Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bad things DO happen in 3's...

Disclaimer: I am VERY Upset.

My family and I just came back from a fantastic weekend away; which I will have to tell you about some other time. And in the course of an hour, I found out that:
1. The sealants that the dentist had put on my son's teeth last month at the cost of $40 to me; was now going to cost me an additional $144 because the insurance claimed that my son had already had this procedure done before. As it turns out, the infamous Dr. Yati, had done the sealant in Dec 05, unbeknownst to me; and the insurance only covers it once in a lifetime. Now when I say unbeknownst to me, it was unbeknownst to me, but it seems that it was not unbeknownst to Luis; just forgotten. Dr. Yati's office does believe that Nicky's dentist should have checked with the insurance; so maybe, just maybe they'll cut me a break; but I'm not feeling so lucky right now - so we'll just have to see.
2. I got a photo ticket. Apparently I got caught by a photo radar making a turn on a red light. Luis said that he can tell from the picture that the guy in front of me probably didn't make the turn fast enough, which is why I got snapped, but nonetheless, now I have to either pay $214, or go to a defensive driving class though my ticket also mentions that I will have to take another class; basically because I am a potential murderer since I made this right on red. Woohoo!!
Just when you think it can't get any worse;
3. Luis called home to Puerto Vallarta because his parents had their visa appointment in Guadalajara today and he wanted to see how it went. Luis' Mom and Dad are 2 of the finest, most upstanding people that you could EVER want to meet. His dad is retired from the government and currently has several rental properties. He was also president of his colony for a very long time (aka Richie Howell - but better) and to this day, people come to his home to see him for advice and counsel. His mom has a business selling cheese and is pretty much the town saint. Whenever anyone is in need of assistance, very ill, or dying people come to her home (any time of the day or night) to get her to come to their bedside and pray for them. Anyway, they had passports with US visas for 10 years and they recently expired. They paid $40 each to get a new passport, and then requested a date to go to Guadalajara (about a 5 hrs drive) to apply for visas. As it is very difficult for Mexican citizens to get visas; they hired an attorney to help them with the paperwork, and Luis and I sent them a notarized letter to present, stating that we would be financially responsible for them (if necessary) while they are ever here. Luis' dad has over $50,000 in the bank, he owns a vehicle, and several properties; and they've had visas before. So you'd think there should be no reason for them to be turned down. They paid $80 each for their visa applications and transportation to Guadalajara and arrived at about 5am to get online at the consulate. Luis' dad told him that the person they saw at the consulate was a woman and she could not have been ANY ruder. She asked if he had a bank account, he said yes, and offered to show it to her but she said no. She asked what he did for a living and he explained as I did previously. She asked if he'd ever had a visa before and he said yes, and offered to show her the passport; but she said no. She then said "I'm sorry Mr. Ramos, there will be no visa for you today." My father in law told Luis that there were 54 people on his bus and only 11 got visas. And I am MAD!
There is absolutely no reason that my in-laws should not have been given a renewal on their visas. They paid the money for the passports, the lawyer, the visa applications, the transportation and there is no chance whatsoever that they would ever remain in the US or overstay their allotted time. I know this may sound hard to believe and trust me, I'm not UN-American, but NOT everyone and their mother wants to live in the United States; and contrary to popular belief, not every MEXICAN wants to live in the United States. Heck, if I would agree to move back to Puerto Vallarta; Luis would move in a heartbeat. He NEVER wanted to come here; he just came for me. He NEVER expected to be here this long; but the economy has us trapped.
I think that part of why I'm so frustrated is because the last time that my in-laws planned to visit, they had to postpone their trip for SEVERAL months because Luis' Grandma became very ill and ultimately passed away. Then just shortly after her passing, their visas expired. Of course they HAD to take care of their family, that's what WE do; but ultimately it also distanced them from us. I am angry because these are my kids ONLY grandparents; and now the US government has taken away their opportunity to spend time with them more than every 1 - 1 1/2 years. I mean, I was counting on my in-laws being able to visit US for a change. I wanted them to see the kids play soccer with their teams and be a part of their daily lives. With the cost of airline tickets these days and gas, it isn't possible for my family to go to Vallarta very often, not to mention that when we drive it takes about 24 hours each way, so we need to have at least 14 days available to us, to make it worth our while; and let's face it, when you have school age children the only time you get 14 days available is either at Christmas or Summer vacation. I'm mad that this woman didn't have to give them any reason for their rejection; because it just makes the decision seem that much more haphazard.
I guess I could go on and on; and many of you have never read this side of me before; but I wanted to share my day with you. WHY? Well many reasons; #1 Because I want everyone to know that we ALL have bad days; even though what might be bad for me is nothing for you or vice verse, it is a setback nonetheless. My $144 dentist bill and $214 ticket might seem like nothing to some; but to me it might as well be $2000 each because right now, my budget is just that strapped. #2 I really do want people to have some understanding as to what Mexican citizens do have to go through just to get the permission to visit this country; because (say it with me) "I am all about the greater good;" and hey, knowledge is power. I am in no way justifying illegal immigration; but there are people who do try to do things the right way, and for no explainable reason they are denied; which has more of a permanent effect on families than our government will ever know, or care to know. Luis has told me that since he is a citizen he believes there is some process that we can go through to apply for visas on his parents behalf. He believes it takes 6 months, and he doesn't know how much it costs. I on the other hand am not hopeful because when Nicky was less than 6 months old, Luis and I applied to bring his sister over to live with us because we wanted her to watch Nicky while we worked. 2 years ago we found out that her visa was finally approved (Nicky was then 7 and I had 2 more children;) to date my sister in law has NOT received her packet from the government with her actual visa; and although we paid for the application and have lost over 9 years, we have no idea if and when she will EVER receive her visa; not to mention the fact that she is now a successful accountant who is studying for her Masters degree and she would NEVER come here now for anything more than a visit. BTW she also tried twice to get a tourist Visa and was denied both times; as was Luis' older brother who is a chef in a four star resort, owns property, vehicles etc.etc.
Trust me when I tell you that this blog is not meant to incite any debates over our government or immigration; so PLEASE do not leave me ay comments to this accord. I just wanted to share the tale of my day because right now I am the Queen of DESPAIR. I guess it is true that bad things DO happen in 3's. So hopefully I have earned myself a reprieve for a few days.
Till next time...


Rachel said...

That sucks...I am so sorry, and especially that people's fear, predjudice and stereotyping separates families! I'm so sad that this is impacting your family so negatively. I hope Luis can make some headway from this end. I will keep a good thought for you...

Jackie said...

There are no words to say how sorry I am. You know I would do anything to make things different. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as always and hopefully not all bad will come out of this.
Love you.

michelle said...

I'm with Rachel on this - maybe Luis can do something for his mom & dad - keep positive and know that your friends and family are all rooting for them to get here soon. (You know I need another meal from the MIL - it was amazing!)I know you said don't comment on govt etc, but DAMN RED TAPE!!! They are strict on people who are law abiding while criminals walk the streets...makes no sense. Hang in there.