Thursday, September 2, 2010
When I first sat down to type this entry late last week, the only thing on my mind was the terrible day I had spent at the immigration office trying to sort out Shine and I's migratory status. But after re-reading what I had typed and of course allowing some distance from the experience, I realize that retelling the negative details serves little purpose. Instead, I would like to focus on the positives that came out of the experience.
First, Shine is now a true Jamaican through and through. We were able to finish up his citizenship application and we came home with a certificate and letter stating that his citizenship has been granted. The certificate is huge and very official with a little (and very adorable) picture of Shine at the top. He spent the rest of the day practicing his Jamaican accent. I was in hysterics.
Second, Mo has a dear family friend who upon hearing about my debacle, has taken it upon herself to call on her connections working in the various administrative offices to help us navigate the system. She has really gone out of her way to assist and I couldn't feel more blessed to have her help. After a few phone calls, she has straighten everything out and given me the correct procedure for filing all the paperwork for my own citizenship application.
Third, after we left the immigration office feeling very hungry (and I admit to feeling quite defeated), we decided to head to Juicy Pattie to celebrate Shine's new status. It was packed of course because it was the lunch rush hour. I feared lots of whining because we would have to wait a good while to get our food and we had just spent 3+ hours waiting. But the cashier who took our order, either saw the look of hunger and desperation in my eyes or was just plain considerate and nice (because that's how most people are down here), ran to the back and came out with a tray filled with our order. I thanked her repeatedly for her kindness while Shine made his way to his favorite spot by the fish tank. He was happy as a clam chomping away on his patty and slurping up his cherry juice. He found everything the fish did laugh out loud funny and was excited to talk like other Jamaicans. His spirit soon lifted my own.
Administrative hurdles such as what I experienced last week are expected when making such a huge move. I'm sure I could exchange horror stories and show off battle scars with fellow expats across the globe. Immigration is not an easy process no matter where in the world you live. So I'm over it. I've chalked it up to experience and lessons learned.
Peace and Wellness