Our youngest son Jude celebrated his 8th birthday this past Wed. and has been getting birthday cards in the mail every few days. Yesterday he went and got the mail and found a letter that was addressed to him. I had been outside working on our lawnmower and came in to find him opening this letter. When I got to him he said - "hmm this isn't a birthday card!..." Instead it was a letter addressed to him from the U.S. Passport Processing Office. This past Wed. we had just received 3 of our 4 kids passports and Jude's was the only one we didn't get. We just figured it was on its way... until we got the letter yesterday. The letter said that they needed a "long form birth certificate"... The one we sent them obviously wasn't sufficient even though it had an official seal and looked like all the other kids'. So after calling the passport office to clarify this I realized that I really was going to have to get another copy of his birth certificate... Ugh! With our trip being only 16 days away - who knew how long this might take! So... I called the number to the Texas Health Records Dept. and it sounded like my only "quickest" option might be to drive to Austin and stand in line to get a copy of this form. I was not very happy after learning this so I started to think of other options. Shay had told me she had filed for the kid's birth certificates through the local county health records office (which I was unaware - showing my naivety). So to make a long story longer... After talking on the phone to a very helpful lady at the county office she told me she would locate his birth certificate (which she did) and then she sent it (electronically) to an office that was located closer to where I live. So... by now it was about 3:30 and I headed to this office to pick up this form and thankfully it went smooth other than the rain/lightening storm and train I had to get around. After obtaining the form I had just enough time to drive back home and put the form in the mail and overnight it to Charleston SC where it can get back into the system for reprocessing. Whew! All this to recognize that if I had not see the mail when I did that I would've had to wait til Monday to do all of this (which would've been hard to do). Instead - I was able to miraculously get a jump on it and have the perfect amount of time in one day to get it all done smoothly! If Jude had not been nosing around in the mail looking for more b-day cards this would've delayed me seeing the mail - I'm sure. So a big thanks goes out to Jude for opening the mail.
This is where some of you come in:
Please pray for the rest of this process to go in a timely manner so that they will get that passport to us ASAP. The people at the passport agency said that if we want to increase our chances of getting it on time that we should expedite the processing by paying another $75 - which we will do of course! But they said it still would not guarantee we get it by the time we need it - which I don't understand. So... there again - your prayers are highly coveted.
Thanks for painstakingly bearing with me on this long post. If anything maybe this will help some of you if you ever get in this same situation some day.
Another step closer,