Skip to main content

More progress

 In which we apply for a civil wedding...

One of the hard things about getting paperwork done in St. Petersburg is that most offices (including banks) have a lunch break from 1-2 or 2-3 pm. So if you get there too close to the lunch hour, you will have wasted time waiting in line and then waste another hour waiting for the place to reopen.

Andrey was free at 1 pm, the lunch break was at 2 pm, and I needed to leave for the orphanage around 3 or a bit later. So we basically had an hour before lunch in which to get everything done.

I arrived a little earlier to reserve a place in line. I was already mentally rearranging my schedule and calling the orphanage to tell them I couldn't make it. Then I walked up the steps and turned the corner, expecting to see a full waiting room. It was empty-HA! continue reading/-

I poked my head into the office and asked if they were still open and if I could have an application. The woman started asking me about our citizenship and what date we wanted, but Andrey wasn't there yet. Nevertheless, she took a look at my documents.

I really hadn't been worried about my documents; it had all seemed easy and straightforward compared to applying for residency. In a way I was glad I had been through that whole process, so that this would seem like nothing.

She looked at the affidavit which I had just gotten back from Moscow. "This will need to be translated."

"What?" I was confused. The whole form was in Russian. What language did it need to be in?

"This line here, in English." I looked at what she was pointing at and it was a footnote under the signature: Do not sign affidavit until instructed to do so. That was for notarial purposes! She also pointed to a few lines that said (in English), Russian Federation, U.S. Embassy, Moscow.

"But I can tell you what they say!" I translated them for her, but she shook her head. "That doesn't matter. WE don't know what it says."

I thought I was going to burst into tears. Another trip to the translation bureau? Another few days to wait, now until next week? Sometimes it seems like the small obstacles are even more upsetting than the large ones. I had thought we might have a time crunch, but I hadn't expected everything to be delayed because of one little line of text.

She took the affidavit and announced that she was going to show it to her colleagues, then ushered me back into the waiting room and marched into an inner office.

I called Andrey, who was on his way. I told him the good news, that there wasn't a line, and the bad news, that I needed a translation. Just then, the lady emerged from the other room. "A translation won't be necessary." No translation! Hurray! Andrey went to the bank to pay the fee while I stayed put to monitor things.

When A. got there, we took turns filling out our parts of the application form while the other looked in the computer database for dates that were open. Having a civil ceremony at one of the wedding palaces is by appointment only. Of course it makes sense, since each wedding party needs a room for the ceremony and arrives with an entourage. We would have preferred to just show up at an office and sign a form, but for some reason the fact that I'm a foreigner means that we have to go through the wedding palace.

A few other couples were showing up, but most were leaving as they learned the spots for the summer were all filled up. A potential bride could be heard moaning, "But September is too COLD!" As for us, we were aiming for spring. We'll get the bureaucracy over with and just enjoy our church wedding in the summer. We hope.

The lady was a little exasperated with the way we had filled out our forms, but we eventually got them straightened out and picked a date, all by her lunch break. She printed out our names on a fancy invitation.

And then we realized that we were getting married very soon...on paper, that is. The plot thickens.


  1. So, now I'm wondering.....when you are legally married will you still consider yourselves single? Even I am wondering about that odd situation. Will that "lead you into temptation?" or would that not even apply? When will you consider yourselves married? And, I do hope, whenever it is, that you parade through the streets stopping to dance every so often!

  2. Yeah, it will be weird since we won't be living together until after the church ceremony. But then again, a lot of aspects of getting married are "odd" compared to what we've been used to. And we have lots to do in the meantime.


Post a Comment

Just added word verification to reduce spam. Nothing personal!

You’re welcome to leave a link to your own blog here if it's relevant to this blog.

Please make sure that your comments are 1) relevant and 2) respectful (i.e. no cuss words, attacks on individuals).

Popular posts from this blog

Movie theater triggers

Summer always has a special feeling in the air. In St. Petersburg, of course, it stays light until close to midnight nowadays.

David's workshops are over, so he is on "vacation," resting from all his hard work. ;)

Andrei's workload fluctuates. Lately we've been having guests several times a week, so it feels busy even though Andrei is working fewer days. And the summer will probably fly by!

Since Saturdays are free now, Andrei and David (almost 6) went to the movies this weekend. And they let ME come, too! My in-laws stayed home with Sophia (almost 2). We don't often do this type of configuration because David is so attached to his grandparents. But he was okay with leaving with us as long as he knew he could play with them afterwards.

It was my first time in a movie theater since The Fire at Kemerovo a few months ago. I wouldn't really say I was nervous, just more aware. Probably the way Americans might have felt after the Aurora shooting. I looked arou…

Hobby pruning

I promised myself that if I did some paper sorting I could do a new blog post.

Remember hobbies? When I got married I swore I would never let myself forget how busy I was when I was single. And by that I mean look down on unmarried men and women as if they had lots of free time on their hands. We all have plenty to keep us busy. And who made it a virtue to be busy, anyway?

But, I will say that I was SHOCKED to open up all my old notepads and skim through them. Detailed notes from sermons, grammar from studying several languages (mainly Greek, French, and Italian) for FUN as well as formal Russian courses. Notebooks full of Bible passages and questions that I had written down meticulously. A Calligraphy instructional guide along with several pages of my attempts. And of course there were all the notes from lesson planning for teaching English, and different ministry projects I was involved in.

Although looking at the notes made me jealous of my past self as if I had lots of free time,…

A tender heart

Andrei and I were having an intense discussion. I was crying. I think it was the second day of it, and when you live in an apartment, nothing gets past the kids (or neighbors-not that there was anything to be concerned about).

David was desperate to cheer everyone up. He ran up, forced himself between us, and shoved a book about the Nativity in our faces. He turned the pages, pointing to each picture depicting the birth of Jesus.

He thought that the birth of Christ would be the thing to put a smile on everyone's faces. Wasn't the Nativity enough to make everyone's problems melt away? It should be the correct answer, right? We did kind of turn the corner after that and had everything cleared up with a little more discussion.

Before bedtime, I went into David's room to assess the situation since the kids had been playing in there. There were a bunch of books on the bed and I wondered why the kids had gotten into the books. It wasn't something David would normally do …