Dear Alex Lee Sturman
I am pleased to inform you that I have granted your application for migration to Australia.
Please find the attached letter which will provide you with information and conditions of your visa. Please ensure you keep a copy of your grant letter for future reference.
Your visa has been granted label-free. Therefore you do not have to send your passport to this office. Your visa is electronically linked to your passport number.
This is what a government oops we messed up and we’re sorry looks like. The good news is, well my waiting game is over!
Dear Ms Sturman
Thank you for your recent feedback on the client service you have received
during the processing of your partner visa application.
I have reviewed your file, including notes from your contact with the call
centre and I apologise that a data entry error which occurred when your
application was first registered resulted in confusion for agents
responding to your queries.
That error has now been corrected and our administrative staff have been
counselled about the importance of accuracy when creating Departmental
As you are aware, you must be outside Australia for your visa to be
granted. I understand your case officer, Ms Mendes has made contact with
you as all requirements for the visa are now satisfied and the application
can be finalised once you have departed Australia. Please liase directly
with Ms Mendes when your travel arrangements have been finalised so she can
arrange to issue your partner visa.
I wish you and your partner all the best for your future together in
There are on occasions that I believe it is beneficial to fast. I was raised in the Mormon faith, and one Sunday of the month was Fast Sunday. No that wasn’t the Sunday when church services were concluded quickly. That only happens in New Orleans during football season. GO SAINTS!
Fast Sunday for me as a child had no real meaning, other than I didn’t get breakfast until after services and once we got home. That evenings meal was usually something special, different. Therefore I would grow to learn that Fast Sunday was a time for reflection on the blessings in my life and the sufferings that others endure all around the world.
I have not purposefully fasted in probably 15 years or more. Yes, I have gone without meals, skipped breakfast, worked through lunch, was to tired to cook dinner and instead just went to bed.
Last night I went to bed with a particular goal in mind. That goal was to change my outlook on my circumstances. Yes, things stink right now, I’m 8,000 miles away from my tribe, my village, my family, but things could always be worse. I have been blessed in so many ways, and I lost sight of them for a time. I have a wonderful family and while they are not perfect, they love and accept my imperfections. I have beautiful friends who stay up late or get up early to talk with me, support me and show their unconditional love towards me. I have been blessed with a wonderful partner, a strong and wise woman beyond her years who has provided me strength in times when I have felt weak, and has held me up when I wanted to fall.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to move to a foreign country and experience all it has to offer, and I have been bitching and complaining about how horrible it has been to wait for my visa. Not that it hasn’t been difficult, it has been one of the most difficult periods of adjustment I have ever endured, but I chose this path.
Tonight I am preparing a meal, after fasting from food for the past 20 hours (I have had beverages), it’s a simple meal, but one I always enjoy preparing and tasting.
I can’t say that I wont still complain from time to time about the crappy government processes or other bumps in my road, but I will strive to start looking at my world though different lenses, ones that allow me to see fully the blessings I have in my life. Fore without those blessings my life would be far more difficult and much less satisfying.
Words have always been a funny thing to me. When I was younger, I had difficulty spelling them, reading them, writing them. But words are simply a series of letters life is built on and expressed through. Some people write novels, articles, blogs, poems, fairy tales, songs, and some people quietly chronicle their own life in private journals never showing them to the world, family or friends they share their existence with.
Words can be powerful. Words can provide solace, incite rage and anger, bring us to tears or fill our hearts with joy. Words don’t mean the same things to me they once did. Words once represented in my life difficulty and a sense of failure and incompleteness. But words are words, and feelings are feelings.
I find myself today in a place I have never been both literally and figuratively. I never imagined that my life would take the twists and turns it has taken. I never thought I would graduate high school, college or go on to enter a master’s program that would challenge me in ways I was challenged when I was 8 years old, forced to learn all over again what words are and how they are used to communicate with the world around me.
Joy is usually something we share in with others, a community of family and friends. Sorrow and pain is the opposite. We tend to suffer in silence, finding it difficult to give words to those things we are feeling deep within, in a place others cannot touch or see. We all have good days and we all have not so good days, we all hope that the good outnumber the not so good, the joys to be more plentiful than the sorrows. We hope that when we are not at our best we have a system that can provide support and comfort to us and in return we will do the same.
