ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- After a long day traveling from Mexico, Kathleen Lopez picked up her luggage at the Orlando International Airport Wednesday night.
But painfully, she wasn't able to return to Florida with her husband who finally got to meet his first born child, Mia, who was born in October.
"(Mia) had fallen asleep in his lap and I saw the tears in eyes because he knew that would probably be the last time he got to hold her for a while," Kathleen told Action News as she arrived back at her house in St. Augustine.
Kathleen showed Action News pictures of her month-long trip to visit Cesar near Guadalajara, Mexico. The St. Augustine native said it was a momentous and emotional roller coaster when her husband, Cesar, laid eyes on his baby girl for the very first time, then had to say good-bye.
"You feel like a horrible wife and mother because you're pulling your child away," said Lopez, "Not because you want to; it's because you have to."
Cesar is the St. Augustine Christian missionary whose immigration battle Action News chronicled since October of last year.
The young father is forbidden from coming back home to the U.S. for a decade after his voluntary application for a visa was rejected. It's punishment from the U.S. government for Cesar living illegally in the states for 20 years after his mother snuck him across the border as a child.
Lawmakers like Senator Bill Nelson are continuing efforts to bring Cesar back home.
Kathleen Lopez said, "We have hope. But that doesn't always make up for (going) to bed (when) it's empty and when you wake up its empty."