In 1991, my mother (Carol) started teaching at East High. The Russian teacher was pregnant and was looking for someone to be the chaperone, so Carol volunteered. My sister (Kathryn) wasn't going to East, but she was studying Russian at the time, so she ended up going along. The Soviets visited the US first, and Rodica Cebanu stayed with my family for a month before my mother and sister went to Moldova to stay with her family. Kathryn end up staying for a number of months past the end of the program, Rodica ended up spending a year living with us in Alaska and attending school, and thus was born a close relationship between my mother and sister and Moldova. Whenever they could, they'd return - for a week, a fortnight, or a month, or even longer.
In May 2000, I succumbed to their entreaties. I flew with my sister to Bucharest, where we met up with Rodica and her fiance, Ioan. We took the train to Chisinau, I met tons of friends, ate wonderful food, delicious fruit, and copious quantities of exquisite wine. Not to mention numerous gorgeous and well-dressed young women walking down the street. I was hooked.
In October 2000, Kathryn returned to be Rodica's maid of honor. When she returned to the US, she put together a wonderful web page describing the wedding.
I returned again in August 2001 to meet up with my family and spent a week in Moldova followed by five days in Istanbul.
I discovered that things would be nowhere near as simple as we had hoped. The appropriate (and safest) thing to do would be for me to petition for permission for Corina to apply for a K-1 (fiancee) Visa. By April we had the petition filed, but it would be 5 more months before we had an answer. In May, I flew to Moldova to spend two weeks with Corina and her family (including the all-important meeting the parents). We had a wonderful time, but at the end I had to fly back to the US and we returned to waiting. It wasn't until October 18th that Corina was able to join me in the US. At that point, we had 90 days to either get married or have Corina return to Moldova. On November 27th, 2002 we had a small legal ceremony with Judge Peter Michalski presiding.
The big wedding was on June 14th, 2003, but as for more description, you'll have to wait until we get a page up for that!
Alaska has been really friendly to me so far. Nice winter. Confounding the predictions, I didn't get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) from the relative absence of light. Instead, I learned to ski, I learned to drive on icy roads, and I finally found a job! Summer's been a wonderful experience as well. I first started hiking with my father when I was a child, so I can hardly wait to show him the Chugach Mountains. I love my new family and it's great to be able to say that I've got two homes now.