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Many thanks to my best friend, Father to our beloved children and love of my life hubby for his reflections on our family’s immigration to Mexico…

By Frank O’Grady

Our immigration to Mexico was my dream, not my children’s.

We moved here when they were eight years old, and in my eyes, still babies in so many ways.

They just turned 18 this June 2022 and have now lived more than half their lives in our adopted country of Mexico. 

Their faith in us was paramount to us having a successful move to a part of Mexico where we were not going to be able to bounce back easily over the border to whatever perceived comfort zone that might have existed. 

I knew there was a different and a better way and like with many of my other dreams I laid plenty of groundwork. We did not just pick up and leave a life in the USA on some fantastical mid-life crisis.

Moving to Mexico with Children, A Father's Perspective

My dream for Liam, Mairead and Katie was for a life that was not completely centered on commercialism and struggling to keep our heads above watera life without the incessant chasing and worrying about dollars in a world gone mad with the need to buy and consume just a little bit more than can be reasonably earned. A life with involved parents instead of home just being a place everyone gathered at night after a day or days at work.

Baja California~Our First Mexico Home

 

We prepared our children in a multitude of ways with many experiences in and about Mexico well before we even broached the subject of moving to mainland Mexico.

Katie was only a few months pregnant with Mairead and Liam fishing with us on the Sea of Cortez out of a tiny aluminum boat. 

We journeyed down the Baja Peninsula, stopping at the same restaurants, rest areas and hotels…our twins hugged and held and squeezed and cheeks pinched by every female worker in these stops.

A Love for Mexico was Nurtured in Our Twins from A Very Early Age

As Liam and Mairead became more aware of the differences in their country of birth and the country we vacationed in, they eagerly looked forward to our journeys to a place where we all felt very much at home–a place where we had the time to be together as a family instead of constantly trying to meet an agenda or drive across a city of two million to get somewhere.

Moving to Mexico With Children, A Father's Perspective

 

Moving to Mexico with Children~A Father's Perspective

It Felt as If Every Time We Went to Mexico That We Were Actually Going Home

At a certain point in our careers, Katie and I both realized that continuing to support our lifestyle in Southern California was going to essentially condemn us to many decades of work so that someday, when we were close to 80, we might have a paid off house that we hadn’t had much time to enjoy because we were constantly working to pay for it.

When Liam and Mairead were around seven years old we really started talking to and involving them in our plans to move to Mexico. The existing paradigm wasn’t working for us emotionally, physically or mentally–we knew there was a better way and we were determined and committed to create it together as a couple and as a family.

We viewed this move through our children’s eyes…how they would experience it as 8-year-olds, as 10-year-olds, as now young adults. We knew that we had an age window to move successfully with them and to do it as a team.

Immigration to Mexico

I retired from firefighting at 50, Katie from teaching at 44 and with our 8-year-old twins and 5-year-old chocolate lab, we immigrated to Mexico in 2012.

Our children speak, think and navigate life in two languages and through the lens of two–if not multiple– cultures. 

Moving to Mexico with our children was a decision that we have not once regretted. They know that their lives are not just their parent’s dreams and creations, but also their own evolving adventure and story–that living a life with intent and purpose is both a choice and an opportunity. 

~Thank you for reading, Frank

For more on Moving to Mexico with Children: 

Immigration to Mexico with Children, A Mother’s Perspective

 

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Relocation Assistance

While I traditionally have not written about the “mechanics” of making a successful move to Mexico on my blog–but rather the fun and adventure of life well lived here–I figured I’d share some (hopefully helpful) information about one of the most important pieces of of a multi-pieced immigration process: Mexico Visa Requirements & Process 2022

Financial Solvency: Temporary or Permanent Residency

One of the very first things you will want to do is to locate and read through the Visas for Foreigners Tab of your local Mexican Consulate’s website to determine whether or not you meet the financial solvency requirements.

The majority of Mexican Consulates these days are reserving the Permanent Residency exclusively for pensioned/retired individuals. Even if you meet or even exceed the financial requirements for Permanent Residency, it is unlikely that you will be granted it without being pensioned/retired and with Consulate-approved proof of it.

