Saturday, April 21, 2012

From the Beginning - to the Present - Now Married in the Catholic Church

A little over 3 weeks ago a 5 year uphill battle to push through an annulment process culminated in a Catholic marriage ceremony on March 28, 2012 that honestly became one of the highest moments of my life in Cagayan De Oro City, Philippines. Anyone who tells you that everything can come easy is just fooling themselves. The process that it took within the church to successfully receive an annulment is almost painful, and very intrusive. But if you have faith in God, the will in your soul, and the unending love for your mate, you can succeed in the process together. Life is just one test from God. Apparently, my wife and I just passed the test.  We defied ALL odds.
Again as stated, it didn't come easy. My wife and I first met online, on a fairly new mating website called Mate1. At the time, it was a very unusual site, mainly catering to Asian women searching for a soul mate. When I signed up at the time, I didn't know that fact, but also little did I know that I would find the love of my life, right there on that website from the other side of the world. One night because of that website, the will of God, and two people who just happened to be on the website at the same time, we found each other and my life would be changed forever. The chances of finding someone like Virginia in this fashion is like taking a chance of winning the million dollar lottery.
It took about 1 year after meeting my wife Virginia in person for the first time in the Philippines did she finally set foot in the United States. I went back a second time and accompanied her at the U.S. Embassy in Manila for the long awaited interview that granted her the papers to leave the country. Armed with a 90 day fiancee visa, she knew that if she wanted to stay in the United States with me, she would have to marry me within 90 days, or fly back to the Philippines. She also knew that if she did marry me, the process would continue and that she could not ever return to the Philippines without a Permanent Green Card which was still allot more money and would take time in the United States to acquire. But if she became homesick and decided to go back anyway prior to receiving the permanent green card, she would loose the privilege to return to the United States. Going back at this time would only mean one-way travel.  None of these facts stopped her from marrying me civilly on May 11, 2007 at Gwen and Charles Lout's home in Odessa Texas, just 4 days after arriving in the United States for the first time. As stated in the beginning of this story, the journey was a test from God, as a little under 5 years later we finally re-married again, this time in the Catholic Church on March 28, 2012, exactly one month past my 60th birthday in the Philippines. Now were were both able to travel freely to the Philippines and back.
Truly a test of time, a test from God, regardless of anything that happened, nothing would make us part. My wife and I can say that now we've been through just about everything, but we know that every day may bring something new. We are both up to the challenge, and who knows, maybe a new family will form. Regardless of what will come our way, we are ready to face it together as one. 

Wedding Dance on March 28, 2012 in the Philippines
Virginia and I just after the Wedding Ceremony

YOU and Me

You and me
we've been through everything
We've stood the test of time
We've weathered every storm
and still, here we are

You and me
we've had our ups and downs
We've gone around and around
We've seen it all
and we're still here.

Virginia walking down the Isle

You and me
we've been good together
and we've been on our own
but we are at our best
when we are where we belong

It's you and me
We are meant to be
No matter what may come our way
We'll be together always

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