Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Passport Predicament

Who would have ever thought that the war on terror in America would result in infants needing their own passports! Yes, to merely enter Canada! So, guess what I need to visit Toronto in August?

The picture taking was the hard part. Imagine taking 2 inch square photo pictures in front of a white screen at Walgreen's. Now add in two bouncy 8-month-old children who skimped on their morning naps + a 2-year-old who wants to run up and down the aisles because this store is cool and has toys! Are you laughing yet?

Now imagine having to get a perfect head shot of those three children--no hands in front of the face, no profile picture, no "I can see up your nose" shots. Oh, and did I forget to mention the white screen doesn't touch the floor so you have to hold up Amelia up in front of the screen while not letting your hands show in the picture?

It took 45 minutes to just take three acceptable photos.

That was yesterday. Today, I had planned to deliver the completed applications, birth certificates, and notarized forms with Doug's signature (since only I would be there to sign in person). We drove to the main post office downtown, loaded the sippy-cup-holding twins in the stroller, and hurriedly defied the heat advisory and record high temps to sweat our way across the scorching concrete. My skin literally felt like an egg on a griddle.

Maybe it was the sight of three kids or the rush of hot air into her well-air-conditioned sanctuary, but the lady behind the desk did not seem happy to see me and my three precious darlings. Beyond her was the door to the passport office, but she was determined I wasn't getting there without the proper answers. It was like she was there to protect some ancient relic in an Indiana Jones movie rather than just another middle-aged woman sitting behind a desk full of packages.

Nope, dad wasn't here, so I couldn't get the passports.

I explained I had the notarized forms and got a raised eyebrow--apparently, this was something most people didn't do. Me? I had read the government website backwards and forwards--I would not be turned back from the quest. Original birth certificates? Check. Completed applications? Check. Photos? Triple check. I finally won her approval: "Sign on in."

As I entered the passport room, I felt as if I were walking on hallowed ground. Where many had been turned back before, I had been allowed to pass. $255 later and several threats about not getting to go to Chick-Fil-A if a certain someone didn't stop hiding behind the cubicle wall, running, playing with the dividers, chewing on string found on the floor, etc., and we were out!

In 6 weeks, three very expensive booklets should be sitting on my desk, proof of success.

All I could think about is I'm sure this is not what God intended. The need for passports most certainly originated at the Tower of Babel when God confounded their plans to be unified for an evil purpose. Can you imagine Moses saying, "Uh, we can't go to the land of milk and honey. No--giants aren't the problem. We can't get our passport. They won't take cash and the only place to get a money order is back in Egypt."

I wonder if God even sees lines on a map, borders, or if he just sees earth like those pictures from outer space--wide expanses of green land and blue water?


  1. Ugh! Are you serious? This is why I don't travel.

    Though I'll be honest: the mental picture of you holding Amelia up while not letting your hands show made me smile. And then laugh.

  2. I just loved reading this post, and it is my first time to visit, so I have such a good reason to keep coming back. Thanks for the way you described this quest of yours... I can tell that you are one determined lady, and you know what you want.

    Your paragraph about passports not being God's idea, and it all stemming from the Tower of Babel ... wow! True!

    Be blessed today, and I am sure the passports, and the trip to Canada, will be more precious to you because of what you had to go through to get them!

  3. Well that was hilarious!

    I'm sure you'll be laughing later. I had no idea about the costs. YIKES!

    I think you're right about the idea orignating at the Tower of Babel. Makes pefect since to me.

    Now in the future, when my day finally comes, I can refer here to those who have gone before me.

    But for now, it really is funny. Laughing with you, not at you.