Monday, August 29, 2011

I know better and yet....

Okay, so it IS a big deal - I have to take our marriage license to a professional translator, have them translate the document into Spanish and have someone else notarize it.  THEN, I have to go to downtown Atlanta and have the notary authenticated (not the document, but the the notary is in compliance, blah, blah, blah).  THEN, these 3 documents have to be taken to the US State Department - Yeah, that's right - good ol' Mrs. Clinton then does her thing authenticated that the state of Georgia is in compliance so that they can say okay to the notary who said okay to the translation of the marriage license into Spanish.  BUT WAIT, we're still not done - T H E N the Bolivian Consulate wants to see all of these documents and THEN they issue us a Visa to get into their country.  

Okay, some of this might not sound like a big deal- first of all, when I was notified about having to have the marriage license translated, I had no idea that that kind of thing was even done, so 
I had to find someone to do that.  When I called Atlanta to find out what I had to do, I was told  that since the marriage license was issued in Arizona that they had to authenticate it.  That was incorrect, as the marriage license isn't being authenticated - the notary is.  Wasted
a lot of time with that.
 THEN, after I figured out that the license translation had to be notarized and the notary authenticated in the same state and what with just having been told incorrect information about being able to get it done AND the idea of having to go into downtown ATLANTA and figure this out on my own when people who work there are telling me information that is not correct, I decided to look for a notary somewhere else and see if they knew what I was talking about - I did and he did and I thought it was all set until I read on in the directions....  IF we were to mail the first documents to the US State Department, they were saying that the turnaround time was 8 weeks - 8 weeks?!?!?  We only had four before we were supposed to leave for Bolivia.  Okay, now I'm pacing.  Vaughn is at work, I am freaking out.  We only have one car, Vaughn needs it for work - how am I going to get to Washington, D.C. and take care of this?  I could take a bus, then I would have to try to figure out the bus system in busy Washington and try to get this done - the walk-in hours are from 7:30 - 11:00 am, so I would have to ride a bus that got me there first thing in the morning - an all-nighter.  Fun, okay - or I could fly.  No, finances are tight.  OH MY GOODNESS, what are we gonna do?  We already have others moving into our house before the eight weeks, Vaughn has already given notice at work - no place to stay, no income - I need some chocolate and a Valium and a nap!!!!!

Breathe in, breathe out.  Slow down, relax.  WHO is in control?  WHO is not caught off-guard by this "bump in the road?"  God, that's Who - the God with whom I have a personal relationship.  Okay God, I trust You, I know that whatever is because You okayed it.  Heartbeat is slowly returning to normal. 

*THOUGHT* - is it possible for someone else to take the papers to Department of State and then to the Bolivian Consulate? Hmmmm - looking, searching online.  The word "courier" keeps appearing.  Hmmmm - maybe I could get the documents translated, notarized, authenticated and then taken to the Bolivian Consulate by a company right there in DC.  Yeah, found out that that IS an option - for $500!!!! Oh my, oh my - think Katherine, think!   Do we know of anyone who lives close to DC?  I have a friend who lives in New Jersey - is THAT close to DC?  No.  Hmmmm - we had just been up in Virginia in July interviewing for positions at a ministry up there.  A friend of ours that we know from our time in Senegal had told us at the time that HE lived near where we were going to attend church on the Sunday that we were going to be in Fairfax, but that he was going to be in Chicago at the time so we weren't going to be able to get together.....HOWEVER he DID mention that he lived pretty close to Washington, DC - Ohhhhhhhhh Jaaaaaaaay!  

So, I quickly wrote an urgent email to Jay as I did not have his telephone number.  By Saturday evening, I received a phone call - it was our friend Jay. He tells me that he only lives 15 minutes from DC and that he is very familiar with the area and enjoys going there.  And even better than that - he then tells me that he not only is willing, but would consider it a privilege to be able to take our documents and get them authenticated!  

BY this time, my heart has completed stopped and I am in tears!  Oh my, oh my, oh my!  God this is going to work out in much less time than we even need it to - we should have all of this accomplished and all of the papers back in our hands at the very latest the week of Labor Day - and we don't even fly out of Birmingham until September 27th - oh my, oh my, oh my!   

All of this happened in the span of about 4 hours; a very stressful, emotionally and physically draining 4 hours, but it DOES look as if all of it will come together and 
that it really isn't going to be all THAT bad, after all.

Thank You, Lord for taking care of this; for putting me in contact with people who know what they are talking about and for people we met and befriended in Africa who became best friends within that time we spent together so that they would be willing to go to the trouble to do this for us and thank you for taking us to Virginia last month for that interview (even though we decided that the jobs were not a good fit) all so that I could have Jay's name come to mind when I needed help and reassurance.
The process has just begun, the translation and notarization
is complete - I just need to go pick it up today.  Tomorrow 
I get to tackle Atlanta, get passport photos for Vaughn and I, 
3 money orders, go to the post office and send all of the 
documents (along with one that we will get notarized this 
afternoon at our bank - giving Jay the power to act on our 
behalf - just in case that is questioned) overnight up to 
Virginia- along with a prepaid envelope addressed to us so that when the Consulate has their two days with all of our documents, they will mail them back to us.  Doesn't sound too bad.

NOW that I know what needs to be done, how to do it, how much everything costs and remembering to take Vaughn to work at 6:40 this morning and tomorrow AND remembering
to go pick him up (and then run the errand to the bank and to a place to get our passport photos taken) - as long as I remember all of that - OH, and yeah, the church called and a couple is in need of food - so I need to go to the Food bank this morning and "buy" two week's worth of groceries for  them; have it all weighed and sign out for it, then go to the church and deliver it to the couple.  Oh yeah and while I am
there, clean up from yesterday's communion and gather the linens to take home and wash.  And, oh yeah, I need to complete our visa applications while I am there, too, because our printer has gone kaput - but, hey this IS do-able and I have the means to get it done and HEY GOD - everything is great; thanks! 

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