Friday, July 22, 2011

Backstory Postponed...

I have been trying for the better part of the night to conjure up the humor to continue with part 12 of my back story. Unfortunately however even though the story is from memory, I cannot really find my sense of humor very easily tonight. Not enough to make a silly mistake in my life seem funny at any rate. This isn't a very good week for me, and it's been a July tradition of mine since 2007. My oldest son Joshua turned 12 on Wednesday, and he also shares his birthday with my mother who I did at least get to see this year. But I haven't seen my oldest boy and five years, and it makes the days from July 15 to sometime in the late 20s pretty hard to deal with.

Because of bureaucratic snafus on both the US and Costa Rican ends of the immigration spectrum, my residency here has been in a state of limbo. Even though I have three children here with my fiancée (my youngest son and my twin girls), I have technically overstayed my tourist visa to the tune of about four years. In late 2007 just before my youngest boy was born, a new law was passed that stated anyone who stayed past the 90 day tourist visa would have to pay $100 per day that they have overstayed as well as be banned from reentering the country for 5-10 years. This was focused mostly towards American ex-pats out of anger for Bush inflicting the new CAFTA treaty upon them despite their declared neutral status.

At the time I was taking care of a pregnant fiancée and her three-year-old son (the greatest stepson a man could ever want) and I obviously didn't have 5000+ dollars and five years to be away from my new family. So I got what I thought at the time was a decent lawyer and we worked out the details for my residency and eventual citizenship here. But I was not to leave the country until that was squared away, otherwise I would face a fine and the deportation without any way of defending myself. Here in Latin America, they don't follow the English common law like most English-speaking nations do. They follow the Napoleonic code, and that usually means guilty until presumed innocent if you tick them off bad enough. So I didn't have a choice, I had to wait out whatever bureaucratic process was laid before me before I could ever think of leaving and being able to return again.

It has been four years since we hired that incompetent lawyer. And in that four years I've seen the man maybe six times and have had to sign three papers. The last time I saw him was about two weeks ago when Paty and I went into San Jose, and as always, he claimed progress but that we still had time to wait for the courts to work there snail paced magic.

I missed everything from HERE..
During this time, I have tried to stay as close to my son as possible through the Internet and over the phone. But five years is a long time. And I have listened to his voice go from sweet innocent little child, to a crackly voiced alpha male preteen but have never had the chance to hug him in that entire time. I have lost five of the most magical years of my child's life and I will never get them back. Because he is already an amazing person, he tells me all the time that he forgives me and that he understands why I have had to stay. He knows that to leave would be essentially abandoning people who depend on me, and that's not what a man does.

to HERE
I take comfort in knowing that he has a very happy life with his mother, stepfather, and four brothers. And you never catch him in a bad mood, and he is just plain naturally happy. That takes away from the sting a little bit, but during this week as with the last for July's everything just piles on emotionally.

So I can't comfortably tell a funny story about my life this Friday. Because this week, as far as I'm concerned, any event that happened to me here, was just time that I should've been spending with Joshua... I'll be better next week, and I thank you all for your patience,

25 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

Not a worry obviously, family is everything.

Zombie said...

yeah, family should always come first. :)

Magixx said...

as they already said, nothing above family! ;)

Tony Storm said...

dont worry dude, we can wait, good luck

ebm93 said...

Totally agree. Good luck with all

Gryt said...

Wow, take your time man we'll be ready to hear it when you're ready to tell us

Electric Addict said...

the internet is great but no match for in life social interaction

Banacek said...

As I've said before, I'm amazed you can find the time to blog at all. Glad you do, though!

Ray Rousell said...

He sounds like a great kid, he must be pretty level headed understanding your predicament, it must be awful for you.

Bargain Flights said...

I agree to you all but not totally, what I say is that family is everything if and only if you are everything for your family. If they don't care about you then atleast family is not everything for you.
This is my personal logic, you may or may not agree it.

Shutterbug said...

By the sounds of it, you are a dedicated, committed family man! Good for you! :)

Leila said...

So many nightmares plague me. And almost all of them have been about losing children. I'm 19 and never had the pleasure of giving birth to a child (at least not yet), but I understand how you feel. And it's funny, I don't feel as awake as I do in my nightmares. Emotions are much more vivid and the pain more palpable. I once had a dream that I gave birth to a still born son. The corpse eventually grew to an undead man with pale eyes in a matter of minutes. I woke up crying, and I knew then and there that I would lose someone special in years to come. A lot of people think I'm crazy when I call it clairvoyance, but what else could it be?

I'm sorry you haven't seen your son, but I can tell he was raised right and with much love if up until now he bears you no grudge or resentment. I certainly would. i would probably be immature if I were him, but he's not. You should be proud of that.

The Reckmonster said...

Hey - you don't need to apologize for anything. Daddy duty (be it in person or in the heart) comes first! Your kids are lucky to have a sweet daddy!

Rachel Neilson said...

Family is the most important thing in my life.

hit girl mellie said...

my heart breaks for you.

taio said...

gracias amigo

Jason said...

This is great! Loved reading it, thanks for updating

Mike said...

Virtue is the most important thing! Family is just a biological relationship.

Justin said...

Moving from one country to another shouldn't be so hard... Laws are ridiculous sometimes and lawyers are just as (if not more so) appalling.

Good luck with everything and keep your chin up!

cheshire said...

Bleak news about not being able to see your son for such a long period of time, but at least him, and yourself, both have 'new' families to fill the gap, as it were. Also, I'm glad you like Spacemen 3 - there are so few people who have good musical taste in the world. If you like them you might want to check out Spiritualized and The Blue Angel Lounge, also really chill psychedelic rock.

Marlene said...

Big hugs to you....I can't even imagine how hard that must be.

ed said...

never knew that was the napoelonic code, best of luck to you

Beans said...

Sorry abou the imcompetent lawyer. It just makes a bad situation worse when people suck at their job.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

*BEEG HUGGLEZ* its all I can say...

Vietnam Travel Agent said...

yes family is everthing. Nothing is more important then family.