While your Consulate establishes the exact criteria that you will need to follow, this article by Mexperience is very informative: Financial Criteria for Legal Residency in Mexico 2022

Differences Between Consulates

Since each Mexican Consulate varies in the details relative to the application process itself, financials and authentication of documents, it is imperative that you clarify any uncertainties directly with the Consulate you will be working with.

Most Consulates provide an email for you to contact them via, and if not email, then a phone number. My recommendation is that if given the option between the two, email is best, so that you have a print record of any and all communications that you can then bring with you to your appointment. 

*It is essential to follow the instructions of your Consulate to a T and if in doubt, contact them directly.*

Appointment Availability

With a continual uptick in folks wanting to move to Mexico, many Consulates are backlogged with limited appointment availability. It is best to prioritize this step and time it in relation to your move, for once you are granted your pre-authorized Visa, you need to be in Mexico within 6 months. 

Each person needs their own appointment and for couples or individuals/families with children, ideally you will be able to schedule them all on the same day. For families with minor children, the parent(s) needs to have their appointments prior to those of the children, or, ideally and if allowed by the Consular Agent, all go in together during the same time slot. 

Making Your Visa Appointment

Both the Temporary and Permanent Resident Visa applications must be started in your home country, with the second and final step of receiving your physical card to be completed at your local INM (immigration office) in Mexico.

Some Consulates request that you contact them via the email provided on their website while others are  switching over to Mi Consulado/Citas de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (citas.sre.gob.mx).

Some, for example, like the Mexican Consulate in New York, have their own internal booking system

For those Consulates that are utilizing Mi Consulado, in the upper right-hand corner you should have the option to change the language to English. While this video is in Spanish, watching it several times should help to guide you through the process. The number 1-424-309-0009 is also provided by the Mexican government as an option for registering yourself in the Mi Consulado system and for making an appointment (# applicable to U.S. and Canadian clients only). I have also been successful in chatting with a Consular representative via the messenger feature on Facebook. Leave no stone unturned.

Keep a file of all the required paperwork, make more copies than you think you will need, be patient, follow the instructions to a T of your Consulate, and double and triple check that you have everything prepared according to your Consulate’s exact specifications prior to arriving for your application appointment(s). 

Documents Required for Visa Appointment 

Most Consulates require the following documents:

  1. Passport size photo; No hair on forehead, eyeglasses, hats, earrings or other facial piercings; no smiling. Front profile, color, white background. It’s best to wear white and the background must be white.
  2. The VISA has an approximate cost of $48 USD, paid in cash. It’s preferable to bring exact change.
  3. Example Mexican Consulate Visa Application (use your Consulate’s linked form) to be printed and completed, one per person. For question 21 “Length of Stay”, if you are applying for Temporary Residency, check inside the circle beside “More than 180 days and less than 4 years”. If you are applying for Permanent Residency, check inside the circle beside “Definitive”.
  4. Original & Valid Passport plus color copies of the pages containing personal information, photograph of bearer and expiration date/extensions.
  5. Financial proof ($$ amounts & proper documentation to be defined by your Consulate). Names must match exactly with your passport. Take as much proof of financials as possible. Your name must be on your financial statements and if a joint account, both names.
  6. Original and copies of marriage licenses when sponsoring a spouse or bank account is in both names. Whether or not the marriage license needs to be apostilled is to be defined by your Consulate. Carefully read through the information provided on the Consulate website and email/call them if clarification is needed.
  7. Some Consulates are no longer requiring birth certificates (usually only for minor children), but you will need to clarify this with your Consulate
  8. Appointment confirmation form(s)–ONE FOR EACH APPLICANT

*specifics to be confirmed with your Consulate*

Apostilled Documents

If any of your  documents need to be apostilled per the stipulations of the Mexican Consulate you are applying at, go to the Secretary of State Website for the State the document was issued. You can find your Secretary of State at THIS LINK. For Federal apostille access, refer to THIS LINK to contact the U.S. Department of State Office of Authentications.

Interview Appointment

When you arrive at your Visa Interview Appointment(s) in a happy and patient mood 😀 you will be interviewed by a Consular Agent. He/she will review all of your documents and identification and ask you some basic questions as to the purpose and destination of your move. If all is satisfactory and in order, the agent will place a pre-approved 6-month Visa Sticker inside your passport. It will be valid for six months only and can be used to enter Mexico once. 

