Immigration! Show us your papers- you dirty German lovin' Yank. 

Anyone that wants to talk about immigration but hasn't experienced it's churning wheels, coggs and grinding machine from the inside, is akin someone that's watched an ER marathon and then thinks they're a doctor. 

Even being married to a European citizen isn't quite enough these days to stay in Europe, especially great Britain and The UK is supposedly "cracking" down.  As of July 7th, if your visa application isn't in, and you are a non EU individual married to to a European/Britton, AND most importantly you make less then 22,000 a year (more if you have a child, as I do), then you don't get to live here.  Which, as pointed out by a member of parliament, would bar over 40% of the United Kingdoms citizens ability to have their spouse join them in their home country should their spouse not be from the European union.  Sounds completely bonkers, but somehow it passed,  and guess what?  I still  (insert nail-biting here) haven't received my paperwork back from Liverpool saying I'm cool to stay.  It's been there for four LONG months,.. and while we would have applied before hand (and tried to) you can't fill out the paperwork online as suggested because they don't give you enough space to answer the questions, and more importantly it involves sending off your personal papers (in their original form) including passport, marriage certificate, birth certificate,.. etc and so on. it's a bummer, but I need those papers to, you know,...go anywhere, for any reason. You have to hand them your life, and not step on or off a plane until they say so, which is difficult if your business involves travel. Besides, we only made the decision to leave Berlin as late as May, when the Dirk's job offer came through, and since were native english speakers and felt our opportunities (long term) would be better in the UK, we logically made the leap.  We understood at that point in time that the coutries in the EU must all abide by the same treaty laws... oh yeah, the UK is clever,..they only made public this little hiccup in June of this year, after we already decided to leave everything behind.  I wonder if they will reimburse me for my newly aquired addiction to valerian root and "The Good Wife" I now need just to calm my nerves.

We left the best flat in the world, proof that we had to have thought it through and not just impulsivily left our life.  It was a big decision.

Just to be clear,  I am not a convicted criminal, Dirk and I are both university educated (not that that should matter, but it does) and I am not only married to a European citizen I am MOTHER to one. I have held over five years in permanent working residence in Europe and I have only returned to the states once, for less than two weeks to visit my Nonnie, in California, (a place I do not call home). To boot, we came here for an official "by- the-books" job Dirk was offered (sound engineering for the Fringe & Jazz festivals- Spiegal tent).  We knew it the job wasn't permenent, but it was a foot in the door- which for Dirk and Harlen, it has been.  They both have been accepted in the NHS health care system (for instance), while I have been rejected. AND they (the border agency) can now send me back to the US at my own cost once my passport stamp has expired on December 29th.  They can force me to go away from my son for three months while they decide if I should be allowed to stay and If I intend to stay here, and If I do not return to the states it can damage my ability to re-apply for my visa, or citizenship, (which as you can imagine- I am greatly interested in as to avoid this mess). 

In short, it's a catch-22 nightmare. 

The biggest of all the problems being, while I contribute to society/culture (don't I?), my contribution isn't monetary (which is the only thing they care about).  If they do not inform me of my immigration status by December 29th, and I overstay my temporary visa,- I have no choice but to go on living, cooking, beathing with my family, working here in the community and carrying on,  but it may damage my future application, which has caused serious anxiety in my household.  Dirk is concerned we will have to move back the Germany (which would be very difficult for us, as a family, and to be honest- It would be the wrong thing for the world, not just our family and I think it would be traumatic for Harlen).  Not only that, but practically speaking, it is almost financially impossible. We have invested everything,-- 'hook, line and sinker' our hearts and fincances on the dream that, long-term, this would be the right place for us.  We are poor, but not in spirit and if ever there was a class-warefare goin on, it's happening now by rearing it's ugly head through immigration laws... and it's getting worse.  If you have powere to vote, or make an influential call, begin a conversation or not be apathetic in whatever way you can.... please do.

California and Mexico are the same land,
Least it would be if it weren't for some man
Came along with other men, and some big guns
to draw a line, right there in the sand, oh yeah they said

California, we just know we have to own ya
California, thing is- we don't know if we can offord ye,.. on no.

These words are a snip-et from one of my first ever songs found on the album "Before Berlin".  I learned later that California is/was name of an amazonian princess.  One has to wonder if she would have immigration isssues in today's political climate.  It never fails to amaze me how things always work their way back into your life in the most unexpected of ways....
fingers crossed we have no reason to worry, and this time next year Santa and I will be sipping whisky sours on a rainbow.