Immigration Separation: Nigeria to US

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/475/229/794/demand-approval-of-immigration-for-my-husband/?taf_id=65201540&cid=fb_na#bbfb=342265776

Picture it…USA…2017. You have worked hard to create the best life for yourself. You spent time improving your mental, physical, financial as well as spiritual health. You followed the American society’s blueprint for a great life. You are a stable and independent female living in the US. You meet a guy who lives in Nigeria and over time the two of you fall in love. Eventually, you marry him in Nigeria and you are the happiest you have been in your entire life. And you should be. You did everything by the book. However, you return to the US…alone. Your husband is unable to accompany you back to the states, because there is so much red tape involved with the immigration process to the US. His immigration request to the states has not been approved.

Please help my friend, more like sister, and her husband. It has been three years since they married each other in Nigeria, and her husband is STILL getting the runaround. It takes nothing to sign this petition. It takes nothing to offer guidance and advice to this young couple. I am literally begging for the help of anyone who reads this. Please sign the petition and have others sign the petition.

If you know of any advice or resources that would help with my friend’s husband’s arrival to the US, please email me at ohhowrandom1@gmail.com.

Her husband has already gone through the necessary steps for immigration. He has not been able to reach anyone regarding his immigration status decision. Phone calls and emails are going unanswered. Please help in any way you can.

Thank you.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/475/229/794/demand-approval-of-immigration-for-my-husband/?taf_id=65201540&cid=fb_na#bbfb=342265776

Goodbye

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The bottle had been unexpectedly opened and it was right there, the pill she had prescribed to herself.

Doubt quickly consumed her.

Unable to turn back, she learned the pill was harder to swallow than originally expected.

A playlist of emotions linked to memories was the soundtrack that instantly flooded her thoughts.

Anxiety struck as her chest tightened. Sadness loomed as the tears stung and welled up in her eyes.

Too pained to push the tears out, she blinked them free as they dampened her numb cheeks.

Expiration was imminent as the stabbing sensation in her lungs interrupted her breathing. She gasped through the tears and the pain deeply regretting her decision.

But the playlist of emotions linked to memories came to an end on a broken and weak goodbye.

I Just Took A DNA Test. Turns Out I’m 100%…Confused

Image result for you are not the father maury

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As you can tell from the title, obviously I took a DNA test.  You might be asking yourself the question “Why?”.  There are a few reasons why I did, but let’s just clear one thing up first.  I did not take a Maury “You are not the father!” type of DNA test. I took a genealogy DNA test from Ancestry.com.  FYI, this is not a sponsored blog post.

The Why

I have always been interested in everyone and everything that has made me the person that I am today.  Some of those things and people I have never met or encountered.  For that reason, a sample of my saliva had to provide me with that information.  I have always been interested in my ancestors who were here before me.  What were they like?  Who were they? Am I anything like them? Do I look like them?  I have so many questions and not enough answers.

Another reason was that like most families, the stories that are told don’t always add up.  Some of the details of my family made sense while other details had me questioning everything I know about myself.  Is my great grandfather really a German man?  Do I really have a Shoshone Indian as a great great grandmother? Being an African American woman in America it is really no surprise to have DNA from other parts of the world, but the information I was receiving from family and questionable internet leads was overwhelming.  What do I do with all this information? How do I get more information?  How do I confirm the information that was already given to me?

Then there are the numerous encounters with skeptical people who question my race.  I am constantly being asked, “What are you?” “What are you mixed with?” and other like questions.  I tell them I am black, and I am met with responses like, “No…where are you REALLY from?” or “There’s no way you’re black.  You HAVE to be mixed with something.” These questions paired with the family history I was given had me completely lost and questioning who I really was.

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Problem Solved

So, I did what any sane person in 2019 would do.  I took my issues to the Internet in hopes that it would provide me with the answers I had been longing for.  After countless hours of both productive (and not so productive) searches, I ended up on YouTube watching video after video of people who were racially ambiguous learning more and more about who they were.  These people, some who looked like me, were discovering the regions where their DNA was traced back to.  Men and women from different parts of the world were spitting into tubes and mailing them off to various companies seeking to know more about who they were. Fast forward a couple of minutes into the videos and there were the results (in real life it took about 5 weeks for the results to come in).  I have never seen so many stunned people in my life.

