Monday, February 3, 2014
A little under 4.5 hours from now we, Endhi and I, will be standing at a counter together at the US Embassy in Jakarta seeking final approval of his fiance visa. Excitement is all I am filled with. It feels like it is finally our chance.
I've thought this morning how historic this moment really is. 10 years ago I doubt there was much hope that couples like Endhi and I would ever have the chance at equality. I am indebted to those who forged ahead before us that never saw the opportunity we have been given.
Even a month ago I didn't think I would be able to be here today. I was preparing paperwork and wrothe the letter written below as a supplement. Luckily I was able to be here today. Today is ours.
The letter I began writing (still in draft form) for Endhi to take with him:
"Its hard to believe the day has come that someone at a US embassy would read a letter such as this and have the legal ability to unite a couple such as Battiyono's and I. It is even more amazing to me that I have met a man like Endhi and our day has finally arrived to ask that our family be united in our own pursuit of happiness as was fought for so many years ago. There is a range of emotions as I think of the day this letter will be presented.
While the journey for us has been a trial of endurance, I can't help but think of the generations of couples and individuals before us that have fought and endured so that this day might finally come for us. I think of all those before that have been denied the opportunity of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." I would be truly ungrateful if those who fought before me didn't cross my mind. Endhi and I are truly lucky that we have seen equality come so far in our lifetime.
I grew up in a world where inequality was still a force in our culture. I've tasted the bitterness of feeling the need to conform to social and religious norms. I followed the path set out for me by others who felt it was the only way. For last 6 years I have chosen to forge my own way through life following my heart. It has been a path seeking forgiveness for the mistakes of the past. A path learning forgive myself as well; learning not only to accept who I am, but also to love who I am. Its been a path that has taught me much about what is important in life and what is important in love. It has also taught me that love isn't a final stopping point; it is a companion you choose on the road of life. It is something that gives and takes, but even when taking true love somehow is still giving.
By divine intervention or simple luck we found each other. Endhi and I have chosen each other to walk the road of life with. There will be hills and valleys, rough roads and smooth sailing. It will always be together. I love this man beyond the explanation of words. He has brought a peace and happiness beyond what I believed was possible in this life. As our time difference, and signal strength on his island, allowed we have talked over Skype. I love to hear his voice, but simply seeing this man brings a smile to my face and calms the stress our distance causes. The time differences has caused there to be some days where “good morning” and “good night, sweet dreams” have been the only conversations we have been able to have. We anxiously await the approaching day where the distance from work to home is all that separates us.
I write this letter to supplement all the other papers sent. Unfortunately I won’t be able to be in Jakarta as he interviews. I had hoped to be there, but with plane tickets to buy and a trip to Seattle to marry in an equality state, it is better we keep savings in tact for anything unexpected. My sons are anxious to get to Disneyland as promised once Endhi can join us.
As far as specifics of getting married, we will within the 90 days from entering the US. We are looking at late March or April in Seattle where I have friends that will celebrate reaching this landmark on our journey together. We do intend to move back to Salt Lake once jobs are secured. Endhi has been unofficially offered a job once he is in Utah and has his legal permits to work. After 2 years of working to be together, we are excited to start building our life together.
The process of waiting for equality and being spread across three countries has been a challenge for my family. I truly hope that this final interview and visa issuance will happen quickly so there is no more time spent apart.
Trying to sum up our love in a letter is an impossible task. There is no way to put into words the gentleness and peace I feel as I look into his eyes or hold his hand. There is a joy that comes from hearing him talk with my sons. There is a comfort knowing he is mine and I am his. There is a peace that comes from knowing my sons will grow up seeing an example of what love is and should be. There is so much we look forward to.
I love this man completely and he loves me. I urge you to take this application very seriously and finally allow my family the chance to be together in one place."
Posted by Bridger at 5:08 PM