Our interview has been completed at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina! Instead of making you read all the way to the bottom, I will let you know now that Javier was granted an immigration visa. This is what we have been waiting and praying for. I will now share how the interview and how the “nerve-racking” process went.
We left our home at almost 4 A.M. on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Our drive to Buenos Aires was an estimated 13-14 hours. With three small children, we had calculated several stops for the bathroom, to refill with gas for the car, and to get food. The drive was long, but the kids did great! They slept for a while, due to us leaving so early. We saw some beautiful sites of Argentina. The only place we hit traffic was in Buenos Aires, but that was to be expected. On the drive we passed many toll roads and the most expensive was in Buenos Aires. The last one, before getting to our “home” for the week, had so many cars backed up that everyone was honking their horns. This meant they opened the toll and we got go through that one for free!
Airbnb.com is where we found our rental for the week. We had never used this service before and decided to take a chance with it. There are good reviews and it is a legit company. You can see pictures of the home beforehand, as well as reviews of the host. We had initially thought about renting for only four days, but opted for the weekly price because it was only a little bit more. So glad, we did this! I will explain more later… If someone signs up via the link, we get credit for future stays in Argentina. We will be leaving very soon, but nice to know about the service that is international.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015, we headed out to get some documents legalized, since they were not considered as so. This was strange to me, since here where we live, they are the legal documents. We took a taxi because we had chosen to pay for our car to be safely parked in a parking garage for the week. The first place said that we had to have a signature from an office representing our state. Instead of walking, the man suggested we take the subway, and that is what we did. It was exciting for the kids, but we were very careful with our belongings and kept our hands firmly on the kids. One thing about Argentina is that they give priority to the elderly, disabled, pregnant, and to the mothers with young children. Seats were given up for the kids and for me to sit down almost every time we rode the subway while in Buenos Aires. At the state of Chaco building, we were in and out within five minutes, thanks to the kids. I would like to say thanks to the kids. Then it was back to the subway and to the first building to get the legalization done. We were now able to check off the marriage certificate and birth certificate being legalized. The email from the embassy stated that we needed a different police report. This is very good that we did not ignore it, because the police report we had was only good for 30 days and Javier had the report done in May. Off to the police station with the children and they gave several options of how to get the report back fast. Javier opted for the 24 hour option and this meant we did not have to go back to that building, because the report could be printed online. Our youngest son was worn out from all of the walking and excitement of the day and fell asleep while we were still waiting for everything to be finished there.
Thursday, July 23, 2015, was the medical portion of the interview process. All of us slept later that day since the appointment was not until the afternoon. A subway took us close to where we needed to be and we walked the rest of the way. I began to feel like I was already back in the United States, because there seemed like there was a McDonald’s every two blocks, plus Starbucks, Burger King, and Subway. We even saw a TGIFriday’s and a Staples store. The medical part was in a small office that would not seat many, but the kids and I took a seat and waited. It did not end well. The doctor gave my husband orders for his X-ray, blood test, and to get one more vaccination that he lacked. That was not the bad part. The bad part was being told that he could not complete his medical until Monday, July 27, 2015, in the afternoon. Our embassy appointment was for that morning. The doctor said it was our fault and when the embassy emailed us our appointment we scheduled the medical right away stating when our appointment was. The only thing we could do was try and contact the embassy. I tried to call the embassy twice and could never get past an automated message and I also emailed them.
Friday, July 24, 2015 we got up extra early as to try and get past the rush hour on the subway. The rush hour is much earlier in Buenos Aires. We only had to make two stops. The X-ray and blood test were in the same building (one upstairs and then the other downstairs). This was very fast and then we headed for the vaccination. I am not sure why, but that seemed to take longer, but I sat the whole time with the children in a lobby that was comfortable. By this time, we were all getting hungry because we had not eaten any breakfast. The day before we had explored the area close by, that consisted of a mall with several McDonald’s.
McDonald’s was our choice for breakfast and while Javier stood at the counter waiting for food, our twins were running and our son tripped over our daughter’s legs landing very hard into the middle of two glass walls. Yes, there was blood and lots of it. The McDonald’s employees at the Recoletta Mall location were great. They played with the other two children, while we went to the paramedic station they had for the mall. Gluing the cut shut was an option they mentioned, but then they said no because the cut was too deep and too much blood. Our son screamed so much about putting a bandage on his head to try and stop the blood. It was decided I should go to the hospital with our son, because he always wants to be with me and may do better. He did not want to ride in the wheelchair to the ambulance so I held him and also held him in the back of the ambulance. The sirens were blaring the whole time and they kept announcing that is was a pediatric emergency. The hospital staff were all great and our son ended up with three stitches. He screamed and screamed, but it may have been that I had to hold him down with two other nurses. That was our excitement for that day! I finally reached out to the embassy’s facebook page when we got to our place and they messaged back that they would be waiting for my email concerning what we should do about lacking the medical portion.
The rest of the weekend was spent by us going to the zoo, having a cookout with some friends, and celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary.