4 Our Family COalitiOn
still remember every detail o my arrivalto San Francisco on May 31, 1999. Mickey,now my husband, and I had survivedour years o a tortuous long distancerelationship—spending all o our resources andenergy trying to fnd ways or us to embark on alie journey together in the United States.As a gay U.S. citizen, Mickey does not havethe same right as our heterosexual riendsto sponsor me or permanent residency (agreen card) by marrying the person he loves. We searched andresearched everywhere or other opportunities that would allow us,a committed loving couple, to be united here in the United States.In 1997, was able to secure an F-1 visa, so I would come into theU.S. as an international student. You can imagine how thrilled wewere to hear that all the MBA paperwork had been approved andwe would fnally be together… orever!Mickey and I had discussed having children, and as gay men, wehad to do lots o planning. We also realized that the world had lotso plans or us beore we would be at a stable place where we eltwe could raise a child.Ater successully earning an MBA, I was hired by a transportationcompany that was willing to sponsor a workingvisa that would have allowed me to apply ora green card. Then 9/11 happened and thecompany changed their mind, deciding they would no longer sponsor any H1-B/green cardapplications in the wake o the attacks. My beloved and I were once again reminded thatthe uture o our amily was in the hands o theU.S. ederal government and deeply tied to thewhims o related corporate interests.To stay with Mickey, I had to scramble to fnd either another jobor another type o visa. We also started planning or contingencies.Mickey, who is a registered pharmacist, passed his licensure inVancouver because Canada allows or same-sex recognition o common law partners. Where he couldn’t in the US, he would beable to sponsor my Canadian residency as soon as his Canadianwork visa was granted. How unair is that? A hard workingdedicated American, who served in the Air Force, was being orcedto choose between love and country just because he is gay!It was surreal. Our lives were essentially again at a standstill,consumed by immigration concerns. I come rom a big Chineseamily and I am the eldest son o the eldest son, which means thatI was expected to marry and have children. Mickey and I wantedto have kids, but we needed to know we had enough stability thatour amily would not be torn apart. So our plan to start a amily was once again put on the back burner.As luck would have it, one week beore my visa expired, Mickey received an oer rom a local pharmacy in SF that also oered mea Business Development position to help us stay together. Despite years o hellish apprehension eeling like we could be ripped apartat any second, we ound an employer that would help us securea green card in relatively a short time. While we were relieved, wealso know that the“immigration pipeline” tends to be shorter orcitizens rom Singapore than rom many other countries.What a joy! We could fnally start a amily! Even though we knew we would still have no ederal rights, we had a wedding with all o our close riends and amily members to ofcially recognize andprotect our amily. We started researching adoption options rightaway, and eventually ound AdoptionSF, where we began the work to become certifed to oster/adopt. The entire process took aboutnine months and on August 29, 2008, a pretty little eight-month-old girl named Alicia came into our lives, reminding us yet againo the unknowns ahead.We made the early decision to be open with our daughter abouther birth story. Since her birthday is so close to Christmas, we
Bi-Nationa love + Baby = Famiy
By Amos Lim, OFC Member
(continued on page 10)
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