Sharing nice things with you every day
Daily Huckleberry is a blog created by John & Tara Paterson.
Logo created by Mikay Marie
So, we were both staff on a Minecraft server about 4 years ago. We never really spoke in game or anything. Eventually the server shut down due to the owners having other commitments and i was unable to keep it running on my own. A lot of us kept in contact through team speak though, particularly the staff base. I started chatting to her on team speak then later via skype when inviting her to play a few other games we had in common with some IRL friends. After a while we ended up staying on skype late together, some calls lasting 5 or more hours – was just random chit chat usually, also we used a site called sync tube, where it would sync up videos for us to watch together.
One day, she brought up the fact that she had been in a long distance relationship before, and it hadn’t worked out. She tried to come to the UK to visit him, but was randomly selected at the airport. Because he was on benefits and unemployed, and she didn’t have the cash to support herself for the two week visit, she was returned home on the same day. I kinda got form her tone though that she wanted to try a LDR again, with me. Why else would she have brought up the fact that she was comfortable with the idea? Right? So a week later, I asked her if she wanted to be my girlfriend. But I also told her, I wanted to be serious about it. None of this online only relationship or anything. That was November 2014. We then met in New York city for a 7 day first date over valentines, Feb 2015. We shared our first kiss in times square in the snow. We were on one of the billboards in times square too (there was a valentines thing on where it took a photo of you kissing your partner and you’d appear on the billboard). I took her to Phantom of the Opera on 14th February as our valentines gift. We quickly got addicted to broadway and ended up seeing Matilda and Les Mes too (Matlida was fantastic!).
We had such an amazing time together… When it came to leaving each other at the airport, we were both crying our eyes out. I even heard one of the TSA agents say to another ‘aww thats a shame’ as we left each other. So, first real life visit – massive tick in the box. We were just so made to be with each other. It was now time for her to visit me in Scotland!
Being cautious since she was refused entry in the past, we decided it would be best to apply for a visitors visa. It isn’t needed to visit the UK from the USA, but we wanted to be safe than sorry. About £600 later, and FOUR MONTHS, she received a rejection letter reason? Not enough ties to the USA. Because she didn’t have a car, or a big job, or a house, any assets really, they rejected her as they suspected that once was over, she wouldn’t return home. We were both heart broken by the decision and it put A LOT of stress on our relationship, as we were worried that she might never get over here. I have a really good job over here which would be silly for me to leave, she had a part time job as a cashier. I have a lot of family and friends here who I am close with. Over here, health care is free, education is free, and public transport is everywhere… After a lot of research, we were left with a few options. Option 1 would be for me to move to the USA for 6 months, to fulfill the requirements of a relationship visa in the UK, being that we lived together for 6 months and were in a genuine relationship. Option 2 would be to get proposed, and apply for a fiancee visa, in which we would need to get married within 6 months of her arriving in the UK. Option 3 is to get married in the USA and apple for a Spouse visa. Now I wasn’t going to go ahead and propose outright after dating for about 10 months at this point, having only met once. I decided to go visit her again in Chicago, August 2015 – an hours stay from her home. I had never been to America before this year, and all of a sudden I go twice in one year! Woah. She showed me around Chicago, we had an amazing time just like New York. We even went to the beach together on lake Michigan, and it blew my mind how big that lake was.
But now was the time… Now was the time to finally meet her parents. Oh my god, i have never been so nervous in my entire life. Know that thing you see in moves, where the father always asks the guy questions like what are your intentions with my daughter? That happened. I can’t believe that actually happened. He asked me what my intentions were, he asked me what I did, who my family is, what job i had, how much money I earned to support them. Luckily I managed to satisfy his questions and he was extremely pleased to find that I hold the same degree as him – Business and Management (hons). I think that made him quite comfortable with me actually. Her mum was really nice too. We spent a couple of days at her home before she drove me to the airport, and we cried our eyes out once more. This was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. But I didn’t want to keep seeing her like it was a vacation every time I went over. I decided to visit her once more that year, December 2015 – while she was working, to see what it would be like to wait at home for her and see her at the end of the day, have some normal time together – cook her some meals, spend normal time together. As you can imagine, my money was growing quite short by my third trip to America in one year. Thankfully rather than stay in a hotel, i was allowed to stay with her family in their spare bedroom. Though because they refused to let us sleep in the same room together, we decided to book 5 days in the Hilton Hotel in Chicago. I sometimes got free upgrades through my work – we were upgraded to an executive room facing the lake. Fantastic! Like I said, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this woman. So, in December 2015, I got down in one knee in millennium park and proposed. She said yes! We decided we were going for Option 2 after that – apply for fiancee visa and get married in the UK.
She told her family – they acted a bit skeptical. They were a bit saddened by our decision to get married in the UK, considering none of them had ever left America ever. They asked us to reconsider a USA wedding – but my family couldnt get to the USA because my dad is disabled and my mum looks after him. I spoke with my parents on the phone and they told me to have the wedding in the USA – we were going to get my wife over to the UK to spend the rest of our lives together, so it would only be fair to make it a goodbye to her family and friends. We started to plan the wedding that Christmas, deciding to get married in July 2016, as we couldn’t bare to be apart any longer than that. I extended my Christmas stay by an extra week, big thanks to my manager for approving the extra days off over Christmas holidays. Fastforward to July 2016, we get married in her back yard (which was pretty damn huge), with the two owners of the Minecraft server being our signed witnesses (they had flown from Nevada to Illinois to be at our wedding) and another of the staff members was my best man (drove from Minnesota). I had hired a kilt for him which was funny to see him in. We have a wedding video on youtube here.
She applied for the spouse visa after, which was an amazing pain in the ass. I can’t believe the amount of evidence we had to submit, including screenshots of our conversation history, at least one per month, screenshot of our skype logs, a picture of us together every visit, and much much much more. It cost around £1.7k after NHS fees were added. It was approved November 2016, and she moved here December 2016. We’ve been living happily ever after since then, and just moved house 2 weeks ago together. She’s working here now and we’re saving money for the visa extension in 2019.