Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hoops & Paperwork

I've always thought it was far too easy to get married in the U.S.; and significantly more tedious and costly to get divorced. Perhaps if we required a little more work on the front end, we wouldn't have so many of the second. That said,  I know I am no poster child for success in marriage. 

My apartment begins to empty!

I've been married twice, and divorced twice. My first marriage was the product of pressure and feeling as if I "should" do it. Having a nine month deployment around the corner seemed to be the extra umph to push me into it. Nice guy--but not someone I was in love with. My second marriage was for love--or rather, what I thought love was. It started honestly and innocently. It was real and true for my 25-year-old self and her limited understanding of love and life. As I look back on it now, it was a lot of lust and the time and opportunity to see it through. We began solid enough but failed to grow in parallel paths. I don't think two individuals creating a couplehood have to grow similarly, per se, but they should both be growing as individuals. It is our growth, our stretching beyond our beliefs about life and oneself that makes each of us interesting. And one should forever be fascinated by one's partner, I now believe.

And now....here I stand on the precipice of marriage #3. And I can't begin to tell you the hoops I have to jump through and the amount of paperwork required to apply to marry a Mongolian citizen. It is, as follows:

  • Statement about my "wish to marry a Mongolian";
  • Affidavit about current status of marriage (thus I have acquired CERTIFIED copies of my divorce decrees....not supplied by the courts, of course, as they require a separate charge!);
  •  Health analysis "such as Tuberculosis, Psychiatry, HIV, and STD." I'm hoping my HIV (required for the job) and TB tests, as well as a letter from my doc stating that I'm "in good health" will be satisfactory;
  • Criminal Record from the place you reside (Done....sent CBI a check last week and have my clean criminal report in hand);
  • Evidence that I have financial resources to support myself in Mongolia (ie. my contract from ASU);
  • Reference letter from local housing authority/governer (NO idea what this is yet!);
  • Reference letter from Immigration Office regarding my legal status in Mongolia; 
  • Notarized copies of passports;
  • Photos of each of us; 
  • OH...and everything has to be translated by the Translation Bureau. 
That's A LOT of paperwork. And I am doing my due diligence to be sure I have everything I need before I depart. (In addition to getting my Visa application mailed off to the Mongolian Embassy in DC tomorrow!)

I suspect some of you may be wondering....what makes this man, this relationship different? How will this marriage be different? Why might it succeed? 

I can't foresee the future. I can't promise you it will. But what I can tell you is that for the first time in my life I feel fully known by a man. Zorig is my friend and companion. My lover and my mate. The person I want to share everything with (not true of previous mates--except one not realized and who passed on years ago). He is my present and our future. The past is simply the paths we traveled to find one another. The foundation of our relationship was built solidly on words that sprouted forth from our curiosity to know one another. And what a gift this year has been...while also being a certain kind of torture. In numbers, we have spent only 56 days together. Yet I would argue that our knowledge of one another speaks of years. This is not your ordinary story of couplehood. It is yet a mystery to me how someone from a different continent, country, and culture could know and understand me so intimately. I spent all my life dating Americans. And that Norwegian soldier I kissed in Sarajevo doesn't really count! I kinda wish I would have dated foreigners sooner....but then, I doubt they could measure up to Zorig! He's special in so many ways.....

So you tell me....how is it that someone 6,000 miles away seems to know my inner soul and heart better than anyone else I've ever met or known? I can't explain it. I can't make sense of it. But I do choose to embrace it and to pursue it. And I would encourage everyone I know, and love....to open your mind and your heart......to want and know that you deserve a soulful love. It's worth all the paperwork, and cold showers (see news article), and uncertainty, and adventure one can muster. 

I will jump every hoop presented to me because, at the end of each day I know that loving this man, and being loved by him, is what I'm meant to be doing in the here and now. I can't imagine a future without him. I can't see me--without him as my mirror. He is in my every breath, my every dream, my heartbeats. (Yes, Heather just got mushy on you all!) 

It should be like this......I feel (and he and I talk about feeling one another, across the miles and time and space--can you relate to that?). I will never be the same because of THIS LOVE...no matter its outcome. I am forever changed. Forever expanded. Forever more than I was before. 

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