Prior to Leaving Your Consulate Visa Appointment

Prior to leaving the Mexican Consulate, be sure to check your Pre-Approved Visa Sticker to ensure that your:

  • gender is indicated correctly
  • name is spelled correctly
  • birthdate is accurate and
  • type of Visa you have applied for–Temporary or Permanent–has been indicated correctly.

You Have Received Your Pre-Authorized Visa, What Now?

Once you have received your Pre-Authorized Visa Sticker in your passport (valid for 6 months and one entry) and you have arrived in Mexico at either a land or air border, you will need to ensure that both your pre-authorized Visa and your FMM are date stamped, with the grey, official-only sections (both top and bottom) of the FMM marked “CANJE and 30 days” (NOT TOURIST) by the immigration official as seen in this example:

Mexico Visa Requirements & Process 2022

The FMM is a 2-pieced form. The immigration agent will keep the top portion and give you the bottom portion for safe keeping; do not loose nor discard it.

INM (Immigration Office) Support Once in Mexico

After you have been pre-approved for your Residency Visa (6-month validity) and you have arrived in Mexico, you have 30 days in which to convert your pre-authorized Visa to your Residency Card.

For this second step of the Visa Process, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of–especially during these times of high demand & the navigation of government bureaucracy–connecting with a bilingual facilitator (does not need to be an attorney) in the area that you will be moving to. A reputable INM Liaison thoroughly understands the nuances of Mexico’s immigration law and is likely familiar with the immigration staff

Can you do this second, INM part on your own? Sure. Do I recommend it? Not necessarily, unless you speak excellent Spanish and can navigate your way through immigration law. My family, for example, as 10-year bilingual Permanent Residents, have always contracted with our trusted INM liaison for both our initial residency cards in 2012 and each and every 4 year renewal for our children.

Working with an INM Facilitator will save you time, money and frustration and more importantly, ensure that the process of converting your CANJE to your Residency Card is done properly within 30 days of your arrival to Mexico. After so much time and money invested to get this far in the residency process, why risk having to return to the States to begin it all over again?  I am able to provide a recommendation for an INM liaison in both the Puerto Vallarta and San Miguel de Allende areas. 

Do Not Leave Mexico While Awaiting Your Residency Card

While you are waiting for your Temporary or Permanent Resident Card(s) to be issued from INM, you need to remain in Mexico. If you are not able to for some reason, you would need a permission letter from INM to leave Mexico–until you are granted your official residency card. If permission is granted (cost is around 500 pesos), you can be out of Mexico for a maximum of 60 days. 

If you leave Mexico while your Visa is being processed without official permission from INM, you will compromise your legal status and have to begin the process all over again from your home Mexican Consulate.

Exiting/Entering Mexico Now as A Resident

Once you have your Temporary or Permanent Resident Visa Card, you are required by law to complete a FMM each time you leave Mexico.

At no time should you check “tourist” on the FMM. 

Fill out the bottom portion of the FMM form which immigration will take upon your departure from Mexico and then keep the upper half to provide to immigration upon your return. 

In box 8 enter your TR or PR visa card number from the back of your Visa Card. At the top of the FMM write “Temporary Resident” or “Permanent Resident”. When re-entering Mexico at an airport, go through the line used for non-citizens. Never have a color copy of your Residency Card, Driver’s License or any other Mexican government issued ID as it is considered fraud and there could be serious consequences. 

How Long is a Temporary Visa Valid For?

A Temporary Resident Visa will initially be issued for 1 year. Up to 30 days prior to its expiration you may renew for 1 to 3 more years. Your expiration date will be on the anniversary of the day you entered Mexico. 

After 4 years as a Temporary Resident, you can convert to a Permanent Resident within Mexico, applying as a renewal and adding an extra letter indicating it’s time to get your permanent residency. Your INM Liaison can easily assist you with this process. If you become a Permanent Resident, you must remove your foreign-plated car (or legally nationalize it) from Mexico as you won’t be able to get a TIP anymore.

