Portugal: Maybe Tomorrow?
I’ve been putting off writing this post because it is a post I do not particularly want to write because I keep thinking, maybe tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow we’ll get the long-awaited good news from the Portugal Consulate. But, then I thought, maybe if I write the post it will cause it to happen. Cause and effect.
I am tired of waiting. And I am tired of writing about waiting. And I’m tired of being tired about waiting and writing about being tired. That’s a lot of tired.
There’s been a glitch. Wouldn’t you know it? Born out of frustration we (and by we I mostly mean me) couldn’t take it anymore so we hopped on the metro, rode it to downtown Washington, DC and buzzed the entrance gate at the Portugal Consulate. An ominous voice asked, “Do you have an appointment?” “No, we do not but we are here about our visas.” That was my polite reply but what I really wanted to say was, “Let us in I can’t take it anymore!”
Long story short we were told that it should be any day now, that it’s very busy, only so many office personnel, yada, yada, yada. But, we left cautiously optimistic that by Friday, the 23rd, we’d be good to go. Side Note: When it is 12:00 noon on the east coast of the US, it is 5:00 p.m. in Portugal and the work day is done. Given that the consulate in Washington, DC opens at 9:00 a.m. there are only three precious nail-biting hours in each day in which we may get word. By 11:00 a.m. on the Friday after we
stormed the castle visited the consulate, we knew it wasn’t going to happen – again – and that we’d be moving in to week nine. Once again completely frustrated and ready to throw in the towel I called the consulate and managed to get through to Doris (not her real name), and that’s when we learned about the glitch.
The day before – Thursday, the 22nd – the immigration office in Portugal contacted Doris to notify her that our applications were incomplete, that we were missing two documents. Doris, knowing this was not the case, immediately sent the documents again. Crestfallen upon hearing this I asked Doris what this meant; are we back on the bottom of the pile? She said, somewhat halfheartedly, “I don’t think so.” But, she promised to call us as soon as they came in. It should be noted that had I not called, we would not have known about the glitch.
So, here we are, two days shy of nine weeks of waiting. We submitted our applications on April 26 and at that time we were asked to list a departure date from the US. We wrote, June 1, and Doris told us the date should not present a problem. As I write this it is June 26. We have no idea if our applications are back on the bottom of the pile, or if they’ve been moved to a whole new pile of “incompleto” applications. Abi has suggested that perhaps last Thursday when our application was picked up for review, it still needed to go through the approval process, whatever that it is and however long that takes. So, it could be that we may be in the “incompleto” pile, still waiting to go through the approval process.
I don’t know what the universe is trying to teach me in all of this, but if it’s patience I’m failing miserably. Although this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me well. What I do realize – even in my worst impatient moments – is that in the big picture, this achingly long wait with little communication from the powers-to-be who hold our applications in their “incompleto” pile, is that I am exceedingly grateful for this life I live. At a time when so many in the world are working their way through the immigration process, I know that I have choices when others desperately in need, do not. And, as I watch the current administration in the US strive to make it even more difficult for those seeking refuge in the US, I am humbled and truly, have nothing to fuss about.
I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason… maybe tomorrow.