Not the news we were hoping for

Yesterday I received an email from the National Visa Center saying that there was an “update” about Sana’s application to reside permanently in the U.S.

This was a long-awaited email. The last time we heard from them was early July and the news was that we needed to submit a couple of missing documents. We thought we had everything we needed, but they said otherwise. Those government folks are rather particular about documents, aren’t they?

So we got the papers we needed (at no small cost for one of them, a police clearance from Uzbekistan), uploaded them into The System, and again waited.

They’re not like the Wal Mart customer service, where if you need to grab the bottle of milk you really meant to get, the clerk waits for you to get back and then finishes your order. Nope, you go to the back of the line.

And it’s a long line.

So when I got the email saying there was an update, it was no small occurrence. I’d been checking the posted timelines on their website since we submitted those docs in July, and was expecting they would get to ours this week or next.

So with baited breath, my heart pounding just a bit faster, I logged into the NVC website to check the status of our case.

And nothing had changed.

Except for a notice there was a new message. They wanted me to upload a copy of my divorce decree from my previous marriage.


More expletives.

What is wrong with these people? The divorce decree is part of the huge stack of supporting documents that were sent with the application last December.

They never asked for this until now. Not when we originally uploaded the documents in May, not when they asked for more documents in July. Why are they asking for it now? When they already have it in their possession?

It took me all of two minutes to find the document in my hard drive, save it as a .jpg so it meets their stringent size requirements, then upload it.

And now we wait. Again.

To the back of the line we go, waiting alongside the thousands of other people who are probably just as frustrated as us, asking the exact same questions we are.

How can these people show such callous disregard for the live’s of these people they supposedly serve? Families are literally broken up, their lives on hold while these bean counters try to put two and two together; too lazy to look through the documents already in their possession to find what they claim to need.

Two more months apart from my bride. And what document will they ask for then? And why couldn’t they ask for it yesterday?

It’s as frustrating as one can imagine.

So it’s interesting that my Bible reading this morning was about Noah. Now there’s a man who knew a thing or two about waiting. He waited a full year after building that ark for the floods to come. Then he waited for the rain to stop. Then he waited for the waters to recede to the point he and all those smelly animals (referring to his 3 sons and their wives) could leave the boat.

It was probably 2 or 3 years from the time he began building the ark until the time he left it for good.

Did he and those smelly animals get a little bit restless? I’ll bet so.

Were there a few tense moments while stranded on a tiny boat while the rest of humanity perished? I’d bet legit fiat money that yes, that did indeed happen.

But “God remembered Noah” says the first verse of Ch. 8. Maybe Noah felt forgotten. Solitary confinement like Noah experienced will do that to a person. But his day to get off that boat eventually came. Probably much later than Noah would have preferred, but it finally came.

You think about what it was all about. A completely fresh start for the human race. Literally changing the DNA of the human race for the better. They probably had no idea the stakes when they got on the boat and suffered like that for years. But there they were.

So I’ve decided that the impact Sana will make in my life, not to mention the lives of my children and their children’s children is worth the wait.

Do I want her at my side? Of course.

Am I angry at the NVC for their lackadaisical effort in processing this issue? Yes, and my anger is just.

But we focus on that which is within our control. We build our relationship from afar for the time being, and continue to wait.

Waiting has a calming effect if you allow it.

Definitely what you need to repair the hole in the wall you’ve just punched in with your bare knuckles after reading that email from the NVC.