Good thing I had a couple of my hospital bills on hand showing a $0.00 balance. I also assured her that I did NOT owe the US government anything, and that everything had been paid for because I pay such astronomical premiums for my insurance. She kept harping on the fact that why I had given birth there whereas American women in the Philippines gave birth *here*. Ummm.....of COURSE I didn't tell her with exasperation in my voice that the difference was that American women were different from me BECAUSE they were American!
I wanted to give MY kids the opportunity to choose to be an American or Filipino. Although of course, they are BOTH. I think we've stressed that part to them pretty successfully. Sure, they would rather be American (who wouldn't?) more than anything right now, but that's normal. I just tell them it's their choice when they turn 18. Me? I don't need to be American to enjoy being in the States. I love the States, it's my second home. If I had a choice, sure, I'd love to stay there......but then I can only stay there for so long. I'd miss having a cook, someone to clean the house, to drive me around, to have a nanny. I'd be old in no time, and hoarse, probably, from screaming at the kids to do this and that, hehehe.
But yes, I love being in the States, too. The kids get to learn to do chores. REAL chores, stuff that they have GOT to do because no one else would do it for them. And that makes them realize and value the life we have here in the Philippines. Now......if only they don't forget :)
The hassle for this whole interview was the wait, really. Several lines to wait in, although the line for renewals was definitely a LOT shorter than for those who were there to get their first shot at a US visa. Good think I knew how to read my passport and the markings of departure and arrival. The consul had asked me to write down ALL my comings and goings from the States. She wanted to make sure that I had NEVER overstayed my time there, even though I was pregnant. I told her we had to be going back and forth mainly for business more than anything else, even for my pregnancy. I just chose to give birth in the States because the doctors there were more for pushing the normal method rather than cutting me up at a moment's notice like here. *shudder!*
So after I listed everything down and went back to her, the consul grudgingly told me that my visa was renewed :)
To unwind, I finished up the Birth Story page of Ranger:
RANGER'S BIRTH STORY
It was with a sense of trepidation and uncertainty that we journeyed with you through the 9 months in mama’s tummy. You see, before you, there were 2 other; 2 others who weren’t fully formed. You were a surprise, and to carry you to full term was a gift from God. We needn’t have worried. Fervent prayers were said for your safe delivery. Mama had an epidural at the right time and didn’t even have to push. You practically gave birth to yourself!
Off to hunt photos for all the kids in their 3rd month. The Sisterhood Challenge continues!