Friday, July 3, 2009

After 403 Days...

Qian and I arrived back in Xi'an today after an incredible week in Beijing. Despite my crotchetiness with the young backpackers at our hostel, the four days we spent in Beijing were delightful.

The highlight of the trip for me was renting an electric-powered motor boat and taking that out on Houhai with our friends Richard and Ling. We got into the boat at sunset and cruised out on the water as Houhai and the bars surrounding the lake went abuzz with the darkness. A surreal experience.

Other highlights included watching Qian see Tiananmen Square for the first time (I'll post some goofy pictures of her there in the coming days), the Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall at Jinshanling and Simatai, hanging out with a number of different friends we know in Beijing, and having a cup of coffee with probably one of, if not the best, China blogger on the internet.

As great as our few days in Beijing were, the biggest news for me at the moment is the news Qian and I received this morning.

When Qian and I got back to Xi'an a few hours ago, we checked her email. Yesterday we'd sent an email to Guangzhou asking about the status of her visa to America.

Well, today the consulate in Guangzhou responded that they'd received all of the documents they needed, had reviewed our case, and have given approval to Qian for a visa to the States! Wooooohooooo!!!!!!!!!! The Land of the Free (and adjustable rate mortgages), here we come!!!

The final step will be going back to Guangzhou again in the coming weeks (Ramesh, Qian and I would love to buy you dinner) to get the visa in Qian's passport. We then will have a party for us here in Xi'an (an event with bells and whistles celebrating our upcoming marriage, but without an actual marriage certificate or anything official... we need to still be unmarried upon entry to the States) and then going to America.

Today, July 3rd, 2009, is a good day. We sent in our first application for Qian's visa to the States on May 26, 2008. So only 403 days after initially sending in information to the United States Customs and Immigration Services, we've received confirmation that Qian can come to America on a fiancee visa.

Someday in the future, I'm going to give a detailed plan for how to get through this process. We made a few mistakes and it cost us a significant amount of time. I'll try to type up something clear and simple explaining how one should go about this K1 visa process.

Until I do that, I'm going to enjoy life as much as possible here in Xi'an, wrap up all of the loose ends that I'll need to after being in China for more than three and a half years, and Qian and I are going to do our best to prepare for the insanity that will be getting married and going to the US in the next couple of months.

7 comments:

Hopfrog said...

Congrats. Gonna miss reading this blog from China but it will be interesting to read about Qian's coming to America odyssey should you continue the blog.

Mark said...

Thanks a lot, Hopfrog. I appreciate the well wishes.

I'm going to continue to blog from the States. Honestly, the new perspective of looking at China from America should add an interesting new twist. Not to mention adjusting to American life with a Chinese wife.

As far as the news goes, I'm going to continue to be able to read all of the things I'm reading now (and actually it'll be easier... no net nanny) and I'll still have the experience in China to draw back upon.

Whether I'll have as much time to do it is another question. My setup right now is pretty cushy. Definitely will be easier than whatever I end up doing in the States (assuming I can find employment... *gulp*). But I reckon I'll still stay engaged with China news and will continue to update this blog on a regular basis.

Ramesh said...

Delighted Mark to hear that Qian's visa has come through and that you folks are US bound. And even more delighted that you will come to Guangzhou. No way you'll buy me dinner - you're coming to "my town" and it will be my pleasure to take you both out. Just drop me a line at my e mail id in my profile when you guys are coming.

Fernando said...

Dear Mark,
Many congratulations to you and Qian.
All the best
Fernando

马克 said...

Rock and roll dude. I knew everything would work out eventually. My wife and I are gonna stay in China for awhile and build our life here. I will take her back to the US one day, most likely after adding additional personnel to our family (*gasp* did I just say that? :-). I remember when we were both on Xanga during those early china days (you were "midgepuff" if I remember correctly; I was "thescrewisloose")...my, how life has changed for both of us, but definitely for the better. I imagine how I would feel about living in America again after being in China for so long and I think that I would actually enjoy it because I would be introducing a new world to my wife, and I'm sure you will have the same feeling. You should definitely chronicle your reassimilation (and her adjustments)...I think there's a whole crop of us who are similarly aged and came over around the same time, found our soulmates in China, and will eventually be making our way back to the motherland in the next few years, and already a few bloggers are documenting the journey. 祝你好运 and I hope the road is smooth and paved with gumdrops....

Mark said...

Ramesh, Fernando, 马克:

Thanks for all of the kind words and thoughts. We really appreciate them. The coming few weeks are going to be crazy. Will be fun though. I'll surely keep everyone up-to-date with what is going on.

andy said...

I'll see you in KC.