Last week Wednesday Chris went in to City Hall to renew his residency card. As usual he still had to rush around and gather up extra paperwork that is never detailed as needing to be had until you're finally spoken with someone after waiting 40 minutes already. So. He came home, grabbed papers and told me I might as well join him and get mine done today too since they expired in one week. Now, mind you, nothing has changed with us. Not our leave date on the paperwork they already had filed away, not our address which was on the rental agreement already in their possession, nor our medical insurance or marriage certificate which both (you guessed it) they already have. BUT we still need to re-file it all. And as we sit there, they tell us that I will have to re-approved by Brussels to stay in the country even after Chris has been re-residencied up. Ummm...we are going to Germany in two weeks. England in four. How is this going to work... Why did no one tell us that you need to come back to re-register one to two months before your residency card expires?? We figured it was like renewing a drivers license. They give you a heads up, you just go in, new picture or not, you get it in the mail a bit later. Wrong. We should have figured on this happening. Especially after the mess we went through to get me approved to live here when I was initially denied.
So we submitted everything after much conversation and heavy sighing with the multiple government workers we saw during not one, two but three visits that day. That doesn't even include Chris' extra visits to the registrars office at KU Leuven and the medical insurance office to get, even more, paperwork. Belgium is the most hoop-jumpingest country I've ever dealt with.
When I got home I received a much appreciated phone call from Mom and told her everything that's going on. We laugh over our helplessness in the situation and I ask her for prayer cause that's really all we can do. Chris and I had been praying for it all to work out and then trying to put it out of our heads. It's looking like, best case scenario, Munich will never look at our IDs because they never do on trains and, when we try to leave London to get back into Belgium without my ID card, (Chris will have his after paying an exorbitant amount of money to fast-track it), security will hopefully just not check my passport closely and realize I've been in Belgium longer than 90 days... If so and only Chris could go home I was starting to look into where/who I could stay with until we could get me back to Belgium somehow.
God changed all that. In just 6 days, while all of Belgium is apparently on holiday no less, the following happened:
Chris' ID card came in and he already picked it up
Brussels approved my continued residency with unheard of speed
I found a place to get new passport photos taken and printed in less than 15 minutes
I went into City Hall and have now fast tracked my ID card too, it may come in before Munich
I don't have a picture for this post but if I did it would be my ecstatic expression when Chris walked through the door last night with his new card and news of my approval. In word form it looks like this: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In other words:
God is Good
Tomorrow begins recap with Erin and David, including...Tomorrowland!!!