Friday, August 27, 2004

I got my EAD card!

Yahoo! Finally, I have received my Employment Authorization Card! Now I can apply for work...but wait, I have to stay at home! I don't have a car yet, and no driver's license yet. I still have to get an SSN before I can apply for a driver's license. Only then can I work as well. This will be my first step. And this is my FIRST US Government Issued ID! Let's see...I filed the application June 10 (though our first attempt was on June 4, but it was closed). Then I reveived the notice about two weeks after that. I called for an appointment for the fingerprinting and biometrics, which was set last August 18. Now it is August 27, which is the 77th day from the date of filing. Good enough. Now the next step is for me to apply for my SSN. That will serve as my national identification card. Praise God!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Fingerprinting and Biometrics

Today Ana was so generous to drive me to Portland for my fingerprinting and biometrics, both for EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and AOS (Adjustment of Status). Going there is still fresh in my memory from the last time I did with Gary, so although we left at 6:30 a.m., we arrived there at 8:30 a.m. Ana did her best to speed up to 5-10 mph beyond the speed limit at the interstate highway and still stay safe, and she did a terrific job! (I was telling her that I might probably not try that long drive when I finally have the license to drive).

Well, we got there ahead of my appointment, which was at 9:00 a.m., but they attended to me anyway. It went smoothly and fast, it took me less than an hour to finish my business. Ana had her passport stamped as well. Digital imagery/scanning of fingerprints was used, and there was a polaroid camera so we did not have to go outside. I was told by the one who took my fingerprints that I should have my EAD card mailed to me within 90 days; if not, I will then go back to the INS office to obtain a temporary permit then wait for the mailed card. As for my AOS, their target processing time is 3-4 months. By then I should be waiting for my interview appointment.

After that, we all headed for the address of the Filipino store there. However, when we finally got to the street we could not find it, so Ana called the shop and asked how to get there from where we were. She was told that the new address was (from Deering Ave.) 51 Washington Ave. The store person could not give clear directions; just that we head for downtown Portland and we would not miss it. Yeah right....we drove and drove, trying very hard the (lack of) details in the small maps of Portland that we were carrying with us. Until we just felt lost as if we were in the middle of the ocean with only the waters on the horizon...Ana drove and drove until we finally found the I-95. Another distance of driving in an attempt to see the store (we managed to get to Washington Ave.) proved futile. WE finally headed back home, with Ana so tired especially at her back, and me very sleepy from lack of sleep the previous night.

We cheered ourselves for having accomplished at least what we really wanted to do there. But we were nonetheless frustrated at not having shot two birds with one stone, and having wasted time and gasoline for the store search instead of having used the money for goods instead of the gasoline. Sigh....

Well, another reason to celebrate was Ana's success at the long drive! We went home safely, all four of us (with her two daughters). And that is no small feat.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Barn burned

Mom came to our house last night...been trying to contact us for the past 30 minutes to inform us that their chicken barn was burning!... I felt guilty because I started using the internet at around 9 pm. Gary went with her back to their house; I was left with the kids.
When Gary came back, we readied for bed. AS I was about to massage him, he said I did not have to. Maybe he noticed how down I felt. I said I just felt sorry for Mom. Knowing how Mom get attached to their pets, even though these were meant to be consumed as food for the winter...that would have broken her heart. Plus, they are already old to be facing such a horrible experience.

This morning, the kids and I went there to see what help we could extend. We saw the rubbles, including some bodies of dead chicks, burnt weed whacker, small tractor, mountain bike (Gary's), lawn mower, small rotatiller, and other gadgets. They had been using the barn as storage for these equipment. They already called the insurance adjuster, and they could not touch/start cleaning the rubbles until the insurance adjuster had assessed the damage.
Mom was scheduled to mow her lawn today, but she just felt so weak, with a very down spirit that she did not have the strength to do any chore. I stayed with her and we talked. She said the fire, if not abated (like if they went out that night, which they did the other night), could have easily spread to the forest, involving their own house in the process (as it stood near the trees). The wind was blowing in the direction of our house. Forest fires are so hard to suppress, especially that the fire trucks have no way of keeping up with it because of the terrain. They would just have to wait at the other end, wet the trees there hoping they won't burn. A forest fire could have easily included our house in less than 30 minutes. That's a scary scary scenario...I dread to think of losing our unfinished house...Gary dread to think of having to build another house. MOm said that Gary spoke of jumping into the middle of the fire if indeed this house burns again.

Sigh...we still have a reason to thank God despite losing those chicks, the barn and the equipment there. AT least our houses are still erect, unharmed, and there were no casualties. Dad could have suffered from another bout of stroke. Mom said he was a bit incoherent during the fire -- totally confused as to what to do. I admire Mom for being strong and coherent during the time. I could empathize with them...They are old, and they do not need such stress.

Monday, August 09, 2004

I am excited with the many friends I have been making ever since I joined . Now I rarely have the time to update my blogs! lol!....Just corresponding with them, talking about any topic under the sun, collaborating with some of them re work/employment/income possibilities...ther are just so much to do, to write, and I have so much emotional support coming from them. I love that online community. Posted by Hello