Permanent Residence Status 

With Permanent Residency, you never have to renew your card again, except for your minor children who would need to have theirs renewed every 4 years and then one final time after they turn 18 prior to the date of its expiration. With PR status, your car has to be Mexican via either purchasing one in Mexico or nationalizing yours if possible. Not all NOB (north of the border) cars can be nationalized and the process can be quite expensive.

While much more of a nuts and bolts article than I traditionally write, I do hope this information has been of help to you. The information is not exhaustive and there are many other types of Visas that one can obtain, depending on their particular circumstances, and as such, it is always best to consult with the Mexican Consulate directly.

*Disclaimer: I am not a Mexican Immigration Official nor Mexican Attorney, just a gal that has lived south of the border for 10 years and compiled this information from what I have seen, lived, studied and cross-referenced with the INM liaison I send my clients to* ☺️

Saludos,

~Katie

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The O'Grady Twins Turn 18! Coming of Age in Mexico...

Motherhood came to me in the gift of the two most precious, red-headed, cherub butterballs of pure Irish love and joy. To say that I have been blessed would be an understatement.

When Frank and I first met–back when I was 28 and just beginning my teaching career and he, 34 and well into his career as a firefighter–I never wanted to marry and he never wanted to have kids.

Perfect. 

3.3 years later we were married in Bishop Mallory’s first ever outdoor wedding ceremony (he said he had never met a couple like us before) and 2 years later, we were pregnant with our two little miracles, Mairead Ema and Liam Quinn.

The O'Grady Twins Turn 18! Coming of Age in Mexico...

Life. She is funny like that.

Motherhood

Being a Mom is the the most fulfilling, challenging and heart-expanding experience unlike any other I have ever had. It has brought me to my knees and had me singing from the mountaintops, turned my heart inside out, and over again. 

Parenting guidebooks, words of wisdom from well-intentioned loved ones and copious amounts of personal preparation cannot take the place of what you, as a parent, are destined to walk and discover on your own. There is just is no other way other than figuring it out, with love always as your guide post. 

Coming of Age in Mexico

Barely a month into our immigration from San Diego to San Pancho in 2012, Mairead and Liam had an adventure that without a doubt set the template for the shenanigans to come in our reinvented, “out of the box” lives where freedom, fun, family time, community, connection and culture are the headliner events. 

Strapped into the back of a dune buggy with a group of their newly-made friends, down the jungle road they bopped and bounced until their horse-back riding instructor Ceci found a body of water that looked “suitable” for an afternoon swim! 

The O'Grady Twins Turn 18! Coming of Age in Mexico...

While trying to emote nothing but pure joy and excitement, it is safe to say that I was feeling a bit horrified at the prospect of what my children were swimming in–doing an informal assessment of bacteria counts as they submerged themselves over and over into this cow pie sink hole.

Adventure at its best, no?

They survived unscathed and had good showers when we got back home!

The O’Grady Twins Turn 18!

For those of you that have been following along with us since the beginning, it might be hard for you too to believe that it has been nearly 10 years since our immigration to this magnificent country, when Mairead and Liam were just 8 years old. 

The O'Grady Twins Turn 18! Coming of Age in Mexico...

As they say in Spanish, “con un cerrar y abrir de los ojos”–with an opening and closing of the eyes–time goes by so fast. I am savoring every moment as I know all too well that I will be staring the empty nest stage straight in the nose before I know it, perhaps even before I am ready for it. With love as our guidepost, I trust we will continue to navigate all of these sweet and bittersweet chapters of life with grace and unity. 

The O'Grady Twins Turn 18! Coming of Age in Mexico...

So many grand life adventures lived and still so many stories yet to be told–both good and others that simply remind you that life is not for sissies–since we walked off that one-way flight from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta.

The O'Grady Twins Turn 18! Coming of Age in Mexico...

Our children, our precious treasures, our greatest life teachers. 

The O'Grady Twins Turn 18! Coming of Age in Mexico...

I love you, from here to the moon and around the world back again times infinity.

Feliz cumple mis tesoros!

~Mom xo

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Looking for a Residency Visa Specialist Recommendation? Feel free to email me at losogradysinmexico@gmail.com

 

 

 

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Who is moving to Mexico from the US? The answer might surprise you

Who is moving to Mexico from the US?

