UA-46299556-1
Biographic Information
 My wife and I came to the United States in 1992 with J-1 visas.  I had a Master of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Sofia University. However, we worked in greenhouses for less than $3 per hour.  My usual workweek was 90 to 100 hours (there was no time and a half payment after 40 hours).  But at least we did not pay rent.
 We left our little daughters in Bulgaria with the understanding that we will see them after a year.  I was told that an attorney in New York City could help us to become Green Card holders, so I went and met him.  He assured me that within three months I will have a Green Card; I will be able to bring our children to US and my wife will become a legal resident as well.  What a sweet promise!  Then I was asked to leave my passport and $700, which I did.  I thought that he needed my passport so the visa could be stamped in it.
The attorney told me that he will call me within a month, but it did not happen.  I called him and he was very nice over the phone and explained to me that he needs a little bit more time.  I waited and called again next month – again nothing.  Then my wife and I started calling him every week and the answer was the same “Everything is all right – call me next week.”  We asked him when our kids can come to US and he responded that by Christmas they will be here. What a joy!  We called our kids and told them this fact.  They were as excited as we were – finally we will be together.
Christmas passed.  Our attorney kept telling us the same story – soon I will have the visa, etc.  We were trying to pass the story to our kids, but they did not believe us.  It was an ongoing delay – we will see you for Christmas, Easter, etc., and none of these happened.  Our kids’ friends called them liars and were assured that they do not have parents after all.  Our visas expired and since 1993 we were out of status (became undocumented, well you can all it illegal).  We had to leave our jobs in the Greenhouses.   If you think you are in a bad position try to picture that.  I was without a chance:
 -  to have a stable job;
 -  to be in legal status;
-  to see our kids in the near future;
-  without a passport, (the “attorney” kept it - latter I found he was not an attorney)
 Also, my wife was crying often for our kids.  We were separated from them for over three years.  In short, it seemed that there was no light in the end of the tunnel. 
 However there was one positive factor  - we started attending the services of Winthrop Street Baptist Church (WSBC).  With the help of an real attorney and church member I was able to get my passport back. Our good Christian friends David and Connie Swensen and Paul and Carol Rebello offered to sponsor us as well.  However the definition of the word sponsor in the eyes of INS were different. Another Christian couple John and Harriet Burch became our good friends.  They were the owners of several fast food entities and offered to sponsor me for an H-B1 visa.  It did not work – INS responded with a question “What is the connection between a manager of a pizza store and Master of Arts Degree in Philosophy”.  So I looked for a sponsor who can offer me a job related to my degree.   At the same time Christians from WSBC were praying for us.  At that time I did not fully understand the meaning and the power of prayer.  I was even upset when I saw a request for prayer for our “Green Cards” in the church bulletin.  I remember saying to my wife “These people do not even know that we are trying to get H-1B visa, not a Green card.” 
 In summary, I did not understand that “with God all things are possible”.  The week following the above mentioned prayer, we received a large envelope from INS, informing us that my wife was selected as a winner of the DV Lottery – so called Green Card Lottery.  We entered this lottery the previous year and completely forgot about it. 
God answered the prayers of the Christians from WSBC.  His blessings on us were countless.  Our kids came to US shortly after the INS notification.  Now we are all proud US Citizens.  My wife graduated with honor from Fisher College as a paralegal and was nominated by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  At the moment she is my paralegal (that is probably the only case in US where a paralegal is the attorney’s boss).  She also graduated with a Bachelor Degree in English at Bridgewater State College.  With God’s help I graduated from Southern New England School of Law, passed the bar at my first try and have my own practice as an Immigration Attorney. 
United States is known asthe land of unlimited opportunities”.  It is very true.  With prayers and hard work the Blessings of God can reach anyone.
GSN-398137-X