Is it really a virtue? That’s what my mother always told me and today I am clinging to that one. I also, of course, remember my mother telling me to never pray for patience because that’s when God would send some tough lessons my way. I believe this is probably a lesson I am getting ready to have in my life, not for the first time.

My husband and I finally finished the process of paperwork for his immigration today and it is out the door, sent by FedEx, and will be to the office where they process those things tomorrow! It has been a lengthy process. We made the decision to do this process in December. Two months later, we have finished the mountain of paperwork required.

For those who think our immigration procedures are easy in the US, let me tell you, they are not! We are quite particular about who we allow to come here and why. First, there are forms, forms, and more forms. Then he had to have a physical. Mind you, not just a physical where you can go to your family doctor, have it done, ask them to fill out a form, and have it ready. No, a physical by a civil surgeon, which means they have agreed to do this type of exam for the government. One of the things they require is that you have your immunization records. Easy, right? Well, let’s send for them. That’s when we learned that the clinic that he went to as a kid had closed. Okay, well, who has the records? Well, the answer came, we believe the mice ate them. What that meant for him was that he has been poked and prodded more ways than you can imagine, from lab tests, to, yes, a redo of his childhood immunizations. Remember, in our US healthcare system, if it’s not documented, it wasn’t done. Then you wait for the tests to come back. Then you wait because he needs a varicella vaccine and the clinic didn’t have any. And finally, we have the physical!

Now we put the packet together. But wait, where are our birth certificates? And what about our marriage license? We had all of those “in a place where we will remember where they are” at some point in this move! Not now. So, we have to have his family get his birth certificate, I had to get a new copy of mine, and oh wait, there’s that divorce decree because I have to send a copy of that as well. Getting a copy of your divorce decree when you live in Colorado and got your divorce in North Carolina isn’t as easy as walking into the courthouse and getting it. Ahh, but you can do it online–for a fee, of course, and then you wait because they say up front it will take 2-3 weeks. Oh and don’t forget you must also include a copy of your lease (to show you actually live together), notarized attestations from other people who know of your relationship and marriage, and just about anything else you can think of that shows you really actually got married. So, they now have copies of BOTH of my marriage licenses (you may recall, Colorado wouldn’t accept the one from Barbados so we had to get married again last August while here on vacation just so I could change my driver’s license).

So today, we FINALLY have it all. We went this morning and got my birth certificate. We had passport pictures taken (which you have to send with the applications), we made copies, and off we went to send it. The woman at FedEx was quite helpful in showing me which envelope to use (the BIG one) and get it all ready to go. It was such a relief to walk out of that office and know that the paperwork is done and on the way.

And then I got home. Sitting here in plain sight on my desk is the UPS envelope that arrived yesterday, with my divorce decree in it! That’s right, it is NOT in that FedEx package. Ugh.

Now I have to give kudos here to our local FedEx folks. I called, told the woman what I had done, and she let us run that thing over to them and be sure it got in the packet. I am so thankful they had not sent it out yet!

So now we wait. We wait for a call to tell us when and where to go get fingerprinted for our biometric application, and we wait for a time where they call us in for interviews with immigrations. We wait for approval that he can seek work. And then we wait for a decision.

Brian Adams is quoted as saying, “Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.”

And so, for now, we are learning to be artists.

What have you had to wait for in the past that taught you to be patient?

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