I too wanted to be one of those stunned people; one day the opportunity presented itself to me in the form of a wait for it…the form of a Facebook ad. Oddly, I was not surprised. Thank you, government agent! I genuinely appreciate you. Anyway, the ad was for a reduced price on the DNA kit.  I do not think I could have hit the order button quick enough.

A couple of days later the kit arrives in the mail. My excitement level is through the roof! I read the instructions carefully; as I do not want anything interfering with my results.  I gather enough saliva for the sample.  I collect it in the tube that was provided, seal it and put it in the envelope.  Then placed it in the box to send it off to be analyzed. I treated that sample like a newborn baby.  I carefully placed the box in the front passenger seat of my vehicle, and carefully drove to the post office.  Me being the paranoid person I am, I decided to bring the sample inside and place it in one of the mailboxes there.  I could not risk the brutal south Louisiana heat corrupting my DNA sample. The sample is now safe with my local post office.  I can now move on to the “stalking” phase of at-home genetic DNA testing.

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Let the Stalking Begin

The first notification of many arrives on my phone.  My kit has been received! Now I can rest at night knowing that my sample is not hanging out in some unknown location with some strange people, plotting some strange activities with my DNA.  A week or so passes, and I receive another notification! This time they are processing my sample. Let’s go DNA!! Just following this process was more than enough excitement for me.  While I thought it could not get any more exciting, “DNA extracted” notification hits my phone about a week later. Now it is beginning to feel real.  This process took way longer than I wanted it to. In fact, it was about two weeks between the extracting of my DNA and the analysis of it. The “DNA analyzed” notification finally comes, and the excitement returns. I would be lying if I said I did not think about the results every day.  In fact, I would check the website, my e-mail, and the app daily to make sure I had not missed the notifications. Early one morning, I wake up to an e-mail notification letting me know that my results were ready!! I was overwhelmed with emotions.  I was nervous, excited, curious, ecstatic and just overall relieved that the stalking phase could finally be over.

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The Results Are In…

The e-mail is open, the link is begging to be clicked. So, I oblige. I click the link and watch as the website appears in the address bar. I am greeted with the log-in page. Umm, NO! I do not remember my log-in information! Panic has been added to the concoction of emotions already running through me. Great! However, I was prepared for this! After watching so many YouTube videos of people doing this exact thing (trying to log in to their accounts after 4-5 weeks).  I decided to make a note of my login and password as soon as I created the account. I can hardly remember my login information for things I use daily.  I knew if I tried to remember after 4-5 weeks, it was going to be next to impossible. The information has been located and entered into the appropriate places on the login screen.

I honestly believe I stopped breathing in that short amount of time it took for the page to load. The first page was an explanation page. No! We are not doing this!  Take me to my results…NOW! I click through tutorial box after tutorial box. Finally! I am face to face with myself. It’s me in per cents, a colorful pie chart and an equally colorful map! Wow! The number of slices in my pie chart and the number of highlighted regions on the map took me by surprise. I had no idea these places and cultures were a part of my history, that they were a part of who I am.

The website also provided me with information about DNA matches.  There they were, names, photos, possible relations to me and the amount of shared DNA I had with these people.  I am amazed by the information in front of me! I was happy to see one of my uncles on my dad’s side of the family had also completed a DNA test, but that was where the familiarity ended.  Possible second, third and even fourth cousins were on the screen.  These people were complete strangers to me. I reached out to some of my matches in hopes of some answers, only to find out no one knew how we were related. I was slightly disappointed.  However, I was still excited about the amount of information I had just evaluated. Below are screenshots of my actual results.

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Now What?

The results are in and have been reviewed.  In fact, they have been updated with more accurate information from Ancestry.com since I originally view my results.  But now what? Now it is time to make connections with my DNA matches.  It is time to talk to my family and gather as much information as I can, so I am able to connect some of these dots. This is also time to get to know relatives I never knew I had.  It is time for some road trips and some flights to visit some of my newfound relatives.  It is also a good time to learn about the cultures and people from the regions that have combined to make me the person I am today. It is time to let the research begin!

