If you thought there wasn’t much more to the story, you’re assessment would have been incorrect.
After our Thanksgiving “proposal”, we started talking about a September or October wedding. We hadn’t firmed up any dates when Mr. Amen found out his company would be laying off his entire department anytime between March 1 and June 1. That presented a very real problem for us. Mr. Amen was in the US on a work visa sponsored by his company. If he was no longer with the company he would have 30 days to leave the US.
We would have to get married much sooner than anticipated or risk him being forced out of the country. If forced out, we would have to apply for a “fiancé visa” which would allow him to enter the country for the purpose of getting married. Once grated, we would have a very short window of time during which to marry. Then, once married, we would begin the long paperwork process to get him an Emp.loyment Auth.orization Doc.ument so he could work, and even longer to get a “greencard.” When I returned to work after getting engaged, all the ladies asked when we were getting married. They were shocked by the answer and suspected I was pregnant (ummm…NO!).
Three weeks after our official engagement, we were legally married. Only 8 people other than us and the mayor were at that ceremony (my mom, dad, sister, brother and sister-in-law, Mr. Amen’s mom and aunt, and his best man).
Immediately we began all the immigration paperwork to get his greencard and we received it in record time! The actual immigration interview was not at all like in the movies. We were super nervous and thought that we might be at a disadvantage going into the interview because we hadn’t lived together. In reality, the interview was pretty short, they asked how we met, about our wedding, asked to see pictures of the wedding and asked us to identify the people in the pictures. The “defining moment” came when the interviewer asked Mr. Amen for my birthdate. I snapped my head to look at him with a look on my face that said, “You better get this right.” That was what she wanted to see…that head snap told her that we were a real couple.
We explained the situation to the Deacon that was to officiate our church wedding; he was very understanding and said this type of thing happened all the time.
That Memorial Day weekend I traveled to Oklahoma to pack up Mr. Amen’s apartment and move him up to Michigan. He was laid off from his company on June 1st. He moved right into the apartment where we would live after we were really married in God’s eyes. Our wedding went off, without a hitch on June 30, 2007.
And, that, my friends, is how the Amen Family started.