No, Hiromi hasn't given birth (and, by the way, neither have I). But we're now on the cusp of 9 months since Hiromi and I had our minimalist courtroom wedding ceremony.

As of last night, Hiromi tells me she got her passport back from the embassy with her K-3 visa, which allows her to enter the US painlessly.

Of course, as usual, there are some complications. Hiromi's work obligations, a friend's wedding, and incredibly high airfare mean that she'll not actually depart for Seattle until sometime in July... While her visa allows her to go back and forth, coming in June, then making a special trip back to Japan in early July seemed financially not so prudent. Right now, all the "cheap" tickets cost around $1200.

I miss being able to find $515 round trip tickets, taxes included, from Seattle to Tokyo.

We've elected to have the interview for the actual immigrant visa in Tokyo, so, unless the National Visa Center moves at light speed, there's a good chance she'll have to make a trip back to Japan sometime after July. The other option would be to do an "adjustment of status" in the US, which is somewhat more expensive and arguably more convenient, but we won't be able to start that process until she arrives in Seattle. That means it would be at least October before she'd have work permission. It also assumes that US Customs and Immigration Service moves at something approximating reasonable speed.

After almost 5 years together, it's hard to imagine that we were once just coworkers in different offices, 4800 miles apart, and knew each other mostly from email, bug reports, and one or two lunches during business trips.

In a few months, we'll be hunting for a new place to live, finally. After 4.5 years in the tiny apartment I choose only because it was "good enough" and cheap enough in anticipation of starting a new business, I'm looking forward to finding a place where we can comfortably entertain dinner guests more often. I thought I'd be in that place for a year or two. So much for temporary.

I'm glad the wait is almost over. Just a few more hurdles...

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