Originally published Feb. 1, 2022, in Mexico News Daily

An increasing number of Americans moving to Mexico are younger

By Debbie Slobe

When you think about who is moving to Mexico from the United States, you probably think of retirees seeking a warmer and more affordable place to live out their golden years.

While there is certainly a large population of senior snowbirds from the U.S. that live full- or part-time in Mexico, the truth is that most U.S. citizens moving to and living in Mexico today are younger people — mostly the children and spouses of Mexican citizens who have returned to their family’s home country.

According to Andrew Selee, President of the Migration Policy Institute, of the approximately 1.5 to 1.8 million U.S. citizens living in Mexico today, at least 550,000 are children of Mexicans who have returned, according to Mexican census numbers.

But there is also a growing number of young families from the U.S. with fewer direct ties to Mexico that are making the move or are already settled in the country. There is no official count of the number of American families living in Mexico today, but if their obvious presence in communities across the country is any indication, it is surely in the thousands, if not tens of thousands.

San Miguel de Allende-based relocation consultant Katie O’Grady has helped hundreds of individuals, couples and families plan, research and make the move to Mexico. She says there are myriad reasons American families move here, but it all boils down to improving their quality of life.

Who is moving to Mexico from the US? The answer might surprise you (Mexico News Daily) (Mexico News Daily)
Sick of the rat race in California, the O’Grady family moved to San Pancho, Nayarit in 2012. They currently live in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.

“The main driving force for families is their overall desire to have a life well-lived, quality family time and true connections with people — to be able to walk around their community and stop and literally smell the flowers, have conversations with people and make that personal connection,” she said.

Selee, who interviewed dozens of Americans living in Mexico for his book Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together and has connections with U.S. immigrants all over the country, found similar reasoning in his research.

“Americans tend to move because they like the pace in Mexico — it’s a less frenetic society. They also like the sense of community. Family is tight. Neighbors are tight. There is a code about relationships between people here that Americans find attractive and refreshing and different from where they came from,” said Selee.

As an American citizen who moved from San Diego to Mexico in 2012 with her husband, Frank, and young twins, O’Grady has experienced firsthand the transformation that can occur when families leave the rat race and create more expansive, balanced and connected lives in Mexico.

Back in San Diego, Frank was a firefighter whose work required him to be away from home and in life- and health-threatening situations for days at a time. Katie was an accomplished K-12 Spanish teacher who retired early a few years after their twins were born to homeschool them.

Reflecting back, with all that she and Frank were balancing in their lives in the fast-paced environment of Southern California, O’Grady said, “We were like two ships passing in the night.”

The O’Gradys spent most of their precious time off together back then in Baja California, where they lived simply from their RV, played on the beach and finally had a chance to unwind.

“From an early age, my kids had a sprinkling of what life in Mexico looks like. For them, it always represented [that] mom and dad aren’t stressed,” O’Grady said. “Mexico always had this very positive connotation to it. It always represented relaxation, concentrated family time and adventure.”

As someone who grew up near the Mexican border, visiting Mexico frequently and having a grandfather who was the chief of the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration in the 1940s — a time when border relations were more convivial than confrontational — O’Grady already had deep connections to Mexico. So when she and Frank dreamed of one day creating a different life for their family outside the U.S., Mexico was a natural fit.

In 2012, when their twins were eight years old, they made the move, first landing in San Pancho, Nayarit.

“We dove in. And we haven’t looked back with any regrets. Of course, we’ve had hard times, bumps in the road and inconveniences that weren’t expected. But that’s going to happen anywhere. I’d much rather be doing life on this side of the border any day,” said O’Grady.

She started blogging about their family’s experience immigrating to and living in Mexico, which grew in popularity and attracted the attention of others looking to make the move. In 2014, she launched her relocation consulting business, focusing on the Puerto Vallarta coastal corridor and San Miguel de Allende, where she lives now.

Who is moving to Mexico from the US? The answer might surprise you (Mexico News Daily)
“From an early age, my kids had a sprinkling of what life in Mexico looks like. For them, it always represented [that] mom and dad aren’t stressed,” Katie O’Grady said.

O’Grady says she has seen different waves of interest in moving to Mexico — first with the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, and more recently with the pandemic.

