Friday, December 16, 2011


Oh dear, another month went by! Well, I can at least write about how my document saga ended up.

On the day after (American) Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law and I headed back to Immigration. As usual we had run around making photocopies and paying fees at the last minute.

It wasn't my last chance; I still had a Friday or two left before my deadline. But I didn't want it to come down to the last minute.

Nina (my mother-in-law) went in early to get in line so I could rest a little at home and finish getting ready. There were even more people than before, so we were pretty far down on the list. She convinced me to stay home for a few more hours.

Eventually I headed over and we waited the last hour or two together. One of the guys from the previous time was there and raising a ruckus again. He had almost gotten into a fistfight before. We all held our breaths as he barged into the office and argued about something with the Inspector. Then a few people took issue with the schedule posted in the hallway, and the Inspector actually came out, stunning everyone into silence, and read the schedule out loud at the top of her lungs.

So, fast-forward to us finally getting into The Room. I believe it was "lunchtime" at that point, but she took us anyway. My mother-in-law tried to make the situation more personal and tried to "get acquainted" with the Inspector. But the Inspector would not give us her name...I guess she thought we wanted to write a complaint! It is so hard to be compassionate when people are pitted against each other like that. A name, a little personal makes it easier to think of another person as human, but in the bureaucratic system that is taken away.

I had some mistakes on my application and I knew that I wouldn't get in again today if I had to leave and do it over. But she let me just write in the corrections. I also had to add a paragraph to the "explanation," and she let me just come back in and drop it off, without waiting in line.

Then there was ripping, and stamping, and...approval!!! Free until next fall.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the future, and I don't fully understand what happened THIS time. The Inspector said that my report wouldn't cut it, if I were to apply for a permanent residency permit. How, then, will I fill in the missing pieces?

But for now, I got to celebrate Thanksgiving after all, and began the Advent season with a glad heart.


  1. Somehow I am a little confused as to why the wife of a Russian has such trouble staying in Russia, when Russia is WANTING more citizens....surely they would want your future children to be good Russian children, and not have to go to America with their mother!

    I can see why they made it hard when you were just living there (well, sort-of), but I don't understand why being married to a Russian does not help you out a bit!

    And what a nice mother-in-law you seem to have!

  2. It seems like all foreigners are lumped together, and people like me may be in the minority. I think they are more trying to control people like migrant workers and don't really care if other people are in a different situation.

    Same with when they changed the visa laws. They weren't targeting missionaries, but for some reason lumped charity workers in with people doing business here. Sigh.

    Yes, my in-laws are both believers and are very dear. I will share about them at some point.


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