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Home for 2 months, reflections

Home for 2 months, reflections

Old Aug 26th 2015, 10:35 am
  #1  
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Default Home for 2 months, reflections

We landed in Manchester on June 22nd after 14 years in Clearwater Florida. Our move back had nothing to do with being dissatisfied in the USA it was about our parents ageing and the daughters we adopted in Florida being the only grandchildren in either family. My wife had also just completed a PhD and the prospects for her area of research look a lot better in the UK.

Our arrival in Manchester with two adopted daughters from China, now US citizens, was a little problematic as the Home Office had at that time lost their applications for British Citizenship and all the supporting documents, they arrived with the Home Office on April 9th. That left us without the necessary documents for visa applications. So we entered with a plan to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain for them once in the UK. This plan was met with less than full enthusiasm by the immigration officer at Manchester. We spent a couple of hours waiting for the Borders Agency to confirm what I had already told them! They then asked why we hadn't just applied for our girls UK passports, which we couldn't do without them first being granted citizenship. Eventually they were admitted for 6 months with a "Code 1 A" stamp in the passport, that gives them full access to NHS and schools, and gives us 6 months to help the Home Office complete the applications. As a precaution, a rather expensive precaution, we did get them ILR using the premium same day service at the Solihull office.


My wife and I are enjoying being back in England and our girls, age 9 and 7, are enjoying living in Birmingham. Our housing wasn't too much of an issue, I am a vicar so the church provides a house, they didn't have one for my position so the church is renting a house for us, we looked on Rightmove at rentals, asked them to go and look and when they and we thought a house was suitable they rented it for a year. We are happy living in Quinton so far. We are still working out schools for the girls as both are blind and need a special placement in a school with a teacher of the visually impaired. We chose a house half a mile from a school with a vision support unit and hope that Birmingham Education authority will soon realise that our girls will do well there.

Things we are all pleased about, being able to walk to places not having to use the car for everything. The buses in Birmingham have been great too and offer so many flexible transport options for us that we are going to manage with just one car. We have bought a car and so far it has not been used very much. The last time filled it with diesel was mid July. We like living very close to a Tesco superstore and walk over there to buy a few groceries each day that has been another novelty for our girls too. We find food to better less expensive and better quality on the whole.

I am really enjoying my new position at St. Martin's in the Bull Ring, there is so much going on in the city centre and so many people come into St. Martin's to be quiet and enjoy the peace, a large part of my role is to be in the church welcoming people and answering their questions and taking time to pray with then if they ask. I am meeting people from all over the world who have made Birmingham their home.

So two months in and we are all happy to have made the move. I'll be even happier when the girl's citizenship is resolved, the Home Office found their citizenship applications on July 2nd, the day after we spent £3000 on ILR. So far so good.

Mike
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Old Aug 26th 2015, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Home for 2 months, reflections

It is nearly a decade since I was last in B'rum, but of course I know your church, which is a landmark. Best wishes with your new position and with your girls' citizenship applications.
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Old Aug 26th 2015, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Home for 2 months, reflections

What a wonderful story, fathermike! I hope all proceeds well now with the citizenship and that you continue to be happy to be back in the UK with your wife and daughters.
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Old Aug 27th 2015, 12:51 am
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Default Re: Home for 2 months, reflections

Lovely to hear from you FatherMike & that you and your family are settling well.

Thank you so much for sharing.
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Old Sep 3rd 2015, 4:22 pm
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Default Re: Home for 2 months, reflections

A wonderful update, wishing you and your family all the very best
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Old Sep 7th 2015, 7:21 pm
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Default Re: Home for 2 months, reflections

So glad to hear about the update. love reading about Manchester and can't wait for a visit to check things out
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Old Sep 7th 2015, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Home for 2 months, reflections

Good to read your update and so glad things are going well in Birmingham! We just flew home from Birmingham airport yesterday and I waved to you as we took off

So sorry about all the stress, hassle and expense with the citizenship applications for your girls. I've sent you a long, rambling PM venting about the process. Hopefully we will both be making posts soon to say that the citizenship nightmare is behind us!
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Old Sep 8th 2015, 9:05 am
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Default Re: Home for 2 months, reflections

Originally Posted by NiHao View Post
Good to read your update and so glad things are going well in Birmingham! We just flew home from Birmingham airport yesterday and I waved to you as we took off

So sorry about all the stress, hassle and expense with the citizenship applications for your girls. I've sent you a long, rambling PM venting about the process. Hopefully we will both be making posts soon to say that the citizenship nightmare is behind us!
Thanks NiHao, I'm hopeful too.
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