“The pandemic has been a huge impetus behind the current uptick in requests for my services. Every day there are more people,” O’Grady said. “The biggest difference I see now is inquiries are coming not just from the U.S. but also from Canada, Australia and Ireland. Before, 90% of my inquiries were from the U.S. Then, it was about political discomfort. Now, interest is a direct result of the pandemic.”

Selee also sees the pandemic as a catalyst for greater immigration into Mexico.

“In the COVID world, we learned that so many jobs can be done outside of offices. That is only going to encourage more people to look at where they want to live for quality of life. I think we have seen accelerated immigration to Mexico because of the pandemic,” he said.

But even before the pandemic, populations of American immigrants throughout Mexico were growing. Not just among retirees, two-parent families, couples and individuals but also among single parents such as Kimberly Miles.

Who is moving to Mexico from the US? The answer might surprise you (Mexico News Daily)
“Living in Mexico has restored my faith in humanity,” says Kimberly Miles, who moved to Mexico from the US in 2018.It was her longtime wish to live abroad in a Spanish-speaking country that originally drew Miles and her four-year-old son from Alexandria, Virginia, to Puerto Vallarta — that, and her desire to create a different life, one that would allow her more time with her son, immerse them both in a new culture and give her a chance to start her own marketing consulting business.

Miles left her corporate job of 15 years and moved to Mexico in 2018. She is now her own boss, catering mostly to single moms like herself looking to launch their own businesses. She is also the creator and administrator of the Facebook Group Single Moms in Mexico.

Miles says her life in Mexico is markedly different than it was in Virginia. “The stress level is completely different. As a single mom in the northern Virginia area, it is extremely difficult,” she said.

“Not only is it expensive but there is also so much pressure to be a certain thing, do a certain thing, go to certain places and act a certain way. Here, I’ve found that’s not the case. I can be more relaxed and do the things I enjoy.”

Instead of rushing out of the house at 7 a.m. to get to work and get her son to school on time, only to turn around at the end of the day to pick him up and not get home until 6:30 p.m., now Miles works from home and clocks off at 2 p.m. when her son is done at school.

“Living here has provided me with a much better quality of life in terms of motherhood. Plus, I would not have had the opportunity to build a business had we stayed in Virginia,” she said.

Similar to what O’Grady and Selee have observed and experienced, the strong sense of community here — a different experience than she had in the U.S. — is what Miles finds so attractive about living in Mexico.

Who is moving to Mexico from the US? The answer might surprise you (Mexico News Daily)
Mexico is increasingly an immigrant society, says Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute.

Living in Mexico has restored my faith in humanity. People walk down the streets and say good morning to complete strangers. People are willing to go out of their way to help. When you see someone’s car broken down on the side of the road, people come out and help. I’ve never seen that back at home,” she said.

While moving to Mexico can provide harried families and parents a slower, more connected life rich with new cultural experiences, it is not without its challenges. Among the biggest are one’s ability to assimilate and adapt to things like a new language, unfamiliar social norms and a different sense of time. That’s not always easy for those conditioned in the customer-is-always-right, hurry-up culture of the United States.

“I tell people — wherever you are, there you will be. You are taking that wherever you go. A lot of people move to Mexico and it’s not the place for them,” Miles said. “It’s not the place, it’s you. Unless you understand yourself, you are not going to get what you are expecting.”

“The real opportunity,” said Selee about living in Mexico, “is integrating into local society and taking advantage of getting to know the country. There are Americans who move to Mexico and stay in American communities. Any immigrant is going to want to find people who have the same background, and you don’t want to give that up. But at the same time, you want to meet people from the country you are settling in and become part of the texture of the community you are living in. Mexico is increasingly an immigrant society. It’s ok to be one of those people.”

“Mexico is not for everybody, but it is for a lot of people,” said O’Grady. She advises families considering the move to not live in fear and figure out a way to re-create and reinvent their lives.

“If there is a little whisper knocking on the door of your heart saying, ‘See what else is out there,’ do it,” she said. “None of us are trees. We can get up and move. We don’t have to stay stuck anywhere – and that includes in Mexico.

“Try it all out; this is a big, diverse, magnificent, beautiful country — so get out and see it.”

