Well, somebody says 8’s are lucky. I guess I always thought of 7 as a lucky number… Although 8 is the month I was born so it was very lucky for my parents and big sister (they may agree on somedays and not agree on others). Two of my sister’s kids were born in the 8th month also. My brother-in-law was born in the 8th month. I would consider that lucky for my sis and for me since he’s been around since I was 3 and I got an automatic big brother. My grandmother was born on 8-18-08 and is celebrating her 100th birthday TODAY! The same date 8-18-08 but a whole century later. Amazing! I told my dad he’s got good genes and I look forward to his 100th in 31.5 years but he doesn’t seem as excited as I am about that. Apparently living to 100 isn’t a goal of his although I’m trying to convince him to make it one.
Today also marks four months since Mex and I crossed back in to the US. Now only two years and eight months until he can become a citizen. You better believe I am counting the days… probably more than he is! Though it means more money and we are still reeling a little bit from the fees and 4.5 months of him not working. I certainly understand the process of legalization is not one to take lightly or a decision to be made quickly. With $4500 for the attorney (worth every penny!) $2500 in fees to the US Immigration Service, $9600 in Mex’s lost wages from not working, and over $6000 in travel expenses it is not a process for the faint of heart. True, we could have saved $3000 by having me stay home but I would have had to probably spend that much on phone bills and ulcer treatment from all my worries.
I have heard news reports recently criticizing undocumented workers for not coming forward and trying to do things the right way. In my experience, the people I know send almost all of there extra income back to their families in Mexico to support them. They do not have the luxury of being able to save over $20,000 to then go to Mexico and take the risk that they may never come back. That is every penny of a years work for many of them. This is not to brag about how frugal Mex and I are or how much money we were able to save. We worked very, very hard and had to do it over more than 3 years. He worked two full time jobs starting at 6am and finishing at 11pm Mon – Fri for the first year of our marriage. I am writing these figures because if you know anyone going through a process similar to ours it is important for them to understand the real costs before they get started. While that $9600 of lost work is not a number we had to PAY someone it was a lot bigger loss of income than we had predicted. People starting the process should be given accurate numbers by their attorneys so they are not blind-sided by the cost of legalization.
Alright, enough pontificating (I’ve been wanting to use that word for weeks!)
My final call for 8’s being lucky is the fact that today, 8-18-08, Mex is starting his new job with a great company, where he has been trying to get a job since coming back. They are a corporate food service company with excellent benefits and an excellent track record of employee treatment. He starts today. They also provides food for Medtronic, Target, St. Olaf College (Um Ya Ya), and Cue at the Guthrie to name a few.
All right- I gotta run and check on a house but everyone send out a birthday wish for my grandma Dorothy.