I have created this page through the encouragement of some of my friends and family who have expressed that this is a way that they would like to help my little family. And for this, I am extremely grateful. Words cannot express just how much.
For those of you who are not familiar with our story I will do my best to explain the purpose of this funding goal.
In December of 2009, I met Hicham on-line and quickly we became great friends. We bonded over so many things, such as our love of all kinds of music ( we are both musicians) our love for animals and most importantly our love for God. After time, we realized that we were more than just friends, we fell in love. I visited him for the first time in the summer of 2010. I saw God’s love for me through him, and I knew I could never leave his side. Although, our reality is that we live an ocean apart. Each trip after, I continued to get to know his family, and became a part of their family, they welcomed me and always took care of me. Even one of my mother's best friends, who we endearingly call Uncle Nicky has met him twice and loves him too. I wish for ALL of you to know Hicham and adore him just the same.
Four and a half years later, we are still living on separate continents. A lot of circumstances have kept us apart this long. I usually visit once a year, the last time being December of 2012 through January of 2015. During that trip I brought my girls with my, with the intention that we would get married on this trip. Unfortunately, dealing with the Moroccan government, and specific paperwork we needed, we were unable to marry this time. We still had the greatest vacation as a family, as this was my first visit with the girls, but my 4th visit in all. It was the icing on the cake for me to see him interact and love my girls the way I would want any man who I choose to marry to be with them. The girls adore him and miss him very much. He is is such a kind, loving, generous, caring, and honorable man.
In 2013, we decided that the pain of all this separation was too much to bear, and that we would file for a visa for him to enter the United States as my Fiance, with the intention of marrying here. This kind of visa is not as strong legally, as the visa petition is if he were my husband. We however felt confident in our case, we sent in 250 pages of evidence of 4 years of our relationship. I mailed our petition on 11/12/13, invested my vacation money in the process, in hopes that if I waited just a little bit longer, he would be here with me forever. He had his interview on April 23rd and we were given a denial on May 9th, 2014. Two days after Cheyenne’s birthday, and we were really hoping that he would be here for that day. Unfortunately, the Consulate in Casablanca Morocco, sees a very high instance of fraud, and you have to fight this bias. I don't want to get into the process of immigration, but I will say that Hicham was not given a fair chance, as many other people are and unfortunately they sent our petition back to USCIS for further review. There are so very many details when it comes to this process, so trust me when I say we have been thrown out into la-la land. USCIS asks for 6 months to review the petition, and in the mean time all you can do is wait. And from the accounts of many others who have gone through this, what will most likely happen is my petition will expire, I will get a letter and I will be told my recourse is to file another petition. What I have been advised, and what I agree is the best solution for our strength, and our broken hearts, is that we need to get married in Morocco and file for a spouse visa, to prove even more that we are absolutely 0 percent in this for life. We are devastated by this denial. Besides all the obvious reasons why we would want to finally live together, this is the ten year anniversary of my mother’s death, and my 15 year old cat probably will not make it very much longer( and you probably know how much that dern cat means to me), and I really wanted him to be here by my side. Regardless, we refuse to let this legal process tear us apart. We have stood by each others side for all this time, we are not giving up now.
I have been working hard to make a life for my girls and I. I have been running my own business babysitting, going to school and working towards a degree. It is taking me some time, but I devote all of the time that I have to work hard to continue down this path of success. I am a Dean’s List student, you don’t get that without the effort. I will continue to work until I meet my goals. Hicham works as well, right now he is a security guard at a school in Tangier Morocco. He works from 7am- 7pm, every single day, and his monthly pay is 1700 dh. To be more clear, with the current exchange rate that is the equivalent of 206.55 US Dollars. A month. It’s not enough. I wish that I could go back with the knowledge that I have now about the K-1 process, and knowing the mistakes I made in our petition that gave them a loophole for denial, and used those funds to go back and marry there. Then we would be starting the spouse visa process now. We took a chance, and we didn’t make it.
I am a strong woman, many of you know my story, and will go untold on this page. Hicham has faced a lot of adversity in his life as well, ( a lot of similar stories that bond us) to be able to withstand the pain that we are currently enduring, as I type this it has been 1 year and 7 months that we have not been face to face, and the clock is ticking. There is the possibility of changes, albeit very good changes, coming soon, with work, school and in my children’s lives in the coming months, and I need to try with your help, to go and see him , now. ASAP. Otherwise, it probably will not be possible to entertain the idea of going back until next summer. Which would be at least two and a half years of not seeing each other, other than the shotty connection over video chat, which fails us constantly. God is with us, we know that we will not endure anything that He does not think that we can handle. This has been on my heart for a while, since the first friend suggested this page, and I have prayed over the idea, and I am taking the chance and asking whoever is reading this, that if you do have it on your heart to help, please, and thank you. So, very very much.
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- Heather & Fraser McFarlane
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