So I have been back in the good old USA now since December 19th 2014. It has been a stressful and emotional return to the US.
Its been stressful because –
+ Dealing with reverse culture shock. Yes there is reverse culture shock when you have been away from home as long as I have. Its been three years since I left the US in September 2011 to serve with Peace Corps in Morocco. I had adapted more or less to Moroccan culture and the daily life rhythms of Morocco. Suddenly I was back in the rush rush over connected culture of the United States – never mind the stop over in Dubai International Airport – that was extreme jarring.. the airport was just one HUGE mall.
+Getting connected with public services such as MediCal, WIC and Foodstamps. This is a time consuming, paper filled process that is made so by the lack of the system being digitalized and regularly updated. The health care market place lies when it says in California you can get Kaiser Permanante MediCal because its only an option if you had KP coverage in the last 6 months.
+Preparing to give birth without my husband. My husband and I both agreed returning to the USA is where giving birth would be safest and less traumatic than in Morocco at a local clinic where no one speaks any English. He wanted to be there but the Protection Civile did not give my husband authorization to leave Morocco or approve any of the requests for vacation that he submitted well in advance of the birth. It was a long labor (21 hours start to finish) and was in my definition natural childbirth as I didn’t get an epidural even though I did start screaming for one due to back labor because the hospital only has one anesthesiologist and he was busy with a C section at the time which by that time I was 10 centimeters dilated.
+Trying to help my husband get his job at the Protection Civile give him the paperwork he needs to leave Morocco. We are still working on this as every government branch my husband has been to for help has been unresponsive!
+ Figuring out my next steps – ie do I stay in the US after the birth? if so how long? Do I return to Morocco after the birth? Forever or just to visit my husband? and all the further questions that entails.
+Missing my husband – I miss him so much. SubhannaAllah. He really is my rock and the person I turn to when life gets to be to much. He is always willing to lend a hand to anything I want to do or goal I have. I know he is missing so much of his daughters first year of life.. already she is three months old and I can not give him that time back that he should have had with his daughter.
I turn to the Qur’an for guidance in our situation and I feel this is the best verse – 2:286 –
“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”
7 thoughts on “Back in the USA…”
Assalam’Alaikum ( السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته) May Allah (SWT) ( الله سُبْحَانَهُ وتَعَالَى) help you and your family and May He unite you guys soon. Aameen
Wa alaikum Salaam. Ameen to your dua!
I just found your blog and I’ve been reading through your story. I am in tears because my story is somewhat similar to yours (I’m also pregnant, so tears come easy these days!) I met my Moroccan husband in Italy and unlike you I returned to the US to go through the process. I gave birth to our son without him and he didn’t meet him until he was nearly 2. We’re still waiting for the green card, but at least we’re together!!! I wish you and your family all the best, I hope you are all together again very soon! For us, we’re hoping for a green card soon so our son and I can finally travel to morocco and meet our family! (Hubby can’t leave until we have a green card, since he came on a single entry visa)
I really hope that we are reunited as a family soon. InshaAllah.
I would like to know what things you did to help your son build a relationship with his father so far away? and maintain your marriage?
Please let me know if your willing to share I would really appreciate it.
Skype! I can’t imagine going through that time without it! I used to worry our son would think his Baba was a computer! He did recognize him right away once they finally met, so skype helped with that! I used to take a lot of videos of our son of just everyday life. Some of my favorite memories are when we would skype while we did normal things. Like one day I was in the kitchen cooking lunch and he was in his kitchen cooking dinner and we just talked while we cooked, it was the closest to “normal” that we ever came during that time. We talked often, but we had moments when we wouldn’t talk for a few days because it was too painful to have that reminder that we are so far away. I bought him gifts and wrapped them at each holiday and finally gave them to him once he got here. It was a challenge getting the boys to bond once he got here. He arrived about a month before our son turned 2, at first it was great, then a couple days in the tantrums started… toddlers HATE change! It took a lot of patience through that time! Eventually he got used to his new routine and his Baba living in his house. It took about a year before he really got close to him though. Part of that may have been his age though. He was very clingy to me! Now I love to just sit back and watch them together! They have the same sense of humor! You’ll get through it, it won’t be easy, but I promise it gets better!
Also, we finally received my husband’s green card!!! Now to make travel plans!!! My husband won’t let me go there pregnant though, he’s too nervous something might happen! So, we’ll travel after the baby comes! Can’t wait!!
salaam, bikhair? kulshi mezzyan? labas? shwiya?
been following you since b4 you went to al maghreb.. found you on yelp 🙂 in Berkeley and have a young son, simo, Moroccan dad too. hope to connect w/you iA.
yom jummah mubarak. karima
wa alaikum salaam karla/karima
alhumdualillah kulshi labas m3a liela deyli o enti?
Yes inshaAllah we can connect in the near future.