It Was No Accident…I Did It On Purpose

Yes, I am a brat.  Yes, I am selfish. Yes, it is my way or my way.  Yes,  I said my way or my way.  At least I gave you an option.

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Photo Source: quickmeme.com

When I hung up on your girlfriend. It was no accident. I did it on purpose. When I “tripped” and “accidentally” unplugged your controller from the video game…that was not an accident. I did it on purpose. That time when I “forgot” to tell you a girl called for you, and she stopped talking to you at school…you guessed it. Not an accident. I did it on purpose.
And all the times I had your back…I did that on purpose too!

It is wonderful having the brother I have. As a kid there was never a dull moment with us.  Even now as adults we still have a great bond. Despite my numerous  attempts to sabotage his happiness (Sorry, but that is what happens if you don’t play by my rules.), we got along very well.  What can I say? I did it on purpose.

<a href="Purpose“>Dailyprompt

Invisibly Ill

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Photo Credit: blog.pennlive.com

As you walk into the Emergency Room, you notice a man coughing. He is coughing so hard you just know he will hack up his lungs any minute now.

To your left are some kids. One has a bag of ice wrapped in a towel over her right eye. The older boy, who appers to be her older brother has a golf ball sized knot over his left eye. 

Amongst the sea of ER waiting room people, there is no denying why they are present. But you walk in and check yourself in.  You have a seat and immediately you feel out of place.

There are dozens of people who have been waiting for hours before you even set foot into the building. However, you are the next name called into the triage room. The waiting area erupts with anger and profanity.

Why is SHE going before ME?! 
WTF?!, I’ve been here for HOURS!!
I  simply don’t understand.

The chatter continues as you close the triage room door and sit in the cold hard blue chair against the wall. You confirm your name and date of birth. The nurse asks for the reason of your visit to the Emergency Room, and you respond…

“I just want the pain to end.  I am tired of being depressed. I have a full bottle of pain pills in my purse and I debated with myself for the past two hours if I should take them all or go to the ER.  Well,  here I am.”

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Photo Credit: blogoftheboss.com

There are plenty of people who are depressed all across the world. The pain they feel may never be known to others, but it is real. Some depressed people look and act as if nothing is wrong when mixing and mingling amongst society, but behind closed doors the tears stream down their faces. Their homes may be neglected. They may over eat or not eat at all.  There may be sleepless nights or binge sleeping every weekend.

It’s not socially acceptable to fall apart in front of your peers, co workers, or strangers. You are supposed to “keep it together” and “not let your personal life blend in with your work/school life.” This has brought a great deal of people to a place of having to cope alone.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

No one should have to remain “invisibly ill.” Take the necessary measures to help someone who you know is depressed.  If anyone ever asks you if you have a second, they just want to talk…DROP EVERYTHING AND LISTEN!! If that’s not possible get a general idea of what’s going on and maybe you could schedule some time to listen later.

Most of the time people just need someone to listen to their story. That is the best way to help, and get the ball rolling to recovery. If you do not feel you can help, let them know you are there for them and you will help them get through the depression.  You can help them search for counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, and support groups. If they need you for support and to accompany them to appointments, do so. That would help greatly.

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Photo Credit: climate.gov

It might be  a long road…but having someone concerned about your mental health can make the journey better.

Here are some tips from the National Institute of Mental (NIMH) and a link to the NIMH website…

To help your friend or relative

•Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.

•Talk to him or her, and listen carefully.

•Never dismiss feelings, but point out realities and offer hope.

•Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your loved one’s therapist or doctor.

•Invite your loved one out for walks, outings and other activities. Keep trying if he or she declines, but don’t push him or her to take on too much too soon.

•Provide assistance in getting to the doctor’s appointments.

•Remind your loved one that with time and treatment, the depression will lift.

National Institute of Mental Health Website

**Disclaimer: I am not doctor or any other healthcare professional. I am simply a blogger who is greatly concerned for the mental health of others. If you or someone you know is depressed follow the links to the National Institute of Mental Health for more information on depression.**

K. A. Smith

K. A. Smith

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