The very literal ‘journey of a thousand miles’ continues…
You have now left the pit of the drawer and your application has been approved. Your paper work has been re packaged and sent off to continue it’s journey and this time, is travelling the 1806 mile journey from Dallas, Texas to its’ next destination: National Visa Centre, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The journey between these two distant locations at polar ends of the country, from the Northern to Southern states of the USA, is estimated to take two weeks from your ‘approved’ notice. You are encouraged to contact the NVC via phone call upon the two week mark, it is therefore your responsibility to mark this on your schedule.
You are unlikely to hear from anyone if your parcel does not reach the NVC so be smart, set an alert, make that phone call. Imagine the horror if, 3 months down the line, unbeknown to you, your parcel is lying lifeless on the side of a highway. Be responsible.
It’s fairly unknown what happens to your parcel at the NVC during the four weeks that it is there. I mean, surely Tim and I have paid enough to have the right to know?
Apparently ‘things move much faster from now’ but this contradicts our most honest quote; ‘time flies when you are having fun’. You are not having fun. You are waiting. You are in limbo. I apologise for the bluntness but things do not move ‘much faster’ from now. They do however, become real.
Whilst you are sat there solo on your Friday, Saturday and more than likely Sunday evenings with your glass of wine, snap chatting lonely images to your partner and hopelessly searching through Sky channels longing for something cheerful to help distract the dull pain in your heart and disguise the misery on your face, your parcel will continue on it’s 3255 mile journey from New Hampshire to the US Embassy, London! Finally, it’s all beginning to feel real. That light is starting to flicker again but do not get too excited… the wait continues.
It will take several weeks until you receive your letter from the US Embassy to inform you that they have received your petition. During these weeks the mail box obsession will begin. You will peer out of your window daily and awkwardly catch the eye of the post man as he strolls past your house to number 5. You will feel disappointment. But try to stay somewhat positive, your letter will come.
Honestly, walking into my house after a 12 hour day completing never ending teacher duties and wishing I was being welcomed by my fiance, to find an envelope stamped from the US Embassy, London was a huge turning point in my emotions during this process. Suddenly, realisation struck. Tim and I were no longer a mass of compiled forms squeezed into an envelope; no longer plastered with dust and no longer travelling through ‘the journey of a thousand miles’ from state to state. We were metaphorically ‘in’ the US Embassy, London, and standing in the not so distant line for interview. We existed. Shit.
I remember feeling fairly hysterical. All I wanted to do was to tell Tim. Due to the six hour time difference, Timmy was in a meeting at work and unable to take a call for several hours, 12am my time, so I headed to bed at my usual early hour, hoping to feel fresh and energetic ready for my thirty children in the morning. Darkness came. Anxiety hit.
During this process I hadn’t really thought about the ‘What if?’ until now. I had been so caught up in the wait that I hadn’t really evaluated all possible outcomes.
What if they think I am a fraud, I do after all, hold an ‘illegal immigrant’ status? What if I get ‘denied’? What if this is the end?
The scariest part: the unknown of how or even if, Timmy or I would be able to deal with rejection, again.