This sounds like the beginning of a beautiful love story. And it is. As Inger and Philippa began to fall in love, they concentrated on one another and their feelings. Discriminatory US immigration laws were far from their minds. But because Philippa is from the UK, maintaining a relationship has been difficult. This is their story:
Philippa's Words:Life changed dramatically in May of 2008 when my mother became extremely ill. I spent everyday for three weeks at the hospital by my mother's bedside watching machines keep her alive. She knew about Inger and had paid for my passport. I never had a passport because I was afraid of flying. In all that time the one person that kept me going was Inger. She answered the phone whatever time of day it was. She kept the webcam up so that she could watch over me and when I woke with night terrors she was there to comfort me. The doctors removed the sedation so my Mum was awake for a couple of days and she made me promise I would go and meet Inger and her daughter.
I remember going into the hospital and being called into the doctor’s room, they said my Mum had hours to live. I ran from the hospital and called Inger. She gave me the courage and the strength to go back into the room and hold my Mum's hand as she slipped away. I knew I had to go and thank her personally so I booked tickets to see her in September.
I was scared stiff and remember the first time I saw Inger waiting at the airport. I was blown away. She was and still is the most stunning woman I have ever seen. We spent two weeks together and were so comfortable in each others company. Inger's daughter took to me too. I honestly felt that I had found my home for the first time in my life, somewhere I belonged and was accepted for who I was. Then I had to leave.
Some people will find it odd that after only two weeks the feelings could be so strong, but we had been in each other’s lives for months living via telephone and webcam.
I made another visit to the states in the November for three weeks then came back. Due to work stress and also grief kicking in I had a breakdown in February 2009 and when Inger asked me what I needed I told her I needed her and her daughter to come visit. I booked the tickets and they were here in the UK within a couple of days. They showed me that if I needed them they would be here.
Inger’s daughter “Lisa” (name changed to protect her privacy) is 12 and she made the decision for me to be her parent. She took me by surprise when she just started calling me Mum one day. She calls Inger Mom and me Mum and gets very upset if I am referred to as her step mum as we found out when a friend used the term.
In terms of the law and immigration I could sponsor them into the country but Lisa still has a relationship with her father who is American and we refuse to break up one family in order for another family to be together. I would never ask her to choose between us, as that would be wrong. So in light of this herein lies the reason why they cannot move to England.
We travel back and forth yet due to cost and schedules, I have to take more trips to the states than they do to the UK.