On the 15th of August, we fly to the US to start our new life. It’s something we’ve been working towards for months now, something that seemed to take forever and then all of a sudden is happening so fast. We only have one week left to sort everything out. One week left to finish packing, one week left to finalize all our arrangements, one week left to say all our farewells. It’s emotional and stressful and chaotic, I’m feeling so many mixed emotions that I thought I’d try to blog them all out, but apologies if a todo list sneaks its way in – that seems to be how I think these days. Also, huge apologies for the infrequent blogging at this point; there just aren’t enough hours in the day for all the things. Continue Reading

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Emigration: From concept to hearing “congratulations”

emigration

I’ve written about our emigration process before. I talked about when we first started thinking about emigrating, how it was officially a goal for this year and even my ambivalence about really making the decision and feeling sad about leaving our wonderful life behind. I’ve bemoaned how long the admin was taking us and made a bit of a list of logistics I needed to put down so that they wouldn’t keep rattling around in my head. But we’ve hit a major milestone – we heard “Congratulations” at the consulate, and so I wanted to take you with me from start to finish.

Getting Dean’s Green Card has not been easy, and we still aren’t totally done. But I’m taking this milestone as an opportunity to reflect back on the process and talk about some of the big things we’ve gone through. If you’re planning to emigrate in general, or get a Green Card in particular, let me tell you that it is not easy, not for the faint of heart, but hopefully totally worth it. I did a Facebook Live about this as well, if you’re keen to watch me talk about this through Facebook or YouTube. Continue Reading

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Some emigration logistics to think through

logistics

Often, this blog serves as a place for me to think my way through parenting feelings, emotional debates, and general epiphanies. But you know what, it’s also my place on the internet to explore what I’m going through and what’s occupying space in my head, even if it’s not emotional, parenting related or deep and meaningful. At the moment, I’m thinking a lot about our goal to emigrate. It is definitely taking shape – Dean’s medical is complete, which means we just need to finish off some last forms and then go for his interview and we should hopefully maybe almost be done with the bureaucratic hurdles (more on all of that once they’re done, I promise). Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we are at the finish line just yet – there is still all manner of logistics to sort out before we can get on that plane.

It’s been funny as we plan our move what people have asked if we’ve considered. On the one hand, I like to think that Dean and I have thought our way through most everything, but I’m sure there are some things we haven’t gotten to yet. My goal is that once Dean’s Green Card is officially approved, we will move within six weeks. That means a lot of the planning and thinking has to happen now, so we can just set everything in motion when the time comes. If you’re planning to emigrate, here are some logistics you might need to consider. Continue Reading

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Hurry up and wait

wait

My number one goal for this year is to get my family moved. We made the decision that we wanted to emigrate, to move to the US of A. And while the change of politics has been distressing, it isn’t a reason not to move. We are going because we need to give Harley a better life, and pursue our dreams to a greater extent. It can be daunting, but I still think it’s the right decision. That doesn’t mean that the process has been easy. I mean, the forms themselves can be a bit intimidating but they aren’t particularly difficult to complete. No, it’s more the actual process than the individual steps.

We received approval for the first step of Dean’s green card application. There are still many steps to go, so I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself. That said, the first step was approved, and faster than expected. They told us it would take 3-6 weeks to be approved, and we got the email just before 3 weeks had elapsed. If the whole process is estimated to take 3-6 months, it seems that we might actually get through it on the shorter rather than longer end of that process. But currently we are in a holding pattern and it is making me a bit crazy. Continue Reading

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