Tuesday, September 27, 2011
And now, we wait
The petition for alien relative, along with all the accompanying documents, I hope, and reluctantly -written check for $420-- what price for a husband-- is in the mail.
My hands shook as I sealed the priority envelope, after checking and double checking I had included everything. I'm not sure why, but the feeling of powerlessness, of vulnerability in the face of bureaucracy, is a potent one.
And, as I write that, I am conscious of the thousands of others, immigrants and natives, praying their petitions to bring their loved ones to the same continent as them, get into the hands of the least grouchy Dept. of Homeland Security employees and get the "approved" rather than "denied" stamp.
I am not alone. And I, by the dumb luck of being born American, caucasian, WASP, probably have no right to be whining at all. Ours is a minor blip, a technicality, which can and will be overcome. Not so for everyone. For I have felt the unexpected shame of sitting on a train, passing through frontiers, watching men and women around me, those with skin and hair darker than mine, be asked for papers, while I was totally and completely ignored. My whiteness renders me uninteresting, invisible, exempt. OK.
And while half of me admittedly wonders if this isn't all a sign we should have stayed in Europe-- the question still dangles in my peripheral vision--I want to see Ian back in this house he built, in this family he helped make, in this country he adopted for the love of me.
He called this morning to tell me, to tell us, he saw a shooting star in the middle of the dark French night last night. I can't help but choose to see that as a sign as well.
image from akshay moon@flickr