Friday, July 16, 2010

Planes, Trains, and a Major Parenting Fail: The Story of a Morning

This morning, Nate, Grace and I dropped Jason and Ava off at the train station. They were leaving today for a trip to Manila, Philippines for a week. Jason is attending a conference there and for they'll also be doing some work with the Real Life Foundation (which helps disadvantaged children and funds scholarships) and Habitat for Humanity.

Jason and I have always talked about how we want to travel with our kids--for them to see different parts of the world, and understand that not everyone lives the way we do. Ava knows that there is need in the world, but of course up to now it's been a totally abstract concept. We think this will be a great "first step" for her. Mingling with kids about her age, seeing a different culture, and being hosted by some friends and locals there. I am excited for her! And a little nervous. I remember how exhilirating and exhausting my first trip to a developing nation was. The new sights, sounds, the utter differences in way of life, straining to listen to people and understand--I would come home each day and feel totally wiped out. And I was 19 years old!

She is beyond excited, though. And there will be plenty of creature comforts as well, so I know my girl will be able to watch her Barbie dvd's, too! After a few weeks of not-so-subtle bragging to Nate, when it came down to it Ava was sad to leave her brother.

Nate, of course, was being a total goofball. He can't leave a tender moment alone. But that changed once we got back in the car.

Everyone seemed to recover, though and we headed home. Jason texted me at one point and said they were in line to check in for the flight, and that it was a huge line. I put Grace down for a nap, Nate was watching cartoons, and I started trying to get some work done. I'm preaching this weekend, and let's just say my sermon isn't totally together yet.

At 10am, my phone beeped with an incoming text message. From Jason. "Ava's passport is expired. I am not sure what they r going to do yet. They are checking into it."

Crappity crap crap. An hour before the flight is due to go, and Ava has an expired passport. Back in January, when we flew back from the States, I remembered noticing that it was expiring soon. But then I completely forgot--I mean, never gave it another thought. Something completely avoidable was now threatening to sink the whole trip. After berating myself (first things first) I did what I always do when stuff like this happens. I texted a few people and asked them to pray. Pray for friendly, helpful airport staff, pray for mercy, pray for help! I wanted an Airport Immigration Miracle. Is that too much to ask? Some people may feel like something that was their fault to begin with should not be eligible for divine intervention. But I am shameless.

I started scouring the US Consulate website, wondering what we could do if they wouldn't let her through. How fast can I get her a new passport? Do they extend them? Can she travel on Jason's? Maybe I should pray for a Consular Miracle? We'd take what we could get at this point.

Ten minutes later, Jason calls. I answer, and before he even speaks, I can hear Ava crying in the background. "They're not going to let us through," he said. "Call the US Consulate and let's see what we can do."

And then it got crazy, y'all! Tune in tomorrow and I'll let you know how it all panned out. This post has been brought to you courtesy of our sponsors: my poor organization and proclivity to wait until the last minute. (You're welcome.)


  1. NOOOOOOOO!!! I can't wait till tomorrow to find out what happened!!! NOOOOOOOOOO, don't do this to me it's Friday and I can't start my weekend off in dispair! Although I know the crazy miracles I've asked for and He's come through not a minute too late so I have full confidence He worked it out. OK, I'm good, now that we've talked about it. :)

  2. Maybe Nate had some really strong prayer connections and when he left Ava and his dad and was upset in the car! Can’t wait for the rest of the story.
    BTW, love the photos. I can just see the one of Ava and Nate as a treasured one by her when she is all grown up (I know, sorry I had to mention the grown up part).

  3. You're killin' me here!!!! What happened???!!? How could anybody resist giving in to a crying Ava?
    Ava & Nate are soooo precious!

  4. I love, absolutely love, the fact that Ava and Nate love each other so very much! That is, of course, when they aren't tormenting each other. I can well imagine the sinking feeling when Jason was told Ava's passport was expired. This is a great post, and I love how you immediately started figuring a solution. Good ol' American Consulate! God bless 'em. Can't wait for the rest of the story!

  5. Oh no! I'm on the edge of my seat!

  6. Oh my gosh! I'm going to read the other half right now because my heart is actually pounding with sadness for Ava!

  7. Oh NOOOOOO! Wait, I need to read the next post...