For information about Moving to Mexico and details of my one-on-one, personalized, customized Relocation Services, feel free to email me at losogradysinmexico@gmail.com

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The road to adoption came to us in the form of an 10-month-old, 8-pound, white, fluffy, cotton-ball sweetheart of a pup named Luna. 

We had long wanted to bring a second dog into our home, but the timing and circumstances just weren’t right…until it was. 

We knew that part of our moving from San Pancho to San Miguel de Allende would include welcoming another fur ball of love into our home, and without a doubt, a rescue.

Luna and her brother had belonged to a family who unfortunately could no longer afford to feed them. Thankfully they did the right thing and took them to a vet’s office rather than abandoning them on the street. The veterinarian notified a woman here in SMA who is very involved in dog rescues and fostering, and viola (serendipity and luck), Luna and The O’Grady Family’s paths crossed!

We had three fun-filled home day visits with Luna including one sleepover—pillows, blankets, chew toys and all–all required by her very careful and loving foster Mother, who without hesitation selected us to be Luna’s family upon seeing the love we had for her, and she for us.

Luna Love is a such a gift. She reminds us daily of the importance of staying in the moment and honoring the natural rhythm of the day. Who doesn’t want to have their tummy rubbed, take multiple naps, hang out in the garden to watch the birds, and listen to the sounds of Mother Nature?

Thank you Luna, for the gift of you

Adopt A Dog in Mexico~Life Lessons by Luna Love

I asked my son Liam, “what was the best part of and greatest lesson from Luna”. Wide-eyed and thoughtful, he said, “Mama, that anything is possible.” 

Yes, son, it is.

It was an interesting adjustment for Seamus, our then 90-pound, 7-year-old chocolate lab…RIP. He was walking around with a ball in his mouth, wondering what all of this meant for him. Was she a friend, a replacement, his competition? Why could Luna sit in Mom’s lap and he couldn’t? I could see him wondering if he was no longer the only reigning furry family member in Casa O’Grady…what in the world is going on, his expression spoke to me.

Adopt A Dog~Life Lessons from Luna Love

Seamus will always be my Brown Bear King. It was now time for us to welcome a Queen into our home–and a pint-sized one at that! A love of a Gentle Giant, I knew that Seamus would accept Luna into his heart as he did with every other living being he met, small and large alike. You, Seamus, could never ever be replaced.

 

 

Life indeed changed for Seamus, but for the better. Normally an outside dog because of his size and the fact that our daughter is allergic, his allowed inside space expanded and I found myself doing more and more sweeping! 

Tiny water bowl inside for Luna? Seamus got one too. Novelty toys the foster mom brought over for Luna? Seamus’s toys too. Extra attention (yes, more than normal!) for Seamus to equal all of the hugs and kisses Luna was getting? Absolutely! I became a dog’s slobber toy. Luna’s 8-pound kisses were one thing, but I now felt obligated to let Seamus lather me with his big slobbery love more than I normally did. For sure I was ready for a good shower at the end of the day! #itsadogslife

We went to the pet store and bought Seamus the world’s largest bone…a conciliatory gift of sorts to comfort his questioning heart at this time of transition. 

We made sure Seamus knew that he was loved like always, and that the addition of Luna to our family only had benefits for him!

We bought Luna her own pack of pint-sized chew bones, but she was more interested in Seamus’s–imagine that, little bugger!

Adopt A Dog~Life Lessons from Luna Love

Life Lessons from Luna Love:

1.  Slow down, look at the birds, smell the flowers, study the bugs, take a nap in the sun.

2.  Don’t take things too seriously–laugh everyday, be silly, be playful, have fun!

3.  Nothing is more important than friendship, communion, community and family.

4.  Cultivate and nurture your friendships, value the love in your life.

5.  Live in the moment, take it all in—it’s your here and your now and all that really matters.

6.  There is always more room in your heart for love and happiness.

7. Love your tribe without restraint and unconditionally.  

 

Luna is a true gift to us. I have a distinct feeling that we are to her as well. ☘️

Luna Love sees snow for the first time in Utah

Adopt A Dog in SMA:

If you will be relocating to or even just visiting San Miguel de Allende (or any other region of Mexico), there are plenty of fur babies looking for a loving home.

Contacting S.P.A is one of many ways to bring some more love, fun and laughter into your home. 

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