The list below is a few of the more difficult words I have learned how to spell and understand. I was well into my 20’s for many of these, and yet my imperfections still require the invention of spell check to ensure accuracy.
I was not raised with the expectation of perfection, yet these days I seem to demand that which is impossible to achieve. We are all sinners, but how do we forgive ourselves when we have fallen short of our own expectations or worse the expectations of others? How do we start over?
: to stay in a place until an expected event happens, until someone arrives, until it is your turn to do something, etc.
: to not do something until something else happens
: to remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon
: to think of (something that will or might happen in the future)
: to expect or look ahead to (something) with pleasure : to look forward to (something)
: to do something before someone else
: fear or nervousness about what might happen
: a feeling of wanting to do something very much
: to be afraid of (something or someone)
: to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)
: to be afraid and worried
: able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people
: done in a careful way over a long period of time without hurrying
: the correct or desired result of an attempt
: someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds
: a usual way of behaving : something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way
: the exact opposite of something or someone
: the state of two things that are directly opposite to each other
: pleased and satisfied : not needing more
: feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.
: showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment
: pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc.
transitive verb \sə-ˈpȯrt\
: to give help or assistance to (someone or something)
transitive verb \ˈkəm(p)-fərt\
: to cause (someone) to feel less worried, upset, frightened, etc.
: to give comfort to (someone)
: to set (someone or something) free
: to stop holding (someone or something)
: to allow (a substance) to enter the air, water, soil, etc.
: to do something again and again in order to become better at it
: to do (something) regularly or constantly as an ordinary part of your life
: a strong feeling (such as love, anger, joy, hate, or fear)
: an awareness by your body of something in it or on it
: an emotional state or reaction
: thoughts of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.
I’m angered at hearing the screaming from the neighbors flat. I want to go break down the door, tell the boy to go outside and play, slam the woman against the wall and have a very serious conversation with the woman that starts with, “you need help” and ends with, “if you don’t get it I will teach you about how it feels to be that boy!”
After over 20 months of not being able to write much of anything, I began writing this today. I will post this is sections, as it’s too much to post as a complete piece.
I’m a pretty open person when it comes to my past, if you want to know something, you only have to ask and I generally will tell you. In recent weeks I have felt that this is a story that requires telling. I’m not sharing it to get sympathy from my friends, because most of you know I have moved past most of this, but so that kids can see and understand that they are not alone in their struggles and there is life after the torment.
This is a prime example of why I get so frustrated with this process. This is an email I got from the migration agent who is helping me find out what the status of my application is. I received this today.
"Hi Alex,I have made contact with the Australian Embassy in the US on numerous times and still waiting for their response.Please note that the Australian Embassy’s current processing time for applications such as yours is between 5 -12 months from date of lodgement.I will contact you as soon as I receive word from the Australian Embassy.
This is an email I received 13 Sept from the America’s Center where my application is being processed.
Dear Mr Sturman,
Thank you for your interest in Australia.
In reply to your email, we can confirm that we have received your completed form 1022 on 26 August 2013. At this time we are assessing your application. The average processing time is five (5) months.
We hope this information has been of assistance.
Is it 5 months or 12 months? Is it 5-12 months? Can someone simply answer the question of how much longer? Am I looking at 6 months, 8 months or another 7 months? I keep receiving conflicting information. The wait isn’t what kills me, it’s the conflicting information that is driving me crazy a little more every day!
Admittedly we all want to scream, cry or collapse from time to time. Life is hard. “Trials and tribulations are mandatory in life; pain and suffering is optional.” I don’t know who said this but as I grow older I realize how very true this really is.
So, I’m in a state of anticipation and limbo! It’s been over 4 months since lodging my visa application and just 19 days until the 5 month mark. I received an email this morning from the D.C. processing center regarding the latest paperwork that I sent in last month. Anytime I send documents to them I always send a follow up email asking to notify me that it has been received and processed.