Friday, January 18, 2008

We are family...almost

Well. In reality, we are family. The wife and kids have been with me since last May. We're going through the adoption process for everybody now which is exciting. The lawyer I hired thinks that it will take about three months to complete the entire process. I'm really happy that this is finally happening. A lawyer I spoke with earlier said they'd need to be in the country at least six months to start the process which is why I was waiting on doing this, but this lawyer says it could have been done at any time. Oh well. At least we're moving forward. I'm so glad we've got the ball rolling on this now.

Fighting the man

Ugh. I hate immigration craziness. People want to give certain folks who came to and are staying in the US illegally a free ride to become legal. Here I am having the marriage between my wife and myself contested by immigration which is costing me into the thousands. This is just nuts! On a positive note, the lawyer I hired to help out says the kids can be adopted which is contrary to what I was told earlier. She wants to use this to reinforce the point that the marriage is indeed legitimate. Take that, USCIS!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hi-ho hi-ho its off to parent-teacher conferences we go

I just took the kids to their parent-teacher conferences last night. Kaye is doing very well. I'm so proud of her. Now if I could just find a way to find the cat that has her tongue, that would probably help quite a bit. Her teacher mentioned that she is so quiet when answering questions. She also needs a bit of help with writing summaries. She recently got a diary for her birthday which gave me an idea that might help her.

Carlo has a hard time getting his assignments when going back to class after a session with his ESL instructor. His teacher and the ESL guide have a way to take care of that though. They'll write all assignments in his assignment notebook so that we can check things out when he comes home from school.

Sam made Honor Roll. I'm really proud of her. Marlene will be going to her next level of ESL at college. She's really eager to move on to studying nursing, but I think she needs to work on her communications skills in English first.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

One step closer...

I just took Rizza and the kids to the USCIS Application Support Center in Norridge today. It was an early morning start. We got up at 4am so that the baby could be dropped off with our good friends, Mike and Lowra DeLoyola beforhand. We got to Norridge just before the 8am appointment and everybody got their forms filled out and fingerprints taken. The next step should be an interview for everybody sometime in the next few months.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Born in the U.S.A.

Our newborn baby girl, Emanuelle Sotto Rice finally arrived in this world on July 31st. Mama was a real trooper and survived the whole ordeal. Emanuelle weighed in at 6 lbs. 14 oz. at a towering 19 in. we think that she'll be the female kick-boxing equivalent of Pacquio in that she kicked about as hard and as well as Pacquio hits. Pictures of mama, baby, Marlene and myself are below in the blogspot post or directly in the Baby Pictures album as well.

Anxious baby

It looks like it was a good idea to get married when we did. Rizza started having contractions rather quickly on May 27th at 30 weeks. She was admitted into Lutheran General Hospital late that Sunday evening. The folks on the medical staff were able to slow the contractions down and she ended up being able to be released around 3am the next day.

Happily Married

Rizza and I tied the knot earlier this year. May 24th to be exact. I realize that it was kinda rushed. I wanted to get that out of the way sooner rather than later since mama was pregnant and it was coming close to time for her monthly exam. Pictures of the happy occasion are below in the blogspot post or directly in the Wedding Pictures album as well.

Touching down on U.S. soil

Rizza and the kids finally arrived in the U.S. on May 10th. This was after being poked and proded a bunch of times for their medical exams and going through an interview process at the U.S. Embassy in Manila (which was probably less painful than the shots at St. Luke's Medical Center). Everybody arrived safely in one piece eager to go home and get some rest after a long plane ride.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Looking good...

One of the other things that happened while I was visiting Rizza was that she spent some time working on getting things together for the embassy interview requirements. She spent a day in Manila getting registered copies of some of the kids' birth certificates and spent the night with a friend. She just got the rest taken care of Friday her time (yesterday night). It looks like that's all straightened out.

I was catching up on things with some of the Fil-Am forums I follow while she was busy doing this. I noticed a post that mentioned its a good idea to follow up with the embassy about 8-weeks after the notice was received from them. We're on the 12th week, but all is still good. I got the good word from one of their representatives that the appointment for the medical exam is on the 28th of December, 2006 and the visa interview will be on the 9th of January, 2007. Everything is looking good at this point. Hopefully all goes well and things keep going forward.

Roller Coaster Ride

I just got back from my latest trip to the PI. The trip had its ups and downs, but all-in-all it was decent. I arrived there on Oct. 27 and found Rizza collapsed on the floor in the house. We rushed her to the hospital and she recovered shortly afterwards. It turns out her hemocrit level was low again. She knows what she needs to do to make sure that doesn't happen. Its just that she doesn't always do it. Rizza was feeling nauseous the next day in the morning, but started feeling better later that afternoon. I dunno why, but I ended up having problems keeping food down and my shorts up (loose bowel movements problems) shortly afterwards for about two days. Everything pretty much settled down after that in terms of being sick.

We had a pretty decent time together nonetheless. We went to Batangas to her ninong's (godfather's) house and to her Uncle Santi's house for a bit of a family reunion. Kaye's birthday was a few days afterwards. I've got pictures from the occasion at We also went to Baguio together with Kaye which was okay although a bit rainy and cold. We were there with some of her relatives to visit her cousin at the Philippine Military Academy. He's a sharp kid. He was able to get in on a scholarship and is majoring in civil engineering. He was taking part in a recognition ceremony for the freshmen who were moving up to being sophmores. I'll post pictures from that shortly.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Lights, Camera, Action II : On to the embassy

I recently received the 2nd Notice of Action from the USCIS for the visa being sent the NVC. Shortly afterwards, the NVC sent me a note with a MNL embassy designation from the US Embassy in Manila for the visa process. Rizza also received a note from the embassy as well. We're about 3-4 months away from the interview date and hopefully an approval for the visa for her and the kids to come to the US.

Moving right along

Rizza just signed the papers to our new home in the Philippines. Its a newly constructed Italian-style two-story home with three bedrooms a bath and a provisional bath. This is going to basically end up being a home for her mother, her sister, and her sister's family and a vacation home for us after she and the kids move here.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Lights, camera, ACTION!

Err...At least action sans lights and camera. The first Notice of Action (NOA1) just arrived in my mailbox Saturday (15-April-2006) from the USCIS. Its a notice that says that the paperwork that was submitted has been received and will be forwarded to the NVC (National Visa Center). This is the first step in a long journey forward for Rizza and the kids coming to the US. It kinda suprised me that that the notice arrived so quickly. The paperwork was just sent in on the 7th of April. Hopefully the rest of the process goes as quickly and smoothly as this part.