• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
on renewing a passport. . .

on renewing a passport. . .

Kenya has a rule where if your passport is within 6 months of expiring, you are not allowed to come into the country. . .Unfortunately, for Madeline to go to DC, she needed her passport. But to come home she would be under 6 months and wouldn’t be allowed to come back. We realized this back in March, but the only appointments at the US embassy were 4 months out.

Enter stage left. . .stressed parents determined to make it work. . .

When she flew to DC, we knew she would need an emergency appointment to get her passport renewed, and we hoped we could do it at the National Passport Center. However, when David called to schedule it, the woman on the phone told him the only appointments were in Colorado and Arizona and that it wasn’t going to be possible to find one in DC. David and I talked and decided to mail in an expedited passport and have her fly back with our friends 3 weeks later than we originally planned and hope the 5 week timeline really was 5 weeks.

To mail the expedited passport, David needed to staple Madeline’s passport photo to the application. However, there were no staplers at Walmart. Yep, you read that right. No staplers in Walmart.

So, he went to the post office and asked to borrow their stapler. The lovely post office woman asked what he was mailing and he started to explain – She asked to see the application and then explained that a renewal for a minor could not be mailed in without being notarized. And to notarize, Madeline needed to be there -and she wasn’t.

Enter stage right, Steve.

David called the Passport line again and this time got Steve, who told him that appointments for 14 days from now open at 8 am every day, and usually fill up within hours. So he told David appointments were available on the 20th, but he needed to call (and have everyone he knew call) at exactly 8am the next day to try to get an appointment in DC. If it doesn’t work the first day, try again the next day, and the next (we had only a 6 day buffer, so. . .)

The next morning at 7:55 David called. My dad called. My mom called. David and my dad were put on hold. Mom didn’t get through.

But then David did. And he got an appointment. . .(I wish I could send Steve a thank you note)

David picked Madeline up yesterday to take her to her appointment. And today, we have a passport in hand. Grateful to Steve. And the post office lady. And to Walmart for being out of staplers.

And very grateful my girl can come home as originally planned :).